We’re all sitting on couches at Joseph’s swanky vacation home, watching Fight Club. Sophie is on one couch sitting next to Joe with her legs tucked under her, absentmindedly filing her long nails.
“Why don’t we stay til Tuesday?” Joe says out of nowhere. The sound of his voice tears me away from the movie and it takes me a few seconds to process what he’s said.
by Sarah Brooke
Previous episodes of A glimpse into the shadows: An insider’s adventures in the world of escorts:
- Episode 1
- Episode 2
- Episode 3
- Episode 4
- Episode 5
- Episode 6
- Episode 7
- Episode 8
- Episode 9
- Episode 10
- Episode 11
- Episode 12
- Episode 13
- Episode 14
- Episode 15
- Episode 16
- Episode 17
- Episode 18
- Episode 19
- Episode 20
- Episode 21
- Episode 22
- Episode 23
- Episode 24
- Episode 25
- Episode 26
- Episode 27
- Episode 28
- Episode 29
“What? Really? Don’t you have to work next week?” Sophie says, taking her eyes away from the big screen TV and looking at Joe, nail file momentarily forgotten.
“That’s the beauty of owning your own business, even if your boss is a real prick he’s usually good at giving you time off.” Joe says with a grin on his face.
Sophie and I both laugh out loud and a smirk flashes over Mike’s face. “I never work Monday’s but I’d have to see about switching for my Tuesday shift. I start at 4.”
“We can get you home by your shift on Tuesday. How about it, ladies?” Joe says, looking right at me and then turning his gaze towards Sophie.
“Well, as you already know, I don’t work so it won’t be a problem.” Sophie smiles. We have her nearly fully booked from Wednesday to Sunday so she knows that her schedule is wide open for the next couple of days. “I have to hand in a paper on Tuesday but I have until 8pm to do that so that won’t be a problem.”
“You’ve already finished the paper?” I ask, not exactly surprised. Sophie has always taken academia very seriously.
“I did, don’t act so shocked.” She says, giving me a dirty look that I know she doesn’t mean.
As for myself, I can’t deny that I was really looking forward to going home the next morning. “Did we leave enough food and water for Mittens though, Soph?” I’m already fully aware that we’ve left enough food and water to last the little guy another month at least but I can’t help myself from at least trying to give some reasons as to why we should head home.
“Nah, he’ll be fine. You know I never go anywhere without leaving him seven days worth of food and water.” It’s true. Even if she is only planning on being gone for one night she will set out five bowls of water and a comically large salad bowl that she fills with food for him. I look to Mike, hoping that he can see in my eyes that I want to go home. Please, if we have any telepathic connection, let this be the time it shines through. Mike looks back at me and smiles.
“I’m up for it. This place is great and your movie collection is fantastic. I think we might need to run into town to get a few more supplies but Joseph and I can go.” Mike says, looking over at Joseph who nods in agreement.
“Let me make a list.” Sophie jumps off of the couch and rushes to the kitchen where she begins rummaging through the drawers. She finds a pen and paper and gets to writing out her demands.
“Okay ladies, we’ll be back soon.” Joseph hauls himself off of the couch and crosses over to the front door, grabbing his car keys from the wall. “Don’t get into too much mischief while we’re gone.”
“I can’t promise anything.” Sophie smiles and walks him to the door, handing him the grocery list. Mike follows Joe out the door and once the door closes behind them Sophie turns to me. “Let’s get naked and get in that hot tub. We’ve got awhile before they get back. That was quite a detailed list, should take them some time to find everything.”
“I’m definitely up for the hot tub but I don’t think we need to be naked, at least not me. I’ll keep my underwear on but you feel free to do whatever.” I toss my sweatpants and sweater off and beat Sophie to the sliding door.
“I’m not getting that bra wet, my other one is still drying out.” She strips down to her underwear, carefully putting her clothes on the side of the couch before she follows me out the door. At first we struggle with getting the cover off of the hot tub but soon enough we succeed and are easing ourselves into the hot water.
“As soon as I buy a house, I’m putting in a hot tub.” Sophie leans back and closes her eyes, her hair pooling around her in the water.
“I bet we can put one on the balcony at the apartment. The superintendent might not like it but fuck him, it’s our balcony.”
All of a sudden Sophie opens her eyes and sits up straight. “We need drinks.” She hops out of the hot tub, making a mad dash across the deck back into the house. A few moments later she returns with half a jug of pop and a bottle of rum. She then pours a good portion of the rum into the pop bottle and takes a few swigs. She passes it to me and I take a few big sips as well. “I have to tell you something. I had actually forgot about it until just now.”
“What?” I say, curious.
“I think Mike might have his suspicions about me.”
“What do you mean?” I say, starting to worry about where this conversation is headed.
“When him and Joe were driving to go get us groceries when they first got here, Mike said something to Joe out of the blue. Asked him what his relationship with me really is.”
“And that makes you think he, what, knows you’re an escort?”
“He said he found something on your computer once that has bothered him ever since.” She says after a brief pause where she was clearly working up the nerve to say it.
“What?!” I say, panic starting to set in. “What did he find? Sophie? What?” The words fly out of my mouth going a mile a minute.
Sophie sighs deeply and grabs the bottle from me, taking a few gulps before returning the bottle to my hand. “Mike told Joseph that he was at our apartment one day and writing an email to someone and when he went to copy paste something I guess he didn’t copy it right and when he hit paste, it was something you had copy and pasted the last time you were using the computer. It was an email to a customer.”
“What did it say?” I ask, my heart pounding in my chest.
“I don’t know but I think it was pretty obvious that it was about a booking for an escort.”
“Oh my God, Sophie, does he think it’s me? He probably thinks that I’m the escort. Oh shit…”
“No, he doesn’t think it’s you. I don’t know how but he’s pieced it together that you work for me and that I’m an escort.”
For a moment I can’t do anything but sit and stare at her in stunned silence. “I can’t…”
“It’s going to be fine, Sarah. He was going to find out sooner or later.” Her voice is soft and reassuring. She does not seem to be panicked or worried at all, which is surprising in and of itself.
“How are you so relaxed about this? My boyfriend knows your deepest, darkest secret and you are acting like it’s no big deal.”
“It isn’t that big of a deal. I mean, it is. Don’t get me wrong, the fewer people who know about this, the better but when we moved in together I had a feeling that this would happen one way or another. I don’t mind that he knows. It’s almost a relief.”
“He doesn’t know anything for sure though.” I say, ignoring her relaxed and accepting attitude. “We could make up a story. Say that I’m working for another girl, that it’s not you that I was emailing about.”
“If you want to lie to him about it, that’s up to you. I like Mike and I think he could be trusted but you know him better than I do.” She shrugs her shoulders and leans back again, closing her eyes and enjoying the sensation of the bubbles churning around her.
“It’s not that I don’t think that I can trust him, it’s that this isn’t my secret, this isn’t my life that could be ruined if this got out to other people.”
“If you guys break up and things turn sour and he does tell Frank about this we can just deny it and say that he’s making it all up to be a dick.” She says.
“I don’t think he’d do that, even if we did break up. I don’t know what to do. Do I say something to him? Do I bring it up? Do I wait for him to bring it up to me?” I say, quite obviously flustered.
“I don’t have the answer for you but in my opinion I think that you should just flat out tell him. Don’t tell him that I told you anything, just fess up and get it over with.”
“What if Joseph misunderstood and I out you for no good reason?”
“I’m giving you permission.” Sophie smiles at me and reaches across to grab the pop bottle from me again.
“Why has he not said anything to me about this? How long has it been that he’s known this and he hasn’t said a single word about it. He hasn’t been acting strangely either, I almost don’t believe you.”
“I would never lie, especially not about something like this.”
“I know that but I just can’t believe he has gone on like nothing has happened. If I found out that he was lying to me about something like that there’s no way I would be able to just continue on and say nothing.”
“It means he is a good guy with good character. He might just be a keeper.” Sophie smiles at me and for a moment my panic is put aside and I smile back at her.
“I really am glad that you like him. You can be pretty critical of my boyfriends.”
“Because I want what is best for you. I think Mike is the best guy you have ever been with and I’m not afraid to tell you so. He’s handsome and sweet and he’s at your beck and call without being a total pushover. He lets you choose the channel and he does the dishes. I don’t know if you could ask for more than that.”
“It’s also nice that he doesn’t like sports.” I say.
“See? He’s perfect.” She smiles and we both hear a car pull up and the doors close. “Shit, I didn’t think to bring towels. We better make a run for it before they get inside.”