I feel like beating my head against the wall but instead of doing that I back away from the computer. I search through my drawer, hoping that Sophie has not helped herself to my last few cigarettes. I try not to smoke on a day to day basis, but keep some emergency cigarettes for situations such as these.
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
- Episode 30
- Episode 31
- Episode 32
- Episode 33
- Episode 34
Mercifully, my hand finally rests on my trusty pack and I pull it out. Three cigarettes. Good enough. I walk out to the balcony and grab the lighter that we always keep on the edge of the window. The first drag is heaven and I feel my body relax. Looking out over the city I can’t help but smile. The snow has melted and summer will be on its way soon. I let myself enjoy my happy thoughts of summer and for that blissful five minutes, I’m thinking of nothing but the wardrobe that I can finally bring out of storage. Once my cigarette is done, I flick it into the ashtray and take one more deep breath and head back inside to finish typing up an email to Anne.
Apparently it wasn’t enough that we had to meet a second time for her to hand over the photos, she now wants to get together to go through all of the photos to find the ones she likes best. It isn’t good enough to just send me the photos she specifically wants on the ad, no, that would be far too easy. We have now been delayed nearly two weeks because she refuses to sign off on the ads before they are placed. I try not to vent to Sophie about it too much because she seems stressed about school or work or maybe both. Thankfully now that Mike understands the full situation I can bitch and whine to him instead of her.
Standing in front of the fridge, I can’t take my eye off the alcoholic coolers that take up our entire second shelf. Glancing at the clock behind me, I see that it’s 1pm. Shrugging, I grab a cooler and pop the top off. I try not to let myself drink before dinner time but sometimes it’s just not possible to wait. I decide to grab another cooler just in case this one goes down nicely and I head back to my computer.
It doesn’t take very long to send her an email but I have to word it carefully to make sure that my frustration doesn’t come through in an obvious way. I’ve got to go out now and buy a new business suit because she’s already seen me in the only one that I own twice. If I want to play the part, I’m going to have to pony up some money. I finish my first cooler and sit staring at the screen. Within a few minutes she has replied. We will meet on Monday at the same coffee shop. I debate going to get a new suit today or just heading out to find one tomorrow instead. Feeling slightly buzzed from the drink, I decide to spend the day indoors.
Sophie has an appointment with one of her regulars tonight around 6pm so I make sure to change the sheets and clean the apartment. Afterwards we are heading out to meet Mel and Carrie at a bar. Yesterday I’d spent most of the entire day in my old apartment. It was strange. I intentionally dirtied some dishes and left them in the sink to make it seem like I have been living there. I grabbed some of my clothes that I had left behind and threw them in the corner. I filled the freezer with pizzas and french fries and brought some food from our fridge to temporarily make my apartments fridge look occupied. Knowing that there was a good chance that Mel and Carrie wouldn’t even come over, the whole day felt pointless. However it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Sophie gets home around 5pm, yells hello and jumps into the shower. Bored out of my mind I follow her into her bedroom and lay on her bed, waiting for her to be done. She’s out in a few minutes and I hear the blow dryer start. I decide to get myself another cooler and one for Sophie. Once she’s finally done blow drying her long hair she comes out and smiles at me as I hand her the cooler.
“Thanks, love. How was your day?” She turns to face the mirror and brushes her hair out before tying it in a high ponytail.
“Fine. I have to meet Anne again.”
“Why?” She turns to look at me.
“Because she wants to sit there and go through all the photos with me to show me which ones she likes and which ones she doesn’t.” I say, taking a long sip from my bottle.
“Okay, if she knew what picture she liked couldn’t she have just sent those ones to you in the beginning?” She says.
“I think that’s what a normal human being would do.” I hop off the bed and grab her makeup kit. “Want me to do your makeup?”
“Sure.” She sits down in front of me on the bed, closing her eyes. “I’m so tired lately. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”
“You’re in school full time and working afterwards. That’s what is wrong with you.” I choose a light brown colour for her lid and get to work. “Maybe you should take a few weeks off.”
“I can’t afford to. I mean, I can literally afford to I just can’t risk pissing off any more of my regulars.” A while ago we stopped placing ads for Carmen. A few bad experiences with new customers convinced her to stick to the gentlemen she already knows. One guy wouldn’t let her leave the hotel after their appointment and I had to intervene. Another tried to convince her to join his escort agency and also wouldn’t let her leave. She always chooses hotels nearby to home now so as soon as she doesn’t text me immediately after her appointment, I head over to make sure everything is okay. Even without these little hiccups I can’t say I blame her for not wanting to deal with new guys all the time when her regulars keep her so busy but it means my days are spent with a lot less to do. There’s also less money coming in for me but I’m not at the point where I’m worried about it yet. Out calls tend to take a lot of time out of her day and I completely understand why she wants to limit them. I’ve been keeping busy with cleaning Carmen’s room between callers and I’ve spent way more time than I like cleaning the damn place but it still leaves a lot of free time during the day. I’ve been so eager to start renting out Joe’s vacation home that I’m starting to get very irritated that we can’t just get started on it yet.
“How long is my appointment today?” She asks, keeping her eyes closed as I apply mascara to her eyelashes.
“He booked you for one hour but he tends to go over. We have to meet them at the bar no later than 10pm. If you want to shower afterwards and get ready you’ll want to kick him out no later than 8pm.” I explain.
“Got it. I hope he doesn’t stay that long, I’m so exhausted. Do we have any energy drinks?” She says and her eyes open ever so slightly. Thankfully I notice in time and she doesn’t end up with mascara in her eyeball.
“No but I can go grab you some or make an extra strong pot of coffee?”
“The coffee will do, we’ll grab some energy drinks on our way to the bar. I know I’ll need them.” Ignoring the fact that I’m now trying to apply her eyeliner she leans to the side and grabs her drink off the bedside stand.
“Soph, I almost poked you in the eye. Be more careful.”
“I needed this more than I needed to not be poked in the eye.” She takes a few long swigs and returns the now empty bottle to the side table. “All done?” She asks and I apply one more swipe of eyeliner before I back away and let her stand up. She looks in the mirror, nods, and heads to her closet. “He requested this outfit. It’s such a bitch to get off, I think I’m going to remove it from my outfit requests.” She pulls out a leather dominatrix suit, it looks awesome on her but I can’t imagine how she gets it off on her own.
“How do you even get out of this thing?” I ask.
“I have to ask the client for help. They love it though, it’s an intimate thing to do, to undress me. There’s no way I could move my arms enough to be able to take it off. It’s sexy but it’s not easy to move in. What time is it?”
“One second.” I turn around and grab Carmen’s phone off the bedside table. I tend to keep it close to me in case a customer calls. “It’s 5:34pm.”
“Okay I’m going to get into this outfit but I’m not happy about it.” I hold out the suit for her and she carefully steps in. Wriggling her body, it slides on. It fits, but barely. “Maybe I’ve put on a few pounds. I better start using the condos gym.”
I look down at my own stomach which has undeniably grown over the winter. “Me too. I can’t let myself go just because I have a boyfriend.”
“I swear to God, as soon as I am done escorting I am going to let myself get so fat. It’s going to be amazing. I can’t wait.” She says this and I can’t help but laugh out loud. Sophie has always been slim, I can’t picture her ballooning up. I, on the other hand, will have to make an actual effort to slim back down to my summer weight.
Just then the doorbell rings. Sophie turns around and lets me zip up the back of her suit. “Are you expecting Mike?”
“No, of course not. I’d never let Mike come over when you have a client stopping by.”
“My client is super early then. Well, at least that means he’ll be out of here sooner.” She takes one last look at herself in the mirror while she shoves her feet into stilettos. I leave her to it and head to my room to put on my headphones and watch a movie.