I push the door open as quietly as I can, checking inside the entry way for shoes. It’s 8pm and this is a popular time for gentleman callers and I want to make sure that Sophie isn’t entertaining anyone. I know she didn’t have any appointments booked for this evening but sometimes her clients will call her up last minute to see if she can accommodate them. Peering down I see that there are no shoes in sight and the coast looks clear. Stepping in the rest of the way I kick off my shoes and toss my purse on the floor next to the door. Leaning up against the wall I let out a long, drawn out sigh. It feels good to be home.
by Sarah Brooke
“Hello?” A familiar voice calls from the living room, interrupting my thoughts.
“Hello, my dear.” I smile and push myself off the wall.
“How’s it going? Come here and sit with me.” Sophie calls.
“One second, I need a drink.” I stop by the fridge and grab a bottle of juice. I grab a glass from the dish rack and kneel next to our liquor cabinet, scanning the bottles and trying to make a speedy decision. I decide on Jamaican rum and carry my haul to the couch. I plop down next to Sophie who is wearing nothing but an oversized t-shirt and underwear. She must have just stepped out of the shower because her hair is wet and tied back in a simple pony tail.
“Hey missy, if you didn’t bring me a glass you’re going to have to share.” She says, holding out her hand. I place the glass in her hand and pour a good three or four shots of rum into it. I take a swig from the bottle before I place it on the table and then fill the glass to the brim with juice. Sophie takes a deep sip and then starts to twirl the glass in deliberate, small circles. I’m not sure how much of the liquid she is actually managing to mix but I don’t have the heart to say anything.
“So, Chantal comes in this morning high as a kite on a windy day.” I say.
“Yup, got that part.” She nods and squints her eyes at me ever so slightly, waiting for the story.
“And about how she tried to call the cops and tell them that we were a drug den?” I ask. I know I told Mike this part of the story but how much did I tell Sophie? It’s been a long day, I can barely remember.
Sophie laughs at the thought of it. “Yep, got that part too.”
“It was crazy, Tim had to throw her phone into the toilet to stop her. I’m sorry I wasn’t there to see it.” I say, trying to imagine what that scene must have looked like. “Anyways, the girls who were working and I get together for lunch and they all get to talking about Chantal’s big blow out. Turns out these ladies don’t care for Ebony and Dixie either. They start pressuring me to text one of them and let them know about Chantal’s freak out because they’re worried that Tim won’t fire her cuz he has a thing for her. If Ebony or Dixie find out Chantal had another episode and wasn’t fired, they’ll lose their minds.”
“Hmmm. And the theory is that maybe they will get so angry that they quit?” Sophie says.
“Exactly.” I steal the drink from Sophie’s outstretched hand and grab a straw from the drawer next to the couch. I stir the alcohol and juice together and take a long sip. “I didn’t want to do it.”
“Of course not, why would you want to get involved in their girly drama.” Sophie says in.
“But I did it.” I admit, sighing.
“Did you really? Who did you text, what did you say?” She hops up off the couch. “I’m going to go grab my own glass, do you want ice?”
I nod and continue my story. “I decided to text Ebony and tell her that we were having a bit of an issue this morning and one of the girls had to go home. I said that it was a slow day and things were probably not going to pick up but if things did get busy and we needed her, would she be able to come in.”
“And?” I hear her slam the freezer door shut and then she bangs the ice tray down on the counter.
“She demanded to know what happened this morning. She sent out four texts asking me what happened, she couldn’t wait to hear the gossip. When I didn’t respond right away she sent Taylor a text asking what happened. I told her and all she said in reply was ‘thanks’. Sophie, I’m not sure that girls ever said thank you.”
She returns from the kitchen, glass full of ice. She drops half of the ice into my glass, careful not to spill anything, and sits down again. “I hope he doesn’t fire the druggie and the two bitches decide to quit.”
I shake my head side to side. “I doubt that will happen. Even if they do quit, what if the next girls to fill their places are just as bad? Never mind that recruitment is supposed to be a huge pain in the ass, most of the girls are so unreliable that they just don’t bother showing up to their interviews.”
“You should make sure that you’re involved in the hiring process, that way you can make sure that the next girls who are hired are competent and not total divas.”
“I highly fucking doubt that he would involve me in the hiring process. Sure, maybe he’d make me do the actual recruiting but the decision won’t be mine. Maybe he has to fuck them to make sure they do good work.” I say, wondering if it could really be true.
“What a creep. It might be true though. Who knows.” Sophie shrugs her shoulders and looks thoughtfully at her drink. “I should pose as an escort looking for work and get him to give me an interview. Then we’d know what kind of guy he really is.”
“No, Sophie, that’s a bad idea.” I say.
“Why?” She asks, furrowing her eyebrows at me.
“What do you mean why? If he ever found out that you were my friend, I’d be fired!”
“Oh, like you care.” She rolls her eyes.
“I do care. I mean, the job can really suck but it’s money. I need money to survive.” I say, not sure why I need to explain this to her.
“Yeah but if you have to you can just come back and work for me.” She says, her t-shirt sliding off her shoulder.
“Soph, didn’t you want to move away? Start over in a new town?” I ask, treading carefully.
She stiffens visibly. “No, forget I said that. I was just upset.”
“I took it seriously. You don’t normally say things just for the sake of saying them.”
“That time I did, okay?” She turns her attention to the TV, which is playing some sitcom on low volume with the subtitles on.
“Anyways, I can work for you if you need me to. I could definitely work your phone and the agencies phone.” I say, dreading even the thought of that scenario. I’d never have a moments peace.
“Nah, it’s okay. I’m fine. I just want you to know that there is another option. If you really do hate your job, you don’t have to stick with it.”
“That warms my heart, thank you.” I grab her hand and squeeze. “I do appreciate it. For the time being I’m going to try to keep this job though. I mean, damn, it’s getting interesting!”
Sophie throws her head back and laughs. “It’s like a fucking soap opera.”
“I know! I can’t wait to find out what happens next.” I laugh.
“Just don’t let any of them, whether it’s the escorts or the boss, treat you like shit. You deserve better.”
I shrug my shoulders. “The bitchy girls I can deal with. The space cadet boss I can handle too. It’s fine. The hours are going to be what kills me.” I look at the time on my cell phone then throw it beside me on the couch. “I’m already exhausted. I hope it’s a quiet night tonight but if it is, then I’ll have to hear the girls complain that there were no calls.”
“Who cares, it’s not your fault if there are no horny guys on the prowl tonight.” She knows as well as anyone that there are slow nights and there’s no way to predict when they’ll happen. It’s just part of the business.
“Tim texted me asking me to go in to work again tomorrow. I have to be there for 9am. I just wanna hang out in my Pjs tomorrow and not have to put my face on.” I groan, shamelessly complaining when I know that Sophie probably has to be at school for the same time.
“Just don’t wash your face and leave on the makeup from today.” She smirks.
“Really helpful advice, thank you.” I shake my head at her and try to smile. That proves to be too difficult of an effort so instead I close my eyes and lean my head back. “How much do I have to pay you to take the phone for me from 11pm to 2am?”
“I have class early tomorrow, I’m so sorry. I can take it for awhile right now if you want? I don’t have any clients tonight and I’ve already done my class work.”
“Actually… yes, please. That would be amazing. Thank you.” I stretch my back before I attempt to stand, the release feels divine. My muscles have been so tense today. “I’ll take a shower and nap for an hour or two. Wake me up when you’re going to sleep, okay? Maggie and Taylor are on still, Syndy has gone home already. Maggie ends at midnight and won’t take calls past then. Taylor is fine to be on til whenever.”
“Got it.” Sophie says and I hope she’s telling the truth.
“I’ll send you a text with that info just in case you forget it.” I say. “Just for my own peace of mind.”
“Sarah, I’m not going to forget. Taylor is on all night and Maggie is done at midnight. I got it, don’t worry.”
“Okay, yes, sorry. I’m just tired, I know I wouldn’t have remembered that if you had told me the same thing.”
“That’s because your brain is fried.” Sophie makes a shooing gesture with her hands. “Go relax. I’ll wake you when I can’t keep my eyes open anymore.” She turns her attention to the TV once again and I finally muster the energy to stand up. I finish my drink and put the empty glass on the table. “Actually, on second thought…” I fill the glass up with juice and splash a few shots of rum into it. “Better take a drink for the road.”
Sophie looks up and turns her head towards me. “Oh, yeah. By the way, tomorrow night I have a few clients stopping by. If you come home anytime between 6pm and 11pm, be careful.”
“Don’t worry, I always try to be. Thanks again. You’re the best.”
She smiles and gives me a little wave before I turn and head for my room. “Love ya.”