That’s her heart right now feeling like it might explode out of her chest. She’s sitting in the back of a dark SUV between two muscley guys in expensive-looking, hand-tailored suits and mirror shades. One of them has a blonde crew cut and a jagged scar crossing half his forehead and the other has a slicked back, black ponytail. She would call it a nub more than a tail really. These guys aren’t from around here, not this side of town. The two of them haven’t answered a single one of her questions since they grabbed her outside the run-down gas station on 1st and Pine. It was the only place on this side of town that had a cheap cup of coffee that didn’t taste like burned garbage. It was still garbage, but at least it wasn’t scorched. So she had been there bright and early to score her first fix for the day and get ready to hustle for more.
So there she was in her too-big pink hoodie and a pair of ratty ill-fitting jeans just crossing the parking lot in her own world when these two well-dressed goons grabbed her. In broad daylight she was being dragged into this vehicle despite her protests and no one even bats an eye. 3 people walked into the store as she was being manhandled and not a single one even stopped to give her a second glance.
Once the muscle had her safely tucked between them, she jokingly asked, “Don’t you fellas think I’m a bit underdressed for this party?”
“Am I in a Pretty Woman remake?”
“Isn’t Richard Gere a little old for a hooker?”
“Tough crowd in there tonight,” she had huffed then belying how nervous she was becoming.
The last 5 minutes have passed in silence while her heartrate steadily climbs and not from drugs for once. She has been considering feigning an OD or something but at this point, she might just have a heart attack all on her own. No pretending necessary.
She decides to try another tactic and lets her hand slide higher up the thigh of the “gentleman” to her right, Ponytail, and says in her most sultry tone, “what’s a girl gotta do to get some answers around here?” She feels him tense under her touch, but he firmly takes her hand and places it back in her own lap. When she moves to touch him again, he reaches out with lightening speed, grabs her wrist, and bends it back until she’s screaming in pain. Ponytail never utters a word, not so much as a grunt, and Blondie may as well have been a statue.
She sits in silence then nursing her throbbing wrist, breathing heavily, and unable to think clearly enough to formulate any real plan to get out of this fucking mess. Every second ticking by feels like a lifetime, and she wonders if this morning will be her last.
Did she miss her last sunrise? Had she wasted her last night fucking johns for $45 a pop, pun intended, to re-up her heroin stash? Had she not even gotten her last cup of morning coffee? Her last real orgasm? The tallying in her head nears obsession. She had never gotten even her GED, never went to college, never been much of anything but a stripper (and a damn good one) until that sunken-in, strung-out look got her fired. She’d never had never even had a dog. Her last boyfriend beat the shit out of her for 2 years straight which, she is pretty damn sure, isn’t love. Had she ever been in love? Been loved?
When was the last time she felt the grass between her toes? Gone swimming? Had a fresh glass of lemonade? A homecooked meal? Fuck’s sake, when was the last time she even had a Pop Tart? A Twizzler?
She tries to remember the last time she laughed, a real laugh not that fake shit she does when one of her clients tells one of their stupid jokes, and she can’t. That fact sinks in—that she can’t even remember the last time she didn’t have to force a laugh, when something was so spectacularly hilarious that she lost her breath, tears streaming from her face. The thought sucker punches her in the solar plexis catching her breath and hurting so much more than the wrist she still cradled against her chest.
She hasn’t really been alive in a long time.
The SUV begins to slow. She peers nervously through tear-blurred eyes out the windows as the driver turns left into driveway guarded by a wrought iron gate. He pauses, shows his face to a camera, and waits for the gates to open.
A strange sensation, part light and part tingle, begins to well inside her, and she realizes for the first time in a long while, she has hope that she sees tomorrow.
Another Sunday Confessions prompt that made me terrified I would never be able to come up with something then boom the words fall into place. I would have had this posted by now but damn it I am ready for fall and I am forcing it into my life in the kitchen today making gingerbread cookies. Hope you enjoyed the tale and stop by for dessert and coffee :)