Girls by Donna Summer
let out a loud moan, his body shuddered and it was
over. The first time I had seen him it took ten minutes
of conversation to put this trick “to sleep,”
which meant putting him at ease so that he could relax
enough in my company to attain a happy ending.
black girl had to be adept at this in order to assuage
the fears that lurked in client’s minds planted
by experiences, rumors and assumptions that all black
girls wanted to rob them. Funny thing, it didn’t
stop them from taking the chance.
a hooker, prostitute, call girl, I did not mind the
talking part, it’s when the client wants to
touch me that I disassociated my mind from my body
and hover around on the ceiling. I go into automatic
pilot, robot mode, so it isn’t me that they
are huffing and puffing over.
learned a lot of tricks of the trade listening to
my Uncle’s women while growing up. A good working
girl never got off with a trick. If you did then you
were the trick. Having been beaten and tortured by
a few psychopaths I had a level of disdain for men
who paid for my time and body. Within the first few
months of my career I mastered techniques that helped
me avoid sex, while at the same time satisfying the
needs of the client so they got their moneys worth.
this particular client work could not be avoided.
Now I had to remember the other advice I had received,
“Do what you got to do to get paid, stay down
for your crown, and don’t turn down nuthin’
but yo’ collar.”
$400.00 Francois paid me for two hours of my time
made it worthwhile. The first hour we talked about
his work and problems. Reading the paper every morning
certainly paid off. I wasted a lot of time talking
about current events. This also helped me appear intelligent.
a trick just wanted to get off he could do that on
the street in the back of his car for twenty dollars.
Once a client was a regular like Francois they wanted
socializing, company and compassion that they were
not getting elsewhere.
had been seeing me once a month for a year. Lately
he called the agency every two weeks asking for me.
He was trying to kiss me, again. I turned my head
so his mouth fell on my cheek. He looked hurt. The
slight had not gotten past him.
damn bad, I never kissed.
won’t you let me kiss you?”
ignored the question and changed the subject. “Daddy
you were good. You need to get out of the hills more
often. It’s rare that I get someone who isn't
fat or ugly, or cares about satisfying me the way
you do. If it wasn't for my tuition being due I would
give you your money back.”
he believed that, he was really not the sharpest pencil
in the box.
smiled at the silver haired, Spanish, sixty year old
man. He looked aw’ight for his age, but he was
a client. I could not have feelings for clients.
are going to make a great teacher one day. You know
my offer still stands.” He pulled me close to
him. “I could pay all your bills, put you in
a nice house and you wouldn’t have to do anything
but focus on your studies.”
right, anything but sleep with you day and night.
thought of waking up to Francois everyday made me
want to throw up. He was in the middle of his fourth
divorce and was looking for wife number five.
touched him on the side of his face, “You are
so sweet, but you know I have goals that I want to
achieve before I think about a serious relationship.”
really was sweet. If I let him he would take care
of me. I could live in a big house and never worry
about anything. Even after the inevitable divorce
I would get a great settlement and a big alimony check.
The only problem was I could never be with a client
had spent weeks with clients. The money was good.
The thing that made it alright was that we negotiated
my time and I knew that when that time was up I was
out of there. An indefinite relationship or marriage
- Naw! That would drive me nuts.
knew all about the grief he got from his ex-wives
and kids. He spent hours talking about them. I listened,
not saying anything as any good psychiatrist would,
should have thought about it as a profession.
didn’t blame his wives for leaving him. He was
adulterous. If I was a square I would leave him too.
The funny thing was all his wives were pseudo-squares.
He had a penchant for rescuing girls.
pulled his first wife a dancer, out of Las Vegas.
The second was her best friend, a hotel show girl
that he took up with shortly after his first son was
born which resulted in a considerable weight gain
for his first wife who divorced him.
number two gave him a daughter and promptly filed
for divorce when she caught him with soon to be wife
number three, a bartender at the Playboy club who
promptly presented him with a son before pulling her
current wife had been a massage therapist who made
“house calls.” They had been together
the longest and had two grown daughters. All of his
wives had found a payday when they married Francois.
did you get into this business?” Francois asked
knew it would happen one day, it always did with regulars.
Eventually they wanted to know all about you and then
they started getting delusions of being your rescuer.
It had taken Francois a year, but like many others
he wanted to know about my life and what had landed
me into prostitution.
“I really don’t like talking about my
life but since you’re so good to me I guess
I can tell you, I know you will keep it confidential.
My parents were killed in a robbery when I was seven.
A drug addict broke into our house in the middle of
the night and shot them in the head. When I heard
the gunshots I hid under some clothes in my closet.
I saw the killers face through the clothes. When he
left I called the police because my parents would
not wake up, the police showed me some pictures from
which I identified him.”
“You saw the man who killed your parents?”
I had a distant look on my face that told Francois
I was reliving the event. “I had no other family
and landed in a series of foster homes where I wasn’t
treated too nicely. I ran away from the last one when
I was fifteen. I figured the streets couldn’t
be any worse than that house.”
happened there?” Francois got a tissue from
the bedside and wiped the tears from my face.
father and teenage son were raping me. Almost every
night they came into my room. The mother beat me because
beat you because her husband was raping you? She knew
about it and did nothing to stop it?”
she knew alright, sometimes she joined in.”
don’t believe such despicable people walk this
world. Why didn’t you tell someone?”
who told ended up in worse places. No one believed
them and they were labeled troublemakers.”
should have helped you.”
looked at Francois and through my tears said, “I
night when my foster parents were out, the son brought
home his football teammates. I heard them talking
through the vent in the basement where my room was.
They were pulling straws to see who would rape me
God, he planned to pass you around?”
threw some clothes and my piggy bank into a pillow
case. I had saved my lunch money and allowance for
over two years. My jar held $200.00. I climbed out
the window and never looked back.”
did you survive?”
hitchhiked to Venice beach. The beach held so many
good memories from my childhood. My parents took me
camping there every summer. My father and I fished
during school vacations. It was a place where I felt
like they were still with me. I even saw them sometime.”
mean you saw their ghost?”
think it was there spirit. They kept me safe. One
day I was bedding down in the beach bathroom, when
a man followed me in. Sudden I saw my parents, and
felt the man being lifted off of me. He went running
down the beach naked, screaming at the top of his
lungs. I slept in that bathroom every night for two
months and nothing bad ever happened. I stashed my
sleeping bag and pillowcase in a locker at the bus
station during the day, and went to my under the table
job at the skate store. The woman who owned the place
paid me to clean up the skates and eventually I started
working the rental counter. I never told her that
I was homeless but she figured it out and presented
me with a key and bought a bed and a radio so I could
sleep in the back room.”
poor child, my heart bleeds for you,” he hugged
met some girls who were a couple of years older than
me. It seemed like we had all been through hard times
and opted to be on our own for one reason or another.
They invited me to be their roommate. I jumped at
the chance to have a roof over my head.”
did they live? Where did they get food, shelter and
was an old guy, Mr. Charlie who rented an apartment
and paid the utilities in exchange for one night with
each of us every month. We did whatever it took to
feed ourselves. Mr. Charlie forged birth certificates
and enrolled us in school as his foster children.”
he a nice pedophile?” Francois’ voice
dripped with sarcasm.
are all in college now and I’m proud to say
getting very close to accomplishing our goals.”
I looked at Francois there were tears in his eyes.
I knew he was thinking about his spoiled daughters.
He spent a fortune putting them through college and
they did nothing with their sheepskins but get pregnant
and marry bums that he was forced to hire at his construction
company so they could keep a roof over his girls and
know my daughters are grown women in their thirties
and forties and if they had to take care of themselves
they would starve to death. Here you are twenty two
years old and you’ve been taking care of yourself
for seven years now. Look at you, furthering your
education so you can do something with your life,
something that will make a difference in spite of
everything you had to survive.”
what else do I have to do? Without an education I
won’t ever be anything that I can feel good
deserve a break and I am going to give you one. How
much money do you need to finish school?”
I have about three more years to go. I just finished
community college and got into a state college this
year. I don’t know twenty five grand for this
semester alone. I’m taking a heavy load trying
to finish quickly, books are expensive as hell.”
don’t want you to worry about any of that, hand
me my jacket.”
wrote me a check for $30,000.00 and placed it in my
hand kissing my wrist, “If you have any problems
here’s my card. This should allow you to concentrate
on what’s important. I’ll give you more
for next semester and if you need anything, anything
at all you promise to call me.”
line and sinker. I looked at the check and squeezed
out a few tears, “I can’t take this Francois,”
knowing full well there was no way I would give it
you can. Sparkle I throw away more than this every
month on alimony and it doesn’t make me feel
good. Doing this for you makes me feel like my money
is doing some good and I can write it off on taxes.”
Francois College fund huh?” I laughed and hugged
I’ll start a foundation.”
you Francois, you don’t know how much this means
to me, no one has ever given me this kind of help
without wanting me to do something crazy.” I
are no strings attached. If I never see you again,
which I know I will, you don’t owe me a thing.”
think you are my guardian angel.” I kissed him
on the forehead before raising my 5’ 9”
130 pound, long-legged frame from the bed. I stepped
into my five inch stilettos. “I need to freshen
up and get out of here, got to pick my baby up from
have a child?”
I didn’t tell you?” I reached in my wallet
and pulled out a picture of a little girl. She was
about three years old, her caramel skin was close
to my own complexion and she had a head full of wavy
hair. “This is my baby girl Keisa.”
I picked up my leather dress, jacket, panties and
walked into the bathroom to wash up. I touched up
my eyeliner, mascara and lipstick. I didn’t
need foundation or powder. I took the $400.00 cash
that Frank had given me upon arrival and wrapped it
around the check and placed it in the hidden pocket
in my jacket lining.
smiled at the dark eyed, full mouthed, pretty girl
reflected in the mirror, Damn girl, you are good at
what you do. $30,400.00 for two hours of my time was
a personal best.
I took the silver-plated two-shooter from my purse,
checked that the safety was on before placing it in
the pocket sewn into the nape of my neck where a 22
inch, curly wavy, human hair weave covered it. Time
was dressed. He handed me back the child’s photograph
along with a roll of money. He held my hand with both
of his, “Do something nice for your daughter.
She’s very beautiful. I can tell you take good
care of her. Maybe one day I can take you and Keisa
on a trip to Disneyland or Knott’s Berry farm?”
you never know what can happen in the future. I’ve
never taken any men around her. I’ve never told
any clients about her, so please keep this confidential.
The agency doesn’t know about her. I don’t
know why I told you.”
worry Sparkle, your secret is safe with me. It is
understandable that you would be protective of her
in light of all you have been through.”
I leaned in to kiss him on the cheek and he turned
his head and tried to kiss me on the mouth. “You
know better than that.”
still won’t let me kiss you?”
take it personal Francois. I usually don’t even
kiss on the cheek. I feel that I have to save something
for later in life. One day I’m going to meet
a man and he isn’t going to know anything about
this life, or care when I tell him. He will love me
unconditionally and take me away from all of this.
We’ll date like normal people, and he will ask
me to marry him. That is the person I want to kiss.
You see I give every thing else I have away for money.
You understand don’t you?”
understand. You know the more I get to know you, the
more I like you. Who knows maybe I can be that guy
for you. You keep working on your dreams, I’ll
do anything I can to help. No strings attached. I
promise I’ll be there for you,” He hugged
me tightly, too tightly.
he let go I turned and headed for the door. I took
one last look in the mirror on my way out the door
to make sure everything was in place. Three pair of
lions-head earrings, three gold chains, one with a
Lions-head sporting a two carat diamond in its mouth.
I loved lions, didn’t hurt that I was a Leo.
was heading for the elevator when Francois peeked
out, “Hey Sparkle, I’m going to call for
you next week?”
I walked back and gave him a card with my pager number,
“Call me direct, you do know to keep this between
you and me, right?”
took this as a sign that I was getting closer to having
a relationship with him. What I was really doing was
cutting out the agency out of its forty percent. They
had made enough money from me off of this client.
If he was going to start calling every week that was
40 dollars an hour that I would be putting in my own
got off the elevator and made my way through the parking
lot to my little blue Nissan. I loved my little stick
shift car. I realized I was still holding the money
and the picture in my hand. I counted it. Oh how sweet,
Francois had given me $200 to spend on precious Keisa.
I kissed the picture and returned it to my wallet
where it was when I purchased it.
didn’t have any children, unlike most of my
friends who had kids before we graduated high school
in 1977. Why had I used Keisa’s name? Maybe
it was because my little cousin was on my mind. I
had told my aunt that I would babysit this Saturday
night. I planned to take Keisa and her brother Jay
to the movies Saturday.
turned off my radio and pushed the last button then
used the key to open the hidden compartment that was
welded into the center panel. If I got stopped the
police would not find any thing. I retrieved an envelope
folded from a hundred dollar bill and used a gold
plated, one inch fingernail to powder my nose with
cocaine that would clear my head of the date I had
was five p.m. on Friday and traffic was going to be
a bear. I anticipated being on 101 for at least an
hour to get from Hollywood to Compton, so that I could
take my parents to dinner.
parents were still very much alive, married and living
in the house that they bought when I was five years
old. Every year the week after New Years I used my
Christmas money to treat us to dinner at our favorite
restaurant, Tracton’s on La Cienega Boulevard
and Rodeo Road. It was a very colorful place that
was owned by a boxer.