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From Street Life To Housewife

Autographed prints of From Street Life To Housewife. The price $15.00 and $3.00 for shipping and handling.

Chapter one

Bad Girls by Donna Summer

Francois 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.

Every 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.

As 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.

I 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.

With 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.”

The $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.

If 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.

Francois 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.

Too damn bad, I never kissed.

“Why won’t you let me kiss you?”

I 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.”

If he believed that, he was really not the sharpest pencil in the box.

I 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.

“You 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.”

Yeah right, anything but sleep with you day and night.

The 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.

I 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.”

He 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 that way.

I 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.

I 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.

I 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.

He 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.

Wife 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 vanishing act.

The 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.

“How did you get into this business?” Francois asked

I 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?” Francois asked.
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.”

“What happened there?” Francois got a tissue from the bedside and wiped the tears from my face.

“The father and teenage son were raping me. Almost every night they came into my room. The mother beat me because she knew.”

“She beat you because her husband was raping you? She knew about it and did nothing to stop it?”

“Oh, she knew alright, sometimes she joined in.”

“I don’t believe such despicable people walk this world. Why didn’t you tell someone?”

“Girls who told ended up in worse places. No one believed them and they were labeled troublemakers.”

“Someone should have helped you.”

“I looked at Francois and through my tears said, “I helped me.”

“One 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 first.

“My God, he planned to pass you around?”

“I 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.”

“How did you survive?”

“I 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.”

“You mean you saw their ghost?”

“I 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.”

“You poor child, my heart bleeds for you,” he hugged me.

“I 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.”

“How did they live? Where did they get food, shelter and clothes?”

“There 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.”

“Wasn’t he a nice pedophile?” Francois’ voice dripped with sarcasm.

“We are all in college now and I’m proud to say getting very close to accomplishing our goals.”

When 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 grandchildren’s heads.

“You 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.”

“Hey, what else do I have to do? Without an education I won’t ever be anything that I can feel good about.”

“You deserve a break and I am going to give you one. How much money do you need to finish school?”

“Well, 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.”

“I don’t want you to worry about any of that, hand me my jacket.”

Francois 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.”

Hook, 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 back.

“Yes 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.”

“The Francois College fund huh?” I laughed and hugged him.

“Maybe I’ll start a foundation.”

“Thank 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 sniffed.

“There are no strings attached. If I never see you again, which I know I will, you don’t owe me a thing.”

“I 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 the sitter.”

“You have a child?”

“Yeah, 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.

I 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 to go.

Francois 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?”

“Maybe, 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.”

“Don’t 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.”

“You still won’t let me kiss you?”

“Don’t 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?”

“I 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.

When 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.

I 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?”

He 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 pocket.

I 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.

I 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.

I 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 just turned.

It 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.

My 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.

Kim Robinson, © 2004, all rights reserved.
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