Another day, another track lain ready for distribution. Being a workhorse can be very tiresome, but if it wasn’t for my deep love for music, I wouldn’t be here right now—I would have retired a long time ago. I rub my eyes and turn around in my chair just in time to see Donnie walk in with a can of Red Bull surgically fused into his hand.
“You headin’ out?” he asks me before taking a swig of that Godawful energy drink. “Yeah, I’m gonna go ahead and call it a night. I’ve been editing the sound on our last track so many times on the Mac, I’m starting to see double. I’m gonna head back to the hotel,” I say to him before letting out an unintentionally loud yawn. “I gotcha. Will there be a lady friend there to accompany you?” I sharply turn around, my mouth half open at his question. “Are you serious? How many times do I have to keep telling you that my life is too busy for a relationship?”
“But that’s just it; I didn’t say ‘relationship’. I said “Lady friend”. Ya know, a cute little something that will keep you warm for a few nights, if you catch my drift.”
It seemed only to me that Donnie lacks the understanding the difference between being non-chalant in a statement, and being flat out blatant with one. This is one of those times where he oversteps his boundaries.
“I’m not like that, Donnie. It’s quite a shame that you haven’t found that out by now,” I was surprised to be able to snap back at him in my sleep deprived state. I get out of the chair, not wanting to look at him for the moment. “Hey, I’m just trying to help. Lighten up!” I ignore his statement of ‘trying to help’ me and continue to walk out. He is the main person who would always get me into trouble, and now, being all the wiser, I’ve learned to remove myself from all his shenanigans.
“Good night, Jordan,” Miles said to me as I exited the elevator. “G’night. Don’t work the nightshift too hard,” I said before walking down the hall. “Did you bring your umbrella?” I stop dead in my tracks and turn my head to Miles, my eyebrows furrowed in confusion. “Wha?”
“Yeah, it’s raining like a wicked bitch out there. It ain’t like Ma Nature has anything better to do than to drown unsuspecting pedestrians tonight.”
“You…have GOT to be kidding me, Goonie.”
“Hey, I don’t lie. Look for yourself. Don’t get too wet out there,” he said to me before turning his heels to the opposite direction of the lobby, back into his guarding post. I look through the glass double doors and watch in pained awe as the heavy rains enveloped Boston. “This is just plain awesome,” I thought to myself while quasi mesmerized at the rainwater crashing down around me.
Hoisting the coat above my head, I make a dash through the doors and down towards my car, thinking through my judgement I would try not to get too soaked. I lost that bet. The harsh sounds of the rainwater clashing against rough leather rang through my ears, nearly deafening me. I make it into my car, tossing my drenched leather jacket into the backseat. Settling my head upon the steering wheel, I let out an exasperated sigh.
“Will this be the only bad thing that’ll take place just tonight?” as if my words synchronized with Mother Nature’s plans, a boisterous thunderclap shook the night sky followed by threatening lightning cracks radiating through the dark clouds. Great. The hotel is several miles North of the studio, and now it’s a race against time, and my ass not being struck by lighting. I pull out of the parking lot carefully, not wanting to attract the nature show up above.
I manage to get back on the road without a hitch; the rain still poured, but it wasn’t as heavy. I stop at a red light while turning on the radio. A little Smooth Jazz couldn’t hurt anyone, right? I look to my left to see if the traffic was running smoothly, to my joy it was. I turn my head towards my right and I see a local bar called “Charlie’s” closing up for the evening. After the Red Sox won the Pennant tonight, the bar expanded its hours to 3:30am. Too bad I wasn’t there—could have celebrated with the locals rather than tire my eyes with work.
Before I was able to bring my focus back on the road, I noticed someone in my peripheral making their way towards my car. The person was hooded, shaking, whimpering from the cool air and rainwater. Naturally, I was hesitant in wanting to know what the person wanted, but the Good Samaritan in me ruled over my judgement. I lowered my window and peeked my head out just enough to see who stood in front of me. The streetlight that hung over the dark figure did little to help brighten everything, so I squinted to get a better look.
“May I help you?” Removing the hood, I realize that the dark figure was a young woman who looked to be about 23, soaked to the bone and freezing. “C…could you help me? M…my car broke down, and—and I need to get home…please, I…” Feeling my heart slowly break for the young one, I extend my hand out to her after opening the passenger side door. “Get in,” I said to her as I grab her shriveled, waterlogged hand, gently pulling her in.
She slams the door and quickly holds herself, hoping she warms up faster…though the drenched sweater she wore wasn’t going to do her any favors. “You should take that off, you’ll catch a cold,” I said in a concerned manner; I was genuinely concerned for her well-being, so I reached over to help her out of the sweater. “I got it,” she barked while rolling up the bottom hem of it, yanking it off—it now laid down along with the leather jacket. “Sorry, I was only trying to help. Where do you live?” she looked over at me with sullen brown eyes then back down at her hands.
“Um…I live…uhh…” “You don’t have a place to live, do you?” I asked wondering. “You’re gonna kick me out in the cold if I told you ‘no’?” I lean back slightly, trying to register the question. “Why would I do that? I got you out of the rain, didn’t I? Why should I kick you out?” I watch as she ran her fingers up and down her moistened arms looking out the window. “You didn’t answer my question,” she retorted. “You never gave me a reason to. Why should I put you out of my car?”
“Because I don’t have a car, either. I…just needed a ride somewhere.” I look down at her fingers twisting a silver thumb ring back and forth, a nervous tell. “So, you gonna kick me out?”
“No…” I said softly. “I would never kick out someone who’s homeless. And I’m sorry you’re in a situation like this. I’ll take you back to my hotel—it’s not far from here. Are you hungry?”
“I’m not homeless, and I don’t need your charity, asshole,” she barked back before trying to get out the car. I quickly grab her arm, pulling her back in. “What’s the fuckin’ deal?” “I’m not sure if you noticed? But the car’s on the road, and moving. I’m only trying to help you, and you’re being nasty. You asked for my help, right?” scoffing, she crosses her arms, smoothing her face. Tears formed in her eyes, and I felt like such an ass.
“I’m…sorry…” I set my hand on her shoulder. “You’re soaked. Let’s get you someplace warm, and some food in you,” I said to her with a light smile—the growling of her stomach was evident that she hasn’t eaten…for how long, it’s inconclusive. A light “thanks…” was all she said throughout the ride back to the Sheraton.
We parked in front of the hotel, and I look over at her; still silent. Her long, brunette locks clung onto her shoulders, neck and back due to the rain, and her strapless black dress she wore was all but dry. She looked over at me, her eyes no longer dim, smirking. “Getting a good look there, Pal?”
I turn away from her, gripping the steering wheel. She was very pretty, I couldn’t help but look at her for a second, right? “Sorry, couldn’t help it. I didn’t mean to offend you.” “You didn’t offend me. I should be the one apologizing—I was a jerk earlier. I just had a rough night, is all,” she extended her hand to me with a light smile. “I’m Lisa.” I close my hand with hers, “I’m Jordan.”
“Here’s your keycard, Mr. Knight. Enjoy your stay,” the receptionist told me while distinctively looking at Lisa. “I will, thanks. Let’s go.” Lightly touching the back of her arm, I lead her down the hall and into an elevator stopping at even numbered floors. “Why did she look at you like that?” I asked her, to which she replied with a smile, “I don’t know. Maybe she thinks you and I are gonna hook up. That wouldn’t be a crime, now would it?” I moisten my dry mouth and clear my throat.
“No, it wouldn’t be, but we barely know each other,” I said while pushing number 6 on the control panel. As the elevator moved us up, I felt a pair of eyes burning a hole on the side of my head. I look down at her small figure, arms crossed. “Well, what if you’d like to get to know me…better?”
I’m pushed against the wall of the elevator and felt a pair of hands hanging above my belt buckle. “Whoa, wait a second!” Lisa reached over and lightly tapped the Emergency stop button with her middle finger. I look down at her, bewildered and slightly intrigued. “What are you doing?” She flashes an impish smirk while kneeling down in front of me, unfastening my belt buckle. “What do you think I’m doing? You’re gonna get to know me better, Mr. Knight. Is that alright with you?” Without taking her eyes off of me, she slowly slips the leather strap from around my waist. “And also, I think I should let you know my rate for one evening.”
My eyes got wider, my mouth grew dry again, and my inhibitions returned. “You’re a prostitute?” “In the flesh. $400 per throw--$600 if you’re real kinky.” I couldn’t believe it. This is the LAST thing I needed—being hemmed up in an elevator by a lady of the evening, demanding payment. Boy, I sure can see the headlines of the Globe now. I shook my head and grab the sides of her arms, yanking her up off the floor.
“No.” “You were checking me out in the car earlier. You let me in and you should have known. The least I could do is treat you to a blow—“ “NO,” I said a bit louder while lightly pushing her away grabbing my belt. “Are you fuckin’ kidding me? You’re turning me down?” “What do you think?” I push the Emergency stop button again to start the elevator up. “I’m taking you home. Since you’re not homeless, the least you could do is tell me where you live, rather than how many payments you’ll get if I fucked you.”
“So…you are throwing me out in the cold.”
I look down at her, more pissed than before. “You lied to me from the start. I refuse to associate myself with you. I’m taking you home, and that’s that, now where do you live?” Softly, she replied, “I don’t want to go back there. Not now, not ever.”
“You expect me to believe that?” “For what it’s worth, Knight, not all prostitutes care for being in this position. Do you think I LIKE doing this?” “You sure fooled me.” As the doors open on the first floor, Lisa turns around, her face scrunched up in anger. “Oh, fuck you.” She storms out of the elevator while holding herself. Her words sunk in. My demeanor changed dramatically as I watched her walk away while wiping her face. Damn it. Why don’t I ever think before speaking? I thought as I went after her.
“Lisa!” I called out to her, but received the cold shoulder. “I’ll find my own way back. Leave me alone,” she snapped before I stepped in front of her. “I’m sorry, okay? I don’t think when I talk sometimes. I just…I just wish you were honest with me.” I set my hand on her wet cheek, smoothing her incoming tears away. “You also don’t have to do this. You have a choice. You’re better than this life.”
“No, I don’t,” she said, looking away. “I have no one. Even after I do my work, I still wind up alone, or beaten up. No, I don’t have a choice—I was doomed from the start, okay? It’ll make you happy to know I’m a lost cause.”
“You’re not a lost cause, and it never makes me happy to see people suffer.” Lisa’s eyes shimmered as she looked up at me, her mouth half open from what it looked like shock. “You actually give a shit about me?”
“Yes. I do.” Lisa wipes her tears away, sniffling then bringing forth a chuckle I’ve never heard. I liked that. “Can I stay with you for tonight? I’ll be out of your hair in a few hours, I swear. I don’t want to cause any trouble.” I couldn’t help but smile and agree to her offer. “Yeah, you can. Let’s go upstairs.”