A short story about what happens when a typical businessman is under a lot of stress.
THE PROSTITUTE AND ME
There was a slight chill filling the meeting room. Too feeble to make an attempt of shutting several windows that were opened all day, I cocked my head slightly to my partner's direction, who appeared to be taking note of several suggestions made by an executive marketer; this meeting was set up only to hear what other officials from other firms have to offer in order to plan a budget in hopes of selling more consumer products. I continued to ignore several presentations and pretended that I was listening--I thought I was the only one who thinks this meeting was trivial. From time to time as some of the businessmen attempt to make their presentation, I would play with my pen by swirling it between my fingers--although I was frequently reminded by my partner that this was an official meeting, not a place where one is permitted act leisurely.
"You'll get in trouble if you don't stop acting foolishly," whispered my partner, who made so much effort not to try raising any suspicion in the room with sixteen well-mannered individuals.
I was utterly depressed and stressed for no particular reason. I began wondering what might have caused me to feel such a way because I have never been so downed in my life. I had been happy every seconds of my life. I would often thank the lord for giving me blessing and luxury, and a beautiful family. I am married to a polynesian for six years now; she is a full-time district attorney and is recognized almost everywhere by her accomplishments. I have a young son who was named after my great uncle--though after naming my son I began wondering what pushed me to name him after someone I did not know pretty well. Worst part yet, I felt not even a slight sense of sadness and remorse after learning that my uncle died from lymphoma. My life was perfect up until this moment, as I sat on a chair, both elbows on the table while resting my chin on both hands, facing straight at a short, bald man wearing a lavish suit that may probably be too big for him Though I minded not his appearance but my own predicament.
The meeting ended at three in the afternoon. Once everyone has vacated the meeting room except me and my partner, sunshine strikes on the window panels more intensely than it previously had; I could feel the thermal energy radiating through my skin. At that moment I decided to leave the windows open. While gathering my files and tuck them in a suitcase, my partner approached me.
"You haven't been yourself lately," he said, somewhat under the impression that I was using narcotics and other illicit drugs.
"I just don't feel myself right now," I claimed, hoping he won't persist the conservation as I was preparing to leave for home.
"Look," he said, "if you want to talk about something, you know I'm here,"
"Thank you, but no thanks," I said, standing in the doorway. "Why did we have this meeting anyway?" I questioned him, though I still felt nothing matters now.
"Our business hadn't got far than we'd expected, especially while we are facing few obstacles..."
"Such as...?" I asked.
"Such as the economy," he responded with certainty. He came closer to me and rested his right arm on my right shoulder. "Whatever you have going on in your internal life, try to resolve it before it's too late."
He withdrew his arm and disappeared from my field of vision. I grabbed my leather coat and readily left the building.
As the evening went by while I walk aimlessly on the street, a sound of a police siren became more louder and violent as I tried to find where it was coming from. Moments later, I opted to take a bus home and went to the closest bus stop--I have a car but was not in the mood of driving. Coming to a stop when the street light turned green, I spotted the bus approaching. Afraid of missing the chance to get on the bus, I recklessly crossed the street even when the sign was still green. At that moment I wasn't afraid of death and didn't mind being hit by a car, which could lead to two possible outcomes: death or severe injuries. As I sprinted toward where the bus had stopped, several drivers honked at me while others swore as much as possible before they could move on with their lives and pretend nothing had happened.
Before reaching the bus stop, I realized the bus wasn't there. Thereafter I decided to shoot myself, literally. I felt like hitting something hard with all my might to induce pain, because I figured the only way to rid yourself from pain is to cause pain. Though I decided not to hit something after considering the consequences If I had broken something expensive and were charged for property damage. Therefore I sat on the bench at the bus stop, contemplating only the view that stood before me.
It was ten minutes past before another person sat beside me on the bench, though no sign of bus. The person wasn't any person; from the look of the person's bottom appearance, it was an attractive woman; she had a transparent pantyhose and wore a pair of lavender high-heeled pumps.
As I carefully surveyed her appearance while I made my way up to her curly hair, I quickly became aroused. Her dress was also in lavender, but consisted of several openings that reveal too much of her; say, her nipples. She was beautiful, though not the type to perceive as a wealthy individual. She was not the rich-type of people. But as I battle over the urge of wanting to examine every part of her body, the thought of me wanting to nail this hot chick got me off the edge. I tried to evade the thought, but her looks seemed to have gotten absolute control over my body, that I was too blinded from the fact that I was already married.
"You look tense," said the woman. I pretended as if I wasn't listening. She continues, "You missed the bus, huh?"
"Yeah...huh...sort of," I said, though my speech became unclear as I cleared my throat.
"It's always like that," she said. "Everyday."
"How everyday?" I asked. "You take the same bus here every single day?"
She reached her small lavender purse and reached out a tiny mirror. "No, I don't take the bus," she said as she held the mirror in front of her and at the same time applied a lavender lipstick on her beautiful lips. "I just wait."
I examined her once more from head to toe. Everything about her was lavender. I waited before she finished her makeup moment and asked, "What do you mean by 'wait?'"
She looked at me in a flirtatious way, and from that moment I knew who she was, what she does for a living. "Oh," I said with surprise and remained silence.
"I know what you want," she claimed. This time her tone was different; more like as if she was horny or something. Just great!
"Yeah?" I said. "And what do I want exactly?"
"I can give you pleasure," she said with a smile.
Without thinking about it, I said, "How much are we talking?" At first I became utterly shocked and disturbed by my agreeing to sleeping with a prostitute. From then on I didn't know who I was or whether I have something good in life.
"One-hundred for a blow job, one-seventhyfive for intercourse, or two-hundred for full service," she said as if she was an expert in the field.
I was amazed by the high demand of the prices. "What exactly is the 'full service?'" I bothered to ask.
"Anything you ask of me," she said. "My apartment is two minutes away. I don't charge people for sleeping in my place. But I do charge taxes, depending on the circumstances."
Prostitues charge taxes? Depending on the circumstances? The more I pondered them the better I begin to realize that my world was turning upside down. Momentarily, silence broke in, and neither of us said a word until two kids, a boy and a girl, got into a dispute over who gets to ride on the dog. It became apparent that the mother of those kids, who lost control of them or didn't know what to do but to watch, decided to let them settle on their own as far as the public is concerned.
"I love kids," she finally said. "They're so adorable."
"If you love kids, why not have one?" I said.
"I can't," she replied, looking down at the ground and returned her gaze upon the kids. "It would be impossible now."
"What do you mean 'impossible?'" I said. I looked at her, and behind her, far distance away, came the bus. The bus would come any minute now. Thank god!
"I can't have kids when I'm not in love with someone," she said. While following her every move, she went through her lavender purse and reached out a lavender handkerchief. With it she wiped off the tears that ran down her cheeks. "I can't fall in love. I need this job because it's the only way to survive in this world. Nothing's free, you know."
When the bus reached the bus stop, a sudden ringtone of one of Bob Dylan's greatest singles came from my right pocket. I reached out my blackberry and looked at the calling ID. It was my wife, Meecha .
As people got off the bus I turned to where the woman sat, but she was no longer there. As I searched to which direction she could've gone it became clear that she was no more in sight. I got on the bus and sat at the farthest end. I pondered what she said and tried to pretend as if she was just an illusion, but her sad words recur in my mind every now and then. After a long exhale I stretched my arms and looked through the window. At that moment I felt free, free from stress because I learned that there are people who have problems far greater than mine because of the things they don't have: a family and a well-paid job. Perhaps I should consider my lucky.