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Half-Empty Life


Yanique winked at me and said, “This way Elvis can give an eye out for us.”

“You can’t be serious?”

She nodded in the affirmative.

“Why?” I pressed for clarity.

“We’re not safe out here,” she explained and pressed my hand.

“What do we do now?” I whispered to her.

“We just wait for our escort.”

What could go wrong? I pondered.

And the fear of how vulnerable we were settled for a brief moment.

But was soon allayed when I saw the group of women standing at the corner.

Safety in numbers my mind interpreted it for me.

This was all new to me, but I was all set for my first date with a married, sex-starved, middle-aged pervert by the name of David Williams. The plan was to pick me up on Georges's Lane. This way no one could identify him. Elvis my pimp made all the arrangements.

The half a dozen women who were hanging about the street corner had taken up their position, and shamelessly paraded their partially naked bodies. And judging by their laughter they are either telling lewd jokes or embarrassing rumors about somebody’s life. I felt a little overwhelmed by all the noise and people.

A white Toyota pulled up and one of the women slipped in and it drove off. Most of them already have their clients and were waiting for them to show up. The others were just there for the pickings.

“What a goddess!” Someone said and I looked in that direction, stunned.

My white lace jumpsuit and leather high-heeled boot completed my ensemble and left little to the imagination.

Patsy an outrageously obese, loud, and obnoxious woman, responded to his comment.

She didn’t look like a prostitute. What did I know about how a prostitute should look? With all her spare parts and flabby abdomen exposed, she was going to be standing at the curb all night. This was my honest opinion.

The woman batted her long fake eyelashes at him, in an attempt to grab his attention.

She still continues looking at me with suspicion. My presence continued to annoy her, but she was anxious to hear our conversation.

He got out of the car and answered her, before returning his attention back to me.

He was handsome and wore a gold tooth. Dressed in a button-down white shirt neatly tucked into a pair of black slacks and black loafer shoes.

The obese woman watched with a mixture of contempt and envy. “Who the hell was that?” she queried.

“And it’s really none of your business.” I quipped back.

I have no idea what she was ranting about, but she unashamedly made it be known.

I couldn’t comprehend this level of disrespect and hostility.

Little did I know it was just because I was the new kid on the block, and jealousy at the heart of the matter. Words got around like wildfire, and Elvis would deal with her indiscretion.

As far as I was concerned this was a business and I obviously have just what he was looking for.

He had the urge to laugh when she made her comment.

“I’m not here to make friends but to do my job, ok,” I answered in defense.

“Let’s get out of here,” he said.

David told me that he would make me forget my anger before the night was over.

“Never let your personal feelings cloud your judgment,” replied David in a slightly disappointed tone.

David leans in and kisses me on the lips. I pull back, caught off-guard. I wasn’t expecting that so soon. Truth, I didn’t know what to expect. I examine his hand and his wedding ring was still there, and I wish he would stop touching me. Eventually, my body stops protesting and forces me into obedience. My orders were only to please my clients. And I should never forget that it was a business, I owe them no other obligations.

We relax into an embrace.
“So, into the arms of this beautiful goddess is where your physical desperation has fled?”
“It’s just that your natural charm compels me,” he said with a satisfied expression on his face.

In a world away from the decadence and lack of safety of the inner-city, we finally arrive at his home.

Apprehensive as I entered inside and survey my surroundings. You can tell a lot about people by the way how they take care of their homes. This was a fucking shrine. The expense could be seen everywhere from the ceiling to the floor. Trying to take it all in, I forget he was standing mere inches from me.

Or maybe not. An error of judgment on my part.

His wife was out of the country and he needed some company was his reason to take me into his matrimonial bed and defile it.

There was no respect or reverence to his revelation.

A stream of confusing and conflicting thoughts raced through my mind as I ponder that, this was wrong! Well, among the wrongness of all this, he thinks it was debatable based solely, on his perception. He claims when the need arises, men should free themselves from societal expectations, the trappings of religious biases, and its unreasonable expectations and just stop trying to please women and instead focus on their own goals and personal happiness as men.

“Sin now, repent later,” he said with sarcasm.

I looked upon this total stranger with perplexity.

Somehow, his obligation to fidelity had escaped his moral understanding. Men delegate to women the power to bring dishonor on other women. His wife. This was all a game to them.

How can this apparently smart, educated, strong, and independent man, accept that this was normal?

Lust is never a perfectly normal human or divine emotion. It is a weakness of man. And I concluded that living like this is its own kind of hell.

I rationalize that a deep, hidden part of us that causes us to betray those we love, was inherent and was certainly responsible for his flawed thinking.
Despite my disgust for this man, I prayed she didn’t figure it out. In the interests of balance, and not out of some deep loyalty to this man. I too was guilty of the role I was about to play.

David told me to make myself comfortable, while he goes to change. Leaving me alone in his living room.

After a couple of minutes.

The sound of his voice causes me to raise my head from looking at the television, he was standing in front of me only in boxers.

We chatted and shared a bit about each other, to break the ice. He confessed to having broken out of the hopeless cycle of despair and deprivation and is now economically independent and self-sufficient. Thanks to his involvement in scams. The reason why he hasn’t been caught as yet is due to him playing by his rules. The luster in his marriage has lost its sheen. They merely co-exist because of their children who are now away at college.

Maybe, it was loneliness that drives him to this compulsion?

Or, was this man acting without a rational basis?

“Everyone has their bad habits and deep, dark secrets”

“So, what’s yours?” he countered

Except for the fact that I’m an underage prostitute, runaway, and a virgin, there isn’t much else to tell.”

I was still uncorrupted by the world and predators like David.

“There’s nothing quite like that first time.” His eyes widened at the realization.

“Something rare and wonderful which is to be savored.” he oozes out an accolade smothered in lust. David has just scored a prize.

“You don’t avoid things out of fear.”

This will be the first of many good things to happen in your life.

I guess we just live our lives as best as we can.

I take another sip of my drink while he scans the room for potential evidence for getting him caught.

“Rule number one….”

“What’s that?”

“Don’t get caught.”

Suspicion is caused by our actions, flirting, strange desires, and hidden agendas, and from this conception comes the futility of our game.

“Stupidity comes with a price,” he said.

He wrestled with his predilection?

It’s only a matter of time I think to myself before he pays for his vice.

I think he forgets that not everyone is a fool and some of us eventually pay attention. I hope it's sooner than later for his wife.

He deliberately distorts the truth; this I can figure out for myself and so I did.

I continued sipping my drink.

The glass was now half empty and so was my integrity.

As I exited his house I was left with this sobering thought, that I will never forget my first-time journeying into the world of prostitution.



Sumaya Ali [Veronica Thompson-Smith]

Nurse. Volunteer. Writer. Publish my works. Chocolate addict Follow me@Twitter-valiqa_ali. Facebook@Sumaya