Waking up in my own bed is always a joy. It’s too often that I’m away from my tiny, little city flat that stinks of grease from the fish and chip shop downstairs. Despite its down sides, it was mine and mine alone. I had no disruptive roommates or neighbours, the rent wasn’t bad – not that money was an issue – and it was in the heart of the city. I’d been working late last night and I had a headache – my client had accidentally kicked me in the back of my head and it had throbbed ever since. At least I could recover in the comfort of my own home, rather than an overpriced hotel with itchy cotton sheets and rock solid pillows.
Mum and Dad had been constantly getting on my back about moving into a more suitable establishment. The number of times I’d received Emails from them presenting me with details and photographs of luxury apartments in the city with state of the art kitchens, large balconies and Jacuzzi bath tubs. I wasn’t interested in all the materialistic stuff that supposedly made a house a home. All I needed was a space that I could call my own and was big enough for me and me alone.
They’d also been eager to know about my love life – Mum mostly – and whether or not I was meeting appropriate men, rather than any Tom, Dick or Harry from the street. I’m only twenty-one and she’s planning my wedding before I’ve even had a chance to meet anyone worth marrying. Even that wouldn’t be simple. Mum and Dad would have to approve before I’d be allowed to marry anyone. I couldn’t win.
Besides, I wasn’t interested in finding Mr. Right… I couldn’t be interested. My work came first, and it came with strict rules. Unbeknown to my parents, I’d been working for an escort agency since I was the tender age of sixteen. I’d been approached by the manager of the agency, a beautifully stern looking woman who went by the name of Leticia, when I had come into the city for some last minute Christmas shopping. She’d followed me through all of the department stores until I eventually manned up and demanded she tell me why she had been stalking me all afternoon. She merely laughed and placed a gloved hand on my shoulder.
“My darling,” she’d said, a small musky chuckle at the back of her throat, “I’ve not been stalking you, merely observing you. You must be a model, are you not?”
I shook my head, nervous at who she was and what she wanted. She giggled to herself and smiled warmly at my puzzled expression.
“You truly are a beautiful creature… what was your name again? I can’t quite remember if I asked.”
“Sophia.” I answered cautiously.
“Sophia. Oh yes, such a beautiful name; a beautiful name for a beautiful girl.”
“I don’t mean to be rude,” I interrupted, “but what do you want? Why are you so interested in me?”
“Oh, my darling girl, I’m far more than just being interested in you. I’m drawn to you. Yes, you are a rare diamond in the ruff.”
“Sorry?” I asked, utterly confused, “Who are you and what do you want with me?”
“I go by the name of Leticia, darling, and I run an agency of beautiful girls, just like yourself.” She answered, smiling sweetly. I didn’t know if I could trust her.
“An agency? What kind of agency?” Leticia’s smile faded slightly as she looked around to make sure we were out of earshot from curious and nosey passerbies. She leant in slightly and in a hushed voice and uttered the words that would soon change my life forever.
“An escort agency.”
“What!?” I screeched. Leticia shushed me, taking hold of my arm and pulling me carefully to one side.
“Now, darling, I know it’s a bit of a shock but I really feel that you will be a true asset to the agency. It’s very rare that we come across someone as naturally beautiful as yourself, without needed to arrange for… additional help.
“You see, Sophia darling, we hold a very high clientele list and new varieties are a must if we are to keep them keen and coming back. I really, truly believe that you could make a lot of money from this… make a name for yourself.”
“As a prostitute…” I hissed. She shushed me, looking me straight in the eye.
“We are not prostitutes. We are escorts; we give pleasure to those who desire it in a respectable, professional manner. We do not hovel on the streets waiting for whoever comes along. I respect my girls and ensure their safety completely.”
I stared into Leticia’s cold eyes, not knowing quite how to respond. I sighed. Leticia smiled weakly, calming herself down.
“How old are you, Sophia.”
“Sixteen.” I answered in a mumble.
“Ah, a little young but legal all the same. You could easily pass for being eighteen, nineteen at the most. Now, I’m going to give you my card. It has a phone number and an Email address on it. Once you’ve thought things through, you be sure to get in touch, Sophia.” Before turning to leave the store, she smiled sweetly, looking me over one last time, biting her bottom lip as she did.
That cold, winters’ day was the start of a whole new chapter in my life. One that I’m not always proud of making but am greatful for the fact that it pays the rent and allows for extensive retail therapy trips each week, if I so desperately wanted.
Leticia had advised me to create a character for myself – an alter ego – so that it would be easier for me to lead a normal life during the day, if I wished. I wanted that more than anything, hence Roxy was born. A complete opposite of my quiet little mouse ways, Roxy was confident and wasn’t afraid of anything or anyone. She was the favourite amongst the clientele and a regular for many.
The profession had served me well over the past five years and I had no intentions of leaving it any time soon.
Life was good, if not a little lonely.