1:00PM. I was late for my daily meeting with Leticia and the girls. I was dressed in evening wear – a short, sultry little black dress, violet stiletto heels and expensive, diamond jewels around my wrist and on each ear lobe – and stuck out like a sore thumb in the lunch break of average peoples’ lives. I was not one of those average people, and it was something that I was glad of sometimes.
I arrived at the restaurant at around ten minutes past the hour and pushed open the heavy doors, making my way hastily over to our table. The expression on Leticia’s face couldn’t go a miss. She was disappointed in me; which was something you never wanted her to be with you.
“Sorry I’m late,” I apologized, knowing it wouldn’t help my case and that excuses wouldn’t be acceptable. I took my place at the round table between Holly and Ivory; I had no recollection of what their real names were, but none of us did.
“As I was saying,” Leticia continued, looking back down at the pages of her infamous black leather, hand stitched Book, “Madison, you have Mr. Charles this afternoon as well as Mr. Brocksover and Mr. Gellar this evening… Poppy you have Mr. Dickens this afternoon but your main priority will be Mr. Karmell who has booked for the entire evening… and Roxy.”
“Yes?” I answered, as Leticia paused momentarily before closing the Book.
“You have no clients tonight. Meeting dismissed.” She replied, pushing her chair back and placing the Book into her bag. The girls all began to prepare to leave too, throwing the occasional smug glance in my direction as I remained seated, unsure exactly what had just happened. I had no clients? I always had clients! Just last week, Leticia had said I was the most desired girl in the entire agency. What had happened?
“Leticia,” I asked, standing up and blocking her path as she tried to leave. She sighed and reluctantly nodded her head, “what do you mean I have no clients?”
“Just as I said: no clients.” She replied, trying to worm her way around me. I placed a hand on her arm to stop her.
“But why? Surely there must be a mistake? I always have clients. Just last week you said–”
“But Roxy, dear, that was last week. Tastes change, fantasies change, girls change. I’ve been receiving reports that you’ve been getting sloppy in your work.”
“Sloppy?” I questioned, raising an eyebrow.
“Yes, sloppy. Apparently when you met with Mr. Roache last night you weren’t one hundred per cent there. He reported back that you seemed distant and completely away with the fairies.”
“He kicked me in the back of my head,” I answered, “I was in pain.”
“That is no excuse, girl,” Leticia snapped, removing my hand from her arm, “your job is to be the woman that the client wants you to be, no complaints or questions asked. Rule number two! Now, if you don’t mind, I have an appointment to get to and I will not be late.”
Leticia barged past me, leaving me stood in the middle of the restaurant close to tears. I’d received my first negative feedback and it stung. I banished my tears away and fled the restaurant, hailing a city cab as I flung the doors open.
I felt lost… unwanted. All I ever did was work and now that it had been stripped away from me, even just for the one night, I had no idea what to do with myself. There was a new night club opening a couple streets away… Voyager, was it? Maybe I could drown my sorrows in there. It was certainly better than being alone in my flat being taunted by the toxins from the deep fat fryer downstairs.
I decided to look at it this way. This was a rare occasion, a night off, and I should enjoy myself. Besides, just because I wasn’t working, it didn’t mean that I would go without my nightly pleasures tonight.