He walks up to me and stands there, looking. He’s young-looking, maybe my age, and his clothes are dirty. I look at his hands which are balled into fists. His face is a mask of hatred that confuses me. I’m immediately on guard and step away from the light pole I’m leaning against. As I look around for possible help, he spits in my face “Whore!” he shouts and walks away. I’m stunned as the spittle drips from my chin. What the hell? I think to myself as I wipe my cheek. I shake my head and sigh, leaning against the lamppost. “Some people”
“What do you want to do with your life?” I’m having lunch with my mother at her job. Something I do occasionally when I need advice or just miss my mommy. After she asks me that question I feel the tears welling up in my eyes and take a bite of my burger to buy some time to think. I look at her, gaining composure while chewing. “I dunno mom, I haven’t thought that far ahead” Her face falls and she sighs “I pray for you, you know. I pray every night for your safety and that God will guide you. I know you’re having a difficult time now and I’m not going to tell you how to live. Your aunt asked me last night why I didn’t talk to you about you working the streets. I told her it was your life and you had to live it the way you saw fit. All I can do is pray for you.” Her words stun me and I look away, ashamed “you know then…Tim told you?” She laughs softly “I’ve known for a while, daughter dear. I’ve seen you on the street when I’m on my way home from work. I ride the bus, remember?”
As I walk home, my mind is on my mother and our conversation. How many of my family know? What do they think of me? It surprised me that my aunt even bothered to ask about me. It’s been ages since I’ve seen her after all.
I spot Adam on the other side of the street and head over, jaywalking across 4 lanes of traffic to get to him. I get 40 dollars of crack from him and head home to smoke it. It’s getting dark and I gotta get ready for work tonight. I really prefer the powder coke but crack is easier to come by so I’ve started smoking it. I like the energy it gives me and the lack of appetite I have. So far, I’ve lost 30 pounds and am starting to look GOOD.
My traffic has picked up and the hours just fly by. It seems like I’m the only one out here tonight and I wonder, briefly, where Jamina is. A red sports car pulls up to the corner and the guy motions me over. I hop into the car and we talk as he drives. I tell him how much and he pulls into the next alley.
He puts on a condom after handing me the twenty. I lean over the gear shifter and put my mouth around his cock. I hum softly as I’m sucking him, his hand in my hair gripping tightly. He forces my head down, choking me with his thick meat as a tapping begins on the window. He grumbles and pulls me off himself, rolling down the window. I sit back with a sigh and realise there’s a cop standing on my side of the car. The officer tells him to step out and the one on my side motions for me to roll down my window.
“Hey Angel, how are you tonight?” He leans into the window, grinning “Geeze Mike, you could have let me get done at least” I answer, laughing nervously. “Nah, couldn’t do that. I’m breaking in a new partner” I chuckle and hand him my id “Yeah, yeah, I know the drill. You taking me in tonight?” He nods “Yeah, I have to since you had his dick in your mouth. At least for public sexual conduct.” I sigh and nod “Ok, figures it was going too well” He opens the door and helps me out “ok, give me what you have, Angel” I hand him my tiny purse with nothing in it but condoms and the twenty the guy gave me. I’d hidden the rest of my money under the rocks in the planter of the motel I passed many times that night. I hope it’ll be there when I get out.
They write the guy a ticket and let him go. After he drives off, I’m put in the back of the police car and driven to the jail. Mike tells his partner about me as he drives, About how he’s arrested me a couple of times. The officer turns back to me and asks if I’ve had a HIV test. “Yup, I get one every 6 months. I practice safe sex as well.” I’m pretty proud of myself for that. “Good thing, that, because that guy you were just with says he’s HIV positive” He says as he turns back to look out the windshield. Goosebumps cover my arms and I shiver as I look out the window into the night.