I’m in love for the first time. That teenage shit isn’t the same as this. This is deep and meaningful and I knew it was after he’d asked for my ‘Facebook’. I casually gave him my add (I say casually but we all know inside I was screaming with delight), and quickly sifted through pics to find one where I considered myself to be ‘Hot’ there was none. I’d decided he was my Richard Gere, and I Julia Roberts as ‘Viv’ except somehow spending sprees and polo were probably not on the agenda. I was over the moon with the gifts he’d got me from ‘The Asda’. Omg I’d totally forgotten to mention! After the two hours we’d spent together where he sat on a cleaners stool in my infected ‘cell’ we’d totally connected and the next day (his day off btw) he bought me in a stack of DVDs one being Bram Stoker’s Dracula, magazines and a cute teddy bear as well as a card that I still have (I’m sentimental these days as I have nothing from my childhood due to mum and dads house being repossessed – everything had gone). This time it was pure love and I was ok with being a modern day ‘Pretty Woman’ though it went against what I thought I believed in. He was better than Richard Gere anyway, he’d risked awkward questions and raised eyebrows from the other nurses when coming in to see me on his day off. I felt like the luckiest girl alive whenever he was around but I did feel bad too, I felt for his wife and son because I hated women like me….
Meanwhile, my ‘spike’ had stabilised however I wasn’t really getting better or at least docs didn’t think I was. I’d made little progress considering all the combinations of drugs they’d seem to have tried. Just as I was settling down to Jeremy Kyle in the afternoon, a herd of Drs waltzed in! They hadn’t even knocked and to be honest this made me quite cross! What if I’d have been naked?! Jesus that was rude! These Docs were from ‘The Tropical School of Medicine’ and they’d been sent by Dr.Fox (yes his real name) to see if I had had some crazy disease that they’d never seen before. The longer I was in there the more the crazy ideas I had about my illness, in 2005 when living in Pahiatua (the weirdest dump I’ve ever lived in) I’d been bitten by a white tail spider, my leg swelled and track marks had started to appear down one thigh. My mistake was to have left my window open at night, which was always something I took for granted growing up in rural Norfolk. Did I know I’d been bitten? Hell no! Only when I went to the doctors feeling unwell with a huge boil at the top of my right thigh did I find out. It popped later after the visit where I’d received a rather large needle in my arse cheek and apart from the scar I’d never thought about it since. Could it have caused some horrendous disease that laid dormant only to reappear and kill me off shutting down each and every one of my organs?! I fucking hoped not! Christ please no!
I told the tropical medicine guys about the spider, instead they quizzed me more on the country’s I’d visited; England, New Zealand and Borneo as well as 8 hours in Abu Dhabi on my journey back but nothing crazy where I’d needed pills before going! I’d lived in NZ since 2003 and it was now 8 years later, surely the spider’s venom didn’t lay dormant for that long? Maybe it did and that it came out when victims were stressed to hell? They poked and prodded and came up with illnesses I’d never heard of (which for a self-proclaimed hypochondriac was saying something) Brucelosis or TB or possible swine flu? I considered myself a bit of a pig so to me that made sense! Either way they’d made a decision they were going to treat me with a generalised anti-biotic that would make all three of those beastly diseases piss right off! Thank fuck!
A little while later some strong af anti-biotic had been intravenously administered making me sick all night, for four hours actually. I had small bruises on my knees from spending so long on them, my legs have always been skinny but were ‘pins’ due to the fact I’d not held a single thing down for weeks. When I woke up I was a mess, I probably looked like someone who had spent all night partying with Michael Hutchins, my hair limp and smelling like stale digestives and sick, my mouth was dryer than a… well you know the saying 😉
Not a single drop of sweat crept out of my body the next day after spewing all night and I’d even inhaled a ham sandwich from the cart. I use the word ‘Ham’ loosely, it probably contained more eyes and lips as it was processed to shit it looked more like ‘luncheon’ the type they make into a bears face for kids, a nasty bright shade of pink, oh well it had tasted bloody lovely.
Serena had been texting me the ‘goss’ regularly from the flat and keeping me up to speed on the girls and ‘R’. It had turned out Ashleigh had gone out a few weeks earlier whilst she was supposed to be ‘working’ and she’d gotten ‘on it’ punching a bouncer, the police had turned up and arrested her. She’d been charged and spent the night in the cells. Ash had only just come clean about this as the courts had decided an electronic tag was the only was she was gonna learn, it was getting fitted the following Monday. Ash needed to earn and learn but she’d been shitting herself about wearing the tag and working! I couldn’t believe she was even contemplating working! Ash, did earn a lot and ‘R’ had been freaking out that he’d lose a tonne of money. Or was she was perhaps going to ‘tell’ on him? I doubted it; I knew that was going to be my job. He was always so paranoid people would hear the girls in the flat which I thought was strange considering he reinforced the fact prostitution was in fact legal in the UK every single goddamn day to me, It was like he recited it reassure himself like dictators do- enforcing their propaganda. Serena told me Ash was distraught because she couldn’t work, but not because she’d been arrested! Oh well at least her and ‘R’ were in the same frame of mind, she wanted to work! I couldn’t wait to get better but not because I was desperate to work, though I was desperate for money and at the age of 26 all I had to my name was my back pay from the benefits, literally not a bean more. I had no idea why I still sometimes tried to kid myself I was better than these women; I was their equal if anything I was lower, shunning opportunities I’d had that they hadn’t, I only tried to convince myself I was because it made me feel better, truth was I needed the money and could totally sympathise with Ash and the others; whether I liked it or not the girls were my friends now and I weirdly missed them, especially Serena and Susie.
Susie had been sending me the odd text asking if I was ok I could hear her funny sounding adopted Scouse accent whenever she said ‘Love’ through her thick Hungarian tone. Every time she text it said ‘Hi Love. You ok, when you back? Kisses’ she never did ‘XX’ she always wrote the word. Susie was so sweet I felt she understood me, I felt behind her tough ‘take no shit’ persona that she too had begun to hate the men she saw. This shit was wearing down the toughest girl I bet could do this ’job’ and that wasn’t good to see. I really couldn’t help but like Ash and I felt without me the girls wouldn’t earn what they needed and that upset me too. I wanted them to get their ‘goal’ so they could get the fuck out, we all had ‘goals’ but the posts moved every time we ran out of money. On the times Ash and I worked alone together she was sweet, so naturally pretty and I realised the shit she got off her family for what she did. One minute they all supported her especially when she was buying them 50inch screen TVs or iphones, or when she was clothing her sibling’s ‘baby’. She’d even spent 4k on her own ‘baby’s’ christening and she’d gone all out even having a special dress handmade to wear; it was back when the ‘greek goddess’ was banging in Liverpool, long, white with a gold detail on the high neck, she had looked so elegant when we’d gone along, invited as her ‘friends’. It was a lovely afternoon and she knew how to put on a spread. It had made me see a strong survival instinct in her and I admired her more after that. I’d seen first hand the people in her life and who she did it for. She was a good girl. They used her meaning everyone else she came across often did too including ‘R’, he exploited the fact she was young, ‘dumb’ and a single mum. I was just like Ash though sans bebė, we came from different backgrounds but we were similar, having felt the immense pressure to get my family out the shit since mum had gotten ill choices were made all along the way.
There had been a new girl added to the workload though and Serena told me her name was ‘Babyfaced_Angel’ or ‘Angel’ for short, she was super young looking and ‘R’ had bought her over to the flat. She had jet-black hair and the face of a pre-teen. It made me sick and it was obvious to me he was a predator and a serious one too, not one Id fabricated in my head as I’d told myself often I had. Serena said she’d had bookings all day and during the hour and a half she hadn’t been in one, ‘R’ had taken liberties. He helped himself because he couldn’t help himself.
Two more sweat-free days went by and Dr’s promised that just one more and I could go home. I shit myself, elated, but terrified, ‘R’ had hounded me the past two days with manipulation tactics, passive aggressiveness and outright threats. Serena had told me he had been frequenting the flat more since I’d been unwell and his behaviour becoming more erratic and unprofessional. Though he was nothing more than a pimp he had held some credibility with an air of professionalism in the beginning. I knew with all bad people it was only a matter of time until they let their true colours blind you, and even though I knew went along for the ride to the inevitable destination; a glutton for punishment.
Bald-nursey had sent me a cryptic message on fb asking me for ‘advice’ ha! Who the hell would ask me for advice, that was hilarious but obviously he didn’t really know me yet. In some roundabout way I figured out what he was saying, he was saying he liked me so much he’d not stopped thinking about me and said as much. I felt all hot again, but in a good way, fuck that sounds so crap! I had burning in my thighs like never before and If only I had Jilly Cooper’s talents I’d describe it like that for you.
I needed one more ‘Spike-free, sweat-free’ day; I needed bald-nursey to leave his wife in the kindest way possible and ‘R’ to fall off a massive fuck-off cliff. I had given myself 48 hours for all three to happen or I was even more up shit creek. I needed a plan to get out of two situations and into one.
Love Lo xx