If you’re looking for Lila and Mia Host ‘The Bidness’, they’ll be back next week!
This was absolutely the last time that she would do this. It was all too exhausting, too degrading. But the money kept sucking her back in. Where else could she work just a couple of nights a week and make enough money to pay her rent and buy her groceries for a month?
School was expensive, and her parents could barely afford the tuition costs. She told them that she had a part time job and a roommate to help her pay the rent. She told them that she worked in a busy restaurant not far from campus. She didn’t want them to worry, and she didn’t want to disappoint them. They wouldn’t understand or approve of what she was doing.
The club was just a step above being called ‘seedy’. With a mixture of working class locals, students from the college, and tourists, there was money to be made. Men would spend their last dollar on a beer and a chance to have a beautiful woman pay attention to them. They wanted a fantasy, and she could be that fantasy, but it would cost them.
She had been working here now for almost 9 months. As many of the girls did, she started out serving cocktails. The “uniform” was a bikini top and shorts that didn’t leave much to the imagination. She remembers back to the first night of work…how she was mortified to walk out in front of people wearing those shorts and too-high heels. She was so embarrassed. But at the end of the night, she had gotten almost $400 in tips, and decided to work one more night…
Less than a month later, her boss had asked her if she wanted to fill in for one of the regular dancers. He said that she didn’t have to remove any clothing, just wear a skimpy bathing suit and dance suggestively. After a couple of shots and a “bump” as the girls called it, she put on the barely-there-covers-nearly-nothing swimsuit and stepped on stage.
The attention was immediate and gratifying. To have so many men desiring her was almost erotic.
But over time, the novelty wore off and the dread and disgust set in. It was the same man wanting the same things, only their faces changed. They always wanted more, “extras”, they wanted her to do things that she’d never even heard of. They tried to touch her, bribe her; a few even started waiting outside of the club for her.
She only had a month of school left. She could quit now and she would be okay. Sure the money would stop coming, but she could find something else over the summer.
She could feel the rythmic bumping of the music. She smelled the stale alcohol. The air was electric – as if the desire coming from them all was alive. She looked at herself one more time in the mirror after she heard her name called.
She was going to give up the money. And as she stepped onto the stage and saw the packed club and all of the dollar signs where their faces should have been, she knew that she was wrong.
Just for the record, this is fiction.
This post was written for the red writing hood at the red dress club. The prompt: Write a short piece – 600 words max – that begins with the words, “This was absolutely the last time” and ends with “She was wrong.”