I was getting kicked out of my apartment.
The reality of the situation had me breaking down in tears in the bathroom of my salon. I was far behind on rent, and I had bills to pay. Forget the bills, my parents depended on me for everything.
I had to pay their house rent, their bills, my sister’s tuition, their medicals, and many more, and my current job wasn’t cutting it.
Sure, I owned my own business; Kylie Utopia, a hair salon that I managed with my friend, Heather, but the bills I paid surpassed the income I earned. Plus, I still had to pay Heather for her services.
I would be able to live comfortably if I catered for just myself, but any extra income I had went into keeping my family out of the streets. I couldn’t even remember the last time I got myself new clothing items.
Paying their bills wouldn’t have been heart-wrenching if they appreciated my efforts. No, they just had to complain about every single thing I did. I either didn’t bring enough money, or I was being a ‘heartless daughter’ by keeping all the money to myself. My mother’s words, not mine.
I couldn’t count the number of times Heather advised me to cut them off, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. The streets weren’t exactly a safe place to live.
“Kylie, babe, are you okay in there?” Heather asked.
I turned on the faucet to make it seem like I’d been using the bathroom. “Yeah, Heather.”
“You’ve been in there for a while now.”
“I’m fine. I was just using the bathroom.”
“Kylie, I know you’re not okay. Come on out. We can talk about this.”
I didn’t see any point in lying anymore now that the cat was out of the bag, so I turned the faucet off, before exiting the bathroom.
“Wanna talk about this over coffee? I’m paying, so you don’t have to turn me down.”
Shame washed over me at her statement. I knew Heather didn’t mean any of it maliciously, but as I said before, she knew I was tight on cash.
Hence, I wasn’t able to go clubbing with her and some of her friends. Sure the experience might have been fun, but who was I kidding? I didn’t have money to spend on alcohol when I could hardly feed myself.
“Don’t feel bad. I know things aren’t going well for you, and I am not judging you for it. I’m not super-rich myself, or I’d have offered you some help.”
“I know that. You’re a wonderful friend.”
She helped in any way she could. Sometimes, she’d buy me food, and other times, she’d get me clothes she thought wouldn’t fit her. I knew she lied about the clothes because we were almost the same size. She just didn’t want to say she got them for me, but we both knew the truth.
“So there’s no need for you to be ashamed around me. Let’s go get that coffee.”
“Oh, my God. That’s awful,” Heather gasped when I relayed the crisis I was currently facing. “Why didn’t you tell me sooner?”
“I didn’t want to be indebted to you any further,” I admitted with an exhausted sigh.
“Nonsense! You’re my friend. I borrowed Landon money from my savings. I’d have given it to you first had you asked.”
“Now, I feel a little dumb.”
“Just a little?” Heather teased.
I smiled. “What do we do then? There’s no way I’m coming up with six thousand dollars.”
“You’re owing six thousand dollars worth of rent?”
“No. My parents’ apartment cost money too, you know.”
She groaned, taking a sip of her coffee. “Don’t remind me. Your parents suck.”
“No one knows that better than I do.”
“But you’re not ready to cut them off.” Heather sighed deeply, and I knew immediately that I was in for a lecture. “You’re not entitled to pay their bills. Sure, they raised you, but you have your life to live. Don’t let them guilt trip you with that ‘I raised you’ nonsense.”
“I’m doing everything for my little sister. She’s young. She doesn’t deserve to live on the streets.”
“She’s a twenty-year-old ungrateful bitch is what she is. You’re working your ass off to send her to college, and she’s not even appreciative.”
“Not everyone understands the concept, but I want her to have the chance to get a life much better than the one I’m living. I didn’t attend college, so there are not many good-paying jobs. I want her to have those unlimited options I had no access to.”
“Let’s be serious here, babe. Do you think if Destiny somehow graduates college and lands a good-paying job, she’s going to assist you?”
I knew she wouldn’t. There was certainly no love lost between us, but I did everything I could for her to have a better future.
“Seems like you already know the answer to that question.” Heather held her fingers in a scissor-like motion. “Cut. Them. Lose.”
“Easier said than done, babe. Easier said than done.”
“Kylie!” Heather shouted from the front of the salon.
“Coming!” I yelled back, straightening my hair. The dark locks had begun to escape their constraints, falling around my face.
With my wild hair in control, I rushed out of the bathroom to go see what made Heather shout my name.
“Come here, babe.” She waved me over to the front desk where she had a laptop with a website on display.
“What is this?” I asked.
“It’s an escort agency. You know what that means, don’t you?” She asked when I offered no comments.
I rolled my eyes at her. “Of course I do. Why are you on an escort website?”
“Leanne sent me an ad she saw online. They’re searching for women, but she sent it to me as a joke.”
“Okay.” I dragged the word out. “What does that have to do with me?”
“You’re going to do it,” she deadpanned.
“What? No! I am not sleeping with people for money.”
“I knew you’d say that.” Heather pushed her phone in front of my face. “Read that. The ad is from a close friend of Leanne’s. She swears it’s legit.”
“I’m not sleeping with him?” That seemed odd. That wasn’t how escort agencies worked.
“You’re not,” she confirmed. “They’re short on girls, I think. Leanne didn’t go into details, but this request was last minute. He needs a date to attend a wedding in the Maldives with him. It’s just a few days.”
“What about my security? There are a million things that could go wrong on this trip. We don’t even know this ‘client’. I could end up dead on some private island. I need money, but my life is far more valuable.”
“At least give it a try and go check the office out? Leanne will be there. You guys can discuss security as well as the pay.”
“Why didn’t you go instead? She approached you with the offer first.”
“I have two reasons. One; you get a free vacation to the Maldives. When was the last time you went on a vacation?”
I huffed. “Never.”
“See what I mean? The second reason is your current financial situation. I’m not swimming in cash, but I’m comfortable. You need it more than I do.”
“Thanks. I don’t know what I’d do without you. Honestly,” I said, brushing away a few stray tears.
“You can show me how thankful you are when you go check the agency out. If you check the place out tomorrow and you’re accepted, you leave on Saturday evening. Don’t knock it until you try it. If you don’t feel comfortable, it’s totally fine. We can look for something else.”
I was grateful to her for finding a way to help me out of my situation, and I didn’t want all her work to be in vain.
“I’ll go check the place out.”
She beamed at me. “Great! I’ll let Leanne know. She’s holding off other girls for you.”
“Won’t her boss reprimand her?”
Heather wiggled her brows at me. “Not if you charm them with your beauty.”
“We’ll see about that.”
Escort agency here I came.
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