Yellow Dog Blues Excerpt
My hand shakes as I open the front door to The Club.
I have no idea what I’m doing here. Am I really contemplating selling my body for money?
I consider turning around and trying to figure something else out, but I’ve exhausted nearly every option I can imagine.
My next door neighbor, Cali, referred me to The Club when she found me locked out of my apartment with an eviction notice plastered across my door.
Chad, my boyfriend of six years, decided to join the Peace Corps without telling me. He finally admitted he was leaving when I found him packing for his flight to Africa. He left me with an apartment I had no way to pay for and several months of utility bills that were past due.
Despite all of my best efforts to secure gainful employment I haven’t been able to find a job. Not even a nibble. Not even after a nationwide search.
I guess earning a Master’s degree in Creative Writing was much less marketable than I ever imagined it would be.
Out of complete and utter desperation I dialed the number on the black business card Cali gave me. The gruff woman who answered the phone asked me only two questions: how old I was and if I was a blonde. Then she told me to meet her at three pm, quickly spat out the address and hung up on me.
So here I am at five minutes to three, my heart practically pounding out of my chest, trying to convince myself to go inside.
You have no job and nowhere to live, I remind myself. Not to mention a six figure student loan that’s about to come due in a few months. How I’ll ever be able to afford those monthly payments is something I can’t even contemplate at the moment.
I take in a deep breath and force myself to go inside.
As nondescript as the exterior of the building is, the interior is in sharp contrast. It’s rich looking with dark wood everywhere. The décor reminds me one of those men’s clubs from the movies. One of those places that only admits rich old men and exudes an atmosphere of excessive wealth and old money.
The Club probably caters to the same demographic.
There’s a young woman standing behind a large mahogany desk. I expect her to give me some type of greeting, but she just stares at me with her big doe eyes.
As I get closer I realize just how tall she is. She towers over all five foot four of me. It would surprise me if she wasn’t some kind of model. She’s rail thin and has that emaciated look about her.
“I have an appointment with Claudia.”
I’m surprised that she doesn’t check an appointment book, or even an electronic calendar, until I realize there is absolutely nothing to check. The desk is completely bare.
“Follow me,” she says.
She doesn’t give me any time to reply. She takes off down a long hallway at a pace so brisk I practically have to run to keep up with her.
When we get to the door at the end of the hallway she turns to me and says, “Go inside. Claudia is waiting for you.”
Before I have a chance to reply she takes off back down the hallway leaving me alone with the drumbeat of my pounding heart.
It takes several impossibly long moments for me to gather enough courage to open the door to Claudia’s office.
I bite my bottom lip to keep myself from gasping when I enter the large space. Everything in the room is completely white. Even Claudia herself is dressed in an all-white outfit. The decor is in sharp contrast to the heavy and dark reception area.
She looks me up and down before she instructs me to take a seat.
Claudia’s voice is husky, like someone who has smoked cigarettes for twenty years. She looks like an older version of her receptionist. She’s rail thin, and could have probably been a model a few decades ago.
I sit down in the only seat in the room that isn’t occupied. It’s on the other side of Claudia’s desk directly in front of her.
“I have a unique situation with a new client,” she tells me. “Normally we require clients to pay for at least six months in advance. This client insists on paying on a month-to-month basis. I like my girls to have a little more job security, at least six months per contract, but he’s willing to pay extra. You’re a cute blonde with a hot little body. I’ll have no problem making another more stable arrangement if things don’t work out with this client.”
She definitely gets right to the point.
I already feel dizzy with emotion. The only guy I’ve ever been with is my ex-boyfriend. We met our freshman year of college and were together for six years. Now Claudia is talking about the possibility of selling me to not one, but two different men. I’ve barely wrapped my head around the idea of being paid to be with one guy.
“He’s willing to fly you home immediately if things don’t work out.”
“Fly home?” I mutter.
“The client is located in Hawaii. You’ll have to sign a non-disclosure agreement before we can go any further with the negotiations because you will recognize his name.”
“Okay…” I gulp. My head is spinning. I’ve never been outside of the Midwest.
She pushes a piece of paper in front of me along with a pen. I quickly glance over the document and wonder if I should actually take the time to read it. When I look up at Claudia her scowl says don’t waste any time. So I grab the pen and scribble my name on the bottom of the non-disclosure agreement.
Once Claudia snatches the paper from my hand, she says, “My client is Maverick.”
Did she just say Maverick? As in the musician who had the biggest selling song my junior year of high school?
His music topped the charts for months. He was so popular with teens that Hollywood producers cast him in a movie with America’s sweetheart, Katie Lawrence. The two had zero chemistry together and they blamed the box office bomb on Maverick. Then his second album came out and it failed to gain traction. His downward spiral continued when his movie star fiancée dumped him after he made national headlines with three porn stars in a hot tub. The final blow was his DUI arrest. He completely disappeared after that.
That’s who she wants me to have sex with? A washed-up pop star? When he rose to fame the media portrayed him as an A-1 asshole.
She must see the hesitation in my eyes.
“He’s willing to pay you eight thousand dollars for the month.”
That’s a lot of money and I don’t have any other options at the moment.
How bad could it possibly be? My neighbor, Cali, made it sound like I’d be his mistress. Mistresses in movies are treated well. Candlelight dinners in secluded restaurants. Weekends in lovely hotels. And plenty of diamond jewelry.
At least he’s not old. Well not that old. Thirty.