The door closes as her client departs motel room 223. Melody as she refers herself on a widely reviewed escort website. She has been Melody for 3 years and uses a different name at her part-time job as an exotic dancer. She was given the name Saphire by the owner of the gentlemen’s club who had let go of a Saphire and had made Melody a Saphire. She was a Saphire before she was a Melody. As soon as she was of legal age, she started at the club and was coronated with the name Saphire. After six years as Saphire, she expanded her business to escort services and became Melody. Melody is a lot more lucrative and gave her an independence from club owners and the competition of night shifts with other ladies.

It was 11:45pm and the last client of the evening exited the room quietly. She started her warm shower, as a common ritual after the end of a working day. She closes her eyes and let the hot water relax her body as the water cleansed her memories of the day. As the water went from hot to warm, she knew she had another 10 minutes before the water would quickly become frigid and usher her back to the cold room. She thought about the hotels in other cities. Her favorite hotel was a Westin in Chicago, where she was upgraded to a room with a large whirlpool tub. The water in the tub was never cold. She stopped traveling after things got violent in one of her trips and she ended up in the hospital. As bad as that night was, it was the stories she made up of her injuries to the ER doctor she remembered most. She avoided getting the police involved, as she relayed a well fabricated tale of her and her boyfriend argument becoming a quarrel and then becoming a fight, then turning physical as her voice trails and becomes quiet. They fought because she found out he was married. If only the lie was true, it would mean there was a boyfriend and not a client. The medical staff bought it.

The shower went cold and she turned off the faucet and terminated the shower. She picked up a towel and made her mental math of the day’s earnings. She then subtracted the motel room weekly cost and room amenities and it equaled being in the black with two more days left.

Melody is Elaine Patricia Dunbar. Elaine Patricia Dunbar was born in the greek neighborhood in Queens, New York. Melody’s website advertisement presented a mix ethnic woman that could be Puerto Rican/Indian to Lebanese/ Dominican to a mixed black/white. They were all true, she just didn't know it. She was born third youngest of four girls, from a white Puerto Rican mother and a mixed black man who fathered her but not any of her sisters. Her sisters shared the same biological father. Melody would never meet her father nor was he ever talked about in the two bedroom apartment in Queens , New York. Her sisters were six and right years older and her youngest sister was four years younger. Her youngest sister had the same biological father of Melody’s older sisters. He returned in a short violate relationship that brought as much grief as joy. Melody was different from her sisters, her skin was a light brown with very dark eyes, long black curly hair and unusually tall at 5"10 and thin. Her sisters took after their mother, light skin, short and curvaceous.

Melody left home at 15, after three years of being molested by her uncle. Uncle Ray wasn’t her biological uncle but the biological uncle of her sisters. Uncle Ray was the brother of the Danny, the biological father of her sisters. He was the link to the volatile father and his daughters. He provided financial support, keeping Melody’s family afloat at times. Ray played Santa at Christmas, while making sure his brother had a job. Ray was know as the funny uncle.

Her mother exposed the molestation when she arrived early than expected at their apartment. The days after molestation, there would be tears, screams, anger followed by spurts of questioning from her mother. Her mother’s marriage dissolved and Ray disappeared. The incident was never spoken again, with her sisters never knowing the truth and confused why uncle Ray never came back.

Silence speaks for regret.

It also produces fear and resentment. Her mother’s silence was replaced by idle chatter about the future. They family would never recover. Although her mother never said it, she resented Melody, blaming her relationship and the family falling apart. She secretly wished she had never switched her work shift with a co-worker. Melody felt alone and gradually became invisible to the family and soon to the world.

Melody laid in bed of the motel room. It was 1230 in the morning and it would take another hour before she could fall asleep. She hated silence prior to falling asleep. She connected her large headphones, covering her small ears as her hair was pinned up on a bun. She pressed play and meditated to Coltrane. She glanced at the missed messages from potential clients. They can wait. She turned up the volume and closed her eyes, waiting to fall asleep.

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