Michael walked to work the following day with a grinding regret; he couldn’t get Jean out of his head, he blushed as he thought of her.
Every person has good days and bad days. On the bad days a soul-crushing job becomes exceptionally challenging. Michael was having a bad day. Every order was a blight on his existence and every customer another horrible reminder of his weakness.
He fixated on her, Jean haunted his every minute and every breath, he reflected that his every failure and every inadequacy was manifest in his inability to be the man to her woman.
Late that evening Harold had answered Michael’s call, he’d laughed derisively when Michael had asked after Jean. The meeting was set; time and place consistent with Michael and Jean’s last encounter.
The night was warmer than usual for this time of year and Jean, having tossed and turned during the day, looked more tired than usual.
As before, Michael’s knuckles whitened as they gripped the wheel. As before, he shook with nerves. As before, he struggled with the lock and the house’s smell was offensive. Unlike before, Jean was unafraid.
Jean, at Michael’s request, stood at the foot of the bed naked, her hair and silhouette illuminated in the soft orange of the Streetlamp. He eyed her breasts and thighs and imagined the sensation of penetrating her. As before, he beckoned to her. She climbed into the bed and gently kissed his stomach. As if on command, she saw him begin to wilt like a dehydrated pot plant, his manhood a dejected flamingo hung its head in shame.
Jean had, in her estimation, experienced just about every kook and every kink that a client could present; this, however, was entirely new to her.
Jean looked at Michael, his ruddy cheeks and dour expression caused her pity to escalate, a sadness formed deep in her throat.
Once again, as if transfixed they remained in place until the spell was broken, as before, by the heavy hand on the glass.
Jean took her dress, her underwear, and her bag, she put one arm into her red leather coat and took her money with the other. As quickly as she turned she was gone.
And so it went.
Week after week.
Frozen in a trance until the knock.