Fire (Part Two)
Breathing wasn't to last as my ex stalked me for a year after our breakup. Though I tried hard to protect and distance myself he punished me for leaving him by raping me at the end of that year. I never saw him after that, though he'd call occasionally. When I threatened him with my father the calls finally stopped.
I didn't press charges because of my father. He was a traditional Southern Italian who adored his family. His family were everything to him. He had a temper but he never laid a hand on us. I loved him dearly and knew him well. I knew he would have killed my ex. No, I don't mean hurt him in the Australian colloquial context. I mean in the most literal sense of the expression. I felt I'd suffered enough and didn't want my father in prison. My ex-partner six foot underground, on the other hand, I had no problem with.
There is no sex in rape. It is violence, humiliation and control. It is being invasively bashed. Why this revelation? Because I want it to be known that a prostitute can be raped. There is no sex in rape.
The main reason I chose to work at The Heroin Brothel was because I knew Sylvie was working there. She was a health nut, with a heart of gold. A barbie doll lookalike, child of the universe and one of the few staff totally drug-free. Organics and the gym were Sylvie’s only addictions. Whenever the owner and I would be watching the camera of the intro room he'd pipe up when it was Sylvie.
“Why does she always want to save them? She takes forever in the intro”, he'd complain. Sylvie really was interested in people and it showed.
The client was young and cocky and trying to bargain the price, of which Sylvie was worth every cent and more. This I told him. He continued to attempt to haggle while she cajoled him, reminding that he'll enjoy himself. Realising my patience was wearing thin he finally booked.
The booking time passed and I buzzed the room to indicate their time was up. After an appropriate time passed, I saw the room was still occupied. I buzzed again. The third time, I used the intercom.
“All ok, Sylvie?”, I asked.
“Yes”, was her only response.
I could hear the shower in the background. “Please tell him to hurry. We need the room”, I beckoned, knowing he'd hear too.
I’m walking down the corridor back to the reception area from the laundry room when I saw Sylvie walking towards me, stumbling slightly. I called out enquiring if she was ok?
As I reached her she slumped against the wall and started to slowly slide towards the floor.
“No. Not ok. He raped me”, she uttered.
“Why didn't you say something while I was on the intercom?” I could now see how dishevelled she was and I was devastated.
“Too scared to. I couldn't reach the alarm. He had me pinned. I kept saying it didn't have to be this way. We could have fun, but he just kept hurting me. Once he got off me, I wanted him out. I was too scared to say anything while he was showering in case he heard”.
My devastation turned to rage. “Not my sweet Sylvie. No, no, no!”, I thought to myself. “I'm going to get that son of a bitch. I'm sure he paid by card. We can trace him”.
I called out to a couple of girls to help Sylvie. They came running, asking what was up? I told them to ask Sylvie as I need to get to the reception area. I rush toward my desk and the cash register. As I'm frantically sorting through the credit card payment stubs the doorbell rings. I call out for someone's to answer the door. Kat answered and I heard her welcome someone in while I was trying to figure out which stub I needed. As Kat passed by I glance up which causes me to do a double-take. The rapist is back! I don't believe it. Not ten minutes later the son of a bitch is back!
I needed to make sure it was him. I rushed to the girl's room and got Sylvie so she could look at the camera. “Oh my god, yes, that's him”, was all I needed to hear.
Kat was still chatting with him totally unaware of what had taken place. He asked her what he gets for his money and that he wanted to meet all the girls again to make sure he was getting his money's worth. “You're a real piece of work”, I thought to myself. I remember well the feeling of my rage intensifying at the time. Seething, I told Kat to stop wasting her time and to move away from him.
“He hurt Sylvie”, I finished, to which her eyes widened in shock.
A cold hardness filled my soul. It filled with a rush of unadulterated pure rage. “He'd come back for seconds. Good! I'd show him seconds”. In the interim since my own rape I'd had the good fortune to have had six self-defence lessons from a polite and slightly scary biker. He taught me how to fight dirty.
I recall him telling me to use all my weight as a weapon, (though there wasn't much of me), to use whatever was at hand to my advantage, to cause as much damage as possible, and to always remember you're in this situation because someone wanted to hurt you bad first. Also, to attack was my best defence.
I'd never needed to use those lessons before now. He taught me well. They were about to kick in, full bore. It was nearly fifteen years since my own attack and I was now a whole different person.
“Use your weight” and I did! I weighed even less at the time. I gathered all 55 kilos of my frame and charged. He was sitting on the corner of the couch. Perfect. Lucky for me I'm in a pantsuit affording easier manoeuvring. I jumped on his shoulders, a knee on either shoulder. It was enough weight to keep him in place so I grabbed onto his lovely curly hair. It was only lovely because it gave me access to hold on tight. Thick curly hair filled my fists as I jerked his head back. Now, he was staring at the ceiling making it easier for my intent and closer to that wall. Seeing his expression as I proceeded to smash his head against the corner of the wall was an added bonus. WACK!
“How do you like it?”, I yelled at my captēe.
I smashed his head with all my might against the other side of the corner wall. WACK! “Feels different when you're on the other side, don't it?”
I slammed his head back against the other wall. WACK! “Are you having fun yet?”
I felt him resisting, trying to get me off of him. He was more than twice my size and I knew that if I stopped for a second he would overpower me. During my rage I knew this would not happen as I would not relent to give him that chance. I continued to slam his head from side to side, wall to wall, as hard as I could muster, all the while continuing my personal commentary.
I was enjoying it, which surprised me but that didn't pacify my rage. My rage was only affected when I felt myself being pulled from him. Hands enveloped me and I was unwillingly forced from him, which made me more furious. “How dare I'm stopped”, I thought, as I hadn't finished. The dirtbag was still in one piece!
Life then became stranger than fiction. I swear it was like it happened in slow motion. I turned to see who'd had the audacity to interrupt me. Sylvie is standing behind me, a little to the left, Harriot behind her followed by tiny 4 foot nothing Midge.
I turned back towards the assailant as he was rising himself up from his corner of temporary discomfort. He had his closed fist propelled toward me. Before I could think he turned slightly. It's then that I realised his intent was not me as his body reaches past me, fist propelled towards Sylvie. Just before his fist connected with Sylvie’s face she was pulled back by Harriot. Thus, he missed, the momentum of his body causing him to stumble forward.
He's about to fall flat on his face when Midge reached out and grabbed him by the seat of his pants. She spun him around and booted him out of the room, propelling him towards a waiting open front door. The lady who was holding the front door open gave him another boot on his way out, slamming the door behind him.
I stood there mortified but not with regrets for him. None. It still feels good to today, although my hands were sore for days. Truthfully, even that felt good because of the memories it arose. I was somewhat abashed for losing control while in the position of a manager, especially as I lost it in front of my staff.
They were jubilant, while I was not. I was so disappointed in myself for my total loss of self-control, and still am. Not good for someone, supposedly, in a position of authority. Meanwhile, the ladies were all talking at once.
“Quiet!” This from me. “I want everyone in the girl's room now. I mean everyone. I need some time alone, please”.
I was not only trying to reassert my authority but I still needed to calm down. This force of rage was new to me. I was still under its spell as it abated slowly.
“What's wrong? You're a hero”, Sylvie said to me.
“I went for him and it's all on camera. There are no cameras in the rooms”. I continued to lament, “I went for him and there's nothing to prove he went for you. I can be in real trouble for this. Not smart on my part.”
“Yeah, like he’ll go round telling folk he got his ass whipped by a little bitty thing like you”. This, from Harriot, an American who really spoke that way.
“I don't feel like a hero right now. I feel I need space. I want everyone gone from the reception area. Now!” They saw I meant it and reluctantly retreated, talking excitedly amongst themselves. All but one, Kat, remains. She stood leaning against the wall with arms folded and not moving.
“Everyone includes you!”, I snapped at her.
She continued to stare at me. Silent and motionless.
“What the hell you staring at? Go!” I'm not in the mood for myself, let alone anyone else.
Finally, she spoke. “I wouldn't fuck with you. Oh, I'd definitely fuck you but I wouldn't fuck with you.”
I found myself laughing, grudgingly. “Now that's one hell of a pick-up line”.
“Well, what?”, I enquired.
“Is that a yes then?”
“You already know the answer and why”, I retorted.
“Huh, not much of a pick-up line if it don't work”, Kat muttered before she made her way to join the others.
Approximately a week later a couple of police officers come knocking on the door at work. Though the police were allowed access at all times they had to state exactly why and it had to be of a specific police nature. Police on the premises tend to cause discomfort in brothels to both sex workers and clients due to the stigma and secrecy that goes with this business. There are other organisations that dealt with the legalities of running a brothel, and police were not included in these.
“Can I help you?” I was actually calm and curious.
“Just a routine check”, from the older of the two standing before me.
“Ok. Do you need to check the premises for something?” I asked.
“How's things? Any trouble of late?”
“Nope. Not on my shift”, I lied.
He looked directly at me as I stared right back. He smiled a genuine smile and it is then that I see it in his eyes. He knows, and I know he knows I know.
“Right then. Enjoy the rest of your evening” he said, and they departed.
I never saw or heard from them again. I don't know for sure but maybe he wanted to see for himself “the itty bitty thing that whipped that son of a bitches ass.”