Kelly turned to look her mother dead in the eye. “Wait, what are you asking me to do?”
“I want to start by saying that your father and I are paying for your university and nothing is going to change when it comes to that, we will always help you cover essentials but…” Miki opened her hands to emphasize the point, “maybe you want…more.”
Kelly squeezed her eyes shut and shook her head, “Mom, just tell me what you're asking me to do.”
Miki tried to seem enthusiastic. “Think of it like extra chores, but for doing these extras you get…” she paused for emphasis “more than you would normally receive. You could call it your allowance.”
Kelly watched her mother as the both of them took a drink of their wine. “Okay Mom, your reluctance to actually tell me what it is that you want me to do is pretty telling. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that you want me to get my friends to sleep with dad, in which case I can tell you that I don't really have friends like that.” She paused to think about it; she absolutely did have friends like that, and her mother probably knew it. Undeterred, her mother picked up a pen and a scrap of paper from the table, Kelly continued “well, I do have one or two friends like that, but I don't think that I could…”
Miki shook her head, “No it's not that, what I'm asking you to do would be to help me out. I have a lot of… work to do and I could use someone to help out every once in a while.”
“What, like a personal assistant? Mom, I'm not getting what you're asking here.”
Miki was getting increasingly frustrated, she had imagined this talk would be easier. She told herself to be calm and clear. “Kelly,” her mother said as directly as she could, “I'm asking you to have sex with your father.” Kelly's eyes grew wide. “In exchange for one session a day, this will be your allowance.”
Kelly's composure had turned to glass, hard but fragile. She was terrified, her mother, a woman she loved and trusted, was asking her to have sex for money. The answer was an immediate no, until she looked down at the paper that her mother had slid before her.
She looked up at her mother, “I didn't think we had that kind of money.”
She reached over and put her hand on her daughter's. “Look, I know you're sexually active, we don't need to pretend that you aren't. This is a big step, taking on this role in the family, but I know you're capable of it. Also, you have to know what huge favour this would be for me.” Miki smiled at her daughter as Kelly squeezed her mother's hand.
Kelly broke their eye contact “I have to think about this. Honestly, this is the weirdest thing that's ever happened to me and I don't know how to deal with it.” She sat up from her stool and began to walk away.
“That's ok, honey” she picked up the slip of paper with the dollar amount on it, and held it up for her daughter. “Just remember, whatever you decide, your father and I love you. Nothing will change that.”
Kelly took the slip of paper, and said, skeptically, “Thanks, Mom.”
Kelly didn't know what to think. She was glad she had some wine in her system to blunt the shock of what her mother had asked, but it was still a lot to take in. Only once had she ever considered anything romantic with a family member, a similarly aged cousin, and even then it was just a passing thought. She knew her father was handsome, and she loved him deeply but she had obviously never considered it… She was considering it now.