Once that was done she got back on the phone to try to get a fresh opinion from one of her friends. Paranoid now that any friend that she called would be having sex for money with some random older man, she sent a text to her friend Abby, and they arranged to meet for coffee in an hour.
The cafe was just loud enough to drown out their conversation for the next table over but not loud enough that they would have to raise their voices. They claimed a table in a wood framed window looking out on the evening city sidewalk.
By the time they both sat down and had coffee in front of them, there was no alcohol left in Kelly's system. She no longer had the courage to tell the whole story and instead, she let her friend guide the conversation. Abby began talking about problems she was having with her new car, which eventually turned into a story about how she found out about a new store which sold natural supplements in a neighbourhood Kelly wasn't familiar with. She was half listening but mostly her mind was on the bomb that her mother had just handed her at the kitchen table. Her mind suddenly flashed to putting her hand on her father's chest, and him wrapping his arms around her, his lips kissing her neck. She watched her friend's hands as they moved across the table, animating the story that was falling on Kelly's distracted ears.
“Abby,” she cut her friend off, “I'm really sorry but I have something on my mind.”
Her friend regained focus, “Oh my god, I'm sorry, we were supposed to be talking about your thing, and here I am talking about my own random life. Okay,” Abby made a gesture that said she was ready to listen “give it to me.”
“So, I know that you and some of the girls have started having sex for money,”
“We've been working as escorts, yes” Abby gently corrected her.
“Well, kind of out of the blue, someone made an offer,” her eyes traced the outline of the table, not able to look at her friend who was staring at her intently, “to me. For me? Someone I know asked me to have sex for money.”
“Oh, and you're thinking about doing it?”
Kelly was aghast, “No! No… No. I can't.” She paused, before whispering, “I shouldn't.”
“Ok, so why did you call me up and drag me out here? It sounds like you've made up your mind. If you don't want to do it, don't do it.” Abby said decisively.
Kelly looked at her, “Well, it's not that I don't want to, it's that I shouldn't.”
“What, shouldn't because of the money? Look, I know that there are a lot of puritans out there…”
“It's not that. It's more about who it is.” Kelly was unsure of herself, trying to figure out if she could give the details without letting it slip who the person was. Abby couldn't help but notice that she was feeling shifty.
“A teacher? A priest? A cop who pulled you over?” Abby looked for a reaction. “You're not going to tell me who it is are you?” When Kelly didn't reply, Abby continued. “Well, we know it's somebody who has money, probably older since most of the guys our age wouldn't really have the knowledge or the guts to just come out and ask you.”