Written by R.S. Janes
The pearl-gray luxury car circled the block a few times. The girls on the street had already concluded it wasn’t a cop, as the driver had refused a couple of invitations if it had been a cop, he wouldn’t have been so choosy, any quick bust would have been fine.
But who was this guy? Middle-aged, thinning hair on top with a little gray on the sides, and a pair of brown square-frame glasses, just circling the block looking at the girls. One girl whispered to another that perhaps he was some weirdo street radars went up: keep an eye on the pearl-gray luxury car.
The block was actually several blocks, and the girls hid in the doorways when the police cruisers occasionally plowed by. It was a game: the cops knew very well that this was hooker turf after eleven at night and they could pull them all in, but why bother with the paperwork, unless some citizen complained? They’d all be out here the next night anyway. As long as the cops didn’t catch them actively soliciting, or any sexual acts conducted in public, they usually left the girls alone some even indulged on the way home from a shift, although in civilian clothes. But that was the regular uniformed guys plainclothes vice detectives sometimes trolled around and cracked some working girl just to add a quick scalp to their arrest record, but they were easy to spot either dressed up too wild or too loud and obnoxious. They emitted clues to their true identity like flop sweat.
But the guy in the pearl-gray luxury car didn’t give off any such clues. If nothing else, no plainclothes cop would be driving around in such a nice ride they always drove dull-colored Fords and Chevy’s. He circled again, and one of the girls said aloud she hoped a police car would come by this guy is creepy, maybe the cops would scare him off.
Then, on the fifth circuit, he finally pulled to the curb. Out of the shadows emerged a thin white girl with long straight brown hair. None of the girls knew her well she was a newcomer and kind of aloof. If it had been one of the regulars, they might have warned her, but this girl was arrogant and didn’t respond to their friendly overtures, so let her take care of herself. Still, they kept an eye out anyway, just out of habit, as she got into the pearl-gray luxury car and it turned the corner into the darkness of a side street.
Inside the car, the girl asked, “Looking for a date?”
The driver, clearly embarrassed, replied in a mumble, “Well, yes, but it’s really not for me.”
Her eyebrows descended in a frown. “What are you talking about?”
“I hope you can understand this,” he said, pulling the car over in front of an alleyway and shutting off the engine, “See, my son is 19 and he’s uh somewhat autistic, but he’s not crazy or anything like that. He’s discovered sex and he’s fixated on this woman he can never have, and he’s a virgin. It’s been hard to get him to focus on anything other than sex lately and I thought, well, why not just let him have sex and maybe he can get over it and we can get back to his education. He was doing well before this, uh, obsession with sex started.”
“So, you’re trying to get your son laid?” She relaxed a little, but still kept her finger on her pepper-spray canister, hidden in her purse.
“Yes, but he wants a woman who looks like this.” The man produced a crackled, weathered color photograph from his coat pocket. “I thought you looked the most like her of the women on the street tonight.”
She studied the photo for a moment. “Not that it’s my business, but who is it?”
“It was his teacher from eighth grade. She’s dead now and he always thought he would grow up to marry her, even though she was twenty-five years older. I tried to tell him it’s never going to happen, that she’s gone, but he still talks about it. Then last week he said if he could have sex with her once, he’d forget all about her. I said that was impossible, and he went into hysterics.”
“Weird,” she exclaimed under her breath. “It sounds like he needs a therapist.”
“I’ve tried that route, but it didn’t work, so I thought I’d try this. If you don’t want to do it, I understand.”
“How much are you willing to pay for this, uh — service and where will it happen?”
“I rented a couple of rooms at the Days Inn just down the street and I’ll pay whatever you want, within reason. Just be nice to him for an hour or so, have sex with him, and tell him you have to leave to go teach in Australia.”
“Yes. Melbourne. That’s where she planned to go when she died in a plane crash. Oh, and her name was Marletta, if it should come up Marletta Tutter.”
“So, you’re asking me to pretend to be this Marletta Tutter, spend about an hour with your son, and have sex with him, is that right?”
“That’s right. And I’ll drive you back here when you’re finished.”
“Would you be in the room?”
“No, no — I’ll be in the room next door.”
“You say he’s not dangerous or crazy.”
“No, absolutely not. He just has a learning disability and gets a little over-emotional at times, but never violent.”
“What does his mother think of all this?”
“His mother isn’t with us anymore.”
“Huh. This is the weirdest damned thing I ever heard of, but I’ll do it I need the money. Okay, $300 bucks — and I want the cash up front.”
“You want the money in advance?”
“That’s the deal,” she opened the car door slightly, “or I’m gone.”
“Okay, sure, that’s no problem, but I hope I can trust you to keep your end of the bargain.”
As she shut the car door, he fished in his coat pocket and came up with fifteen rumpled twenty-dollar bills and handed them to her. She counted them as he started the car.
“Before you pull off, there is one thing,” she said, as she took her finger off the pepper-spray trigger and put the money in her handbag.
“Oh, what’s that?”
And she then reached deeper in her purse for her badge.
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