She knew how it was going to be ,another night, same as before, same as so many other nights. Pawing, brutal men. Dirty, sleazy men. Unattractive men, with the manner of wild beasts. She had to see them all, that was the game she had involved herself in. Were she not to perform her duties, as layed out by her Father, she knew it would lead to more brutal beatings, while her Mother looked on in an approving manner.
She waited in the quiet backlit street, away from the busy throughfare, away from the staring eyes of the middle class happy people, who could guess, or possibly assume what she was by her demeanor. She was dead inside. No interest, no anger, no disillusionment, no happeniness, no nothing. Her soul empty, her spirit deadened. A living walking, and occasionally talking corpse.
She waited patiently in that semi darkened, empty backstreet, knowing it would not be long before her customers, punters, sleazy men, call them what you will , would come calling. Her first two customers were men she did not like but was famililar with. She knew from past experience the encounters would be phyisically brutal, but thankfully quick. Reaching into her handbag, she retrieved the packet and withdrew a cigerette,and lit it. Wishing so much she could one day give them up, but they did at least offer some comfort, at least for a few moments.
She watched him in the far distance, at the top of the street. The searching eyes
scanning the area. She knew by his body language what he was looking for, and in a moment or two negotiations would begin, a price agreed, and a suitable, hidden area, in the darkened backstreet selected. She watched as the tall man with the scraggy beard and long overcoat approached. His steps slow and thoughtful, indicating a deep solitary inner conversation he was holding. As he got closer she hoped and prayed he was reasonably sane, and of course fresh and clean, and that he would be gentle. She studied his eyes, as she always did, with any man who approached her, before she painted on a friendly smile. To check his intent, an indication of mental imbalance, or possible violence. He was after a possible new regular customer.
What she found within his eyes was a slight recognition from somewhere, some other time. She inhaled hard on the cigarette, at times it helped clear her mind. Was he a regular from the past,who had changed his appearance , or was he just similar in looks to so many of the other men she had encountered in the past. The street was quiet, apart from passing cars in the distance. The sky clear. The moon full and bright, with a few stars visible. The night air, fresh and cooling. Something here was amiss. She paced up and down the pavement awaiting his approach, becoming quiet uncomfortable. Those eyes were familiar, so recognizable.
Although his eyes were empty and vacant, his mind elsewhere, or possibly not there at all. Were they still the eyes she had not seen in such a long time. Could it possibly be, after all this time, Could it really be. In this place at this time. But the eyes were the only method they had used to recognize each other after many years apart, in the past.
‘How much ? ‘ , he did not meet her eyes, just stared at the ground.
She needed to see his eyes,just to be sure.
She held a fresh cigarette in front of her face,
Finally he looked her in the eye.
It was him, she was fairly sure of it now. Of course both had changed psychically, but he was still recognizable to her, just. She had not seen him for so long. So many questions Where had he being, What had he done. Had life being good to him. There was no flicker of recognition from him. His once lively, sparkling eyes, now empty , black and dead.
‘Where’, his voice soft, and gentle.
‘Don’t you recognize who I am ?’
For the first time in a long time, she actually felt something . Was it anxiety, anger, an eagerness to know. She felt a little alive.
‘No, I don’t know you, or want to know you’. His eyes cold, empty, dead and angry. No signs of any recognition from him.
She considered for a moment, pushing it. But instead decided to leave it be.
‘I dont wish to go with you, go away and leave me alone’, or I will call him over’, her voice sharp,getting louder and unfriendly. She pointed to the well built middle aged man, who stepped out from the doorway across the street, from where he had being watching. His mouth turned down in a sneer, His eyes cruel and mean. He inhaled on the cigarette he had being smoking.
She watched the forlorn figure of the elder brother she had not seen in so many years, slowly walk away from her. His eyes, dead, black and vacant. He walked out of her working area, and out of her life. She watched him go. Two people living empty, meaningless lives. Across the road, the heavily built man with the evil sneer, stepped back into the shadows.
She took another cigarette from the packet in her large handbag, one day wishing she could give them up. Grateful for the cooling breeze, the clear sky and the moonlit night. She painted on the false smile,and studied his eyes as the new customer beckoned her over to the black shinny Mercedes car,that glistened in the moonlit. The clatter of her high heels breaking the silence of the night.
Written to a photo prompt seen here : (http://creativewriting.ie/writing-prompts/)