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My best friend gave me the best advice,
9:45 Tuesday Sept. 14, Tony's Strip
"For all of you who love this little brunette, get your money out and voices ready, because here comes Delicious Dana!"
The crowd of men whooped and cheered as I stepped out onto the stage. I took the mike from Cody.
"Hey boys! Ready to have some fun?" I asked in the husky voice I reserved specifically for this. My response from the crowd was cheer. "Good, because today, is the day I get wet . . . and one very lucky man, is going to have the opportunity to make me that way."
I paused letting it sink in for them, they were wasted and took a while for them to get it.
"IT'S A WET T-SHIRT CONTEST!'
I gave the mike back to Cody as 'Get up' by Ciara came on and the rest of my co-workers came out.
We walked down the platform and began the dance routine we were taught yesterday.
One by one we each chose a man from the crowd and brought him up onto the stage, as we danced on them, we brought them to our chairs.
As we sat in the chairs, we told the guys to pull on the rope. Although we were prepared for the water, it was still a surprise as the water came down and soaked our white outfits.
The club went wild, hooting and hollering; screaming for more.
As it was my turn on stage, the rest of the girls left, I went to the poll and did my thing.
If you haven't already figured it out, I am a stripper. But I wasn't one that took everything but her thong off. No, I wouldn't have been able to that, no one here could. I was one that stripped to her underwear, although, that meant our sets were longer than traditional strippers, but we were ok with that.
My set ended and I walked off the stage. The club was closing, and that meant I had to go home soon.
"Hey, sweetheart." Morgan, one of my good friends here said to me as I sat at my vanity, in the dressing room. "How was work today?"
She wasn't asking about my set. I also worked at Hooters. A bar and grill, it was a kind of family's restaurant, but mostly men came there. The uniform was a white top with 'Hooters' on the breast which everyone tied to make very tiny, and orange booty shorts. Hooters was famous for the scanty outfits and the big breasted workers. It wasn't a requirement, to have huge breasts but it did help, what with the tips and everything. It's what helped me get the job.
"It was fine Morgan." I said. "But I still wish I could quit, you know?"
"I know sweetheart." She was one of the oldest women here. She was 30, but didn't look a day over 25. Her mom was in the hospital with cancer. She had to pay for her treatment but her job as a secretary at the hospital downtown didn't pay enough, so she came here to work as well as her other job.
The rest of the girls here stripped to get through college or university.
"How was school darling?" Morgan asked me.
I sighed, it was September, and I was supposed to be in my junior year. I had dropped out last year, a couple months before school had ended, because of the teasing and I needed more time to put into working.
"I'm didn't go back, I couldn't handle the teasing, you know that Morgan. My mom has been even worse, so I need all the money I can get." she looked at me reprovingly and walked away, probably to get Tony, the owner.
I've known Tony forever, he used to live across me and my mom. He was a three years older than me, when he graduated I was going into the ninth grade.
His dad had left him the strip club when he retired, I know it's weird, but true. Tony had inherited a strip club. That is the only reason I can work here, because I know Tony. I'm only sixteen, but I needed to work. Because of my mom.
Now your probably thinking, isn't it the other way around? The mom is supposed to take care of the kid? Not in my house, my mom is a drug addict and alcoholic. Any money that she does have, she spends it one drugs and booze. So, it's my job to pay the rent on our shabby 2 bedroom apartment and the bills.
What I love about working here is, that we are pretty much just a whole big family. We cover for each other and protect each other. Because you have to be eighteen to work in a bar or strip club, I am not on the pay roll. When inspectors come to make sure we haven't been letting underage people in Tony makes sure that I don't come in, but will still pay me for those nights. When we get paid, Tony gives me a check instead of transferring it to my account.
Everyone here, especially Tony and Morgan, has been worried about my home life. That's why, when I saw Morgan and Tony came up behind me, I got a little scared.
Tony can be scary when he wants to be.
"What's this I hear about you dropping out?" Tony asked me, as he put his hand on my shoulder.
I shrugged. "What? I dropped out, I couldn't handle the kids anymore, and I need to work longer hours. Mom's been really sad lately, so she needs more money, and the cable bill is higher now. I can't be wasting time on school."
"Are you serious?" he looked really angry. "You need to go to school. You can't keep doing this for the rest of you life. How long haven't you been in school?"
"Yeah, I can. My mom needs me. I dropped out last year May, besides I wasn't all that great in school."
"Aleksandra." he only used my full name when he was really mad at me. "You and I both know you did well in school. You need to tell your mother to start being just that, a mother."
"He's right you know." Morgan said stepping in. "You can't keep acting as the mother. Paying the bills, and not looking after yourself. You can't keep working two jobs."
"But isn't that what you do Morgan?" I asked, knowing it was totally different. "You work two jobs and look after your mom."
"Yes, but it is different. I'm not sixteen and my mother isn't able to do anything. Yours is, she just chooses not to. And sweetheart, you work too much as it is. Not even I work as much as you do, you don't even get one day off of work."
"I need to work. My mom needs me, besides, I get Wednesday, tomorrow, off every week. Look it doesn't matter, I'm not going to school anymore." I got up and grabbed my purse. "I'm going home, night. I'll see you Thursday."
I quickly went out the door and got onto the bus, and then the train. I live in the 'ghetto' of Calgary. It really wasn't that bad, it was better than downtown.
I lived in a tiny little apartment with my mom. It could be nice, if it wasn't kept do dirty.
I opened the door to the building and went upstairs to my apartment.
I stepped into the dingy little abode I called home.
"Hey mom," I called as I set my keys on the table by the door. "I'm home."
I heard the t.v and walked into the small living room. My mom was on the couch sleeping, vodka bottles and chips surrounded her. A razor and small glass square sat on the wooden coffee table.
I started cleaning up the mess she had made, knowing it was of no use. She would just dirty it up again tomorrow or when she woke up.
After I had finished cleaning, I went to the bathroom, took a shower, and then went into my room.
I went over to my desk and turned on the laptop I had bought. I signed onto my bank account and started to pay the bills.
At the club, on a good day I would make about $500 a day, we would get paycheck every two weeks, that included lap dances and everything else. At Hooters my pay, since I worked everyday except Thursday, was about $200. All together, I made about $800 to $890 every few weeks.
The way my mum was going through drugs and alcohol, I was going to have to work on my one day off.
By the time I had finished paying the bills, it was about 2 in the morning. I turned off my computer and went to bed. Even thought tomorrow was my day off, I still had things to do.