The Thief and the Hooker: A Love Story

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Fiona

   The people who met her always told Fiona Marquez that she would follow in her mother’s foot steps. For most little girls, this would have been a high compliment, something to aspire to. Sadly, Fiona Marquez was not “most little girls.”

    Ten year old Fiona sat on her bed, staring dully at the rain drizzling onto the window pane. The alarm clock on her nightstand read two-thirty a.m. On normal nights, Fiona would have been asleep. However, this night was not normal. It was a work night. Her mother’s work night.

    The wall behind Fiona’s bed shook slightly, followed by intense moans of pleasure from the other side. She sighed, curled up on her bed, and buried her head beneath her pillow, trying to drown out the sounds - sounds that no ten year old should have been hearing.

    When it was finally over, Fiona sat up and tiptoed to the doorway to watch her mother’s client pay up and leave. This way, she could find out how much money her mother had made, and if there would be breakfast that morning or not.

    “One, two, three, four, five? Generous tonight, huh?” Gabby Marquez gave her client a sweet smile.

    The man gave her a reply that Fiona didn’t catch, but she did catch the wide smile that spread across her mother’s face. A real smile. The kind that made her eyes crinkle at the corners. That hadn’t happened in a long time. Suddenly, Fiona’s interest in her mother’s work was heightened. She opened the door a tiny bit more, cautiously, making sure it didn’t creak. Gabby didn’t want people knowing she had a daughter. It would “cut down on business.”

    Fiona watched as Gabby closed the door behind the man and strode into the kitchen. She pushed open the door fully, letting its loud creaking fill the hallway, and padded into the kitchen.

    “Mommy?”

    Gabby turned around and smiled at her daughter. “Yes dear? You’re up early … something wrong?”

    “You woke me up again.”

    A look of sadness passed over Gabby’s face and she knelt down so that she was at Fiona’s height, pulled her close and hugged her tightly. “I’m so sorry, honey … I just … I have to satisfy my clients … and that means making them … make … loud noises.”

    Fiona buried her face in her mother’s shoulder, breathed in her warm, familiar scent and muttered, “It’s okay.”

    Gabby patted her on the back and stood up. “Alright. Well, you should probably get back to bed, okay?”

    Fiona nodded and started back toward her bedroom, and then stopped. “Mom?”

    “Yes?”

    “I … I was watching you and that man. He made you smile. Was he nice?”

    Gabby laughed slightly. “Oh yes. He was very nice. He tipped a hundred bucks. Sadly, I don’t think I’ll be seeing him again.”

    “Why not?”

    “Well … the nice clients are usually the men who are having problems with their  life and need someone like me to make them feel better. It’s usually a one time sort of thing. You’ll find out when you grow up.”

    Fiona frowned slightly. “I’ll find out? Am I going to do what you do when I grow up?”

    “Honey, you’re going to have to. I can’t afford to send you to school and I’m wanted in three states. Trying to get another job wouldn’t work out. Unless you want to go into dealing, you’re kinda stuck. Now, go to bed.”

    “…Alright. Goodnight, Mom. I love you.” She turned and plodded back to her bedroom.

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