Asha Fox

The moments before

Asha Fox
The moments before

My next client just txt to say he is here.

He couldn’t have timed it worse - he’s 10 minutes early and I thought I had just a few more minutes to breathe through my sobs and dry the tears falling down my face. My liquid eyeliner has made my face into a disturbing water colour, and my eyes are bloodshot and swollen. I was doing so well, playing upbeat music, getting in the mood, but still, a thought entered my mind and my walls fell just for a moment. I broke up with my love last night, not an adequate reason not to work today, besides the water bill arrived and it won’t pay itself. I txt my client ‘5 mins please, you’re a little early’ and hurriedly put a couple of eyedrops in and fix up my foundation. I try to block out the constant image in my head of him walking out on me, I listen to Dolly one more time, and send through a ‘come on up’. I bet my client has been looking forward to this, at least someone wants me today. I open the door with a big grin, my well practised ‘smile with the eyes’ and give him a big hug. He has no idea my heart is breaking.

Val doesn’t have much time, she has to get to the hospital after this, her Dad is hanging on but it won’t be much longer. The rent is past due and the mobile company won’t stop ringing. She took the booking even though the red flags were there, he kept calling her ‘babe’, but she’s looking past it. Anything to get these damn bills paid so she can go back to the hospital. She lost her Mum without so much as a goodbye, she’s not going to go through that again. She takes a deep breath and sweeps her hair up into a ponytail. Her cheekbones pop and she knows this is her best look. She’s gonna give this guy everything and hope he extends. The extra 100 or so on top would really help today. Her mind wanders to her Dad but she blocks it out. She needs to give her best performance. The clock ticks past time and she wonders if he’s running late. It keeps ticking, 20 minutes gone. Her client has ghosted and her hopes for a small reprieve are dashed. She sits against the bed all done up, hugs her knees and weeps.

Priya rushes in the shower, desperate to get the smell of baby vomit and cheap air freshener off herself. She was so lucky to get a babysitter at such short notice tonight, these last minute bookings can make such a difference to her groceries next week. The baby was up all night and she pushes at the bags under her eyes in the mirror, before patting them with a little foundation. She loved this bit, turning from exhausted Mama into desirable escort. She revelled in it, it’s transformative. She wonders if she’s the only one that gets excited for her bookings, her other life outside of the daily grind. She connects her phone to bluetooth to get the music going and at the same time receives a txt from her sitter. It’s a picture of baby smiling, satisfied after a feed. There’s a pang of guilt but she pushes it to the side. The extra money is worth it, it has to be. She checks her hair again one more time as there’s a knock on the door. The butterflies go, she’s out of practise, but she opens the door with a genuine smile.

Lila has another sip of her wine. The dread has kicked in. Last time he was here, he stayed overtime and went on and on about what she should be doing with her life. Not him, is what she thinks. But he pays good money and he’s reliable, yet every time she knows he’s coming, dread arrives and a bottle of wine cools in the fridge. It’s needed. She should be grateful, she thinks. Regulars are so important in this business and you have to look after them. But this one is just such a drag. Thinks he knows everything, talks down to her like she’s 12. She has a bloody degree, she has options, she’s lived more life than this man has in his little finger, and yet he is always trying to make her feel small and stupid. Ugh she hates it so much. She’s getting mad just thinking about it. She probably should be finishing off her cover letter for the day job she wants, but her mind is too busy and the wine is making concentration foggy. ‘Just think, in 3 hours I’ll be free again, and this money will see me through another week and I wont need to rely on any last minute bookings’. She breathes deeply, takes another sip and checks her work phone. ‘I’m almost there Li’, can’t wait to eat that tasty pussy of yours’. UGgggghhh, the wine doesn’t go down smoothly that time. She texts her best work friend ‘my pussy has never been drier’, takes a swig of mouthwash and waits patiently by the door - she can do this. Just 3 hours and then she’s free.

Jada is running late. So, so late. Fuck. She txt him to let him know she’s delayed by half an hour and he sounded displeased but there isn’t much she can do about it. He will wait. Her job at the bank is running into the 60hour mark again, and she is NOT getting paid nearly enough for it. Her boss kept her later than her bus, again, because of someone else’s bullshit mistake. She’s doing three people’s jobs because there were layoffs and guess who is picking up the slack? No extra pay for appreciation, she’s really beginning to become jaded in this job. She wishes she could quit, maybe give sex work a proper, full-time go, but last time she did that the business was so unpredictable, and now Jason has had his hours slashed, she needs the stable income to keep them out of bankruptcy. If they lose the house, this has all been for nothing. Fuck she wishes he would find another job, she is burning the candle at both ends. She shouldn’t have taken this booking, the client is well outside her usual outcall zone and Jason has the car. It’s gonna take two buses to get there, unless she gets an Uber… maybe she should treat herself… but can they really spare the extra $70 from this booking? She hopes he has a decent shower. She did a fast change at work but the pantyhose she’s worn all day has left her feeling sweaty and itchy. She could kill for a long hot shower, it’s hard to feel sexy right now. No time to fret about it, next bus is arriving and she’s already well past due. God, hope he has some wine waiting too. She lugs her two large tote bags onto the last bus and breathes deeply. Please, please, she wills to the hoe goddess, let him be an easy client.

He doesn’t see the sadness in my eyes, he’s receptive to the way I hug him, he needs intimacy too. He’s a great client, I find myself distracted most of the time. Nothing twinges as we kiss and we hug, my brain is busy pleasing the man before me, who seems very receptive and appreciative of me - which feels nice. Healing even. I don’t skip a beat and I don’t think of my love, until we’re in doggy. It goes on a little longer than I’d like and my mind wanders. As I receive each thrust, I start to imagine it was him, and it both hurts me and turns me on. I roll with it, my actions more performative now, and I come, harder than normal, and it feels like a betrayal, and I whimper. Eventually my client finishes and we lay there in a soft silence, and I pray time is up as my walls are lowering and the pain is setting in again. It is time, I send him home without a tear having fallen, proud of myself in that moment to have kept it together. I fall into the dishevelled bed, finally free to cry. I make myself cum until I hurt and I fall asleep, bills paid and now free to just be broken for a while.