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Post-Hiatus

16 Apr

It had been a while.  Too long actually.

He felt the weakness in his legs as he stood up, as though his strength was deserting him just when he needed it the most.  The accident left his confidence shattered.  He thought he had finished his recovery, but his usual ‘doh care damn’ faltered.  He would now have to consciously do it.  And stumble.  And fail.

He walked into the office.

“May I have an application form?”

Sebastian’s First Day

29 Jun

Sebastian Corbin felt strange.  The HoneyPot was nowhere near the 5-year career goal he had created for himself.  However, layoffs at the publicity firm caused him to have to seek unchartered possibilities.  Here he was in his first marketing meeting.  Rowan was in the process of trying to retire, but how could she really let her baby go?

Rowan stood up and immediately smartphones were turned off and all eyes snapped to her.  Sebastian had never seen such proof of power.  No, not power, respect.  Simple and elegant.  It was rumoured that it was because of her that an old bordello could become such a beacon of decadence.

“Kalian, could you give us a rundown of our customer survey?”

“Our numbers are essentially the same as last month’s.  We did get hit in a couple areas because of the conventions, however, the bulk of these complaints did state that they were ‘extremely satisfied’ with problem resolution from front-line staff.”

“That’s great.  Of course, our House Manager stated that they would be making extra efforts to have some part-time staff so that we can assist with the rush periods.”

“Yeah, that’s a promise he’s been making for years.” Roger was always whispering.  Sebastian did not dare look in his direction.  Neither did Rowan.  For her, it was the ultimate insult to deprive you of her precious attention.  As much as Sebastian hated her for it, he craved her eye contact.

“Zaid, anything from the comment cards?”

“Nothing out of the ordinary.  A guest stated that she really loves our lamps.  Mags in Reservations already emailed her the HoneyatHome.com link.”

Sebastian made a little note of the link to check later.  Zaid noticed the new guy writing and decided to elaborate:

“Almost anything you like in one of our rooms, you can purchase online.  It doesn’t matter what it is: the bed, the lamp, clock, curtains, even our flooring is for sale.  I think the spa even sells our Aphrodisiac teas online.”

Sebastian was impressed.  He would have given a low whistle and was in the process of doing so when he stopped himself.  These people would surely smell his newbie blood in the water and eviscerate him with office politics.

Then the Event Director, Mr. Russell Thomas Dillon, had the floor:
“As usual, we have had an upswing in parties due to the upcoming wedding season.  The usual rash of bachelor parties are already being booked and quite the surge in bachelorette parties from last year. I have already sent the email with the event forecast for the quarter.”

Sebastian had seen the figures.  They were impressive.  He didn’t realise how much of The HoneyPot’s revenue came from events.  He was able to appear nonchalant.  It was clear to him that he had much more research to do.

*****

After the meeting, Rowan called him to her office.  They sat on the low couch where he could see the water.

“You still have questions, don’t you?”

“You seem to be anticipating them quite well, too.”

“There really is very little difference in running a hotel, which is why I suggested the classes to you.  I forgot that you are a single father, though.  I spoke to corporate and they approved you for the online executive training.”

Sebastian was shocked.  No one ever suspected this woman of being pleasant.  When people introduced themselves in the cafeteria, they offered to pray that he survived his time with her.  She certainly did not appreciate slacking off, or shoddy work.  Neither did he, but she had quite a talent for surprises.  She then shooed him to go do some online training while she handled some paperwork.

The videos were rather boring, and he kept scoring the maximum points that he knew would impress no one.  He considered going for coffee, but he didn’t want to seem like a slacker on the first day.

Suddenly, a medium height man in a purple bathrobe with cream pyjamas walked into the lobby.  Sebastian had his hand on the security button, when he decided to man up.  It was a whorehouse after all.  This man was probably the head pimp or whatever when on in the ‘in room services’ division.

“Mr. Ironhouse!  Step into my office and make yourself comfortable!”

The man smiled and Sebastian was shocked.  Dipping into your own merchandise? Shocking!  Although prostitution was legal and widespread, the more bourgeois of society such as himself simply did not condone such lascivious behaviours!  He could not resist peeking through the glass to the side of the door.  Horny bitch didn’t even have the decency to pull the blinds for her midmorning tumble!

The sight that greeted his eyes shocked him almost senseless.  Rowan was on the computer showing something to Mr. Ironside or whatever his name was.  He was making notes in a spiral notebook.  Sebastian decided it was time for some coffee after all.  His low-class, judgemental mind needed a break.

Copyright 2012 ©

A Love Story

22 Jun

Evie couldn’t recall feeling such uncertainty.  She didn’t realise that she finally encountered the Good Girls’ Conundrum #1: Confronting your mother.  Her mother  had simple mind.  While you would think that simple minds were easy to change, one could be blindsided by the fact that they hold on to their precious little knowledge.

She considered the ramifications.  And that meant creating her Weighted Scores pros and cons list.

All signs pointed to pro: confront Anjana.  But something told her that it was a bad idea.  After all, when had she ever confronted her mother about something serious?

She never had any luxuries or fancy things.  But Anjana tried her best.  Her birthdays were 3-people affairs.  After all, when you’re poor, three people are a party.

With that memory burning a hole in her conscience, tears came to her eyes.  What right did she have to confront her mother?  After all those years of sacrifice working in a glorified whorehouse as a room attendant just so that she wouldn’t starve.  Not allowing herself a boyfriend so that she wouldn’t be molested – not that Mr. Jones didn’t try.  Really, what right did she have?

But Anjana needed to hear that she knew.  She was an educated adult and should be able to have a conversation.

That’s it, she thought.  It’s a conversation, not a confrontation.

An audible yawn pierced the early morning silence.  Anjana shuffled into the room and peeped at Evie.  Curiosity took over and then a feeling of dread.

“Why are you in a suit?  Something in school?”

“No mama.  I got a job.  The people I interned for last year offered me a job and I am going to take it.”

“Evie, there will be plenty time for work. You should be doing your Masters in two months.  If it is another internship, fine.  But you need to concentrate on your Masters.”

“Mama, you wanted to retire at sixty.  While you look as though you have another twenty years before you do that, you are sixty one.  Isn’t it time you retired?  Get the rest that you wanted?”

“Not with inflation making my savings look like chicken scratch.  I couldn’t afford food; much less send you to school.”

“But Mama…”

“It would be what? Two years?  I can hold out for that.  Don’t let money be an issue.”

This was a great offer, and one that she did not want to pass up.  In fact, it would shorten her 5-year career goal into three short years.  Why pass on that?

“Mama, you are not obligated to me, much less to put your life on hold for me.”

Anjana’s eyes grew big.

“How could you?”

“Easy.  I never felt different.  I just knew that I had a mother who loved me.  I didn’t know who my father was, but then neither did half my class.  It was the way Aunty Liza would treat me like if I had a disease.  It took me a long time to realise that in her own way she was right.  I did have a disease.  I didn’t have Alexsingh blood in my veins.”
Anjana stood up ready to argue.  Evie regretted her words instantly.  Tact wasn’t her forte.  No choice now but to hope she would blunder her way to a solution.

“It didn’t matter, because I had your love.  You are my birth mother.  My real life started whenever I came to live with you.  And you took care of me all my life.  It is now time for me to take care of you.”

“Evie, we have bills to pay, a mortgage that doesn’t seem to end, your schooling isn’t complete, and inflation isn’t going to let me retire anytime soon.  I am the mother here, I still have responsibilities.”

“To whom? I have a job now.  I will be bringing home four times what you make making up beds at the HoneyPot.”

Anjana’s eyes widened.  Evie should be getting that Masters.  Education was important, that much she knew.  Before she could frame a response, Evie spoke again.

“Of course, I would need assistance at home with coordinating a wardrobe for work, and breakfast in the morning.”
“I do that for you anyway.”

“Why not get paid to do it?  Depending on how things go with work, I might be doing my Masters anyway.  Then I would really need you.  Please Mama, think about it.”

Copyright © 2012

The Pickup

14 Jun

Kai stretched in the car.  Most likely he was working late.  To be fair, she hadn’t even told him that she was picking him up, so she sent him a text.  She also hoped that he had not hooked up with a female co-worker.  That was exactly how Debbie wormed her way into his heart.

To be fair to Debbie, Phil was unstoppable with the ladies.  He was a lovable mix of domestic skills with enough machismo to choke a football team.  He was the tiniest centre to ever grace a basketball court.  She smiled and stretched again.

She had already made up her mind that she was not going to tell him about her ex harassing her.  Even though she initiated the breakup, she still felt like a failure.  And with him harassing her, she felt like if she couldn’t even manage a breakup properly.

Phil hated him.  He often said if any of his women were half of Kai, he would have been a married man.  Kai laughed.  She often wondered what she had done wrong.  After all, it was in her nature to analyse situations to figure out right from wrong.  It was the only way to learn from experience.

In the aftermath of the breakup, she and Phil had become inseparable.  Even Debbie was sympathetic.  As a matter of fact. Debbie wanted to kill him.  Debbie and Phil on the other hand…

Then came a knock on the front passenger side.

“Kai, ‘sup?”

“Nun.  Couldn’t sleep, so I went driving.  When I realised I was close by, I decided to pick you up.”

“Do you want me to drive?”  He was always offering to help her out.

“Nah, I can take you home.”

“Stay the night, okay? Mom cleaned the guest room today.  So you can spend the night.”

“No clothes for work tomorrow.”

“Oh please, between Mom and Debbie, I can probably improve your wardrobe.”

“I don’t dress that bad!”

“Not for a boy.”

And on and on they went.  As a matter of fact, she never got to tell him that her ex was harassing her again.  Around Phil, problems like that didn’t matter.

Copyright © 2012

Resonance

8 Jun

It was a traumatic break-up.  Her face was still sore from all the crying.

She wanted to move on, but she couldn’t conquer her fear of intimacy.  Her friends gave her a lovely leather-bound envelope and fled.  It was a sex coupon.  She hated them with a passion and avoided their calls for two weeks before she broke down and almost called her ex.  It was while reaching for the phone she saw the envelope which had not been lost in the chaos.  One phone call later and now she was waiting on a gorgeous bed with royal blue satin sheets.

She sat straight at the edge of the bed waiting for the knock…at least she hoped they would knock!  She didn’t want the absolute stranger that she was about to copulate with walking in on her unannounced.  She was all nerves with no defenses.  She regretted on ordering a drink.  Or a bottle.  Her hand was on the phone when the knock came.

Should she tell him to come in? Or should she open the door?

“Come in.” because after all, she was comfortable on the bed.  Or as comfortable as one could be when waiting to purchase coitus.

He walked in and turned so that she could appraise him.  Not being confident enough to bluff it like a veteran, she cried on the phone to the reservation agent and admitted her inexperience, and her broken heart.  Maggie promised to take care of her.  She nodded her consent and he closed the door and walked over to the bed.  He knelt on the carpet and kissed her hand.  It sent chills up her spine and she promptly did what she thought would have been a dignified thing to do: she burst into tears.

His face registered surprise, but he sat on the bed next to her and held her while stroking her hair.  She calmed down.  But then she fell asleep.  He covered her up and put her coupon back in her bag with a note:

When you wake up call me.

The Thriller Philler .

Phil remembered Kai’s heartbreak and how she would just cry.  It took a while for her to regain her footing, but he would never think of buying her a sex coupon.  She must feel so truly alone.  He wanted her though.  He just wanted her to enjoy it.  He had a reputation to think of, after all.

Copyright © 2012

Phil’s Day Off

5 May

She tried his phone again, and again it was off.  Samantha inhaled, exhaled and then moved on to the next name on the list.  Phil was rather impressive.  New but impressive.  He racked up more positive guest comments in one month than some of her other service providers did in the three years that The HoneyPot was open.  She peeked at his file and saw “spear fishing, karaoke, and football” under Hobbies and Interests.  She smiled.

A few miles north bathed by the Caribbean Sea, Phil wasn’t smiling.  Thoughts of Debbie crossed his mind as the memories flowed through his body.  He adjusted his facemask and dived.  The water soothed his broken ego.  The water did nothing to dilute his memories of her smell, or her touch, or the sound of her laugh…ooh! A fish!  His powerful strokes sent him in pursuit of supper.

Gallia looked out of the window of the quaint little house.  She saw her son dive into the water with spear in hand.  He started to shun the gun after Debbie.  She also liked Debbie, but Phil was too headstrong to let her leave.  Whatever happened had happened.  Now there was no hope of cute little mixed babies with curls and mischievous grins.  There was just spear fishing and barbeque.

Phil missed his shot and came up for air.  The sun burned his eyes and he sneezed.  Although if he wanted to go deeper he could just gear up.  His mother always packed his old gear just in case.  Mom could bitch and moan all she wanted; she was always by his side.  Even though it was three months since losing Debbie, she was still coming down the islands with him.  This time though, he brought a good friend of his, Kai.

Kai was inside reading a book.  They rented this house and she found such a treasure trove of old school books in the den.  After breakfast, she sat down to read.  Phil was a nice guy.  A man’s man.  Fishing, football, parties, beach, and barbeque.  His new job at The HoneyPot had her little worried.  She wondered if he was trying to forget Debbie the old fashioned way.  After all, the post-Debbie depression cost him his job.  And the HoneyPot paid well.  Maybe she should apply.  She pulled off her t-shirt and went outside to join Phil in the water.

Gallia felt her heart lift.  Kai was no Debbie.  But Kai was brave, and crazy and not bad looking.  Not too good looking either.  But she would do.  She looked on as Kai picked up a spear and waded into the water to follow Phil.

Damn fish was too quick.  Damn Debbie was being too distracting.  He wanted to just go inside and do some peppered shrimp with lemon juice.  Kai threatened to permanently contract him to her if he continued to make that.  He dived again.

Kai saw his dive and decided to swim off in a different direction.  She saw a flash of silver, but her eyesight wasn’t as good as Phil’s so she had to swim a little slower to counteract the turbulence in the water.  She threw her spear and felt it snag.  It was a short fight in her favour.  She landed herself a nice fish.  She swam out to the shallower water and shouted for Phil.

He heard Kai shout his name, but he was in pursuit of a fish he had dubbed ‘Sir Ernie’.  Sir Ernie was playing him like an old Tetris game.  He was trying to wear him out so that he would give up and go back to shore.  Sir Ernie also did not want to swim out into deeper waters where his other enemies resided.  He was being careful.  So was Phil.  He was patient as a lover, and spear fishing was like making love.  Waiting patiently and striking out firmly when the time was right.  And Phil was nothing if not a great lover.  He smirked and went after Sir Ernie.

Kai already had her fish scaled, gutted and beheaded.  She rinsed with salt water and was about to filet it when Gallia told her to go back into the water and back Phil up.  She didn’t want to; after all, she had already dried her hair.  However, one did not say ‘no’ to Phil’s mom.  After all, it wasn’t as though she was asked if she wanted to go, right?

Back in the water Kai swam out with a net.  Phil usually wasn’t this determined unless it was a big fish.  She scored enough for one meal, but it looked as though he was going to be out for a while longer.  Suddenly he popped up further than she expected with his Victory Song.  It was really a loud yell: all show-off Philly style fill-the-sky type yell.

She was right to have brought the net.  It was rather big.  He bagged the fish in the net and handed her the spear.

“I called him Sir Ernie.  See Kai, you are not the only fisher around!” he pulled hair and swam off with Sir Ernie.

Later that night after pictures were taken, Phil decided to unveil his fish in white wine broth.  All three of them gorged on it, along with the garlic bread that Gallia made earlier.  Phil brushed a stray grain of hair off of Kai’s face before turning his attentions back to the meal.  Kai didn’t notice, but Gallia did.  And she smiled a mother’s smile.

Copyright © 2012

Gracie Max gets refreshed

29 Apr

“Mr. and Mrs. Fernando J. Max, welcome back to the HoneyPot!” – she was cute, clearly new.  Yet the way she would not look directly into my eyes disturbed me, as it always does.  After all, we spend good money here, and would like to be treated with respect.

“I would show you to your room.  Would you like a menu now, or have you already – oh! Oh! I am sorry, I see that you pre-ordered room service.   Unfortunately, you did not indicate time of arrival, so you may have a bit of a wait of approximately…”

“Never mind that, we can wait.”  Fern is always impatient with the new ones.  Which is strange because he is always gentle.

“Sweetie, what is wrong with that little idiot?  Isn’t eye contact a hallmark of customer service? Why must this planet descend into such mediocrity?  Really darling, it is indeed wearying.”

“I’m sorry hon.  but by the time we get upstairs, it would not really matter to us anymore.  We came to enjoy ourselves, and we will.”

“Of course darling, why should I spoil your night?  Let the good times start!” – and with that Fernando was good again.

(A couple hours later)

“Darling, I am not feeling this right now.”

“Do you want me to call and get this refreshed for you?”

“No babe, that’s just too much hassle for just my bad mood.  It isn’t their fault.”

“Well, I’m done and I still have some time on the clock.”

“Thanks but I don’t swing that way, and you know that.”

“I was just teasing you, my love.”

So while Fern and I lay in bed, we began to chat about some business that we had gotten from a similar company and discussing what we were going to do.

Fern tucked a lock of my hair back.  our position was a bit awkward and neither of us moved just basking in the moment.  Just then, there was a call from the room service and Fern answered.

“No, my wife wasn’t really in the mood for tonight’s fare.  She insists it’s her mood and doesn’t want to refresh…oh, complimentary…hahaha! Yes indeed!  That sounds marvellous actually.  Shall I speak with her on it and call you back?… Oh, certainly!  Thank you!”

“Darling, Gracie, they are sending up The Thriller Philler – no pun intended.”

“For why? I am fine!”

“You are fine for now.  However, with our schedule, you may not be back for quite some time.  Better lay back and let Phil take care of you now.”

“And what happens to you Fern?  You are done right now.”

“Darling! I haven’t been a spectator since we were poor!  This would be like the good old days!  Back when it was called ‘prostitution’, but after it was legalised!”

“Ok, only because I will be in Japan for your birthday and you sound rather excited about this.”  I wasn’t very happy, but for my Fern – anything.

“Oh goody darling!”

And then Phil knocked and came inside.

– ND

Copyright © 2012

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