The Concierge – Chapter Fifty Four
” Babes, you know how i love you and I’m always telling my friends and family about you, well while you were making coffee jut now, my friend Tyrone, who works at the police station texted me .Since i’ve mentioned you several times to him, i’ve spoken to him about your work and who you you live with, he just asked me if the crime involving a woman by the name of Nicola Lyndon had something to do with you.I called him and he gave me the details of what the police have found out so far, they say that people had witnessed a black guy walk after Nicola when she got up to take a short cut through the alley,” he pauses and walks over to Caroline, holding her in his arms, “thats how i know babes, its only because i care and every one who knows i care about you cares too.” Caroline has never felt so safe and important to any man in her life as she does at this moment in Randy’s arms. He promises Caroline that he’ll be back as soon as he finishes running an errand he had and that he would spend the night with her to keep her safe.He quickly rushes out and quickly dials Sonya’s number.Over at the family apartment, Sonya’s mobile rings in her bag, with the name Brandon lighting up.She and Allegra are in her mother’s room, calming her down and putting her to sleep by giving one of her sleeping pills.Unable to even imagine that their mother was just high off of some weed, they imagine the worst, that she was starting to go crazy and whatever she had suffered from before has brought on this psychotic relapse. Allegra retires to her room to speak to Salvatore on the phone, while Sonya picks up her bag as she heads back to work, She has hardly walked a few steps from the exit of her building when she turns a corner and is bumped into by a boy who seemed to be running so fast you would think he was fleeing for ! his life, it was Miguel, his face was as white as paper and there was a look of absolute terror in his eyes.He hugs Sonya tightly and she hugs I’m back, he begins to cry and she tries to calm him down as she knows that the more you ask a person what’s wrong, the more likely they are to break out into floods of tears she holds him for a while in his arms, before they walk back in to the building. As they reach the door of their building’s entrance, Brandon arrives as well.”Sonya, i’ve come to walk you to work like i always do,”he says but he immediately understands that today there will be no such walk as Sonya holds on to her little brother with all her might. He helps the two walk on into the building, as Miguel is clearly exhausted , he must have run 10 blocks non stop in this cold weather, his t shirt was on backwards and his belt unbuckled. Sonya feared the worst.
Maria is on the phone with Dylan, when her second line beeps, she looks at the name and it is Sonya. She quickly answers, “Hi Sonya? whats up? she says cheerfully,” she begins to apologize for leaving so abruptly the other night at dinner when she realizes that Sonya is breathing heavily on the other end.”Whats wrong?” she asks “Whats wrong Sonya?’ she asks again,this time with fear and panic in her voice.”Can you please come home?” says Sonya finally,” I’ve tried to call Dad, but he isn’t answering.Just please come home Maria”she pleads. Without telling Ashely that she is leaving Maria picks up her bag and keys and rushes off out to catch a cab home.
Meanwhile over at Anna’s apartment, Anna is giving Juan the massage of his life, once again he has skipped out on going home before going to work at the concierge to spend time with Anna.”Anna?,” he asks ,”Yes Juan,”she answers.
“Who is that man in the picture with you?” She stops rubbing his back but quickly resumes not to let Juan know that this man in the picture sends shudders down her spine.”That is my boss” she finally answers. “What is it that you do exactly,”asks Juan, turning around from his stomach onto his back. Anna looks into his kind soft eyes and for a moment she considers telling him the truth, surely he would understand, he knows what it is like to be an immigrant in America, trying to find the best way to make money…even if it was illegal.
She thinks twice, before she answers, I’m in the sex industry”. Juan is stunned, for a few seconds he says nothing and then she laughs and says”We import sex toys from Russia and items that are used to enhance pleasure during intimate encounters.I didn’t want to tell you at first as i thought you might judge me, but believe it or not there is quite a large market for that type of thing here in the USA.” She smiles at him and watches for his reaction, if he can accept this then maybe some day soon she can tell him the real truth.
He smiles and sits up, leaning her body close, he says “well they surely have hired the best person to the job, you really are sexy,”he says to her. She smiles uneasily as they embrace in a hug that is followed by another hour of passionate love making. By the time he has dressed up and left to go to his shift at the concierge Juan hasn’t even thought to look at his mobile.
While Anna, looks at hers to find a message from Salvatore on hers, “I have a client entertainment event tonight, wear something sexy, there is a new bar opening in town and the men that go there are the type that can afford you.” She reads the address and tosses her phone on to the side, she starts to cry as she remembers how she ended up in this situation in the first place.
She stands up and walks over to the bathroom to start getting ready, looking into her sad eyes in the mirror she begins to recollect her life before coming to America. She was a smart and ambitious girl, always getting top grades at school and always involved in sports and other extra curricular activities. Her main area of interest was helping the sick and she had always wanted to become a nurse.
She graduated high school and did her A levels by the age of 18 years old and she got a partial scholarship to go to Medical school to study to be a nurse. Soon after she started, her father’s alcohol and tourism business started to fail, but no one told her, they did not want her to worry about money while she was studying. She was the eldest of her parents’ children and a lot of hope lay on her. She had a younger brother and younger sister who were still in middle school.
Failing to make ends meet and to support his family, Anna’s father made a decision that he would come to regret until the end of his days and a decision that Anna would have to pay for dearly.
Desperate with his situation, her father went to a man who lent money to the needy , taking advantage of their desperation and charging them way too much interest. Unfortunately Anna’s father was growing old while his kids were still young, Anna who had heard from her mother about what was stressing her parents decided to try and help. She went to meet with Mr. Vladimir, who was in a meeting with a very handsome Italian man in his favourite restaurant when Anna came to see him.
She interrupts this meeting to plead with Mr. Vladimir to release her father from the impossible amount that the interest on the loan he gave him had garnered. Mr. Vladimir and says in Russian that her father should have never taken a loan he was not able to repay. She explains to him that he did it for her and his family to help support them during the harsh cold winters and the dwindling economy.
Mr. Vladimir is about to ask his people to send her away when the handsome Italian man whispers something into his ear. Smiling at this suggestion, Mr. Vladimir asks his men to wait before throwing her out.
“Would you like to help your father out of his debt to me?” he asks her.
She wipes away a tear as she bravely says that she would do anything to help her parents.
“Mr. Salvatore here runs a very lucrative business in America,” begins Mr. Vladimir, “he helps many young girls like you to help their parents dig themselves out of the holes that they get themselves in to when they borrow money from me.”
Salvatore looks down at Anna and tries to give her a kind smile, “You will be well taken care of and within 2 to 3 years you will be back here and your father will be debt free, you will even have some extra money to take care of your family” he says.
Not sure, what type of ‘help’ it was that this Salvatore was offering her, Anna was too desperate to turn it down. Later that evening she sat her parents down as she lied to them about a full paid scholarship to the US that she had gotten at university. Utterly thrilled but at the same time nervous to have their daughter move so far away from them, her parents were very proud. That night Anna slept with a very heavy heart, in another bed on the other side of the house her mother too had a heavy heart, only she did not know why exactly that was.
After arriving in the US, Anna could not have expected a worse form of help, starting out as a high end escort to wealthy old men, she quickly became used and abused and reduced to a mere prostitute, available to any one who could afford her.
Years have gone by and every time she spoke to her parents she told them she had to stay on because her American papers were being processed and she couldn’t leave, that could not have been any further from the truth. The truth was, due the strange and illegal conditions that she had entered the country, the process of legalizing her stay was taking even longer. As far as her father’s debt and the extra money to be made was concerned, Salvatore always managed to justify the lack of money brought in by Anna and the reason why it wasn’t adding up to settle the debt. It has now been 6 years and day by day Anna was dying just a little bit more inside.