he told me about how he was a bank manager and worked for a french company and went to france all of the time. i told him about how much i liked france and wanted to go there, talked about how i liked french music and existentialism when i was in high school and françois truffaut and jane birkin and anna karina and how i had a stalker once who said i look just like chantal goya and how much i wanted to smoke gauloises…i didn’t care i guess about entertaining him like i was probably supposed to and was just thinking about the things i liked to keep my mind off of what was actually happening.
i told him about how i was studying art and design, how i made money designing websites and pamphlets and that sort of thing.
“you do look like an art student.”
it was pleasant enough i guess, it was like the feeling i got when i talked to my uncle who i see at christmas sometimes.
at the pub i told him to get me whatever cider he recommended.
i was nervous about him not having paid me right away, but i figured it was okay since we were at a pub. if he didn’t pay me here, i would just leave.
he came back to our table with a cider and a beer.
“i’ve been like really obsessed with cider since i’ve came here. like i never had it before…”
he told me the difference between lager and beer and about where he had grown up which apparently was famous for lager or something.
he asked me why i came to england.
told him about how i had always liked british music and fashion especially lately i really like alexa chung, and how i thought that people back home would be really impressed and jealous when i told them about how i had been to london.
we talked about how much we like the smiths. i thought about how in america you would never find a stuffy, middle aged banker who liked the smiths.
“do you want something else?” he asked when i had finished my cider.
“yeah, i want a mimosa, like buck’s fizz.”
we had to mix the champagne and orange juice ourselves.
after drinking a glass i finally asked, “um, do you want to pay me the first bit now?”
“yeah, certainly i do,” he said and reached into his wallet and handed me the money underneath the table.
i counted it quickly and put it in my bag.
it really was 200 pounds.
and now i had money, so now i was happy again.
since i had left my parents house i was constantly struggling with money. my first year of college i would often go two or three days in a row without eating. when i later moved to chicago i was sick with anxiety the first few days i lived there that due to an error with my bank that i was going to be thrown out into the street. i got that same panicked, anxious feeling in london when i had ripped through my suitcase and purse and hadn’t been able to find my debit card.
i thought then that not having to endure that kind of horrible stress and fear was worth whatever happened with this guy. and that i just want lots and lots of money and expensive things so i don’t ever have to be afraid of what’s going to happen to me again, no matter what i have to do to get it.
“I’m really hungry, will you buy me something to eat?” i asked.
“sure. do you want a burger, maybe? the menu’s right there.”
“i think i want fish ‘n chips.”
“you’re going to eat fish ‘n chips and champagne?” he laughed.
“yeah, what’s wrong with that?”
he went to the bar to order me my fish and chips.
when he sat back down we talked more about london and other general things.
somehow it got to me admitting, “you can probably tell i’ve never done anything like this before.”
“yeah. i mean the way you look and how you were so nervous when i first met you, it’s nothing like agency girls. i mean i was nervous, too…”
“how many times have you done this?”
“this is the third time. the first two times were with professional girls and i had absolutely nothing to say to them. but with you, you seem intelligent. like there’ s a lot going on behind you.”
“i’m smart at some things i guess, but not with people or at growing up. and those are the important things…”
the waiter brought me my fish and chips. he was cute. i wondered if it looked to other people like i was here with my dad.
“is it supposed to be a filet?”
“yeah. it’s very traditional fish and chips. they even gave you mushy peas.”
“in america fish and chips is usually like fish sticks you know. i guess it wouldn’t be authentic…”
after eating and finishing the rest of the champagne i said, “do you wanna go?”
while walking back to his place some tween girls walking past us stopped and asked him if he could help them because they were lost. he looked up directions for them on his iphone. he was very sweet to them. i thought how surreal it was, for there to be bunch of little kids talking politely to a man who was with a prostitute. i wished i had a cigarette.
“that was nice of you, to help those kids,” i said.
his place was nice. i could tell he was well off, i guess. but it also felt uncomfortably stark and lonely.
i sat down on his couch.
“do you want to pay me the rest now?”
he gave me one hundred more pounds, which i put into my bag.
we talked some more.
he asked me if i thought there was anything wrong with what we were doing, and i said that i didn’t think so.
he agreed. “we could have met at a pub. of course you might not have gone home with me then, but…”
“i was only going to do it with one guy, and you seemed like the least creepy.”
“really? only one?”
i asked him about his first time, since I always ask men about that.
he told me about losing it at 17. he told me about how he had fallen in love with the girl he lost it to, and how “those feelings never really go away,” which worried me as someone who was still very much in love with the person they lost their virginity to, a year and a half ago.
we talked some more and it got around to him admitting “well, i’m seeing someone. but, i don’t know if we’re still together. she’s in south america right now, studying yoga. she hasn’t been in contact with me in a few months. i mean, people are adults, and can make their own decisions…”
there was some silence.
“listen, emily. i don’t want you to do something that you really don’t want to do. you don’t have to have sex with me, you can take the money and go.”‘
i briefly considered it.
i’m not used to people being nice to me.
“no, it’s okay. i don’t believe in stealing or whatever.”
he said he had to go into the other room for something. while he was walking away i took off my clothes and stood up.
when he came back and saw me he said, “oh, that’s beautiful. you’re really beautiful and like naturally beautiful.”
“yeah, i grew up mostly in los angeles, and there most of the girls were like fake blonde fake tan lots of make-up you know, which is cool i guess, but it was just never my thing…”
i sat down on his couch and gave him a blowjob while he was standing up in front of me. i didn’t really feel disgusted or anything like i was afraid i would. it was okay.
but then he kneeled down and started to go down on me, which was really gross. i don’t like it even when a really hot guy does it. i forced myself to moan like i was enjoying it.
when he stopped i stood up.
“do you want to fuck me?”
“of course i do.” he sounded nervous. “do you have a condom? because i don’t.”
“yeah, i have one,” i said and got one from my purse.
he made some joke about how one should never look in a woman’s purse.
we went into his bedroom, and he laid down on the bed.
i handed him the condom and he put it on.
“oh, you want me to be on top, huh?”
so i did and again it was like whatever, it wasn’t gross or disturbing.
he laid there and had an erection while i moved.
“do you want to do it another way?”
“because i just feel kind of tired.”
“well, i’ve just cum, so. good timing, i guess.”
i couldn’t believe my luck, with him being a two pump chump.
we both got dressed.
he said he would call a taxi for me.
he went to go use the phone. i sat on his couch.
“i’ve just called the taxi and it should be here in about ten minutes. can i get you anything?”
“can you get me like coffee, ‘cos i’m really tired. just black coffee, nothing in it. and toast with marmite on it, if you have it.”
he went to go make me those things.
i smoked the cigarette i saw laying on his table.
i looked in my purse at all of the money i had now.
he brought me the coffee and marmite toast on a tray, but when i grabbed the coffee cup it was so hot that i yelped and dropped it all over his white couch.
“oh god, i’m so sorry!”
“no, it’s okay. i’m sorry for handing you that. i didn’t realize how hot the cup was. stains can easily be washed out, but scars are forever…”
i ate my toast standing.
he gave me 50 pounds for taxi fare.
“you know, emily, don’t make a habit out of this. you seem like there’s a lot going on behind you. you don’t seem like the kind of girl to do this.”
“well i just had to, since i lost my debit card. i only planned to do this once. and, you know, no girl wants to do this, but if i had to do it i’m glad it was with you.”
“i understand, i mean especially in london, where you just seem to burn through money so fast…”
he wanted me to keep in contact with him, he said he wanted to show me london, “even though this is such a strange way to meet someone.”
i lied and said i would email him.
he talked about how strange life is. “you never know what’s going to happen from day to day. like waking up this morning i had no idea that going on that website that i hardly ever go on these days would lead to me sleeping with a 20 year old later today…”
then my taxi was here.
i kissed him on the mouth (he asked me if i minded and i said i didn’t) and hugged him and we said goodbye.
i took the taxi back to hendon central tube station.