Be My Whore

Have I got heartwarming story for you.
And just in time for St. Valentine’s, too
So gather round, everyone.
Pull up a chair,
For a story of awful soul-crushing despair.

I was nineteen years old and working at a Taco Time in Oregon. We were just about to close, and I was sweeping up the dining room floor, when a man in his fifties approached me. I recognized his face. He bought lunch there regularly, not everyday, but often enough for me to remember him. He always gave me a smile when I took his order and seemed very polite. I assumed he just wanted to say thank you or see you later or something similarly harmless.

Instead he said that he had something he wanted to discuss with me. Okay, I thought. Where is this going? “Please understand that I’m being totally serious,” he said, “but I want you to become one of my mistresses.”

I just stood there holding my broom, too stunned to say anything.

He went on, “I would take very good care of you. You would have your own apartment, car, and spending allowance. You wouldn’t have to work and you could do whatever you want.” His tone was business-like. “The only thing you’d have to do is give me what I want when I want it.”

Then he opened his wallet, revealing a large wad of cash inside, and several pictures of young women, some of whom had small children. This was apparently not unusual for him.

Be my Valentine,
My dear.
Be mine and I,
Will keep you near.
Be my mistress.
By my whore.
Say you’ll be mine,
Forever more
.

I declined his offer and thankfully, he never came into Taco Time again. I was so shocked at what had just happened I couldn’t really talk to anyone about it. I don’t even think I told my boyfriend at the time.

The Dirty Old Man must have been observing me during his many visits to the restaurant, and he’d decided I looked like a vulnerable and desperate young woman with no friends and no prospects, who might possibly tempted by such an offer. My life at the time wasn’t that great, and my self-esteem wasn’t very high either, but I did have enough self-respect to turn him down.

When I think about those pictures he showed me of his other kept women, it sends shivers down my spine. I remember one girl in particular. And she really was just a girl, no older than me. She was holding a small smiling child, a boy about year and a half old. She smiled half-heartedly for the camera, but her skin looked waxy and pale, like the skin of a corpse. Her hair was stringy and unkempt. Her dead eyes, though, were the most terrifyingly revealing.

Be my mistress.
Share my life.
Help me to,
Betray my wife.
And if you say,
One word,
Or more,
My whore,
I’ll cut you
With a knife.

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