"Mamma, I'm hungry!"
Carol sighed when she heard her six year old say those words. "Just a minute honey! I'll start supper soon. Why don't you go watch TV with your brother?" It had been a long hot summer and that day was no different. The thirty year old mother wiped the sweat from her brow, and looking up at the ceiling she prayed that her eight year old son was watching something her daughter would be interested in and thus avoid the inevitable fight.
She paused for several moments as she listened for the tell tale signs but heard only the TV, and glancing back at the ceiling she mouthed a "thank you", tossed the dishrag into the sink and headed for the fridge.
"Damn! Not much here," she muttered, looking into the near empty refrigerator. The pay from her minimum wage job didn't stretch very far. Carol was lucky her brother rented her his old house only charging her enough to pay for the taxes. Her husband left five years ago for a seventeen year old he'd met in the arcade at the mall, and it seemed that every day since was a struggle. He, of course, disappeared so he wouldn't have to pay any child support, "And what was he doing in the arcade anyway?" she asked herself for the umteenth millionth time. She'd always told herself she really didn't want to know the answer to that question!
"They can eat cereal tonight," she thought. It's so hard, and she hated the thought of beginning all over again, but she knew the time had come for it. "It's a good thing tomorrow's Friday," she mumbled.
A small lie to her brother about friends coming over for a late night get together was enough to send the kids packing for an overnight stay with their uncle. Next she fixed herself a strong drink for fortification, put on a slinky dress and headed down the road towards one of the nearby towns. She was fortunate enough to live within equal distance of three fair sized cities, and as she headed down the highway towards one of them she was mentally ready for what lay ahead. Carol hated doing what she was about to do but she justified it by telling herself, "It's only for my kids."
She knew that crowded bars were the best chance to meet the right kind of man for it. The quiet neighborhood bars were the worst. Everyone knew everyone, and she certainly didn't want to be recognized or remembered. She was not only ashamed of what she did, but knew perfectly well that it was also both illegal and immoral. It was another reason why she never did it around the small village where she lived and preferred to travel the hour or so to one of the cities.
Carol knew that she looked good for a thirty year old mother of two. Her long brown hair, good figure and sexy dress drew the kind of attention she wanted. The red dress was slit just high enough but not too high, just like it showed a lot of cleavage but not so much to be sleazy. She did not want to look like a cheap whore nor did she wish to be taken for a floozy looking for a quick motel tryst. No, what she wanted was to attract men with some money to spend. The kind who would go to a crowded bar to have a little fun and not be noticed themselves.
"Are you waiting for someone?"
Carol smiled at the familiar question. It never takes them very long to ask. They usually watch her just long enough to be certain she wasn't already with someone. There were few variations when they spoke, but no matter what words they said it was really always the same question.
This one had a nice smile and he smelled good. It was important to her that a man takes care of himself. His clothes didn't look like they were bought at a dollar store and he was clean shaven, another aspect of the clean cut look that she liked.
"Yes, I'm alone ... for now anyway," came the coy answer with a flirty look. She'd waited just long enough to give him a momentary air of uncertainty.
The man gave her a knowing smile before asking, "Can I buy you a drink?"
It was always the same second question. It never changes. It's as if they were playing some game, and each had to act out their parts and follow some unwritten script. But after all, weren't they both doing just that?
"That would be nice since I plan to get inebriated and be bad tonight!" There, she'd said it. The bait was set, and if he knew what inebriated meant she'd follow through and set the hook. She didn't like stupid men. The dumb ones couldn't help themselves anyway. She preferred the ones who knew better.
"Really?" came the expected reply along with the standard raised eyebrows and hopeful smile. "Now why is that?"
Carol took a deep breath to show off her chest before answering, "Because I feel trapped and need to escape my life for a little while." Now she was careful to show just enough bare leg to promise him an interesting evening.
The guy didn't even pretend not to look, but she liked the way he openly stared at her. She didn't fail to notice the whiteness on his finger where his wedding band should be. No matter how smart they were, it seemed none of them were ever smart enough to figure out that the little untanned ring on their finger was as much a mark of a married man as a wedding band.
A couple of hours later and acting more drunk than she really was, he asked if he could drive her home.
She pretended to think about it for a moment before giving a little fake laugh. "As long as you drive my car," she slurred. "I don't want people to see a strange car in my driveway. I'll bring you back in the morning." She lightly rubbed his leg with her foot when she said that.
"Sounds good to me," came the expected answer.
"I warn you, I live a good ways from here." This time, she slowly licked her lips as well as rubbed her foot along his leg.
Of course by this time, the man was only thinking of a sure thing and would have agreed to almost anything.
Carol flashed him her sexiest smile as he helped her into the car, and as he got behind the wheel and pulled out of the parking lot she wondered how much money she'd get out of him.
Since she pretended she'd had too much to drink, there wasn't much to be said beyond the usual, "I've never done this kind of thing before." He knew what they were going for and didn't press for conversation during the drive. Talk wasn't what he wanted from her anyway.
He never did ask her if she had a husband or kids. It wasn't something he really wanted to know anyway. He did glance around the living room as they walked into the kitchen, but he failed to notice any of the family pictures on the wall.
"One more drink before we get started?"
After the way she'd turned and leaned into him when she asked the question, he would have agreed to anything. She'd already let her dress slip off her body, and her underthings did little to hide her intimate parts. He had to have her, and intently watched her bottom half move about as she fixed their drinks. She enjoyed him staring at her. Even though she couldn't see him, she could feel his eyes upon her. It was the only part of the whole thing that she enjoyed. It made her feel desirable ... like a real woman.
He enjoyed the view as he followed her back into the living room but stopped short as she suddenly turned about to hand him his drink. The man was mesmerized as she stepped away from him and sat heavily into her easy chair.
"Here's to what I hope will be a wonderfully fun night!" she gushed.
He wanted her so badly but he was enjoying the build up, and taking a sip of his drink he sat down on the couch across from her where he could watch the show.
Carol was pleased with his decision and struck a provocative pose, and was about to reach behind her to unhook her lacy bra, but at the last moment she paused to take a sip of her own drink. She found that she was really enjoying the way he was watching her, and after striking another pose she stretched out her long legs and asked, "So, do you like what you see?"
His mouth practically fell open, and taking a good gulp of his drink answered her saying, "You know it baby!"
Like all of the others before him, the look on his face as the spiked drink took affect was priceless.
"This is what you get for cheating on your wife!" Her voice was venomous as she spoke to the unconscious man. "Damn! Only fifty seven dollars." She didn't bother with his credit cards, and stuffed his now empty wallet back into his pants. "Oh well, it's better than nothing I suppose."
The sky was graying with the coming dawn by the time she'd finished cleaning up. Her brother wasn't bringing the kids back until after lunch. It was done and she still had time for a good six hours of sleep ... perfect!
The fifty seven dollars went to buy more cereal, some veggies and a few household necessities such as toilet paper, laundry detergent and dish soap. Her next paycheck will buy her a tank of gas and cover most of the bills. Of course, the refrigerator and freezer were full of meat. Carol was fortunate that her father was a butcher and had taught her how to cut it. She could make anything from hamburger to steaks to sausage with what she had, and it will last her for many months since she knew how to make it stretch.
Whenever anybody asked about the unique flavor, she simply told them she used a little sugar, some spices and she'd marinated it in her very own secret sauce. However, she always refused to divulge the ingredients whenever she was asked for the recipe. Anyway, anyone who ate at her house loved it.
"We're home!" yelled her eight year old with the slam of the door behind him.
"How'd it go? Did you have fun?"