The story starts with an offer I received in the mail for a new credit card from Islands Bank. The card offered a fantastic balance transfer interest rate, and if you transferred at least $10K it included a deeply discounted rate on a vacation at a tropical resort. My wife, Shelly, and I jumped on the offer. I had lost my full-time corporate position a few years ago and had been taking whatever short-term contract work I could find. Our credit card balances were high, and so were the interest rates. We would have taken the offer without the vacation bonus thrown in. But the vacation was the icing on the cake; I hadn’t been able to give my wife a nice vacation in over three years and now I could afford to take her on the most luxurious vacation of our lives.
We arrived on the island and a limo waited for us at the airport. Our room was a detached bungalow on the beach. Every meal and drink was brought to our bungalow, the price included in the room. Normally the bungalow was $2,000 per night. Our special deal was $2,000 for the week including the airfare. The only catch was that we had to use our Islands Bank card for the charges. I know, the offer sounds too good to be true. I should have stopped to think, but I was too excited about finally being able to give my wife something special to have questioned the deal.
Our stay was fantastic. It was like a second honeymoon, in a better setting than our first one. For 5 days it was paradise. Then I got the fateful call to the main lobby desk.
“Mr. Thompson, there is a small problem with your account. Your credit card has been declined.”
“That isn’t possible.”
“I’m sure it is a simple mistake. You may use my office to call the credit card company and resolve it.”
I called the credit card company and learned that there had been a number of charges on my account over the last 5 days. I insisted that they were fraudulent charges, but the bank informed me that since the charges were “overseas” they would take 10 to 15 business days to resolve. In the meantime they would need to freeze my card. I tried to explain about the vacation but they only suggested that I should have purchased the optional fraud protection on my account. Since I hadn’t purchased this additional service they wouldn’t be able to do anything for me.
I gave the manager another card, and he proceeded to run the bill. The card was rejected. When I saw the amount he tried to charge, $14,000, I understood why. I asked him what happened to our discounted rate and he pulled out the coupon and showed me the terms and conditions requiring full payment at the normal rate unless the Islands Bank card was used.
We were stuck. We didn’t have the money to pay the hotel. They were holding our passports and plane tickets in the safe, so we couldn’t sneak away even if we wanted. We were the proverbial fish in a barrel.
“Let me talk to the owner and see if there is something we can work out. Enjoy the rest of the day with your wife. I’ll send someone to get you when I have news.”
I told my wife about the screw up and that the manager was working on a solution for us. We both hoped for good news when he called for us.
Nothing could have prepared my wife or I for what he had to say.
“The owner’s position is that we should have you and your wife arrested for fraud. You would each spend at least 5 years in our local prisons, which are not up to the same standards as your American prisons. You will probably both be raped multiple times each day for the 5 years, if you lived that long. White prisoners in our jails don’t fare very well.”
“But it isn’t like we planned to do this. In another few weeks it will all be straightened out and we can pay you then.”
“Once we give you your tickets and passports we will never see you, or our money, again. But I might have another option for you. I’m not going to sugarcoat this, it won’t be pleasant at all. But it may be your best alternative.”
“What can you do for us?”
“You have a fine looking wife”
I certainly wasn’t going to argue with that. Shelly might be in her mid-thirties but she was a fitness nut. She had a nicely toned body that looked outstanding in the beach ware that passed as clothing in the resort.
“I believe that you can earn enough to pay your bill by auctioning her services to some of the wealthy men and staff at the resort.”
“You want me to prostitute my wife to pay our bill?”
“Look at it this way, it is either semi-consensual sex to pay your bill or brutal gang rapes in prison for the next 5 years.”
I started to protest, but my wife interrupted, “It’s a generous offer and we will take it.”
My wife whispered to me, “I don’t like it either, but I’ll fuck a few guys earn the $2,000 and we can leave and forget this ever happened. It is a much better option than jail.”
My wife had been a virgin when we married. I don’t suspect that she ever had an affair, or even thought about one. Frankly, she wasn’t that into sex. It was more like a chore or a job. So I guess she looked at this as just another “job” for her.