Pros And Cons - Cover

Pros And Cons

by Master Jonathan

Copyright© 2022 by Master Jonathan

Fiction Story: He hears a noise coming from the hallway outside his apartment. Opening the door, he sees a young woman sitting on the hallway floor crying...

Caution: This Fiction Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa   Consensual   Heterosexual   Fiction   Oral Sex   Prostitution   .

It was a dark and stormy Wednesday night - the kind of night that makes you thankful you have a roof over your head and feel sorry for anyone who doesn’t. It was raining cats and dogs outside with a cold wind driving that rain straight through you. Not a night to be outdoors to be certain.

I had come home a few hours earlier from another day of turning wrenches at a small auto repair shop. It wasn’t much of a job, but beggars can’t be choosers and it did pay the rent. I wouldn’t get rich working on other people’s cars but it was honest work and with the economy in the toilet like it was, I was thankful for anything that put food on the table and kept the rain off my head.

I was tired and looking forward to a quiet evening with the TV. I fixed myself a quick dinner and was just settling into the couch when I heard some noise from outside my door. It was muffled and sounded like it came from outside the apartment next door, but it still ignited my curiosity.

Opening my door, I discovered the source of the noise. There, leaning against the door to the apartment at the end of the hall, was a woman. She was sitting on the floor with her back to the door, her knees drawn up against her chest and her head was down on her knees. She was sobbing as she sat there, in obvious distress about something.

Now coming from a place like Detroit, with its high crime rate and less than comforting aura, part of me wanted to just shut the door and forget about it. I mean it wasn’t my problem and I didn’t want it to become my problem. After all, I had my own shit to deal with!

But there was another, bigger and stronger, part of me that wanted to see if I could help. Call it chivalry or whatever, this part of me wanted to see if I could help this woman in some way. So without even thinking about it, I found myself walking the short distance to where the woman sat against the door.

“Excuse me miss, what’s the matter?” I asked her, squatting down to be closer to her level.

She looked up at me, her face wet with tears, “The landlord, Mr. Avidago, has locked me out of my apartment! And all my clothes and things are still inside!” she said, slamming her elbow back against the door. I looked up and saw the reason for the lockout. She had an eviction notice taped to her door.

“I was going to pay the rent as soon as I borrowed some money from one of my girlfriends. But she hasn’t gotten paid yet,” she explained, “But I guess Mr. Avidago didn’t want to wait for it. Now what am I going to do? Everything I need for work, my clothes, everything I have is in that apartment!”

“Well for starters, why don’t we go into my apartment, I’ll make us some coffee and we can see if we can figure something out. You’re not doing yourself any good sitting out in this drafty hallway,” I suggested. I stood up and offered her my hand. She looked up and cracked a weak, but appreciative smile and took my hand. I helped her to stand.

“Thank you,” she said softly, looking down a bit.

Once inside my apartment, I told her to make herself at home and I went in to make us some coffee. My apartment, as all of the apartments in the building, was small and from over the kitchen counter I could watch her sitting on the couch. She sat rigidly straight up, as if unsure about being in the apartment alone with me. I shrugged it off - it was understandable; we lived in a big city and neither of us knew one another. She had every right to be nervous.

“Here you go, one cup of coffee, with creamer and two sugars, just as you ordered,” I said trying to lighten the mood a bit. “By the way, my name is Thomas, but you can just call me Tom if you like.”

“Nice to meet you, Tom. I’m Brittney. I’m sorry for all this, but I just don’t know what to do now,” she said.

“Well, Brittney, when did your girlfriend think she was going to get paid?” I asked.

“She doesn’t know. In our line of work, there are no regular paydays. We get paid when we work and sometimes it takes a few days to get the rent money together,” she said.

“I see. What do you do?”

Brittney paused for a long moment before answering. “Well, you could say I’m in the entertainment business.”

“Oh, are you an actress or something?” I asked.

“No, Tom ... I’m a hooker - a prostitute,” she replied flatly, looking down again.

“Oh,” I said, embarassed at my naiveté.

“Well a girl’s gotta eat, and when you haven’t got any other marketable skills...” she said.

“Oh, I’m not judging - believe me, I have got no room for that. I just thought someone as pretty and put-together as you would be working in some big office someplace.”

“Me? Put together? Hardly! But thank you for thinking that way.”

“Well, I have seen you from time to time, coming and going, or checking your mail downstairs in the lobby,” I said. “Not that I was stalking you or anything.”

“Oh, you don’t seem like the type to stalk someone. You seem pretty nice - most people would have just walked by and ignored a girl sitting in the hallway like I was,” she said.

“Well, you looked like you needed a friend,” I said.

“So what’s your story, Tom? I know you haven’t been here all that long; I remember when you moved in almost a year ago,” she asked. She was beginning to feel a lot more comfortable being alone with me now.

“Yeah, it’s been a little over 10 months since I moved here. I’m originally from Detroit. I moved here because ... well I needed to get away from Detroit and Seattle seemed like a good place to go. I work downtown at J&M Automotive as a mechanic,” I said.

“I see. Why did you want to leave Detroit, if I can ask. If you don’t want to tell me, that’s fine - I don’t want to pry.”

“Well, you were upfront about what you do for a living so it’s only fair I tell you about me,” I said. So I began to tell Brittney my story...

“My name is Thomas Eldridge, or as the State of Michigan calls me, inmate #1257639. That’s right, I’m a con. I made a couple stupid decisions and got to spend some time in one of Michigan’s correctional facilities to “think about my actions.” Some mistakes we make in life just never go away and this was going to prove to be one of them.

“Once I got out of prison and was again allowed in polite society, I was anxious to leave Detroit, the town that I had grown up in and the scene of my unfortunate incarceration. I wanted a fresh start and one as far away from Motor City as I could get! So, after discussing the idea with my P.O. (parole officer), I made plans to do that very thing.

“My P.O. wasn’t real keen on the idea at first, he and I weren’t what you would call buddies, and letting a con move out of state where he couldn’t keep tabs on him wasn’t something he was inclined to do. However, he also had a huge caseload and getting rid of me would lighten it some.

“So he reluctantly agreed to it with the provision that I call him every night while travelling from the police station of whatever town I was in. Then he said he would call that station back to make sure I wasn’t just calling from some random phone somewhere. It was no surprise that my P.O. didn’t trust me any further than his arm’s length. But I didn’t care ... whatever rules he made I would follow, so long as it got me the hell away from Detroit and from my past.

“So I packed up what few things I still possessed and put them in the old truck I had put in storage before I went off to prison and headed out. I had planned to try Seattle because it was far from Detroit and it was considerably warmer in the winters - I was tired of Detroit’s cold-assed winters! So I set off towards the left coast hoping that the change would help me get my life back in order.

“It took four long days and 2,350 miles of driving to reach Seattle and every night when I stopped, I made sure it was in a town that I could call my P.O. and check in with him. I sure as hell didn’t want to break parole. Two years in a 6 foot by nine foot cage was more than enough to persuade me not to want to come back!

“My original sentence was four years, but because I kept my nose clean and didn’t cause trouble for the guards or the prison administration, I was released after serving only two. Plus the prison system was already overcrowded and they had more important criminals that me to keep locked up so they needed the room! But breaking parole would not only mean I would have to go back and finish my original sentence, but they could tack on an addition year from breaking parole! And I had no desire to do three more years or more in that tiny box.

“I finally arrived in Seattle and because of the hour, the first thing I did was go check in with my P.O. through the nearest police station. Once that was done, I went to a hotel for the night. I couldn’t start looking for a place to live that late in the day and I was too tired to look for apartments anyway. I had put a little money away before this all happened, fortunately, so I had a little something to fall back on. It took a couple days of looking before I found this apartment, but I needed an address in order to get a job, or a driver’s license.

“Once I had this apartment secured and had moved in, finding a job wasn’t that hard. Growing up in Detroit it’s a given that mechanic work would be something I could do. And I got lucky that the people at J&M are a great bunch to work with. Not all garages are so friendly and fun.

“Anyway, that’s me in a nutshell...” I said.

Brittney had sat there patiently listening to me recount my past and once I had finished, she asked one more question. “Can I ask what you went to prison for?”

“I let a former friend borrow my truck and when I got it back I was driving around and got pulled over for a simple traffic violation. But when they searched the vehicle, my ‘friend’ had stashed some crack cocaine in my truck. So I was busted for ‘possession with the intent to sell’ because of the amount of drugs there were,” I explained.

“Oh, I see. Well at least it wasn’t anything real bad ... nothing violent. That’s something,” she said.

“No, it was nothing violent. I’m not the violent type. But I was pretty pissed off that no one listened to my side of the story and I got sent to prison for something that wasn’t my fault! But it’s over now and I have put it in my past. I just want to move on from here. Which is why I left all that behind and moved out here where I could start over and lose all of those bad influences,” I told her.

“Well I’m glad you did, Tom,” she said. She reached over and put her hand on my thigh, the first time she had felt comfortable enough to reach out to me.

“I’m glad I came out here too ... the company is so much nicer here,” I said, giving her a little wink and a smile.

Brittney returned my smile coyly, “Can I use your bathroom?”

“Sure, you know where it’s at,” I said, knowing all the apartments were laid out the same. She left and went in to use the bathroom. While she was gone I went into the bedroom and picked up a few dirty clothes and straightened up the bed a bit. I made it back to the living room just as she was coming back herself.

“So do you have a place to stay tonight, Brittney?” I asked her.

“Not really. I was going to call my girlfriend and see if I could crash there until I find someplace else,” she said.

“Well, you are welcome to stay here tonight if you like. You can have the bed and I will take the couch,” I told her.

“Oh, Tom, I don’t want to put you out or anything!” she said. “I’ve already caused you enough trouble tonight.”

“Don’t worry about that, Brittney. It’s nice to have someone in the apartment to talk to besides myself!” I said.

I went to the closet and got myself a pillow and a couple blankets. It was still raining and looked to rain like this for the rest of the night. Seattle is known for its rain and tonight wasn’t going to disappoint.

Once I had what I needed for the night, I left her the bedroom. As she got ready to go to bed she stood in the doorway to the bedroom. “Tom, I really appreciate this. You have been so nice tonight, helping me and making me feel better. Thank you.” She leaned forward and kissed me on the cheek and then shut the door and went to bed. I went into the living room, happy that I had been able to help Brittney out and make her feel better.

The next morning before I went off to work, I stopped by the landlord’s office. Knocking on the door I heard a voice from the other side telling me to come in.

“Hello Mr. Avidago,” I said.

“Mr. Eldridge, how can I help you?” he asked. Mr. Avidago was a short, pudgy, balding man, a second-generation American whose parents came to this country from somewhere in Portugal. He spoke in broken, thickly accented English with an occasional Portuguese word thrown in when he didn’t know the English version. He was hard to understand, but we managed to communicate sufficiently.

“Mr. Eldridge, I have come here on behalf of Brittney Aimes who lived in apartment #5E,” I began.

“Oh yes, I had to evict her yesterday. She was two months behind in her rent. And this was not the first time. I have bills to pay too,” he said.

“I understand that, and I don’t blame you for having to evict her. But what I would like you to do is to open the apartment long enough so that she can get her belongings out. Her clothes, and her personal effects. They are of no use to you, and to be left with nothing but the clothes on your back is not good for anyone. I know, trust me,” I said.

“I don’t know. Selling what is left in the apartment might help me recover some of the money she owes me,” he said, still not convinced.

“Mr. Avidago, I seriously doubt that Miss Aimes has anything of any real value in her apartment. If she had, she more than likely would have sold it to get the rent money long before now. No one likes being evicted and having nowhere to live. She probably only has a few clothes and maybe some personal things that wouldn’t bring you anywhere near what she owes.”

“Mr. Eldridge, you are a good tenant. You pay your rent on time and you don’t cause trouble. If you are willing to help Miss Aimes like this then for you I will open the apartment and let her get her things,” he said.

I stood and extended my hand, “Thank you Mr. Avidago. I knew we could come to some sort of agreement, you are a very reasonable man,” I said. “I’ll tell Miss Aimes of this decision.”

Going back upstairs to the apartment, I told Brittney about what Mr. Avidago said. “Oh thank you, Tom!” she said throwing her arms around my neck and hugging me. “Thank you for talking to him for me. And thank you for letting me stay here last night.”

“Well, when I come home from work tonight, we will all get together and get your things out of the apartment. Mr. Avidago will open the apartment, and you can get your clothes and belongings,” I said. “Meanwhile you can stay here if you like and try to reach your girlfriend to see if you can stay with her until you find your own place.”

“Thank you, I will,” she said. “Have a good day at work.”

I left her at the apartment as I went off to work, her words making me smile as I rode the elevator down to the lobby.

All that day my thoughts kept going back to the woman in my apartment. I wondered what she was doing and I wondered if she had made any headway in finding a new place. It had been nice having her stay the night, and having someone to converse with for a change. Even though I had been living in Seattle for almost a year, I still had not made any real friends and practically no one came over. So having another person to socialize with me was a welcome change.

After work I didn’t hang around the shop as I usually did. Instead, I headed straight for home. As I rode the elevator up to my apartment, I smiled at what waited there for me. It would be nice to walk in and see more than just my own reflection in the hallway mirror.

“Hi Tom, welcome home. How was your day today?” It was the kind of greeting I had always wanted to come home to.

“Hi Brittney, it was fine. But it’s even better now!” I said. Brittney came around the end of the kitchen counter and put her arms around my neck.

“That was sweet,” she said looking into my eyes. I put my hands around her slim waist.

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