She opens her eyes as the cocaine behind to flood her veins. Surrounding her are women wearing only underwear and high heels, and the smell of cigarette smoke and perfume lingers in the air. She looks up and sees a woman in the mirror, but doesn't recognize who it is. Pushing the thought out of her head, she grabs her bold red lipstick and paints her full lips to match her panties. Hey eyes are black as night, not only from the eyeshadow but also from the dark circles that her makeup can't hide. She finishes curling her hair just as the DJ summons her into the spotlight.
"And next to the stage, is our one and only, Lola!" She hears her stage name in the speakers, takes one last look in the mirror, and wipes the powder from her nose. Then she's out of the comfort of the locker room and rushed onto the stage. Drunken men file around as she steps up to the shiny pole. The music begins to fill the air around her, and her body begins to sway back and forth around the stage. It helps that she can't see any faces. The drugs begin to numb her mind as the music takes control of her body. For a brief moment, nothing else in the world matters; she's completely free.
Her mind drifts back to a simpler time in her life. She looks around and can see her childhood home, a beautiful two story house with white siding and blue shudders. There's a swing set tucked away in the corner of the back yard. Suddenly, giggles fill the air as her sister and brother run around the corner of the house, chasing each other in a game of tag.
"Paige, Sara, Eddie! It's time to come wash up for dinner!" Their mother has fixed Paige's favorite, baked spaghetti with homemade garlic toast, and apple pie for dessert. The children rush inside as they hurriedly wash their hands and faces, eagerly sitting at the rectangular table. Paige looks around at her family, feeling complete joy. She studies each of their faces, lingering on her sweet baby sister's. Sara has fair skin that's sprinkled with freckles, long dark hair, and big brown eyes.
All too soon, Paige is ripped from her reverie, as it's another dancer's turn in the spotlight. Paige gracefully makes her way off stage and back into the locker room to sort through the bills filling her panties. Sitting there, with her long legs crossed on the floor that's been blackened by years of neglect, it hits her. She looks around the run down locker room, seeing the other dancers huddled around the single body length mirror on the far wall. Each of them are fighting to perfect their makeup and outfits before being called onto the floor. There's a small desk in the middle of the room, with a lit up mirror dividing it into two sides. Two more women sit on either side, filling their noses with drugs and their hair with hairspray.
How did she end up here? Where did things go wrong? The mascara is beginning to run down her face now, leaving black streaks in it's path. Paige takes small comfort in knowing that nobody will notice with the darkness of the bar. 'Just do another line, it'll make you feel better.' whispers the demon on her shoulder. 'You've only had two tonight, one more won't hurt.'
'At least go out back and take a few hits off your pipe. Pot will help take the edge off, and you need a clear head to make money.' snarls the demon on her other side. Paige opts for the latter of the two, knowing the pot will help her appetite. She hasn't eaten in two days, but needs to keep her strength up for when he returns. She rummages through her purse, grasping a small glass bowl before sneaking out of the locker room.
Paige makes her way behind the bar and out the back door, sitting on the only bench the bar owns. It's small and worn, with the blue paint chipping off in several places. She glances to her left as she sits down and notices another dancer in a black Dodge neon with a man. No doubt she's making extra money by running her own "side business". Rolling her eyes, Paige turns to her right and attempts to engage the other dancers who are standing outside chatting. She hadn't been paying attention to their conversation before, but quickly realizes they were talking about her. They grow silent as they give her mean looks, turning their backs to her and laughing at her obliviousness. Trying to maintain her composure, she takes one last hit and goes back inside for a quick restroom break before facing the crowd again. She pulls out a small baggie she had stashed, and shoves the crushed pills up her nose. Closing her misty eyes, her mind once again calms down, before going blank. She's called again to the stage as she wipes away the remaining tears of Paige and walks out of the restroom, turning into Lola. She has no idea how she got here, but one thing is certain. She can't get out.
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