The curtain opens, and she sees men sitting everywhere. she swallows a lump in her throat as she holds back tears that are threatening to come out. She hears them whistling and wanting her to start. She had to focus so that she didn’t black out, she took a deep breath and got into a position.
She spotted Axel and he is reclined on a chair, drinking whiskey and laughing with the other men to her horror. The music starts, and she pulls herself together and starts dancing, her heart is in her throat when the time for her to strip comes.
She does it and she sees men whistling when she is fully stripped until her lingerie the music stops and the curtain closes. She hears the men shouting that they want more, she sinks to the ground and cries. A lady comes to her and she looks sympathetic, “get yourself together the men want to meet you.”
She gets up shakily and she is led to the room full of men, she sees other girls and she stands by the corner, hoping to not be noticed. “what’s your name?” she turns to see a handsome guy he is well polished, and he smells nice.
“That’s a beautiful name Talia, I’m Styles.” as he reaches his hand out. she takes it and he kisses it. She blushes a bit as she thought he was going to just shake her hand
“Come Talia lets go talk outside.”
He leads her outside and she was craving for fresh air from the cramped room. She shivers lightly as all she is wearing is lingerie. He takes off his coat and he drapes it around her. “You can take off your heels, they look painful.” She does it hesitantly, they find a bench to sit.
She notices that she has blisters on her feet and she feels all the tiredness weighing down on her. Talia started to wonder if Axel was with other girls and had he completely discarded her?
“You don’t look like you belong here, Talia.”
“Not in a bad way you know, you seem young, innocent and delicate.”
“Sorry.” he carries on, and she looks at him quizzically. “what are you sorry for?”
“This type of life you were bought into, you look drained, don’t you have dreams for a better life and future?”
Talia doesn’t say anything because she wanted to be in control of her emotions.
“Not really, life is what it is.” she lies.
“So, do you plan on spending the rest of your life like this?”
“No, I take one day at a time.”
He tilts her head “Your eyes tell me a different story Talia, you look broken.”
“In what way?” she blinks a couple of times.
“In all ways.”
“You just saying that.” as she tries to lighten the mood.
“No, your eyes are not bright and its as if they are losing all hope.” she just sighs.
“Why are you being nice to me? Do you want something from me?”
“No Talia” he takes a deep pause before he continues, “You remind me of my late wife.” her eyes flicker to him and she sees a streak of sorrow which vanishes in an instant. “I’m sorry”
“Don’t be.” as he smiles at her.
He carries on “Its mainly your looks, age, and innocence that remind me of her, and I don’t like seeing that broken look on your face.”
“Oh, she seems lovely.”
“she was lovely, but not in the ways of this world. I must say you are more beautiful than she was and way more innocent and vulnerable. In order for you to survive in this world, you have to be strong and take heed Talia.”
“I will.” as she takes his words seriously. He seemed like a genuine person.
“Don’t lose your spark Talia, use this as an experience to better yourself.” it was refreshing to hear a word of encouragement and a ray of hope and sunshine.
“You can do it.” as he smiles at her warmly and that’s enough to break her barriers that she had built up and a huge lump comes about.
She tries to hold back the tears until Styles puts his arm around her. She starts to sob and shudder uncontrollably, as she can’t hold it in. Styles pulls her more into his arms and it felt good to be held in such a caring manner.
“Everything is going to be okay, you will make it through Talia. There is always a silver lining, just promise me you will be strong and make it through.”
She nods against him.
Talia feels herself being yanked away. She sees Axel fuming “DON’T YOU TOUCH MY FUCKING WIFE STYLES!”
“Why is she stripping then Axel?” as he gets up, this is the first time she sees someone stand up to Axel. “That’s none of your fucking business.” as he wipes the tears from her face.
“it is, she is clearly uncomfortable, but you are making her do this, what did she do so bad to make her go through this?”
“I’m warning you Styles, stay away from her” as he says through gritted teeth. He takes off his coat from her shoulders and he throws it at him and he yanks her away, she looks back once and sees Styles waving at her and she wonders if she will ever see him again.