I follow her instructions, but am not sure yet. Bit of a fear of unknown begins to set in. Instead of going straight after having turned right, I go around the block. I feel sort of apprehensive about going with her wherever she intends to take me. What if she takes me to some schlocky hotel? Or her home? I wished I lived in or around Los Angeles.

But I am feeling pretty horny. And still the fear of what might be awaiting me at wherever she is taking me stops me from following her directions. Instead, I pull up in from of a sleepy house under a tree. The street is dark and deserted and peaceful. It somehow feels intimate.

‘Let’s talk for a while.’ I say.

‘What would you like to talk about?’ For the first time I sense bit of impatience in her voice.

‘Why, are you in hurry to go some place?’

‘No, I don’t have to go any place.’

‘Well!’ I say and then neither of us know what to say for a while. I am still mulling over my discomfort and the fear I feel at what I can possibly end up with. As if reading my mind and sensing my hesitance, fear and apprehension, she breaks the silence.

‘I will suck you cock if you want.’

I am stunned at her blunt abruptness. I realize that she has cornered me like the shopkeeper in an Indian bazar. She has managed to interest me in her “goods” and has even called my bluff by readily accepting my financial limit of twenty dollars. I can’t think of a quick and graceful way of escaping. I sense her intense and impatient gaze over my shoulder. Her warm breath exhaling over my neck.

I fumble inside my coat pocket, rub together the three twenty dollar bills that I have just acquired by using my Amex to pay for our dinner. I clutch one of them, fish it out of my pocket and hold it between our faces.

© Haresh Shah

Illustration: Celia Rose Marks

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