Mickey’s on my mind. Lorna’s in my bed. I didn’t want to have sex with her again but it’s happened. I didn’t realise what was going on until I found her with her head between my legs. She must’ve undressed me while I was gouched out. I don’t want her. I want Mickey. I know she’s not going to give me his number. I’m going to have to wait until she’s gouched out, and then see if it’s stored in her phone.
“Why are you putting that on?” Lorna sits up in the queen-sized bed.
Wearing my nightdress, I slip back under the duvet. “I’m cold.”
“Me too. Turn off the air-con.” She leans over to the bedside table and tips a small heap of white heroin into a spoon.
Reluctantly, I push myself up from the bed. I open the drawer in the bureau and take out my pastel blue nightdress. “Wear this,” I say, holding it in her direction.
“I like being natural.” She drips water from a syringe into the spoon. “It’s what nature intended.”
I’d so much rather we were friends without the sex. The more I’m getting to know her, the less attractive I’m finding her. And I hate it that she’s shaven. I haven’t had a flashback so far tonight, but that’s probably because I haven’t been there yet. I know she’s going to want me to. And I really don’t want to.
“I’m sorry about your punter.” Lorna passes me my filled syringe. She gets up from the bed and walks over to the air conditioning unit on the wall. As she turns the control, the dull humming sound stops resonating in the suite. “At least you got your fifty dollars back.”
“Fifty dollars isn’t compensation for a missed job.” I shouldn’t have said that, but I’m so into the lie, I’m nearly believing it myself. If it was a missed job, I wouldn’t care less. But it was Mickey I missed, and I’m fuming with myself about that.
“If you need work while you’re here, I can set you up.”
“I don’t want to work in a brothel. No offence, but I can’t do that many punters a day, and I don’t work for pittance.”
“It doesn’t have to be a brothel. That guy in the Cross, he knows people.”
Wrapping my tan belt around my arm, I look for a good vein. “He’s a pimp, you mean?”
“Not exactly. I’ll introduce you to him. He can explain what he does.”
“Why don’t you just tell me?”
“I’m not involved. I don’t know. Next time we’re there, you can meet him.” Lorna injects her hit. Her eyes close. She lies down next to me on the bed. Her long, blonde hair splays over the pillow, fanned out like the feathers of a peacock.
I insert the needle into a vein on my lower arm. I need to give the one on the inside of my elbow a rest. It’s not healing and I don’t like the mark there. “What do you do for money?” I ask.
“This and that.”
“Did you make much working in the brothel?”
“Yeah, quite a lot over the years. Put it all in my arm though.”
“Doesn’t matter.” I don’t want to cause a row, but I’m sure she said before she worked in the brothel for two months. I can’t question her on it again though. Last time I did, she was upset with me for not listening to her properly.
I push down on the plunger. The rush pulsates in my body. Somehow, I need to keep alert. If she gouches out for long enough, I can look in her phone for Mickey’s number.