Chapter 9

Written by: Suraya Dewing

At last! Someone who understood her. 

“Time to go shopping,” Laura announced as Lance shut the door on the white Benz and pulled away from the kerb.  “Rodeo Drive,” Laura instructed Lance.

Lucy gasped. She could see all the money she had secretly saved up disappearing as she bought the ‘right’ stuff to impress Laura.

Seeing Lucy’s anxiety, Laura laughed. “On me, of course.” 

Lucy relaxed. She sent Laura a grateful smile. Laura ‘got it’. A girl needs to feel good about herself.

Lance pulled into the kerb and parked. Lucy looked at Laura with adoring eyes as she took her hand and led her into one of LA’s most exclusive stores.

Laura cast a disapproving eye over Lucy’s dreadful uniform and chose a figure hugging top and mini skirt. 

“Try these on.”

With shining eyes, Lucy went into the private changing area where an attendant waited to help her take off her old skin and put on the new. She squeezed into the tight top and mini skirt, regretting every hamburger she had indulged in while surviving an interminably depressing day at her previous job.

She flicked her hair and posed. Her attendant cried ecstatically. It was absolutely perfect, she declared and when Laura saw the transformed Lucy she agreed.

After paying what seemed to Lucy a small fortune, Laura slipped her arm around Lucy‘s and led her to Jimmy Choos.

The glittering heels she walked out with had Lucy walking on air. How could her luck have changed so dramatically? Surely, she would wake from this and find herself back in the dingy basement cupboard where Toby and his horrible wife had locked her away…like Cinderella…sent out to work like a scuttle maid.

“Now for a facial,” Laura said as she ran her fingers through Lucy’s long dull hair with split ends. “Think we’ll attend to this first.”

Night was falling when Lance finally delivered Lucy and Laura to a bar that pumped with loud music and loud people, mainly men.

A middle-aged overweight man greeted Lucy as they went inside.

“Where have you been all my life?” he asked.

Lucy stepped back to take a closer look.

He was hardly the handsome prince she expected to float into her dreams. The lights changing from red, to orange and blue in time to the beat of the music reflected off his bald pate. Revulsion formed in her stomach.

She shook him away. “Get away, you dirty old man.”

He grabbed her around the waist, “Hey that’s no way to talk.” 

He flashed a handful of 100-dollar notes in front of her. Something snapped inside her.

She turned and tried to run but there was Laura standing blocking her way, saying, “Look after him. He’s rich. Be thankful he’s taken a shine to you.”

Lucy dodged around her, pushed through the surprised crowd and out onto the street. was witing. He grabbed her around the waist.

“You owe Laura a lot of money. Get back inside and earn it.”