The Girls.

My dad left me the girls when I was twelve. Marlo was my favorite, but I sortof liked Jackie too, when she wasn’t doing coke.
It should have tipped me off to something, anything, that I was smarter than all of them. I had kept books for my father since I was old enough to read and analyze. So when his life was threatened, he knew he could trust me to run the business better than anyone. Better than Kaybo, better than P. Dope, or even Wilson who was successfully running three of his own and knew every in and every out of turning profit.
I knew the girls wouldn’t cheat me. I was Wes Hilden’s daughter. Wes Hilden, who held an inexplicable power over them, even from the grave. They took clients, usually an average of three a night, dropped off their earnings to me and passed out. They were all highly trained and highly broken. This was my father’s legacy.
“So you need me to pick you up anything, Jenny?” asked Marlo, sifting through last weeks Cosmo. She was draped over the leather armchair, her legs freshly shaven and glowing in the soft lighting.
“No thanks,” I said, going over my calculations for the third time, my eyes hungry for any misplaced number.
Marlo sighed and ran a hand through her lovely, wavy hair.
“Well,” she started, sitting up, “Is it me or Polly who has runner duty tonight, I forget,” she bit her knuckle, smiling and chuckled like that was the most amusing thing she could have said.
“Polly. You can have the night off if you want it. I mean, you’d only be available for the late late shift right?” I asked, assessing her with my darkest, brown eyed glance before returning to my numbers.
I nodded and kept working, setting last night’s spreadsheet aside and reaching for a brand new one. My father had never looked like he’d poured over a thing in his life, as in a nose-to-the-grindstone, this-is-my-livelihood kind of way, but I was constantly busy. Maybe I attributed it to his built-up glory, he was Wes Hilden, he didn’t work he owned. And sometimes, he owned you.
She was watching me, Marlo. It was something she did all the time and it never ceased to make me uncomfortable. I always detected the faintest aftertaste of dominance. She was so much older, almost twice my age. I fought the thought that was clawing its way around the foggy recesses of my brain. I did know what I was doing here. I always knew what I was doing. This was my inheritance. I was in control.
“You know,” she says, when I haven’t glanced back at her for a full minute, “I don’t know if you know this or not, but some of the other pimps in the area are getting suspicious. Wondering who the great Hilden left his empire to.”
I stopped scrawling. “How do you know that?” I asked.
She shrugged haughtily, “I get around, Jenny.”
“How suspicious are they getting Marlo?” She wanted my attention, she had it. I needed to know if she was bluffing.
She recoiled slightly, flipped her hair, and addressed me once more. “Not very. But I wouldn’t get too comfortable.”
She stood, on her way out. Before she’d crossed the threshold, she turned back slightly. I was watching as she left.
“Now are you sure you don’t want me to pick you up anything, Jenny?”
I smiled a tiny, little smile. “Maybe a new package of printer paper.”


~ by Jade Elizabeth on October 22, 2011.

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