|In Pursuit of a Prostitute
Author: NitrogenFume PM
Keanu Preistly: a college student working on getting a degree in psychochemistry, suddenly finds himself saving up money to rescue New York's rumored filthiest prostitute. There's just one problem: he doesn't even know her! OneshotRated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Humor - Words: 3,463 - Reviews: 1 - Published: 12-16-11 - Status: Complete - id: 2979891
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"ARE YOU CRAZY!"
The scream echoed in the fresh silence; the effect was twofold astounding because the silence it had pierced was usually filled with sobs, vulgarity, and cheers of joy. The owner of this cry was Jonathon Langley, the best friend and trusted confidant of Keanu Priestly; both men were 22, single, full-time students with part-time jobs. The only real difference between them was their sexuality. Keanu was a virgin, and fairly proud of it. Jonathon, on the other hand, was a promiscuous, womanizing infidel. He knew nothing about a woman's heart but everything about her body.
When the usual bar sounds resumed, Jonathon leaned forward and said in a hushed voice, "That woman's looser than I am. She's been with every scumbag in the city, and New York is a big city. She's known by two names: Ghost Rider and Ecstasy. She's smokin' hot, but when you're bangin' her, it feels like there's nothing there, like fucking a 5'5" bag of cotton candy. That's how loose she is."
"Sounds to me like the type that got fucked up by some sick bastard and lost the will to live," Keanu replied, dozing off with his head on the bar. "I just see such... melancholy in her eyes. The rest of her is completely dead and gone. I wanna sweep her off her feet and give her faith in humanity again."
"If you can do that," chortled the other, "I'll pay your rent for a year; you don't even have to bet against me."
Keanu started up, saying straightly, "It's a bet."
He made his way over to the young woman and introduced himself. "Half of the time, I'm the one behind the turntables at the club just down the road. Wanna head down there? I can get us into the VIP section for free."
"Sure," the girl replied. "My name's Kayleigh, by the way."
As the night wire down, Keanu found it increasingly frustrating and perpetually impossible to make Kayleigh wouldn't dance and kept quiet, so Keanu devised a plan to get her to open up: get her absolutely hammered. To his surprise, Kayleigh could more than out drink him. She guzzled down beer after beer after beer; eight in all.
'Beer won't work on this woman, she's obviously done some serious binging before...' Keanu pondered. 'I'll have to resort to one of the dirtiest tricks in the book...' He leaned over and whispered his instructions to the bartender, slipping a fifty across the bar to him.
Ten minutes later, the bartender had stacked two pyramids of shots, using an entire bottle of alcohol for each. Keanu began pounding down shot after shot, like a madman who'd bet his life on finishing first. He did, indeed, finish first. Kayleigh, on the other hand, was wasted after only seven of the twelve, leaving an entire row left. The bartender cut her off and gave her a huge pile of coupons for various smoothie shops and health spas. As Keanu had instructed, the bartender had served him a bottle of watered-down coffee and Kayleigh a bottle of Kalhua and Vodka, a dark and a light. For those of you who don't know much of alcohol, dark+light=one BIG no-no.
Keanu lead her away from the bar and sat her down in a quiet corner of the VIP section, where he convinced her to tell him her life story. She was born in a small Michigan town, far from the Great Lakes and known as just another cluster of blueberry fields and cherry orchards, even to the locals. She grew restless and rebellious as a young teenager, so she ran away to the nearest city: Detroit. It was there and then, at the ripe young age of thirteen, that she was kidnapped, ganbanged, and held captive for three years. She was "rescued" by a female pimp who whored her out as soon as she turned seventeen; when her pimp and best friend was killed by a rival, Kayleigh followed in her role model's footsteps and began whoring out other young runaways. However, when threats were sent to her from the same people who had killed her "savior," she abandoned her whores and became a self-employed prostitute, doing anything and everything she could to make a little money.
At this point, the young woman was dozing off, so Keanu called a cab and took her home with him. They shared the only bed, and Keanu had to use every last grain of self-control he had to hold back from doing anything to her. The night was long, and the morning sun was slow in rising over the city that never sleeps. The next morning, Keanu awoke to find his wallet empty, his piggy bank smashed, and his safe raided. Kayleigh was nowhere to be found.
"Shit! She took my money!"
He grabbed his jacket, threw on some pants, and dashed out the door. He raced down the stairs, dashed out the building doors, and sprinted down the sidewalk, his eyes darting left and right. Half a mile behind him, a very lonely, very hung over young woman hobbled in the opposite direction.
After an hour or so of running around the area, Keanu gave up and stopped in at a diner. He called Jonathon to join him, and placed an order for a cup of coffee. While he was waiting, he couldn't help but overhear a peculiarly one-sided conversation in the kitchen.
"What a' ya doin', comin' in here all sick and erryting like dat? Eh?
"Is dat so? It's a pity, goyl, a real cryin' shame dat ya gots ta do sometin' like dat to make en's meet. Ya shuah ya can woyk in dat condition?
"A'ighty, den. I'll jus' have ta trust ya on dis one."
At this time, Jonathon walked up to Keanu and took a seat. "So, gimme the scoop," he queried, "Tell me how it went last night."
"You really don't beat around the bush, do you? Well, I got her wasted, talked to her about how she got to where she is and who she is, and then I took her home."
"And then..." Jonathon pushed.
"'And then' nothing," he retorted.
"ARE YOU CRAZY!" Jonathon screamed.
Keanu winced. It was the second time he had been called crazy in the last twelve hours. The waitress, who had just arrived, dropped Keanu's coffee and stood there, mouth gaping, for a few seconds before running off. I don't think I need to tell you who the waitress was.
Keanu ignored the scalding beverage on his lap and chased after her. He caught up to her in an alley and grabbed her by the wrist. "Just hold up a minute, would ya? Let me explain!"
She struggled to get free, but he continued on, determined to set things straight. "We didn't have sex last night, okay? I'm not your client!"
Kayleigh stopped squirming and looked him in the eyes.
"What? Why didn't we have sex? I was absolutely wasted and totally vulnerable. I don't remember anything between the fourth shot of the pyramid and when I woke up in your bed this morning, half naked."
"Firstly, you were half naked because I wasn't about to let you ruin a nice dress like that by sleeping in it, and secondly, I wanted to prove to you that not all men are disgusting pigs. I got you hammered so that you'd open up to me and then shared a bed with you to show that I have self control," Keanu explained.
"Wait wait wait wait wait, let me get this straight," she began, "You got me stupid drunk, asked me to tell you my life story, and then tortured yourself all night by sleeping with me without sleeping with me, all to restore my faith in the good of men that you just assumed had been destroyed by some sicko in my childhood?"
Keanu though about his actions for the first time before replying with a simple, "Yup, pretty much."
"Unbelievable. That's very sweet of you, I guess, but you're mistaken. I ran away because I had problems with bullies. FEMALE bullies. And my father and my brother were both incredible gentlemen; no one can do anything to destroy my faith in men. And yeah, I was messed up by some sicko, and that did lead me to become a prostitute, but the rumors about me are just that: rumors. I won't do anything and everything to make money, I haven't been with every slob in the city, and I don't find a job every night. I get a job with one of my six 'Johns' about once a month, and I don't do oral, anal, or bondage."
"Wow," said Keanu, the word simply plopping from his lips, "I was just going off of what you and my friend told me and how sad you looked last night."
"Firstly, I was hammered. Secondly, of course I was sad; my... cat just died."
"Really? I'm sorry to hear that. Tell you what: just keep half of the money you took this morning. It was just leftover after paying the bills and getting groceries for the next two weeks, anyway."
"I-I'm sorry, b-but I really need that money..." the poor girl replied, starting to sob. "You see... My rent went up. That's right, my rent..." This last bit was spoken more to herself than to Keanu.
"Meh, that's okay. Like I said, that money's just extra, no biggie." He turned and began to stride away.
"Wait," called Kayleigh, lifting her hand slightly, as if trying to reach for him, "I don't remember your name..."
"It's Keanu Priestly. Write it down before you forget."
It was another three months before the two saw each other again. Keanu explained everything to Jonathon, and the bet was called off. When she finally did show up, she was tattered and torn, physically and emotionally. She was passed out in the hallway in front of Keanu's apartment, dressed in rags. She was practically skin and bones, but with a smallish lump on her belly. She was coated in a layer of sweaty mud and soot, and her face was flush with fever.
Keanu didn't hesitate to act. He called in sick and carried Kayleigh into his apartment, setting her on the couch. He was terrified by how little she weighed; she couldn't have been any more than 95 pounds. He ran to the closet and grabbed some sheets, but before he put them over her, he remembered how dirty she was and decided to bathe her. Ten minutes later, Keanu was in his swim trunks, situated with Kayleigh on the bottom of the tub, struggling to wash her without looking. It was true that on the night that she got drunk she had flashed him, but he still fought the gentleman's fight. Again, he was mesmerized and terrified when he had gotten her undressed, bathed, dried, redressed in clean clothes, and on the couch with a comforter, all without her waking up even for a second.
In fact, she didn't wake up until that night, when Keanu was making dinner. She blinked a lot, trying to rewet her eyes, but then gave up, sat up, and turned around, finding herself face-to-face with Keanu, who had just begun digging into his meal.
"I had a feeling you'd get into trouble," he began, "from the moment I first saw you on the street corner a handful of months ago, so I started saving up money. However, after I saved a few hundred, I realized I hadn't even introduced myself. So, I used a night on the town with a friend as an excuse to do so."
"So the money I stole..."
"That's right," he affirmed. "That money was for you all along. Well, tell me your story; what's happened to you since we last saw each other? You can start tracing back the events while I go pour you a drink."
Kayleigh continued to ponder and reminisce, even after Keanu had given her a drink. She took one last sip and a deep breath before presenting the problem at hand. "I'm pregnant." Her words hung on the air like a lead ballon. Minutes, even hours, seemed to pass in the lingering silence that ensued.
Finally, Keanu broke it with, "I thought so. Who's the father, and where is he?"
"One of my Johns... He ran off when I told him I was pregnant, and I've since lost all contact with him." Kayleigh's words were solemn and somber, like the predawn or post-dusk hours of a wet, cloudy fall day.
"So it wasn't a dead cat that had depressed you after all, was it?"
The next question he asked very tenderly. "How long?"
"About..." She choked, cleared her throat, took another drink, and continued, "Seventeen weeks."
"Seventeen weeks? Neither you nor that baby will make it unless you get your body back in shape immediately. I'm amazed you haven't already miscarried yet!" His voice had an urgent, commanding tone to it, yet it still sounded soft and sweet to Kayleigh. Maybe it was the starvation. Maybe it was the hormones. Or maybe, just maybe, it was something else, something neither of them had ever experienced before. Both had experienced similar sensations, but this was in a league of its own, completely and utterly separate from those other experiences. She was silent.
Keanu, worried, said, "You are keeping the baby, aren't you?"
Still more silence.
"Kayleigh," he said, again in that masculine tone, "I won't let you kill that baby. Just like I won't let you raise it on your own. I'm not saying I'll be the one to father it, but I will help you find a mature, responsible gentleman to help you."
She didn't like that. She didn't like that he hadn't just said that he'd father it, but she couldn't understand why. Nor could she bring herself to say it aloud. She didn't want to admit her feelings until he had voiced his own. Last time she told a man that she loved him, he hadn't said the same; now she was pregnant, jobless, and homeless for it.
"What do I do now?" Her voice itself was sobbing in worry.
"Well, I guess you'll just stay here, and I'll nurse you back to health. You're homeless now, aren't you?" His voice told her three things: one, that he had no intention of letting her say no, two, that he knew she wouldn't, and three, that he already knew what had happened to her the past three months.
The next few months passed by fairly uneventfully. The two lived together, separately, with Keanu taking the couch at night and Kayleigh sleeping in the bed. There was an incident with a stumble that almost ended in a kiss and a snowstorm that nearly resulted in the termination of Keanu's... innocence, but the two remained in that awkward state between dating and single the entirety of the time. Finally, the day, or, rather, night, came when Kaleigh woke Keanu up and made him help her down the stairs and into a taxi. They literally sped off to the nearest hospital; the contractions were now at four minutes apart.
At the maternity ward, the nurses instantly put her in a room and started her epidural while Keanu filled out the paperwork in another room, grateful that he didn't have to watch a massive needle being stuck between her vertebrae and into her spinal column. When he finished, he went into the room, only to be pushed back out again. Amidst the beeping sounds, steady tones, and hustled murmuring, he managed to make out a, "I'm sorry, sir but you're going to have to leave."
For the third time, Kaleigh had Keanu terrified for her sake. He was speechless, alone in the cold, white waiting room. His back ached, and the seats were hard; his forehead was wrinkled, and his eyes were droopy, yet wide open in fear. As he sat there for an endless lifetime, pondering and reminiscing upon the events of the past year, particularly since that one Friday night at the bar with Jonathon, he was in a state of utter Devastation. The clock had stopped, yet Keanu could feel time passing about him. Like the clock, he found himself to be totally immobile, utterly frozen in the iciness of the chills that constantly ran up and down his spine. After what had seemed like ages, a nurse strode solemnly into the room and knelt before him.
"I'm so sorry," she began. Keanu's heart stopped. It froze, allowing Keanu to get a good, long look at its hidden secrets before it resumed beating. "We weren't able to save the baby, and Miss Kayleigh is in critical condition. She woke up midway through the emergency Cesarian and panicked. We've given her two transfusions already, and she's still very anemic, to say the least."
It was the last thing he wanted to hear, his worst nightmare, realized: he had finally found the girl of his dreams, and now she was dying while giving birth to a stillborn child. The only difference from his nightmare was that the baby wasn't biologically his; that isn't to say that he didn't see it as his own, though.
"Ca- can I see her?" he asked sheepishly.
"If your heart can take it."
"My heart wouldn't be able to take not seeing her," was his reply. He slowly paced to the door, turned, and next few moments lasted tenfold as long as the time Keanu spent in the waiting room. Not once did he blink. For 47 years, he simply stood there and stared. This was her, the love of his life, eight months after meeting her, on the verge of death; The room was a tangled mess of cables, wires, and tubes, swirling and twisting around towers of monitors and the bed. It took him 154 years just to make his way through to her. Once he reached her, he reached out and caressed her face for at least two millennia before falling to his knees at her side.
Time slowly returned to normal over the next few months. Kayleigh was transferred to the coma ward, and Keanu transferred to an online school. He had reinstated and won the bet with Jonathon, who would have given him the money anyway. For the time being, Keanu lived in Kayleigh's room, attending the online school from her bedside. A year slowly passed, and Keanu graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in psychochemistry. At this point, the doctors declared that Kayleigh might never wake up; the only way to ensure that she would come back to consciousness would be to develop a new technology that could awaken someone from a state of psychological trauma without messing up their psyche. Also, Keanu was forced to leave the hospital and get a job to pay her bills. Eventually, Keanu became a world-famous psychochemist that specialized in coma care. He had made numerous advances in medical technology and developed countless new treatments for trauma patients, but as of yet has not found a way to awaken the girl he met twenty years ago.
Two things are sure, however, for that girl; she will wake up, and Keanu Priestly will be waiting for her.
Author Note: This is a real groundbreaker for me for three reasons: 1) it's my first oneshot, 2) it doesn't involve Japan in any way, shape or form, and 3) it isn't a sci-fi. Also, I ran into some trouble with the paragraphing, so please let me know if you find anything that seems off. Lastly, I just want to say that I had a great time writing IPoaP! At first, I had planned on it being a dark, bleak story, but it became more of a bittersweet romantic comedy thing as I wrote it. I honestly think this is some of my best work, and I hope you all love it as much as I do. Thanks for reading!