Adowa threatened to slap the caps from my knees if I ever embarrassed her in front of a client the way I had. I could slap off my own kneecaps off. It was abhorrent, my behavior. What would the richest man in the City of the Gold Song River think of me? Even more, what would he say of me?
I could see him speaking to his fellow nobles now with those terribly uninterested crimson eyes: Adowa’s so-called best lovemaker is as frigid as the Iroxo south. Couldn’t even get me up!
That I had the nerve to argue that the Gold Song River noble knew nothing about making love in front of Adowa, no less. It was true—but it wasn’t his job to know how to make love, it was mine. Supposedly, I could overcome the strongest of manhood defects. It was rumored that I could turn water into ice, and sand into glass after a night. And with everyone else, I could.
I wasn’t afraid of what Adowa would actually do. She would make it a point to chastise me in front of the others. Even the best among us was subject to her wrath, would be the message she was sending. But afterward she would take me to the back gardens and ask what the issue was like any other time I get rude.
Do you have enough to eat? Is your mood disrupted? Should I send Abdi to get more ingredients for Cream of Fortitude? Wait—do you NEED Cream of Fortitude? I didn’t think of you as the type…
She was gold-skinned like me, but hers was dull with age and she had to use oils to make it look as if she were not leaving life’s festival and knocking at death’s door. When I first came into her possession, I was certain she would die within a year, thus freeing me, but now I think she holds onto life with those creased hands just to spite me. Or, as rumor amongst the bitches had it, she would name me her heir.
But she hadn’t come. I waited in my room for several hours, mostly exercising away any remnants of the feasts many clients insisted on when seeing me. For the most part, the older clients did not mind an abundance of stomach. The younger ones, who had been coming to the brothel with growing frequency, did.
Two days had come and gone, and Adowa said nothing to me. We’d even had a nice discussion about the nature of the ideal girl’s plum and when it would be ripe enough to charge double for less time with her. She did not bring up the embarrassment and I did not remind her. But in my heart, I knew she was preparing for me to take over the brothel when she could no longer run it as she prepared to depart the world. Everybody knew.
//This is a short piece I did that’s part of a larger story I’m doing. Feel free to add me on NaNoWriMo.