(My flash fiction entry for the theme: Face to Face on the Arttoons Writer’s room)
word count: 1000
prompt: the main character takes a journey to meet his online friend… and then?
My mystifying rendezvous
The Uber breezed along Marine Drive as the dusky sanguine hues spread their grace on my pounding heart. It wasn’t every day that an almost thirty-five-year-old single woman rushed from one corner of Mumbai to the other to meet her online ‘date’ in person.
Despite having an excellent career to boast about, my acne-scarred face and plus-sized contours made me stick out like a sore thumb in our Tam-Bram social circles. Christopher Gomes accidentally entered my life when I hit rock bottom post a broken engagement.
Actively blogging about financial market trends, I connected with like-minded tribes like Chris. His CV flaunted his footing as a freelancer in the entertainment industry. A Goan native, he was in Mumbai for the past decade.
We hit it off instantly, and our conversations surpassed financial barriers in the next three months. I began to fall for this non-judgemental Adonis. But did I bite more than I could chew?
Last week, I was horrified when he sent me a few links unraveling the details of his profession. But my infomania won over prudent discernment, and tonight I stood outside the elite La’ Della café. My galloping heart could give a thoroughbred a run for his money.
“Miss Padmavathi?” My reverie was broken and the patron guided me towards a unit reserved for two. A huge cabin, secluded from the rest of the café.
My fear quotient raged on a bull run, and with good reason.
Chris was a professional pornstar.
I edgily halted in my tracks when I heard a deep voice behind me.
“Penny for your thoughts, Pads?”
I turned around, startled at Chris’s usual endearment, and thought my jaw would hit the pristine floor. If sensuality had a name, it was Chris. His pictures failed to do him justice.
He towered over by over a foot, as his sparkling brown orbs held me captive. The Almighty had taken time to chisel this man. I had seen his videos and knew what was underneath as my eyes undressed him.
“Shall we…?” He nudged my shuddering back as we moved towards the cabin. “…I hope you like the ambiance.”
I was on autopilot, trying vainly to calm my fluttering nerves as he held out my chair. I was never physically attracted to a man with such intensity, and right then, from across the table, Chris was piercing my veneer with his mere look.
“So, Chris… You aren’t working today?” I wanted to shoot myself for asking that, but my estrogenic levels comminated to break the ceiling tonight.
“No dear, I took an off today… I had to make this date right. And… I ordered the starters….”
As if on cue, the server got us a plate of paneer tikka, my favorite dish. My heart soared at his gallant move. But right then, my subconscious reared its ugly head.
“Look, Chris… I have… questions” I looked away, my palms clasped on my lap.
Leaning back, he crossed his hands at his chest.
“Chris… since when … I mean, you were born and brought up…” My verbal diarrhea saw no end.
“Pads, I wasn’t made in a Petri dish….” He smiled, and my heart skipped a beat.
“But… you are… Handsome, educated… hot…” I clamped my mouth shut.
He stood and held out his hand. “Let’s go for a walk. The poolside is beautiful.”
When I stood, I saw roses and marigolds strewn at the end of the table, and a pouch with my favourite toon painted over it was placed on them.
He remembered every detail I had mentioned in passing.
“All this is for you… but let’s take that walk first…” Chris smiled, and I placed my cold palm in his warmth, engulfing my soul.
“Pads, what I do, is strictly professional with all precautions. There are no emotions involved. I have been doing it for the last eight years.” He spoke after we walked for a while.
I halted and looked into his eyes as the poolside light simmered in their depths.
“Why do this, Chris? You are well educated…”
“It’s by choice, Pads. I did it part-time for extra bucks initially. But now I like it. It gives me space, and rakes in the moolah.”
“But as a profession?” I wasn’t able to get my head around this.
He held my shoulders.
“Pads, this isn’t easy. I am almost forty but have maintained my physique well. I work arduously, following strict fitness protocols, diets, etc. These aren’t surreptitious videos but professionally shot consensual and scripted acts….”
“So do you … escort?” Someone please shoot me.
“No, dear, neither am I a whore. I have no attachments to any of those women and vice versa. We are hard-core professionals. But you … I like you…earnestly. I know, it’s difficult for you to accept …” He sighed and looked away.
“Isn’t this illegal?” I had read a bit after he dropped the bombshell.
Chris smiled. “The laws here are debatable. The videos we make are usually for overseas channels. Every paperwork is in place. There is no child abuse or violence against any individual. Our videos are scientific….”
“…This is… overwhelming, Chris.” I shivered, trying to absorb the information overload.
We returned to the cabin and resumed chatting on our favorite topics and movies, followed by dinner. Every moment there opened a chasm of tender adulation, drawing me deeper.
It was past 1 AM. As we waited for my Uber, he pulled me into a hug. I was taken aback but realized that’s what I craved as well.
He kissed my head as we stood in silence.
As he set me free, he said, “I don’t know what the future holds, but… Pads, can we meet again? Maybe, after a while…” Was the ever-confident Chris hesitating?
Under the flickering lights of the café canopy, he looked like a kid asking permission to have his favorite candy.
Without a word said, I got into the waiting cab, smiling.
The date was enthralling indeed!
This story was an attempt to get a little insight into the life of a professional pornstar. Here is an article for further information regarding the legalities.