*read all of the chapters for Swipe Right – The Chronicles of an Unpaid Prostitute in order here
“Maddie, good morning. I need you to call and set up a meeting with Ben Davis. He’s the owner of…”
“Slice,” she repeated, pausing as I cut her off. Oops. But Ben Davis was a big fucking deal – he was the newest hot shot, gazillionare business man around San Francisco. I didn’t know much about him, only that his name carried a heavy weight. “You’ll speak to his assistant to set up a meeting, I’ve emailed you my schedule.”
I picked up the phone and dialed the phone number she’d emailed me. “Slice, how can I help you?”
“Hello, my name is Maddie and I’m calling on behalf of Melanie Moore looking to speak to Ben Davis.”
“One moment please.”
I tapped my fingers along to the on hold music before a younger than expected feminine voice filled the line. “Maddie?”
“Hi, I’m Val, Ben’s assistant.”
“Oh great, Mel had told me to give you a call so we can set up a meeting.”
“Ah, a meeting of the minds.”
I laughed. “Yes, exactly.” I listened as she gave me Ben’s availability and we set the date. “That’s great, thanks for your help Val.”
“Anytime, I’m sure we’ll be talking soon.”
“I’m sure we will be. Thanks again.” I don’t know what it was about the short conversation, but I had a feeling I really liked Val.
After work, I met Jamie and a few of my friends, Lisa, Angela, and Beth at a local bar around the corner. Lisa and Angela had grown up and lived in San Francisco all their lives; they were the typical Californian girl, blonde hair, blue eyes and perfect. They made me want to gag half the time and I would probably hate them if they weren’t so damn cool. Beth was an immigrant like me coming from the great scapes of the Colorado Mountains who considered herself free to be her own person, one that loved the company of both men and women, if you get my drift, in Northern California. We’d all stumbled upon each other in the hallway of college where we became fast friends.
“Oh, here comes the slut now!” Jamie called to me as I walked toward the table.
“Why don’t you say that a little louder? I don’t think the guy on the sidewalk heard you.”
“Hey girl, how are you doing?” Beth asked, as I sat down.
“Peachy. How are you guys?”
“Saw the Facebook status, making it official now,” Lisa chimed in.
“I think it was official when I saw Aaron in a photo with two other girls.”
Angela scrunched up her face. “What? He’s disgusting anyways, you don’t need him. But we did hear that you’re a dirty skank now, congratulations.”
“Oh, thank you so much, that means a lot.” I held up the drink they’d already ordered for me and as they held up theirs, we cheers’d to one night stands.
“Was he hot?” Lisa asked, her eyes laughing.
“Yes,” Jamie and I said in unison. “Anyways,” I continued, not wanting to delve into my awkwardness of my first post-breakup sexcapade. “I think you’ll all be happy to know that I decided to take the plunge into the virtual world of dating.”
Jamie squealed, loudly and embarrassing. “You did?”
“I did,” I confirmed.
For the next half an hour I heard stories only praising online dating; Lisa met her fiancé online and Angela met her current boyfriend from a popular site as well. Their stories made me feel optimistic about my decision and I knew I had to give it a chance. I couldn’t sit and wallow in my misery, Aaron sure as hell wasn’t.
“Come on, Maddie. Open up the app on your phone, we need to see this dating pool you’re dealing with,” Beth urged.
I laughed. Pulling out my phone, we all huddled around the small screen and immediately flicked to the six new messages. Damn, look at me – go girl! The first message was from an older gentleman, bordering senior citizen area telling me I was beautiful and if I would ever be interested in getting a drink to get a hold of him. Okay, so maybe not such a good start. Pressing delete opened the next one in line. We went through and deleted all but one. Diamond in the ruff. “Oh, he is cute!” Jamie noticed with wide eyes. “We obviously need to reply.”
“Obviously,” I drawled, gesturing to the server for another drink. Together, the five of us came up with a two sentence reply that I could have fit into five words but apparently I needed to flext – flirting through text. I kept my excitement under wraps, played it cool. But the dude was cute; he had a decent but simple profile and I found myself biting my lip as I hesitated to press send. Jamie leaned over and pressed it for me. Shaking my head I put my phone face down on the table beside me. “So,” I started. “I saw a picture of Aaron on Facebook. With a random hanging off each arm.”
Angela grabbed her phone and pulled up the picture. “Ew. Those trolls are hideous.” I had to laugh. They were actually gorgeous if you were into the whole, plastic Barbie doll look, but calling them trolls made me feel better. They could have been the nicest people I’d ever met, but for now, they were fucking trolls.
My phone vibrated beside me. “It’s a new message from Mr. Fun2BeWith.”
“Well, what does it say?”
“Ahem. ‘You’re gorgeous – my favourite colour is black and I’m sure you make awkward look good. I see we share similar tastes in food groups, now let me ask you – red or white?’”
I laughed out loud as he quoted my profile.
“Oh he’s smooth. My vagina is tingling,” Jamie said, swiping through his photos.
Grabbing my phone back, I typed out a quick but to the point reply. “I’m not biased.”
Suddenly, I had a chat request from Mr. Fun2BeWith. “Tell me you’re free Friday night,” he’d typed.
I looked with wide eyes around the table not knowing how to answer. “What the hell do I say?” I asked them.
“You say ‘Yes, should I bring large or magnum condoms?’” Beth said as if there wasn’t anything else to say.
“Or,” Lisa started. “You could maybe not show him that you’re a super slut, you know, save that for later, and play coy.”
“Okay, I like that,” I told her. Beth rolled her eyes, liking her idea better. Typing back, I wrote “I guess that depends…”
“On?” he asked.
“On where you’re planning on taking me.”
“How about I promise it’ll be a night to remember?”
I bit my lip, narrowing my eyes at the screen. Contemplating. Finally I typed my answer. “Alright.” I typed my number after my one word answer and put my phone away.
“He’s so hot, if it doesn’t work out please feel free to give him my number,” Jamie told me with a wink.
“I have a good feeling about this!” Lisa said, her excitement making me roll my eyes.
“Alright, let’s not get carried away,” I said, laughing uncomfortably. “How are things at work, Ang?”
Staying for one more drink, we chatted and gossiped and laughed and by the time we said our goodbyes, Jamie and I were standing on the curb hailing a cab.
“I’m so hungry – can we locate a drive through or something?”
She stared at me like I was crazy. “Um no, a revenge body does not include fast food – you now live off coffee and emotional pain.”
“Oh.” I laughed. “Okay, and how do you know this?”
“It’s in the handbook, did you not read it?”
“No, I must have left my copy at home. What’s it called again?”
She rolled her eyes in exaggeration as she pulled the car door closed, scooting in beside me. “It’s called, ‘Housewives Are Boring, Everyone Loves a Good Hoe. Revenge bodies are in the final chapter entitled, ‘Checkmate, Bitch!’”
The cab driver turned in his seat and looked at her with wide, curious and inviting eyes. He licked his lips. Shaking her head she frowned. “No, in what world? Turn around.” She gave him our address as I fell back, covering my mouth with my hand, tears now streaming down my cheeks as I shook with laughter. Still giggly as we walked through the front door, I yawned at the same time Jamie did. “I’m going to bed,” I told her.
“Me too. Love you.”
“Love you,” I echoed, exhaustion suddenly weighing my eyes down. Leaving a trail of clothes behind me, I fell into bed and let out a sigh of pleasure. Bed, heaven. My phone vibrated with a text message as I reached over to plug it in. Mr. Fun2BeWith. ‘Sweet dreams, gorgeous.’ I bit my lip and contemplated what to write back. I erased three responses before finally pressing send ‘Ditto.’
*tomorrow – Chapter Six