It is a moonless night. I knock on the front door of a customer, dressed in a black and red dress. The door is opened with a loud squeak.
"My beautiful Carmen, welcome to my humble house."
"Hello, Bambino." I stretch my hand on the doorpost while sticking my hip to it.
Bambino, ha? There is nothing cute about him. His potbelly which exceeded any pregnant woman, his white long-neglected beard. No surprise he is all by himself at the age of 40.
It isn't supposed to be fun with him as with all the other men. Prostitute, what a word. The disgust of women and the delight of men. But that's what I am.
How did it begin, you ask? Well, my first horrible man was my father. A well-respected teacher in the morning and a demon at night. And his methods of education... Dios mio... The worst. I was lucky to go to bed hungry and nothing more. Most of the days, I was hit again and again, until the blood-stained my whole clothes. That's why I felt no need to change them. Isn't it a shame to let him ruin another of my few clothes? And mama... She was tired already. She stopped fighting, but I never did the same, despite never winning in any of those fights. And still, I stood against him every day, for nothing. And my mother… she was my father's prostitute. Again and again, I prayed to God to not let me have a younger sibling, that he wouldn't let another soul feel the same as I did. I was young; I didn’t know anything about contraceptive methods. Was it luck or was it thanks to them, but I was a single child… until I got to the age of 16.
A child was born, a beautiful child. Dark brown hair, brown sparkling eyes and olive skin. My mom cried as she held him tight. If God betrayed me, I'd betray him too.
That night, I took the little baby with me. I didn't know where I was going, but I knew that I couldn't leave him there. I ran and ran, the baby in my arms. I ran so much that by sunrise, I didn't know where I was. I never left my wretched neighborhood before.
I was huffing. I couldn't stand anymore and fell on my knees. I was so surprised to hear a voice. His figure almost sparkled.
"Are you okay, young miss?"
I looked at him; he seemed quite tall, with black and a hat.
'God didn't leave me after all!' I thought to myself 'He sent me an angel!'
"What a beautiful baby you're holding. Is he yours?"
"Well, yes." I lied.
"Poor girl… are you all by yourself?"
I nodded. I wanted to ask him to take me with him. Of course, I can't do that.
"Such a burden at such a young age," He bent down "Will you do us both a favour and give him to me?"
I looked at him, shocked. I knew it was the right choice, I really did, but… I looked at the little fella in my arms.
"Take us both, I beg you. I'll do whatever it takes!"
"Whatever, you say?"
"I will find a job and earn my living!"
"Shhh… there's no need for that. I have a much better idea." He smiled, but I didn't like his smile. But what choice did I have? I was alone, with a baby in arms. No home, no work…
I followed him, silent, hugging the little angel in my arms. We walked and walked, I didn't even look where.
"Welcome to my home," he said in a warm voice "I'll introduce you to my wife."
I smiled. I knew I worried for nothing. But when I look at his house… it was so big. My smile was even wider. Me, living in such a beautiful house?
"Darling… is that you?" A woman's voice was heard as the open was opened.
"I am here, my love." He nodded with his head, signing to follow him.
We both entered the house, and I stopped in front of a room which I could see wat drawn in light blue.
"Where have you been?" She asked as he entered the room. "Did you decide to leave me too?"
"Of course not. What would you think anything like this?"
"Our baby… our little baby…"
"He's fine and well. Look," he pointed at me.
"But… our child… is dead!"
My heart froze. What a tragedy. I couldn't but think about my mom and how worried she is. Then, I looked at the baby in my arms.
"It was nothing but a dream. You fainted right after the birth. Here it is, our beautiful child," he came to me, signing to bring my little sister to him.
He tricked! I was furious, I was so… but I pitied the poor woman who lost her child. I can give my sister a mother, and a father, surely better than our own. Who am I to stop her from such bliss? I didn’t let him take her from my arms. I entered the room and gave her myself to his wife.
"You have a beautiful daughter."
"It is a girl, ha?" The women smiled, tears of joy on her cheeks.
"Yes, she really is an angel." I was happy she didn't look at me, as I was quite sure my smile revealed my sadness.
"Her name shall be Angeles, don't you think?"
"I could not have thought of a better name," I chuckled.
"Anyway, my love," her husband, which I totally forgot about got nearer, "I brought this nice girl to help you with the child and house. Sadly, she lost her parents."
"Oh, poor girl." She had such a motherly look for a mother of minute long. "This place is your home."
"I thank you from the bottom of my heart, ma'am." I held her hand.
"Please, call me Adriana. And I guess you already know my husband, Lorenzo."
"Well, Adriana, I'll let you and Angeles have some time together while I'll make sure our dear…"
"Carmen, my forgetful sir." I smiled, not because I thought it was funny, but because Adriana was looking.
"I really am forgetful." he obviously faked a laugh "What can I say? I can only remember my wife's name."
"Well, now you have to more to remember," she looked again at Angeles.
"Of course, dear, of course." He smiled at her warmly and when he turned to me, though it didn't sound like this, his face wasn't smiling anymore "Shall we go, Carmen?"
I followed him. Now my smile also got off my face. He walked me into the kitchen, to my big surprise.
"As you probably guessed, my wife and I will raise your child as our own. As you also guessed, my wife could breastfeed him perfectly by herself. So… don't make your drops of milk visible."
I knew it isn't going to be hard. After all, I wasn't really Angeles' mother.
"As I told you, you will help my wife at home. But as you said yourself, you should still earn your living… Better without my wife's knowledge."
"You can call her by her name you know. You are her husband."
"Well, but I want you to remember your place. You're nothing but a nanny and a housekeeper."
A lovely guy, right? In front Adriana, he did act by his name, as generous as can be. But behind her back? He was the worst. Well, he still is the worst.
"So… what dirty work you're so lazy to do?"
He chucked, but there wasn't anything fun in it.
"Well, it is a dirty job, but in this work, my dear, I can't help you. I can just find you customers. And believe me, I have plenty of them."
'He didn't ask me what I think he did, right?' I thought to myself.
"Not in a year or so, I assure you. I'd rather for you to wake up every time your daughter will scream and yell as loud as her little body allows her than me. But don't worry. It won't last forever."
It really didn't last forever. A year and a half later I started to work at the most ancient job there is. It's being 2 years since. Adriana is already dead. Her illness was the reason her baby was born dead. And me? I Work like a slave at days as a house keeper and wear a beautiful dress to lure men at night. Despite Lorenzo's horrible attitude towards me, which got worse after Adriana's death, I know one thing for sure. He's the best father I could as for Angeles. I was replaced by another nanny, and I could hardly see Angeles. But my little joy at the end of each day is to go by her room and look at her angelic smiling face.