JACKPOT

She had such an enchanted personality that stuck to my memory, and still haunt me.  Whenever I sit alone, she comes before me from behind the curtain of my subconscious.  I met her by stroke of luck in a very peculiar situation.

This was happened when I was loitering in the heavily neon signed bizarrely illuminated streets of Las Vegas.   Vegas, where almost all moral sins are licensed, gambling, drugs, prostitutions whatever comes in your mind all available easily.  I was deeply shocked when I saw young kids all wearing a yellow light jacket, 12 or 13 years of age working as pimps, calling on the footpaths, “pretty girls,,,, beautiful girls!” In their hands, there were stacks of playing card size photographs of nude and semi nude girls.  They were very expertly shuffling the photo cards before each passerby and hand a card to the one who stretch his hand. I also saw an old lady doing the same business, but she was sitting in a corner of a building, (a hotel) offering card photos to the passerby.   

 “Hey handsome! Ho the beautiful!” 

My attention was attracted towards the caller, she was extremely beautiful dressed in black shorts and blouse or rather it was a small jacket.  The thing attracted me towards her that she was not looking pro from her appearance, the first impressions I got that she must be a college or university student.  Seeing me staring at her, she smiled, “100 bucks an hour, it won’t be a waste of your dollars, you will enjoy!”   I was still staring at her, she held my arm and moved me away from the crowd. 

 “Aa, I!

 I stammered and couldn’t speak.

“Ok, let’s first have dinner, ok?”  I just nodded.

My steps were automatically turned to MGM hotel where I was staying.  By then I got settled on a table in the corner, and asked her to order whatever she wanted to have in dinner. 

 “This was your call to get the attention over there for customer, I know I am not handsome or, ……”

She smiled, “every trade has its slogan and it’s mine,  so what?“  Her smile was very beautiful, and there was innocence rather than profession.

“You know, I think you are new in this and you are not a pro at all, so why are you doing all this, why don’t you go back to your family and settle down?” 

She was looking at me and this time the light in her eyes was faded, the blossom was decaying. 

“It shouldn’t be your concern, you just take the yield of your money you are expensing, and that’s all.”

“I didn’t intend to, I hear your call and turn to see……..”

“That wasn’t specifically for you.”

“I know but I saw you and got curious, you seem from the world other than this which I am seeing you in.  I’m just curious, I am not interested in what you are selling; just want to know how and why the circumstances compelled you to sell yourself like this.  I am rather attracted to your inner personality, which I can feel; it’s just touched me, because…”

“Hey!” She interrupted, “Aren’t you going to fall in love with me like all the others, the difference is this that you are showing your emotion before sleeping while other used to show after awaking.”

I just smiled and said, “Ok take this way, I will sure pay you for your time you spend telling me about yourself.”

“You know this is first time I am feeling relaxed, no tension of being sold.  You do have some charm of your own.  Ok I tell you.”  She finished her dinner and I ordered a drink of her choice for her.

‘My story is not very long.  I had a boyfriend, I felt that I loved him, and his passion towards me was not hidden to me.  He planned to spend vacation here in Vegas. It was in summer two years back.  We came here stayed in a hotel, and enjoying, roaming, gambling, drinking.  I found that he was a habitual gambler.  I tried to stop him.  One day we found that we had no money at all even to pay the hotel bill.  Next morning I found myself alone.  My boyfriend, whom I thought was in love with me, abandoned me fleeing even without letting me know.  I was alone, without money and there was hotel bill.  I was in trouble, then someone from the hotel showed me the way how to earn the money to pay the hotel bill.  He arranged some initial customers for me.  Then I made the payment and get myself out from one trouble to get into another.  I could not go back to my mother.  I didn’t want her to know what I have become.  Since then I am here and earning my living.  It is easy here, no hitch.  I grab one or two clients earn money, give share to my protector.  Play on the slots in the hope that may be one day I hit the jackpot, grab the money and go back.”

I was sitting quietly, even not looking at her.

“So this is my entire story.  Satisfied?”  I was still spellbound, failing to find the words to sooth her. 

‘Ok I gotta go now, find some other client, you are a wrong one.  Anyway thanks for the dinner.”

She stood up, “Wait, I can pay you for your time.”

“No, no service no money, you know, you are handsome in here.”  Saying this she stroke her index finger on her temple.”

“Hey, what I would with this money, this is yours.”

She walked back to me. 

“Ok just try your luck on one of those machines play for me.”

“And if I hit the jackpot?” I laughed.  ”This is your money after all”.

She smiled and took a paper out of her purse, jotted something.  “This is my mother’s address send the money to her.”

She left laughing and throwing a kiss towards me.

 

I was sitting there for a while then went up to my room to get some rest. 

When I woke up after three hours, I went down.  I want to take another walk before checking out.

I went to see the aqua dance (water dance) at the Caesar Hotel fountain.  I saw crowd on the side of the road, people were speaking in whispers.  I asked one of the guys standing near me what was happening.  He told me that a girl was hit by the car when she was crossing.  She was badly drunk, and tried to cross the road while it was red light.  I tried to get in front through the crowd.  I was shocked; something heavy fell inside me.  It was the same girl whom I met earlier.  She was lying there mutilated.  Blood was spread all around her.  I hid my face with my both hands and rushed back to my hotel.  I was feeling sick, sad and broken. 

I didn’t know how long I sit there quiet; tears were rolling down my face. 

I gathered my things packed, took my bag and went down to the reception to check out.  I was going out of hotel passing through all those slots. 

‘“And if I hit the jackpot, this is your money after all”.

 My words echoed in my mind.  I stopped and asked an attendant standing near a slot how to play.   I gave him the money and asked to put for me. I hit the button, the machine clanked for a while then there was a shout of the people who were standing near.  I hit the jackpot.  There were tears in my eyes.  I took the jackpot money and went to the airport, took the plane to Los Angles.  Her mother lived in LA.

At the airport I took the taxi for the address she gave to me in a joke.  I rang the bell; an old lady opened the door.

“I am a friend of Lara, your daughter.”

Her eyes lit up with delight.

“Where is she? How is she?  Come on in!”  

“How is Lara? No hear from her since long!”

“She sent you this.” I gave the envelope of money to the lady.

“Where is Lara?“  She asked again.

“Your Lara is now in peace.” 

Saying this I turned back to hide my tears and not to see hers while she was falling in her chair.

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  • Thanks Roman. I respect yours as well as Lady Noor's opinion. But it is not necessary that the circumstances would be as we assume, coerceness of circumstances is always there in life.

  • Hi Mishaikh!

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