The Baby Trade part 2 (A Summer Black serial)
by Jochem Vandersteen
Tina was leaning against my car when I walked up the parking place. She was smoking a cigarette. I used to smoke too, until I decided if I was going to quit my addictions I’d really quit them, booze and cigarettes included. I really didn’t miss them either, luckily preventing me from becoming one of those ex-smokers that became some kind of smoking Nazi’s, scolding anyone for lighting up in front of them.
“Thanks for the wait,” I told her.
“Thanks for telling me where to wait,” she said.
I grabbed my keys and opened the car door. “Get in, it’s cold.”
She put out her cigarette and sat down in the passenger seat, right next to me.
“So, what’s the story. Why do you need my help?”
“It’s about my baby… A year and a half ago I got pregnant. Busted rubber in combination with being too sick to keep the pill in my stomach. Should I have been working that day? Of course not. My pimp doesn’t tolerate sick days though. He demands I bring home the bacon every day, no matter how I’m feeling.”
“Just as much an asshole as most pimps I know. What’s his name?”
I knew him. “He’s been in the business for a long time. Fucking prick.”
“Yeah… Anyway, I decided to keep the baby. Didn’t want anything from the daddy, wasn’t going to put any effort in convincing a john to take care of the kid or help me out with the money. I tried to combine my work with taking care of my little baby, my dear Charlene, for a few months but decided that wasn’t a good idea. The lifestyle I was leading was leading me straight to hell and I didn’t want Charlene to grow up without a mommy like I did.”
“Good for you. So you quit hooking?”
“Yeah. Kicked the habit. Tried to find a job. Found one too, callcenter work, but I could do that from home so I could take care of Charlene. Donnie wouldn’t put up with it though. He beat me up twice.”
I noticed I clenched my fist. Assholes like that had beaten me up a lot times as well. In the Army they taught me how to fight back though.
“I wouldn’t give in though. I took the fucking beatings and stayed at home with my baby. Then, one day he came in and just took my little girl. I fought him like a tiger but he’s just too big and strong. He took my baby, Summer!”
“Did you go to the cops?”
“How could I? You know what would happen. They know I used to be a hooker. They’d take my baby from me. They wouldn’t believe I’m clean now.”
“I guess you’re right. Sounds better than her being with Donnie, though.”
“He told me he will give her back to me if I start working for him again. I can’t do that… I don’t want to go back to that.”
I squeezed her hand. “That’s brave. What do you want me to do?”
“I’ve heard stories about how you can stand up to the pimps. You’re not scared of them… Can’t you go to Donnie and get my baby back?”
I combed my hair with my fingers. Thought about it. Donnie was a pretty tough and mean sonofabitch, he wouldn’t hand over the baby to me without a fight. That could mean bruises, maybe a broken nose or something for me. Fights are like that. It wouldn’t look good, showing up at work looking like that. I couldn’t allow that baby to stay in his hands though. And I did feel the urge to kick that asshole’s ass. For what he did to Tina, but also for what guys like him did to me in the past. If I wasn’t going to stand up to the guy, who would.
I said, “Sure. Sure, I’ll get Charlene back for you.”
Tina gave me a hug, saying a thousand thank-yous. I just hoped I’d be able to make good on my promise.
TO BE CONTINUED