This is the first portion of a ten-part series — a nice story that touched my heart and I am sure the same thing will happen to readers too. I would like to call it “Shame on Shame”, (Sharm bar sharm).
Ensy is just another call-girl in the streets of Tehran whose path crossed mine one day. Although her once fascinating looks still attracts people and turns heads, her days at her current job are numbered, regarding the fact that young flesh is saturating the market in the Iranian capital. She confided me with the details of her misery in three different occasions. I did not record her voice and did not take any note. Just listened and listened and got carried away with her story. Then I asked her if it was OK to make a story based on her lugubrious fate. She shrugged and agreed. “No names” she almost begged with her eyes and I promised. There would be no name or any indications that would lead to her recognition. So this is the first part of the story I have made out of her story. I did not intend to make a sob story out of it, nor did I try to fall into the trap of eroticism. This is just another life story of a woman next door in the Iranian capital.
It was one of those smoggy Tehran afternoons in winter that suffocated people who were caught in the heavy traffic of the capital. The news broadcast called it Inversion but it made no sense for the ordinary people in the city. The ever-present mountains on the north of the city were obscured by the deep and dark cloud of unknown pollutants and the exasperated people in the stranded cars were honking horns for no reason. Cars were moving forward not much faster than human walking. Ensy quickly glanced at her expensive watch. It was getting really late. She had to be in an unknown apartment a few blocks away in five minutes time, but the way the traffic moved in Tehran punctuality made no sense any more.
Ensy was thinking about minutes and hours of her life that had to be wasted in the streets and the fact that there was no other way to move around. For one second she thought what happened if there were other means of traveling other than cars. Or all the places she had to frequent were close enough to go on foot. The ring of her mobile phone brought Ensy out of her reverie. It was an SMS by Majid. She had not answered his previous calls and now he had sent her a message. “Just wanted to remind you of your appointment time. Where are you? Don't be late.” “Go fuck yourself” she murmured. How could she ever get out of this mess? She was sick and tired of all these meetings. But no. She had long forgotten about her pride . This is the unwritten deal she had made with her fate. She had to do it and she will.
One block before the main intersection she paid the driver and got out of the car. Walking toward the place of her meeting she looked at the face of women her age. She was getting past 32 and she knew quite well that most of the luster of her heydays was gone but what had remained of her once spectacular beauty still attracted men in hordes. She had long stopped feeling sorry for herself and had tried to go ahead with what destiny had brought forward, yet there was this nagging feeling deep inside her that begged to differ. Maybe she deserved better than this mess. Maybe God had forgotten all about her, the same God that was supposed to be the Companionate and the Merciful had turned out to be so cruel to her.
Thinking about these things, she reached the street of her destination. Looking at the address on the small piece of paper for a second she tried to locate number 33 on that street. In a few seconds she was there. Exactly twelve minutes late. The door was once painted green and the façade of the house for sure needed a complete renovation. Her slender fingers reached out and rang the bell. Soon the door opened and a bald fat man with a walrus moustache and a wicked smile welcomed her. It was the first leg of her afternoon shift for today. Ensy had excused herself for being sick and skipped the morning shift. Her mind was somewhere else and she had nothing to look forward to on these shifts anyway. Being a prostitute in the Islamic Tehran was nothing exciting and she doubted the same job in other part of the world were any different.
Fifteen minutes later she was completely naked beneath the bald man on a dirty bed. He had a hairy body and he had his full weight on her, his small lips were kissing and licking her necks and shoulder. She felt sick and could hardly stand the odor of his sweat and his bad breathe. Soon he finished with her and all she had to do then was to dress and collect her things and leave. Her services were paid beforehand to her pimp, Majid, so she did not have to ask for the money after her performance.
On her way to the second leg of her afternoon services she took a taxi and tried to concentrate on the mechanical job she is doing. There is no emotion attached to anything she did. She just had to be on some unknown address on time, meet some unfamiliar men, try her best to satisfy them in every possible way, and leave. She would collect her share of this tax-free income every week. Her pimp, Majid would come once or twice to her place and distribute the loot to her and other girls who worked for him.
There is one very important rule that must be obeyed to the T. Avoid any complication with the law. If she got caught on any of her missions there would be little hope that Majid or anybody else would dare come to her rescue. She would be left alone with her wits and other talents to get out of any potential mess. While she was getting the ride to her next destination she closed her eyes for one moment and tried to think about something happy. She couldn't find any.
Ensy had not seen Koosha for almost a year. Her dad passed away with a broken heart and Kamran… Where was Kamran at this moment? Did he ever think about her? Did he ever look for a girl he once loved? She could still smell the fragrance of his sweet aftershave and the loneliness in his starry eyes. The cab stopped on a red light with a low-pitched screech and that brought Ensy out of her reverie. She was getting close to the second trick that she was supposed to play for the afternoon. She did not want to grieve for Koosha or Kamran or anybody else. Not now. She has another mission to accomplish