“Did you read the news in the paper today, Guy?” Thea asked him as she entered the kitchen with the newspaper.
“What’s up?” he asked after gulping down some orange juice.
“Ken Maynard and Ricardo Davis had to plead guilty on all the charges against them, including conspiracy to engage in human trafficking,” she said, then sat down across from him at the kitchen table. “Hey, don’t spill your cereal on the floor.”
“I won’t,” he said, scowling at her never-ending nagging. “So, they’re in jail now?”
“Yep. They’ve been sentenced.”
“I still remember all the confessions from the staff, how they were smiling while high on the Creeps drugs. And how they were frowning when they had to confirm those confessions once the drugs had worn off, and once the staff knew that Van Gorder and Bill Shavick had heard the sex slaves confirming it all, and once the authorities saw the video that recorded all of Mark’s criminal intentions.”
“Yeah, it’s so nice knowing the whole staff of Capitol is now behind bars, and investigations are being made of all the other Capitol branches, uncovering the same criminal scandal with the Creeps.”
“I’m glad they all got theirs,” Guy said, then shoveled some cereal into his mouth.
“Check this out,” she said, reading from the newspaper. “The so-called ‘Commodities,’ most of whom have nowhere else to go, were formerly either destitute or from impoverished countries, or from families that had betrayed them by selling them. So the government—which has also purged itself of the corrupt enablers of Capitol and put them in jail—has judged that the appropriate way to compensate the victims for their suffering is to renovate each Capitol building so thoroughly as to make the places unrecognizable for their former use, and make them new homes where the victims will be given free accommodation. Isn’t that amazing?”
“Yeah,” he said. “And what of Petunia? I guess she’s living there.”
“Presumably. You gonna go over there and apologize to her?”
“Yeah, for paying to rape her.”
“Thea?! What the fuck? Didn’t you already say I was a hero for helping to save all those people? Haven’t I atoned for my bad karma?”
“Guy, I’m very proud of you for what you helped me do.”
“That’s funny: I thought you helped me do it.”
“Yeah, well, anyway, I still think you should go talk to her about what you did in that VIP Room. Making her have sex with you under those circumstances is still rape.”
He sighed, then left the table, having finished his breakfast.
Around lunchtime, Guy went over to see Petunia, in her new room, which was all refurbished and given new furniture, including a bed, refrigerator, stove, TV, and sofa. She opened the door, and they stared at each other for a minute before speaking.
She was in a T-shirt and jeans, as was he.
“Long time no see,” he said. “How is everything?”
“Much better, thanks to you and Thea,” Petunia said. “Come in.”
They sat on the sofa. She looked over at him, but he, frowning, or trying to smile, just stared down at his twitching hands.
“It really has been a while,” she said. “Too long, really, since you last saw me.”
“Well,…I saw a little too much of you the last few times.”
“I don’t mind.” She put her hand on his shoulder. “You know, this room was actually the VIP room we’d fucked in the first time.”
“Really?” he asked with a guilty smile.
“Yeah. I kinda like it, actually, except for it being a little small. I feel a little squished in here. Though squished in here is a lot better than squished in those tunnels we tried to escape through.”
“Yeah, I read about that problem you all had in the paper.”
“I’m glad I’ll never have to do that again.”
“I…really feel awful about what I did here, Petunia…”
“Oh, Guy. It’s OK.”
“No, it’s not OK. I took advantage of you. I treated you like a whore.” He was gulping back sobs; his eyes were getting wet. “And I always knew…you were better than that.”
“Mark LeSaffre made me into a whore. Of all the men who paid to have me, you were the one I was happy to satisfy.”
“But I was no better than they were,” Guy sobbed.
“Yes, you were. Of course you were. You saved me, Guy. You and Thea saved me, and you saved all the other sex slaves. When you first found me in Capitol, sure I was uncomfortable, under my fake smiling, the smiling those Creeps were making me do, but I was uneasy only because I was worried you thought my slutty smiles were real. But now I’m glad you saw me there, because if you hadn’t, no one would have saved us.”
“Yeah, I guess. I just wish I hadn’t fucked you.”
“I don’t mind that. You were better than all the other Johns who had me.”
“How was I better? In having you, didn’t I rape you?”
“Not in my opinion,” she said.
“How so?” he asked.
“Because of all the guys who had me, you were always the one I wanted to have sex with.”
“Why me? What’s so appealing about me? I’m a loser.”
“Guy, you’re a hero. You saved all of us. I’ve been so hot for you, ever since I realized you’d done that.”
“Well, maybe now, but how was I hot before that happened?”
“Remember when I was sharing that apartment with Thea, and you used to come over and visit, to talk to her about, well, whatever? I saw you smiling at me, then you’d look away, all shy, whenever I looked back and smiled at you. You were such a cutie…you still are. I was always waiting for you to ask me out. I kinda liked your shyness, though: it was a nice change from all the aggressive guys who always bothered me.”
“Was I any less aggressive when I screwed you in Capitol?”
“Yeah, you were just as aggressive then, but that wasn’t the real you, just as me, acting like a happy whore, wasn’t the real me. I was happy to have sex with you, but not to be a slut: because deep down, I like you. I’ve always liked you.”
“Really? Pretty girls never like me. They like guys with, you know, cars and money and stuff.”
“Not all girls. I used to be like that, but after my ex slapped me around enough times, I left him in Vancouver, and came all the way over here, to Mississauga, to get away from him, and from my family, who only ever wanted to make me into something they wanted, not the real me.”
“Why didn’t you get another guy right away? You’re pretty enough.”
“I was hoping you’d be that guy. You’re sweet enough.” Then she pouted and whined, “But you never asked me out.” She playfully slapped his arm.
“You could have asked me out.”
“Yeah, I guess I’m a little too traditional for my own good.”
“So, you liked having sex with me?”
“How many times do I have to tell you? I guess I have to demonstrate.” She pulled off her shirt.
“Wait. Uh…” He started getting off the sofa.
“What’s the problem?” she, now in her pink bra, asked. “You’ve already seen all of me. How is it different now?” She unzipped her pants and pulled them down.
“I’m sorry. I do wanna do it with you; it’s just that…”
“What?” She was standing before him in only her bra and panties.
“Remember when you said, when we fucked in Capitol, it wasn’t the real you, and it wasn’t the real me? That felt…safer.”
“But underneath the false me, the true me still liked it.”
She took off her bra.
“Why did you like it? I mean, with the false me?”
“Because,” she said, pulling down her panties and kicking them aside, “I knew that, deep down under your false self, the lecher who leered at my body and checked me out, as naked then as I am now, your real self was still there, that sweet, shy boy who used to visit Thea in our old place, who came to visit me as much as to visit her.”
“Oh, no. I came to see you…much more than to see her. I actually prefer staying away from her. She kind of annoys me. She’s a nag. Seeing my sister, that was just excuses to see you.”
“Then let’s fuck.”
“I want to…but I’m scared.”
“That you won’t like me—the real me, I mean, when you know all about the real me.”
“We’re all scared of that, Guy. But we try to love each other anyway, don’t we? And the more of the real you that I know, the more I’ll love you.” She unzipped his pants.
He tried to stop her from pulling them down.
“Why don’t I get to see you? You got to see all of me, and I don’t get to see you? That hardly seems fair.”
“Yeah, but I look ugly nude. You have a beautiful body.”
“I don’t believe you’re ugly nude, Guy. And I don’t care if I see physical imperfections. I love you as you are.”
He finally allowed her to undress him. Both nude, they got on the bed. He lay on top of her, and she wrapped her legs around his waist. He pushed his cock against her wet vaginal opening, gently coaxing his way in. She put her arms around him.
As he slid inside her, she looked up into his eyes; but his eyes were still avoiding hers. She held his face in her hands as he pushed in further, aiming his face straight down at hers, to see her wide-open eyes and mouth.
He got all the way in, getting a squeal from her.
Still, as he moved in and out, he wouldn’t look in her eyes.
“Why…won’t you…look at me?” she asked in panting words. “Oh!”
“I’m…still ashamed,” he moaned. “I remember…our first time.”
“I liked it…I like it now…I love you, Guy…You saved me.”
“Yeah, I did…I saved you all…the past…is over. Ah!”
“Yes…you’re my hero…I love you.”
“I love you, too, Petunia. Oh!”
“This is…the real you, Guy…Ah!”
“And I’m…making love…to the real…Petunia. Oh!”
“I’m…almost there! Ah!” She came.
“Me, too…But without…a condom…” He came. “Oh!”
“It’s OK,” she said. “The Creeps they gave me…ensured I’d…never get pregnant.”
“Really?” he panted.
“Yeah,” she sighed. “And I don’t…wanna have kids, ever. Now, your come in me…That’s a Creep…I’ll gladly take…inside my body.”
They got dressed and went outside.
Holding hands, they walked on the sidewalk beside the building that had once been Capitol. Now the sign in front said Community. It was a sunny afternoon.
“It’s so nice to be able to go outside again,” she said, taking in a deep breath of fresh spring air.
“Yeah,” he said. “It must have been awful being cooped up in there.”
“Hey!” a woman’s voice called out to them. They looked back at her as she ran up to them. It was Arunny. Sobbing, she threw her arms around Guy. “I just wanted to say…thank you…for saving all of us.” Her tears were soaking his shirt by his left shoulder.
“Hey, anytime,” he said. Both he and Petunia exchanged hugs with Arunny.
After letting go of him, she looked deep in his face with her soaking wet eyes. She kept looking at him with those grateful eyes for several more seconds, then turned around while still looking at him.
“Thank you,” she said again, and ran off in the other direction.
Now, a tear ran down Guy’s cheek, as well as one down Petunia’s, as they watched Arunny continue running away, back to the Community building.
They turned around and resumed their walk.
As they continued walking further and further away from the building, they came by a neighbourhood, and someone’s house, which had a garden in the front. She stopped at it.
“Oh, yeah,” he said, standing behind her. “I remember that garden you used to take care of back when you were living with Thea.”
“Yeah,” she said. “Those were happy days. I should try to set up a garden in back of the Community building sometime soon.”
“And I can visit you there regularly, as I did in Thea’s old apartment.”
“That’d be nice. It would bring back two pleasant memories.”
“Yeah. You seeing me in the old apartment, and you seeing all of me in the VIP room, which is now a much more important person’s room, with you as a visitor.”
She looked down at the garden soil. She started at the sight of a few worms crawling out of the dirt.
It’s OK, it’s OK, she thought; they aren’t glowing.