The music was pumping and Amy introduced Rachel to one guy after the other. They all seemed to like her and want to buy her drinks.

“Now, why would you want to go on a date with a high school boy when you could easily have one of these men and live the high life!?” Amy laughed.

“This is definitely the high life,” said Rachel. After a few drinks she had relaxed and was beginning to enjoy herself. If Simon and Linda could see her now, mingling with these beautiful people.

“How are my favourite girls doing?” Gary sauntered over from the bar, carrying shots of tequila. Rachel watched the way Amy downed hers. But Amy wasn’t smiling anymore. She was glaring at the girl on Gary’s arm. And then it got ugly.

Amy said something to the girl. The girl pulled at Amy’s hair. Amy hit her across the face.

“Easy now,” said Gary, and quickly led Rachel away.

“Girls!” he laughed. Rachel looked back over his shoulder. This was a different Amy she saw. Now she had smashed a glass. Rachel barely recognised her.

“She’ll calm down soon. Don’t worry. It’s the cocaine. Sometimes it makes her aggressive. It’s good in bed, but not in public.” He laughed. “Come. I want to show you something.”

He led Rachel over to a stage where girls were dancing. They wore sexy, sequined dresses like hers. The music made her want to join them.

“I know you want to. I bet you would be fantastic. These girls all make good money.” He led her up the stairs. “I’m sure you’re way better than all of them.”

Rachel looked back at Amy. She was walking towards them like nothing had happened. She was smiling.

“I’d love to see you dance. But only if you want to,” said Amy, kissing Rachel on the cheek.

Should she? She was here now. Rachel remembered her dream, and pictured Linda’s face when she told her about the money she earned dancing.

She got up on stage. And then she was moving to the beat, swaying her hips. She felt so good in the dress. Everyone was clapping. She was good, and they knew it. She didn’t need leotards or tights or stupid ballet shoes. Who watched ballet these days anyway?

Then one of the girls lowered her strap and shimmied. The men watching went mad. Rachel tried it too. And then the dance floor started swirling in front of her and she lost her balance. That’s when she blacked out.

* * * * *

When she came round she was back in Gary’s apartment lying on the double bed. She felt terrible. She was nauseous and her head felt like it was splitting open. By the light streaming in the window it was already the afternoon. How long had she been out for? Her mouth tasted dry and disgusting.

The apartment was silent. Too silent. She must be alone. Where had Gary and Amy gone? How could they leave her here alone, without an explanation? What had happened at the club? The questions raced through Rachel’s head.

When she tried the door it was locked. She went to the en suite bathroom. She took a look at herself in the shiny dress, with make-up all smeared around her pale face.

Her thoughts raced: I don’t even know where I am right now, I don’t know who Gary is. I wasn’t paying attention to where we were driving, because we were chatting so much. I don’t know anything about them. And then she remembered that today was Saturday. It was her date with Simon that night. And what would her parents be thinking about her being out all of Friday night! They must be going mad with worry! She needed to get out of here.

In a panic, she started scrabbling through drawers looking for a key. Perhaps they had gone out and locked her in here for her protection? But then she remembered Amy’s face when she had hit the girl at the club.

In one of the cupboard drawers Rachel found a file with a shiny cover: ‘Gary’s Glamorous Girls – Top Escorts,’ it read. She opened it. Inside were a lot of photos of women who seemed to be models, in different poses. Among them was a photograph of Amy in a tight black dress, with a big silver belt around her waist. It was the same photograph as the one on Amy’s Facebook page. Amy Amor.

Underneath the file she noticed a map – with Rachel’s street circled in bold red ink: Festival Street. Somebody had added ‘62’, her house number. Had Amy put these here for Rachel to find? Like she was meant to see them?

And then Rachel saw the photographs of her mother: on top a picture of young Patricia. On the back was written ‘Patricia Soloman’ – her mother’s maiden name. Rachel’s skin crawled. What was Amy doing with a photograph of her mother?

There were other photos – from the local newspaper. A clipping from when her mother won an award for charity work. Then a picture of Rachel’s ballet class, from when they performed at the local Eisteddfod. Amy had circled Rachel’s head in red.

“You are lucky to have a family. My adoptive mother didn’t care about me.” The words echoed in Rachel’s mind.

Then Rachel heard the key turn in the lock and she heard Amy’s voice. She quickly put the stuff back and lay down on the bed, pretending to sleep.

* * *

Tell us what you think: What is Amy planning to do?