He had the remaining cake as breakfast. Ate while talking to mom on the phone. “It was fun, I was with Nelly and her friend, they came over with the cake.” “Nice. How is she? It’s been a while since we’d seen her.”

“Nelly? Nah, she’s alright. She found a new job as a waitress at the restaurant. You remember it, The Taste?” 

“Where you took me to last time I was there? The amazing cakes.” 

“Yes,” Edward said. “Once of those cakes they got me for me last night.” 

“Oh, how I wish I was there. Your father’s been having one of his grumbling fits about you not coming to visit,” his mom, Jacobeth said. 

“And I’m sure he knows that the only reason why I don’t come it’s because I’m busy. Today is the last day I can relax, from there on my timetable is full,” Edward said. 

“I know, Ed. Your father only misses his son. I hope you understand.” 

“I do. Tell him I’ll try to make time then I’ll come. Look, I have to go now.”

“Alright, Ed. Good bye. I’ll call again sometime later, maybe your father will want to talk to you.”

“Okay. Bye, mom. Love you. Once again thank you for the money. Thank pops for me.”

“I will. Bye. Mommy loves you.”

Once he was done with the cake he put in Ashanti’s present in his Xbox. He played the game for some minutes before his mind wandered back to the prostitute’s room. The way that room smelt: Strawberry. As Edward played the game, yesterday’s events flowed to his head. The prostitute. The warmness of being inside her, a billion times better than what he’d imagined it to be like in his masturbation.

The way her breasts rubbed on his face as she worked on him. How she knew exactly when to do it slowly, when to do it faster, and how she maintained the hold by pulling him deeper. The sound of her quiet moans in his ear, how he held onto her with all he has, rolled over to be the one on top.The things she did to him. There was no better feeling than this.

Edward snapped back to the present time, as though he had just been lost in a whirlpool of a deep trance. He saw that the character he’d been playing with on the game had been long killed. A below feeling led him to look down at the pyjama pants he was wearing. There was an erection.

He decided to switch off the game and go back to that building in Hill brow. 

Again, he found that short man with a brown moustache. “Ahh, look who’s back,” said the man. 

“Good morning,” said Edward. 

“Good morning indeed, motherfucker,” the man chuckled. “You back for some round two, I see.”

“Same girl, please.”

“I’m afraid that won’t be possible. She’s with an important client right now. You going tohave to come back later,” said the short man. He put a cigarette between his black lips. 

“I can wait for her, I don’t mind,” Edward said. 

“Go to room 409. She has the same things you like. Big ass, wide hips,” the man said.

But Edward persisted: “No. I want room 417.”

The man set out laughing, showing his white and yellow teeth the cigarette fell from his lips. “I have to give it to Iris. Baby girl has hooked another one.” He looked at Edward from head to toe, as if surveying how much of a man he is. Edward bent to pick up the cigarette. 

“Thank you. What’s your name, sonny?” 


“Edward, mhh,” the man pulled out a lighter. “You see…” Just then, a tall dark man with a bald head came out of the building, went straight to the short man with a brown beard, thanked him –”she’s a beast, yo! Never disappoints”– and went to disappear inside his nearby Benz and drove away.

The short man looked at Edward. “You just got lucky. That was the client.”

Edward moved to get in the building but the short man stopped him. “Wait your ass up, kid. You can’t just get in there like it’s no body’s business,” anger in his words, his brown moustache soused with spittle of spit. He made Edward wait for about fifteen minutes –the longest fifteen minutes of his life – before he granted him access to Iris. 

Edward internally admired the name as he went to the elevator. The second elevator for the down lift was pasted in white dusty boards scribbled: NOT WORKING! Out of service/ To be REPAIRED. The building was derelict, it housed addicts and junkies and the homeless. 

The smell of the place was not good but the ones who dwelled in the place seemed accustomed to it.

Edward wondered who would repair the lift because even that dusty white board itself looked old and creased in more dirt, it sagged by the left side and would fall at any second. 

Inside the lift, Edward got carried up with an old man who reeked of piss. The urge of sex with Iris skipped off from Edward for a moment. He stepped a further distance from the old man and would’ve stepped a lot further if the lift provided more space. Then Edward looked to the side if not covering his nose. He made a silent prayer for the elevator not to get stuck. 

The old man did look at him, asked him for money so he could buy something to eat, told Edward he hadn’t eaten in weeks. But Edward said he wasn’t carrying any money.

The elevator met its destination floor, Edward paced out of it, came across other prostitutes who gave him smiles with tongues out, and they blew kisses at him. This place. This building. It was a new world. He came across a girl who appeared naked from a distance because up close she wore skimpy clothes which were the same color as her skin tone. 

When she and Edward were about to walk opposite one another, she grabbed his handand neared herself to him. “Why you so sad, baby?” She moaned. “I can brighten your day,” she held his pants, “for a small price.” 

But Edward smacked her hands off him, “shouldn’t you be at school?” He snarled at her and clicked his tongue and walked quicker as the girl laughed. 

Room 417. He arrived. A few seconds later of impatient knocking the door opened. Iris stood before him. She crossed her arms on her chest and frowned at his smile. The smile accompanied by big glasses and a wide gap at the front teeth.

“Hey, good-good morning,” he spoke with the lisp. 

She brushed her short blonde hair in a heavy exhalation. “No talking, please,” she said. 

Once he got in the room that strawberry perfume or spray consumed him. He found himself smiling at the smell. He could get used to this place and the vibes it offered. The room didn’t look like a part of an abandoned building, everything was where it’s supposed to be. This could turn out to be one of his favorite places. “To be honest I couldn’t wait to come back here,” Edward said. 

When he turned around he saw that she was naked. The clothes were already off. “I said no talking,” she walked towards him.