I recognised her at once. She was sitting on a bench in the park. She looked as if she hadn't eaten or washed for days. I said hello and sat down next to her, she seemed pleased to see me, she was more pleased when I bought her some sandwiches and a drink from a stand in the park. She explained everything and she explained nothing to me.
She was the mother of a one time friend of mine – I hadn't seen either of them for many years. She had been happily married with two sons and two daughters and now she had nothing, just the clothes she was wearing and two things.
This she explained, but not the bit in the middle, where life had obviously hit her with a hammer. Her clothes looked as if they came from a charity shop, but what were the two things left?
I couldn't leave her there. It would have been so easy to have given her some cash and left. No, I took her home with me and told her to take a shower. I put all her clothes, what little she had, in the washing machine. Her pockets were empty, not even an ID card. I left a clean dressing gown in the bathroom for her.
Where are my clothes? What am I supposed to wear? she asked. I showed her some clothes that my last girlfriend had left behind. I told her that she could sleep in my guest room. The clothes fitted, but were definitely not her style. I cooked her dinner.
Next day I explained that I was going to buy her some new clothes. No, don't say anything! I'm in a good mood. I want to buy you something nice.
And then I explained that I wanted to buy some very old fashioned lady's clothing for my friends and myself to wear at the next carnival parade. This was not true, I wanted them for another reason. And I asked her if she would try them on for me in the shop as I could hardly try them on myself. Oh, yes, she would do that for me.
In town we went to a very old fashioned shop that sold clothes for elderly matrons. Yes, she tried on all the funny clothes that I find for some reason very interesting. And they suited her and she liked wearing them. So I bought a lot of them. We didn't buy any other clothes.
Back home I realised how attractive she looked, wearing the right clothes. Yes, even though she was so much older than me, my mind started to make ideas.
She explained about the two things left – she had her pride and her body and that was all. They were both very important to her. However if she was going to survive on the streets she would have to sell her body but her pride would not let her do this. And her pride said that she must leave me now and return to the streets.
Oh, no! I was prepared for this. I have said that I have funny ideas – what have I got in my pocket? I handcuffed her to a large chair. I may have funny ideas and I may not be a good man but I couldn't let her go back on the streets – that would have finished her.
That night I tied her to her bed; she did not object, perhaps she liked it. But what was I supposed to do? No way could I let her go and no way could I keep her tied up forever. The next day I untied her and let her go to the bathroom. Yes, she climbed out the window and tried to get away. I caught her and before I could think, I smacked her behind; she did not object, perhaps she liked it.
I handcuffed her to the table. I asked her, what was I supposed to do? No way could I let her go and no way could I keep her tied up forever. She looked at me and said that she had two things left, but she needed time to think.
I left her to it. I just hoped that the neighbours didn't think that I had kidnapped someone.
She told me her problem. How to sell herself but keep her pride. She said that she had seen that I was a good and kind man, but that I obviously had funny ideas. Perhaps she could sell herself to me and keep her pride.