I pleaded with Annie though the door, pounding relentlessly, insistently until she caved in.. or called the cops. Annie was as unpredictable as they come. She was a few years younger than me, 29, but that was old by dancer standards. She had come from a pretty rough life, an abusive step father and drunken mother had led her to run away at 15. She grew up fast on the streets, doing whatever, and whomever, she had to survive. I had picked her up back when I was with the squad working vice. I had felt so bad back then, back when I still cared about my job and the people around me. Before the trial.
I don't know what had made me do it. She had to have been about 17 by then, strung out and working for some sleazy pimp. I had cleaned her up and found her a place to live. Me and a couple of the boys had taken care of her pimp to, made sure to know that Annie was off limits to him. I might have saved Annie back then, but she would save me in the years to come. She would be there when no one else was to drag me up from the mess my life had become. Maybe a part of me knew that one day I'd need her just as bad as she did me.
Annie had tried school and all that but it wasn't for her. When I bottomed out she gave that up and started earning the money or the both of us. I was to far gone to wonder, to far gone to care. She nursed me back to this semblance of life. I found out later that she had been stripping. Annie always depended on herself, and she knew what her body looked like and what men thought. She was working at one of the better clubs now at least but she didn't really care what I thought. She still kept her own place, something I hadn't fought but realize now I should have. It wasn't that long ago that it was me strung out, and I don't think either of us knew what to do when we weren't saving the other. We had one of those love/hate relationships that you read about. We both loved each other, but we hated ourselves to much to let the other in.
My constant banging finally wore her down and she opened the door a fraction, peering out behind the mess of black hair that draped her face from beneath the chain lock. I pleaded for forgiveness, something I was use to doing at this point. I'd had a bad day, a relapse, but told her that things were looking up. I had a job, paid in advance. I showed her the roll of cash stuffed in the envelope. I begged her to let me in. She nodded and closed the door. I head the scratch of the chain coming undone as the door opened. I gave her a big smile and opened my arms. She slapped me again, harder this time. Love's a fickle fucking thing.
At least she left the door open this time.
End of Line.