Archive for December 19th, 2010

As my regular readers know, once a month I publish a little fantasy tale whose protagonist is a whore.  These have mostly been stories of conflict and courage, but since this is Christmas I wanted to do something a little different; this one is probably best described as “whimsical”, perhaps even (dare I say it?) “cute”.  Some may find it a little bittersweet.  Please don’t judge it too harshly; while most of my stories are multi-layered pastries, this is just a Christmas cookie.  If you like it (and even if you don’t), you may be interested in my other stories.

Christmas Belle

Dear Maggie,

You’ve been pressing me for an explanation for months now, and since you are my best friend I believe I owe it to you.  Everybody thought they were funny with their jokes about “Saint Noel” until somebody realized that I was giving most of my income away, and in the past few months I seem to have developed a sort of aura which genuinely intimidates some customers.  Well, I’ll tell you how it started; you probably won’t really believe me, but I swear it happened just as I’m going to tell it to you.

I don’t need to tell you how much I love Christmas; I was born on Christmas Day, and I’ve always paid my bills in advance all year so I have plenty to give to charity in the Christmas season. My stage name isn’t “Noel” by accident, you know!  Well, on the day after Christmas last year I had an appointment which started out wrong by all reasonable standards; I don’t do same-day appointments, and I never work Christmas week, and he had no references whatsoever.  But when I checked my emails that morning, feeling lazy and just a little depressed as I always do that day, it stood out from the other messages in my inbox:

Dear Noel,

I know this is very short notice, but I’ll only be in town tonight and you come very, very highly recommended.  I’d love to spend the evening with you, and I’m more than willing to pay extra for having inconvenienced you.  Please let me know as soon as you can, and I’ll understand if the answer is no.

Very Truly Yours, Peter

All in all, it was no different from lots of other emails I get, but somehow I knew this was not a typical appointment request, and my intuition told me he was fine.  But even so, I’m no dumbbell; I replied asking for references and a phone number.  Within minutes he shot this back:

Dear Noel,

I’m afraid I don’t do this very often, and the last lady I visited has long since retired.  My phone number is xxx-xxx-xxxx, and if it would make you feel more comfortable we can meet for tea this afternoon first (I’ll pay you for that time as well, of course).  Thank you for considering me!

Very Truly Yours, Peter

I searched the phone number and it turned out to be a prepaid one; he could be anybody.  But my instincts told me he was a sincere and lonely gentleman and that I wouldn’t regret meeting him.  So I picked up my phone and called the number.

“Hello?”  What a strange voice he had!  Definitely an older man but with an odd timbre, and I couldn’t place the accent at all.

“Peter?  This is Noel.”

He couldn’t hide his excitement.  “Noel!  I’m so glad you called!  I apologize for the irregularity of my request, but as I said I have to leave town in the morning.”

“That’s all right,” I said; “I usually don’t see people this week, but you seem very nice.  You said I came highly recommended; did you mean by reviews or by a personal friend?”

“By my employer, actually.  He’s never seen you professionally, but he’s familiar with your reputation.”  The conversation went on for a while; he was unswervingly polite, asked no leading questions, did absolutely nothing to set off even the smallest warning bell.  And I have to admit my bank account could definitely use an all-nighter with a bonus right then!  So I decided to go for it, and we set the appointment for 5 PM; he reminded me to dress warmly and asked me to wear comfortable shoes.

He was extremely punctual, and when I opened my door I could see why he had requested flats; as short as I am, I was still a head taller than he was!  He was somewhere in middle age, with a full but perfectly-groomed beard and dark, smiling eyes.  He had a swarthy complexion, yet didn’t really have the features or accent of an Arab, and he wore a three-piece suit of dark green velvet in a very old-fashioned cut; I could see a watch chain at his vest pocket and he had a Homburg hat in one hand and a pot of poinsettias in the other. All in all, he presented quite a spectacle! I invited him in, gave him a hug, thanked him for the flowers and placed them on my table; I then asked if he would like something to drink but he declined politely, and handed me a very small gift-wrapped box. It was surprisingly heavy for its size; I sat down next to him, opened it and found it contained my fee…three one-ounce Maple Leaf coins, which at current gold prices is a generous gift even for an all-nighter.  He smiled at my astonishment and suggested I put them in my safe before we went out.

I’m not exaggerating when I tell you it was my best professional date ever; we went to my favorite restaurant and he urged me to order whatever I wanted, and we didn’t leave for a long time.  Not that the staff minded; he was an amazingly charismatic little gentleman who called the waiter by name, thanked him for his service and sent a complimentary note to the chef.  After dinner we had coffee and dessert, and I noticed his generous tip was left in old silver certificates.  When we finally left the restaurant we walked downtown for a while, looking at the decorations and listening to the Christmas music coming from the audio systems of shops and cafes; once we came across some kids building a snowman and neither of us hesitated to pitch in and help.

Eventually we got back to my place, and though it was past eleven and we had walked for what must’ve been miles in the snow I wasn’t tired at all; my hands and feet were frozen but my heart was warm, and I asked him to relax by the fireplace as I made cocoa.  Then we sat there for hours, sipping cocoa and eating Christmas cookies; we talked about morality and altruism, about consensual reality and the power of belief, about planes of existence and the truths that often lurk behind legends, and other such topics.  And then at some point we cuddled up together quietly before the fire, and I fell asleep in his arms.

When I awoke he was nowhere to be found; he had quietly cleaned up the cups and plates while I slept and stolen away sometime before dawn, leaving nothing but a short note:

Dearest Natalie,

There are no words in any human tongue to describe what a wonderful time I had last night.  I work very hard all year, and my holidays are rare; thank you for helping me to relax and for affording me the company of such a beautiful soul as yourself.  With your permission I’d like to see you again next year on this same day.

Very Truly Yours, Peter

As I looked at the note, two things dawned on me; the first was that he had addressed me by my real name, though I had never given him any other than “Noel”.  And the second was that, though he was obviously totally satisfied with the date, neither of us had at any point completely disrobed.

Ever since then I’ve been inspired to try to keep the Christmas spirit all year long, and though it’s been tough at times it’s also been tremendously rewarding.  Yes, I’ve given a lot of my money to charities, but I make so much that even the part I keep is more than most people outside our profession earn and the feeling I get in return is better than anything I could get from more jewelry or another designer dress.  Well, a few days ago I got another email from Peter; his boss has heard of my efforts and is so impressed that he’s offered me a full-time job.  The money’s not as good as in escorting, and I’ll have to move way up north, but I’ll be part of one of the biggest charitable organizations in the world and the fringe benefits are literally fantastic.  I’ll miss you sweetheart, but don’t worry; we can exchange emails as often as you like, and I’ll come to visit every December 26th.

Love, Natalie

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