Authors: Kelly Clark
The same evening, Tonya paid a visit to Lucy, her best and only friend. Lucy lived in a large house with her new husband Steve who owned a trucking company.
here,'' Tonya said as they sat down on the terrace with a glass of wine.''
''I'm so lucky.
and his business is doing
well,'' Lucy said running her hand
her brunette hair.
''You two were lovers at sixteen weren't you?''
Lucy grinned. ''I'd never seen a penis before I was sixteen. I hadn't got a clue what to do, but Steve had seen enough of his elder brother's pornos to guide me. It was a
Tonya had a rush of jealousy. She hadn't had a boyfriend for ages, only attention from men she didn't find attractive.
'' I've got something incredible to tell you. You won't believe it,'' Tonya said.
Lucy sipped her wine and looked at her friend with curiosity. ''I'm all ears.''
''You know Dr. Crosby?''
''Oh my God.
He's so hot.
''Not you as well. My mom told me the same thing. Well,
, he wants me to be his girlfriend.''
Lucy spat her wine back into her glass. ''You what? You lucky bitch.'' Her eyes
and now she was the jealous one.
''It's not as simple as you may think. You know mom and I are finding it hard to make ends meet?'' Lucy nodded. ''Well I was upset the other day about mom, and he noticed and asked me what was wrong. I told him about our financial troubles.'' Lucy was now sitting on the edge of the seat, hanging onto every word. ''He asked me to go and see him the next day. So I did. And guess what he told me?'' Lucy was stunned and incapable of guessing. Her mouth fell
and she slowly wiggled her head from side to side. ''He told me if I were to consent to be his girlfriend, he would pay off all our debts.''
''Jesus Christ,'' Lucy said after a while. ''Snap his hand off. You won't get another offer like that again.
from a man like him.''
''I asked him if being his girlfriend included having sex.''
A look of dismay came over Lucy's face. ''
it means having sex. That's the whole point of having a boyfriend. Really, when were you born, in the eighteen
''I know. It was a stupid question. He said he wanted sex.''
''Great. You'll have to tell me what's he's like in bed. Doctors know all about female anatomy. I bet he makes you come so often you'll beg him to stop.''
A bird flew
and Tonya wished she could climb on in and
away to a far off land. ''But
in my opinion,
that's the same as prostitution. He pays
and I have sex.''
''My dear friend. What's the difference between that and what Steve does for me. It's his house, his money and I give him sex?''
''You're married. What Dr. Crosby wants is the same as in that film. What was it called? You know with Robert Redford.''
''Yes. That's it. He's made me an indecent proposal.''
Lucy finished her wine in one and poured another. She was enjoying this conversation very much. ''I'll admit it's a bit unusual. But if were you I would take it. Just imagine all your money worries, gone. And what's a bit of sex? If he turns out to be a lousy lover, which I'm sure he's not, just lay on your back and let him do it.''
''Very helpful thanks,'' Tonya said sarcastically.
Gretta was talking to Mrs. Bain when Tonya arrived at the surgery.
''Tonya, thank heavens you're here. I can't make head or tail of
lady. I need my prescription. Where is it?''
''Mrs. Bain, don't you remember? You get your prescription at the dispensary in town, not from here. Gretta,
Mrs. Bain to the
and make sure she gets her
Gretta flashed Tonya a dirty look as if to say she'd had enough of the old lady already, but Tonya didn't take any notice, she had other things on her mind. She walked through the empty waiting room and knocked on Dr. Crosby's door.
The room smelled just as
as the day before. Whatever shower gel he used, she liked it. ''Dr. Crosby.......,'' she began.
''Call me Marcus please,' he interrupted.
''Er... Marcus,'' it seemed strange calling him Marcus. ''I want to reply to our conversation of yesterday.'' He didn't say anything. ''I think what you have offered is inappropriate. You have done nothing more than proposition me. Use me, in fact. You have used you superior wealth to try to get me to do something I don't want to do. And to be frank, I think you should be ashamed of yourself.''
''Did I hear you correctly? That I should be ashamed of myself? Shall we look at the situation?'' He looked her straight in the eyes with a glare that made her very uneasy. ''You are the one in need, not me, so perhaps you should be a bit more civil to me.
, this surgery belongs to
and you work for me.
that next time you insult me. I'm sure there are plenty of other jobs out there.''
''Are you threatening me?'' Tonya asked, her blood beginning to boil.
''Not at all. I'm
pointing out that I made you a reasonable
She stood up and put her hands on her hips. ''Never. I will never take you up on your ridiculous offer. How could you? I'm not a piece of trash you can take to bed for money.''
Marcus cringed as she slammed the door and the pictures of his yacht almost fell from the wall.
Tonya sat in her bedroom and looked out of the window as the
worked his way along the street.
and the surgery
. She thought about what had happened during the week with Marcus. Why had he made her such an offer? He was a
and she was sure he could have any woman he wanted. Did it turn him on to treat her like that or did he
like her and want to help? No, if he just wanted to help, he would have lent her the money, no strings attached. The
reached their house and put a letter and what looked like a newspaper in the postbox. She would look for another job, and leave him to molest his next receptionist, she concluded.
When Tonya had washed and dressed, she went downstairs to find her mother holding the letter the
had just delivered. She handed
''More? How can it be so expensive,'' Tonya cried. ''Sorry mom, that was insensitive. Your treatment comes first. We'll find the money.'' Her mother
but it was a worried smile.
After breakfast, Tonya sat out on the veranda and wondered why in such a civilized country medical bills were so expensive. She'd read that
in some European countries
was practically free. They wanted to add another twenty thousand to her mom's bill.
Who knows where it will end Tonya thought as she imagined an auctioneer standing on a podium in front of their home, with a crowd of bloodthirsty bidders in front of him.
Her cell phone rang, it was Lucy. ''Hi, do you want to come for a barbecue this afternoon? It's a lovely
and we've decided to invite a few friends around. Please say yes.''
''Okay, that sounds great. I'll bring some wine.''
''No need, Steve's got it covered. Just bring yourself and a smile.''
Did she mean that I'm miserable? Tonya thought.
At three pm Tonya put on in a floral summer dress and hopped on her bicycle. It was a short ride to
the fresh air. She also enjoyed all the guys who turned their heads to watch her long brown legs rotating
as she peddled.
Lucy greeted her like a long-lost friend and introduced her to four guys who drive
Steve, and a couple of young women who worked in the office. There were also a few of Lucy's family there, including her cousin Jeff.
''Jeff,'' Tonya said as she opened a beer. ''How are you?''
''All the better for seeing you. You look gorgeous.''
''Thanks. How's college?''
He swept a hand over his black hair and fixed his green eyes on her cleavage. ''Okay. But it seems like a never ending road. Eight years of grind.''
''But just think how great it will be to call yourself doctor at the end of it all.''
''I suppose so. It would be even better if you were by my side, Tonya. Imagine what a team we would be.''
Tonya took a mouthful of beer and thought what she should say to him. They'd been through all this, weeks ago. He obviously hadn't listened. ''Jeff, I told you before, I
like you, but for me, there's no spark. It's not your fault, we're just on different wavelengths'' He looked at his feet and shuffled from one foot to the other. ''I'm sorry. You'll find Mrs. Right one day, I know.'' She put a reassuring hand on his shoulder.
''But you're so.......I can't describe it. You're just perfect.''
and a few people laughed hysterically.
''Thanks, Jeff, you're so sweet, and I wish I felt different, but I don't want to lie to you.''
Tonya moved away and stood next to
who was cooking chicken and making a poor job of it. ''You'll burn it, move it to the side,'' she said. Steve put his arm around her.
''Tonya. It's great to see you. You always call to see Lucy when I'm at work. Afraid you'll not be able to keep your hands off me?''
Steve had a great sense of humor. He was a big guy and strong. With his arm around her, she chastised herself for beginning to feel secure in the arms of another woman's husband. ''You've got it in one Steve. How could any woman resist?''
He kissed her on the cheek and offered her a chicken wing. ''Later,'' she said.
''Go and sit with the guys. A couple of them are single, who knows?'' he suggested.
Truckers weren't number one on Tonya's list, but she saw a free chair and sat down between two big guys who already had several empty beer bottles
their chairs. One of them leaned over to her and introduced himself as Ivan. It turned out he was from Romania and had come
to the US
to drive trucks. He spoke English with a strong
and Tonya found herself saying, 'pardon,' quite a lot. When he started to stare at her breasts and put his hand on her knee, she excused herself and went to talk to Lucy.
''And? What happened?'' Lucy asked.
''He's a bit rude.''
''No I mean with Dr. Crosby, not Ivan.''
''Oh. Nothing, I told him to sod off.''
Lucy put the chicken bone on her plate. ''Why? Jesus. All you had to do was go to bed with him a few times and he would have made your life so much easier. I don't understand you. Think of your mom.''
It was something Lucy hadn't stopped
not tell her mom because she knew what she'd say. But by refusing Marcus she did feel guilty. ''But what sort of man does that to a younger woman?'' she asked.
''An interesting man. A man who likes to play games, who demands things. A man who makes you feel things. Has he made you feel anything?''
''Yes. He's made me feel cheap and worthless.''
Lucy sighed at Tonya's lack of enthusiasm for a game she would love to play herself. '' He's playing a game with you. Do you think he
believes you are cheap and worthless? Of course, he doesn't.''
Tonya finished her beer and twirled the bottle around in her hand.
''Why don't you do it, Tonya. He's
and he's a doctor. Just swallow your pride and do it.''