Publication Date: September 22, 2014
Life As I Know It:
Such was my life in fabulous Las Vegas. But what do you expect when you’re the daughter of a prostitute. This is not the life I want for myself, and I have a plan.
Life As I Want It:
Go to college.
Get my degree.
Get as far from Vegas as possible.
But life has other plans. Plans that include him. Life isn’t always sunshine and roses and even the best laid plans change.
This is my story. The story of a girl who thought she had it all figured out until life threw her a curve ball. My name is Presley and I refuse to be just another Working Girl.
The telltale crackle of the old vinyl record fills the air as Elvis’s deep smooth and sensual voice dances in my brain. The song is contagious and I find myself humming along as I walk down the hallway to her room to find her already perched at the seat in front of her vanity.
I stand there, unbeknownst to her, watching as she readies herself. She’s wearing her silk dressing gown and for a moment I pretend that she’s not a prostitute. She looks like an average middle-aged woman; her brown eyes and hair a mirror image of mine. But then her robe falls open, revealing her lacy bra and bringing me back to reality. That bra will attract more than one Joe tonight.
Countless hours of my life have been spent watching her. Hell, there was even a time where I adored her. I love my Momma, I do, but I can’t understand how she could have allowed me to grow up with all this surrounding my innocence. It doesn’t seem fair, and I can’t help but hate her a little bit for it.
There is no handbook to guide the daughter of a hooker, but it didn’t keep me from trying to figure out my messed up mind. In desperation, I had even Googled “How to cope with your mother being a prostitute” before. It ended up being a bunch of psychobabble bullshit, leaving me with nothing but my own thoughts.
As I continue to watch her I feel sadness. There’s so much I’m missing out on. I’m no fool and I know that. I’ve read enough books to know that children aren’t supposed to worry about their moms like I do. Day after day I worry if it’s going to be her last; if this will be the day that she attracts the wrong Joe and he takes her from me; that this might be the day she actually drinks herself to death. All things a girl my age shouldn’t have to think about when it comes to their momma.
After a few quiet minutes her familiar eyes meet mine in the mirror and I force a smile, trying to hide my sadness.
“Presley, baby girl,” she coos. “Come help me.” Moving on just like nothing happened, but I know she knows. She’s no idiot. She’d ended her night blacked out drunk, even so she knows she didn’t just miraculously wake up in her bed, perfectly cleaned and tucked in.
I go to her, and she hands me her favorite pearl necklace. She lifts her long brown hair off the back of her neck before turning and smiling at me. “Did I ever tell you about that necklace?”
I nod, but she ignores the fact that I’ve heard the story a million times and starts telling it anyways while I fasten it around her neck, her fingertips running along the smooth pearls. “This necklace was your great-great grandmother’s—”
About A. E. Woodward
A.E. lives in Vacationland with her husband and two children. Between her real job and writing she finds little time to enjoy life’s finer things. However in the free time she does manage to steal, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, and reading. A.E. is the author of Kismet and A Series of Imperfections: Imperfectly Perfect, Imperfectly Real, and Imperfectly Bad. Working Girl is her fifth book.