Some mumbling accompanied the footsteps on the other side of the door. "So early... people nowadays..." Then the peephole on the door darkened.
"Who is it?" the woman's voice behind the door asked in an obvious tone of annoyance.
"I'm here to see Betsy," replied Pearl, unsure if it was the right place since it looked just like any other residence from the outside. But then she wouldn't expect it to look different. After all, it was not exactly a business that needed attention from the authorities.
"Who sent you?" asked the voice on the other side.
"I... I... came myself," unsure what the woman meant, Pearl replied.
"No, I mean, who told you about Betsy?"
"Oh... eh... Elvie did."
After a pause, followed by sounds of unlocking and sliding of bolts, the door opened. The woman looked at Pearl's face and then at her belly. Then she poked her head outside the door and looked both ways. Certain that nobody was hiding outside, she motioned with her head for Pearl to go in. After Pearl stepped in, the woman locked the two locks and slid the two bolts back into place.
The living room looked like an ordinary living room in a home. There were no plaques and things hanging on the wall like in a clinic.
"It's one hundred dollars," holding out her hand, the woman said as soon as she turned back around.
Pearl fished out her purse and handed over the amount, leaving almost nothing in her purse.
Suddenly the woman reached over and felt Pearl's belly with her hand before Pearl had any time to react.
"Wait here," satisfied that it was a real belly, the woman commanded. Then she went down the dark hallway leading to the back of the flat.
Pearl sat down on a chair facing the hallway and waited.
下期续 to be continued.
- updated every Friday afternoon -