Hearing that such a person worked in a brothel was quite surprising for Anna (not that she knows anything about the woman) and yet, her mind was intrigued as well.
Anna stood there, rooted to her spot. Her mind started racing, wondering if what she had just heard was actually true.
“Why are you standing there still? Is it that shocking to you?” the woman asked.
Anna tried to gather her thoughts, still wanting to sound sane but not entirely trusting that she could.
“Well yes, it is to me,” she admitted.
“And why is it shocking? For all we know, you could be one too, seeing as you have no recollection of your past.”
“I see. You have a point there.”
When Anna stayed silent, the woman huffed an impatient breath.
“Come on, what does that change about your knowledge of me? You barely even know me yet you’ve already making assumptions? Did I suddenly grow fangs or something?”
“What I know about you then and now didn’t change; I don’t even know your name…”
“It’s Samar,” she cut in halfway.
“Oh…” Anna rolled the words on her tongue, testing the foreign feel of the words and liking the taste of it. It was as mysterious and seducing as was her scent.
“Anna…” Samar called, pulling her out from her imagination.
Anna was mortified with the direction of her thoughts. What was wrong with her?
“I just don’t understand, you see. Why this profession when there’s so many others out there?”
Samar was quiet for a while; contemplating the question she was being asked. Anna studied the profile of Samar, wondering if there was more than meet the eye when it concerns the woman who stood in front of her. Surely there was something off here. Of course, she knew she was suspicious as well.
Having no recollection of her memory yet conveniently having an ID that provided the most basic necessity for her was as dumbfounding as having no recollection of her memory and spending her time wandering the streets.
“Sometimes certain things in life have no answer. It’s the same as your predicament at the moment. It’s not as if you want to wander around yet you have no choice right?”
“So you have no choice? You can’t leave that place?”
“It’s not as simple as that. At the same time, it’s not complicated as it seems. It’s more as if I choose not to because the other option is worse than this.”
Before Anna can bombard her with more questions, Samar cut her off.
“It’s getting quite late; let’s get there first before you ask me more questions. Even though I’m familiar with these parts of the world, I wouldn’t want to be out here alone for long as well.”
Anna nodded her head and followed Samar as she turned to walk in the opposite direction from where Anna had come from.
“What’s the place like?” Anna asked as they made their way through the night.
“Well…” Samar contemplated once again. “It’s alright. The place isn’t bad to live in, to be honest. It’s just the people and well, the profession we do that makes it such.”
“What’s wrong with the people there?”
“Hmm.. there are a few that would be nice to you – probably,” she added as an afterthought. “There are a few troublemakers, which is quite surprising given their age and profession but I’m guessing that some things never change despite your age.”
“What about you – are you a troublemaker too?” Anna asked.
Samar laughed out loud suddenly – stopping in her tracks as she threw her head back; her deep, throaty laughter breaking the silence of the night, sending warmth washing over the both of them.
“Oh, I couldn’t be one, even if I wanted to. Everyone there hates me. For some, it’s just disdain but it’s there. Before you ask me why, you should just keep an open mind until you get there. Don’t make any unnecessary assumption.”
They walked for a little longer, passing through alleys and using routes that Anna had never come across before. Anna was bubbling with too much of questions to ask Samar that she only realised quite late that she had forgotten to keep track of the routes that they were taking. She had no idea now on how to return to where she came from if she had any reasons to escape or run away from Samar.
Not that she thinks she would be doing so. But still …
Samar stopped suddenly without warning, causing Anna to bump into her solidly.
Anna looked at the building in front of her. While she had imagined a hideous looking brothel with black and shabby walls and dilapidated exterior, or even an eerily normal-looking bungalow, a couple of side-stacked shophouses were not what she expected to be a brothel house.
“Let’s go in.”