Just By Chance – Chapter 5

By the time Nikki caught up with her, Kim was dry heaving into the sink, her long, dark hair draped over the black granite countertop.

Nikki swallowed a lump in her throat.  The bathroom floor was soaking wet, and her high heels stuck to the tile with every step.  She cringed and placed a hand on Kim’s back.  “Are you okay?” she asked.

Kim shook her head and continued to heave.

“Kimmy, did you have too much to drink?”

A quick affirmative nod, then two more emphatic negative ones.

“Try to take a deep breath, okay?”

Kim responded with a small grunt, then straightened up and took a deep breath. She stared at herself in the mirror—her eyes puffing, her black mascara running. Her usual café au lait complexion was beet red, and her long, slender fingers, tipped with white polish, dabbed at the black streaks on her face.

Nikki took a deep breath—she hated watching, or listening to, anyone vomit.  “Good, Kimmy. That’s better. Maybe you should splash some cold water on your face.”

Kim took another deep breath and shook her head. “Oh God, Nikki. I can’t believe it.”

“Believe what?”

“That guy on the television.”

“You mean the mob guy?”

Kim’s heart was pounding, and she couldn’t stop her hands from shaking.  Her thin body quivered.  And before she could catch the words, she spewed, “That’s him…the guy I was with last night.”

“What? Are you kidding?”

“I wish I was,” Kim said, shaking her head.

“Oh my God.” Nikki could feel her friend’s fear.  Sure, Kimmy had the tendency to be a risk taker, but Nikki never thought that anything like this would happen.  “Where did you go last night?”

“We went to Sledge for drinks, then Mario’s for dinner, then to his hotel. We had a drink at the bar and went to his room. Afterwards, I went home.”

“Do you think anyone noticed you?”

“Of course they did. I mean, the guy was speaking Italian to the waiter and the bartender at Mario’s. And it seemed like everyone was giving me the eye.”

So many thoughts were running through Kim’s mind, overwhelming her. She leaned on the sink to keep from falling. Her knees buckled, and she struggled to maintain her composure. “What am I going to do? I mean, suppose the police find out I was with him. They’ll ask me how I knew him.  Like, what am I supposed to tell them? I’m a thirty-two-year-old married woman who works as an escort. I had dinner and drinks with this guy, then went to his room and had sex with him?”

Nikki felt dizzy. Emotionally, she felt for her friend because Kim was in distress and needed her support. But logically, she didn’t think that Kim needed to be worried. After all, she hadn’t committed the crime. “Let’s keep calm. We’ll think of something.”

“All I can think is that they’ll find out I was with him, and…”

“Shh,” Nikki said as she wrapped her arms around her.

“Suppose people find out I’m a whore?”

“You’re not a whore, Kimmy. You’re an escort. A very exclusive, very high class escort.”

“Oh God, I’m really going to throw up this time.” And with that, Kim sprinted for one of the stalls.

Nikki tried to drown out the sounds of Kim’s sobbing and gagging by focusing on the sounds coming from the bar. She needed some fresh air, but she was worried about Kim. She couldn’t just leave her best friend vomiting in a toilet.

Kim finally emerged from the stall and hustled to the sink to splash water on her face. Nikki pulled a handful of paper towels from the dispenser and handed them to Kim.

Kim dried her face, then looked at Nikki’s reflection in the mirror. “Nikki, what the hell am I going to do?”

Nikki didn’t have a clue what to do, but she couldn’t bear telling Kim that. “Don’t worry. We’ll think of something.”

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