Doubt the hope that saves us from our worst sin! by Rosa Arlotto

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A dangerous laison.

Submitted: October 30, 2008

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Submitted: October 30, 2008

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Doubt the hope that saves us from our worst sin!
 
 
“I didn’t tell honest, I didn’t tell” She pleaded like a child would, a child whose been told to keep a secret and was now being threatened to be punished.
“Didn’t tell who?”
 She wouldn’t answer. Doubt the hope that saves us from our worst sin!
Professor Lewis didn’t have a clear idea of what he was going to do. None of this was very assuring. Was she a prostitute? Maybe but then a single slip  might have been enough to remove her from her home and family.
Confronted with the problem he quickly dismissed embarrassed. The demands of everyday life prevented him from thinking about it, her name was never mentioned to his family and colleagues and then he reasoned no one bothers about morals and religion in his social environment anymore. Every time the word “prostitution” came up in conversation among friends he listened carefully to try to understand the context and how it was being used. Views and opinions seem to vary among them and depending on culture. To Professor Lewis it seemed it had something to do with behavior, social class and sexual experiences. What was it after all about a woman that made her identify her as a prostitute? In Egypt for instance he noted that all Egyptian females took money from men whether they were dating or married, rich or poor or it didn’t even matter if he could afford it. No matter what, their boyfriends, fiancés, husbands paid for everything,
and when they married men paid women bride price, a large sum which a woman could spend however she wished and married men usually gave an allowance to their wives even if she didn’t work. In short Professor Lewis reasoned it is not the injection of money into a sexual relationship that defines prostitution but a rather complex judgment about a woman’s social behavior or the number of her sexual partners. Professor Lewis himself even sharply contested the term “prostitute” when it came to her because he thought the term could be easily used to criticize any woman who defies cultural social codes and even he thought the use use of the term  violates a female right of sexuality and independence.
So why did the thought horrify him the way it did?How could she so confuse him and mystify him at the same time. She lived on her own alone in her apartment unemployed and poor in a subculture from which he felt alienated . To understand her trauma and her tragedy he would have to enter her world and let go of self-righteousness and he didn’t want to go there. Otherwise he saw her as a superb young woman triumphant in her beauty. He saw her as she appeared to him as a magnificent statue to his gaze and her kisses were so lovely that he couldn’t help himself.It wasn’t until he saw her standing in her doorway, her stretched out arms  towards him holding an open brown bag in her hand and saying “well then?” that the political reality dawned on him but nonetheless drove him to reach to his wallet and then doggedly pay her.
Her method of work was unusual nonetheless Professor Lewis had to admit as he watched her move around nude and relaxed in the apartment and he paid her more so that she provide him with more delicious pleasures.But Professor Lewis feared these things had a sour reality beyond the one he grasped and he was starting to have mental pains. How ridiculous would he appear to his colleagues if she were to tell, how everyone would laugh at him if they knew.She might not tell if she were hit over her head he mumbled to himselfthis mental pain he was feeling now was possibly worst
than her physical one would ever be and he hated to cause her pain.
His only thought was to do something for her at all cost but then he heard the ridicule and the laughter of his friends rumbling inside of himself and he started to pull away as a thrill went through him:
“I have to go” he said darting out from under her shoulders and in the midst of this confusion remembered that he was a gentleman and entertained members of respectable society.He said goodbye to her as though they would be reunited soon but he knew better. He could not risk becoming an n object of public scandal and for the rest of his life. Truth can be deadly .Nobody must find out her. She must stay his secret.  He must brake up with her When he finally went home in his car he defended himself to himself convincingly but inexpertly:
“How was he supposed to have known?”
Though pondering on the right and wrong what moved Professor Lewis was the need to see her again and feed more in the glowing vitality of her body. He had fallen under her spell. He was a changed man the first time he met her. But if rumors of his liaisons were to reach at the faculty his reputation would be smashed to pieces. While he still feared how these malicious rumors might spread around he needed to say something. This feeling for her which people would have laughed at and tried to make fun of (because they don’t understand) was the best thing of his life and the very ideal of his likes of aesthetics.
But he could imagine his family’s shock and disapproval. At the faculty too he had been subject of many comments both good and bad and although he did not go out of his way to invite praises from his peers he accepted them readily enough and he didn’t want to go without no matter how sweet her seduction.
What Professor Lewis had thoughtto be simple was really complex in the extreme but nothing must shake his determination: he must never see her again. Eaten up and red with shame he swore he’d never look for her again.
 
 


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