She sat in the SUV, her big dark glasses firmly on her face. No one could possibly see through the heavy tint, but she felt eyes on her all the time now. Ever since she found out that she was pregnant.
She looks over at her nanny. Nineteen and she still had a nanny. It was good to be rich in the Philippines. Her nanny stared straight ahead in stony concentration. Through the dark glasses, she seemed darker than usual, but there was no mistaking the competence that radiated from her. Nanny had always taken care of her, and this wasn’t going to be an exception.
The driver pulled into the church’s parking lot. What better place to park on a Sunday afternoon? A quick exchange in Bisaya passed between the driver and the nanny. “Stay here. Keep the engine running. I won’t be long,” nanny said. Her voice clipped and businesslike.
She scooted away from the sunlight that stole into the car when the nanny got out.
When nanny got back, she barely flinched; Her head leaning back into the soft leather headrest, her ears stopped up with the earphones of her iPod, and her immaculately manicured fingers drumming the rhythm softly into her alabaster thighs. The only sign she gave that she was even aware of her nanny’s return was the flicker of a smile that passed over her lips. Still, it might not have been a smile at all.
The SUV pulled away smoothly, away from the church, over the bridge, and back into the perfumed streets where it usually prowled.
The thing tasted as vile as it looked, as vile as it smelled. But her nanny said it would do the job. More importantly, it would do the job before anything showed; before, her nanny joked, she needed to buy new jeans.
So she swallowed as much as she could, tears streaming down her face, and fall-out boy blaring in her ear. She chased it down with a glass of cold cold water and wiped her tears away. Taking a deep breath, she put on a big smile and walked softly into the other room where Qiang was on the playstation, waiting for her. He had already taken his shorts off. Shooting zombies always gave him a hard-on and it wasn’t like he could get her pregnant anymore anyway. She knelt between his knees and made him shoot a couple of innocent bystanders.
The house smelled of cats. She crinkled her nose and held onto her nanny’s rough callused hand, letting herself be led deeper and deeper into the squalor. Her nanny pushed her into a room and, after shutting the door behind them, started taking her skirt off. She didn’t even flinch. Years of being undressed by her nanny had made the act of having her clothes taken off by someone else seem like the most natural thing. Almost by reflex, she lifted one leg and then the other out of the skirt. Her panties followed soon after.
On her back, with her head on her nanny’s lap, she closed her eyes and hummed along to Rhianna. She hardly felt the midwife’s warm oiled hands touching her still flat belly.
At first the sensation was pleasant enough. Just like a massage. The warmth, the steady pressure induced a sense of euphoria in her. When she heard a moan, it was a jolt to realize that it was her and that she was getting wet. And that was when the pain started.
Her eyes flew open when the midwife leaned into the stroke. It felt as though a knife had been plunged deep into her belly. She opened her mouth to scream but a strong hand clamped down on her face. She screamed into the hand even as she vaguely heard her nanny whispering smoothly, cutting through the dying strains of Rhianna’s singing.
Then she felt fingers insinuating their way into her, spreading the entrance that would soon be an exit. The deep massage continued, each stroke bringing a fresh assault of pain. She felt urine start gushing out of her, collecting in a warm pool under the small of her back. She screamed again and kept on screaming into her nanny’s hand until she passed out.
When she awoke, her nanny has wiping her lower body down with a rough towel soaked in warm water. “It’s over. We can go now,” her nanny said. “Get up.”
She tried. At first her knees buckled, but after a few moments, she was standing on her own. It was a good thing she wore flats, she mused, and chuckled at the absurdity of her thought. And as they made their way out of the house, she realized that the house no longer smelled of cats. Just the acrid odor of blood.
Her phone beeped. It was Qiang. “Suck me.” the message said simply.
Mario saw the tall young Chinese girl leaving the midwife’s house. She was prettier than most, with a strong jaw and high cheekbones that set her apart from the typical round-faced Chinese girls. She was busy reading her cellphone while an older woman – dark and severe looking – made sure she didn’t step into any puddles. Mario thought she was smiling, and for a moment entertained the thought of forwarding a message to her.
Then a movement from the second floor window caught his eye. The midwife had hung a red towel on the window sill. Ah, Mario thought. What a waste. Such a pretty girl too.
He pushed away from the small sari-sari store and walked towards the midwife’s house. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the young girl turn to look at him. But he was already wondering where he would dump the fetus this time. He was running out of good spots.