The picture hanging on the wall was cracked, not in the face where the frames usually are. The crack was somewhere where her heart should've been, adjacent to her left breast. Her breasts, which were held on to by many – squeezed and quenched and licked and sucked as if these belonged not to her but them in the first place. From those resembling the moustached villains of the 70's to the pious bearded ones, from the kids stepping into the adventures of puberty to the men who were sick of their wives and children, from those who realized it was a one-night-fuck to those promising her a new life with diamonds and rubies and sapphires, they were all the same to her: customers. Except for him.
He didn't ask for it. She didn't want him near the brothel, not once, not ever. But detaching him from herself was not an option either. That was when she was sixteen. Add sixteen more years of failed attempts, attempts to keep him away, sixteen more years of sucking various penises, telling them theirs is the biggest, for that is what they want to hear, sixteen more years of faked moaning, sixteen years of the creases deepening in to her face, and now she felt old, but he was still by her side, now fetching clients for her.
There was no brothel anymore. Only a room with her cracked-at-the-heart picture hanging on the wall. She was holding him in the picture. The only capital in the room – apart from her body – was a single bed, used and reused and readied to be used again just like herself.
Two men with their penises dangling were waiting outside, as he'd said, the clients were both special and regular ones. A black bra (only to be taken off), small bottles of various drinks (in case she is not enough of an enchantment), a loosely fitting red dress (so it doesn't bother much), a lot of makeup and deodorant (for whores must be smelling good), all things in place, a glance at the shattered picture, and she was ready.
There was a knock on the door.
'Shall I send 'em in?' His innocent little face poked in.
She couldn't look into his eyes.
He was waiting for an answer.
If only he could save her. She sighed.
'They're waiting.' He insisted.
He was supposed to save her from all of this.
'You're the best.' He said with a smile and went on to add his usual five words: 'It will be okay, Ma!'