On average working in the sex shop had become a surprisingly mundane experience. Initially the excitement of entering such a different world than the one he was used to as a university student was thrilling and for his friends the source of many good stories.
Also it didn’t pay too bad either, as long as he worked nights. As far as he was concerned working nights was the only option as the day shift had the dubious duty of having to clean the shop before opening, which included the four video viewing cabins and the gay cinema in the back. Furthermore a job there meant sitting behind a counter and putting movies on for view in the cabins and cinema, and ringing-up on the register magazines, DVD’s, or any other sex paraphernalia that one could imagine.
Every now and then he would be called upon to answer questions about certain products, or chitchat with lost or drunk tourists, but in general people didn’t talk inside the shop. They seemed shy or embarrassed to be there; perhaps anxious they might meet someone they knew. This always fascinated him because what is there to be embarrassed about when already inside. There weren’t any windows in the shop so it was in fact a kind of haven for sexual deviance. Sometimes he wondered if he had already become conditioned by working there after only a year, surrounded by exaggerated latex symbols and prostheses of sexual urges. She, however, was different. Her body and mind seemed of a wonderful normality and she became his reason to go to work. The first time she came into the shop it was for paper towels, condoms and lubricant jelly. She liked the kind that tasted like strawberries and got hot when in contact with skin. This became her regular shopping list. Every now and then she would go for something extra like handcuffs, a new outfit or batteries for her vibrator, but always she would have a cup of coffee with him at the counter before they both started their shift. To this day he still doesn’t know why she made such an impression on him. She was one of the many prostitutes who stopped in for supplies. That she was so charmed with the fact that he spoke broken Spanish – which boosted his ego – could have had something to do with it, but she wasn’t the only Latina in the red-light alley across the street and most of them also took time for a chat or a cup of coffee when getting supplies. She seemed different. It was something about the questions she asked and how she looked at him. He often had a book ready for the beginning of evening when business was quiet and she would ask about it, sometimes even recommend books she had read, or films she had seen. All the while the manner in which her head slanted slightly down and to the side when she spoke – accentuated by the knot of dark-brown hair on top of her head and her light-green eyes – she captivated him.
When he put his hands on her shoulders she got goose bumps and he felt these like an electric shock run up his arms and down his legs.
He only knew her in regular clothes, usually jeans, a T-shirt and neat dark blue jacket. He had never seen her behind the window and he didn’t want to. Knowing that he saw her as she was reassured him. As with all the girls he knew that when she crossed the street and stood behind the window she would have to be wearing something incredibly small and revealing, all the while seductively swaying her hips and winking at the dark shadows passing before her. For him that was too easy to imagine. Since he had gotten to know her he never again walked along the windows after his shift on the way home. Before, passing through the street the girls would tease and flirt with him from behind their windows – many of whom he knew from the shop. It gave him a strange kind of energy. Most were beautiful women whose sexuality was made so prevalent it was hard not to fantasize about what he could do with them. The idea that it only took a little bit of money was easily put aside as a practicality. But he never did.
The Saturday night it happened was busy. Saturdays were always busier and he then worked the shop with another colleague. Because it was an especially hot and muggy night the shop was filled with even more people. Not just customers but also people from the street who sought the air-conditioning inside. He had to keep concentrated on the magazine rack, and the panty-sets just next to it. These got lifted the most. In every aisle and on every security-monitor behind the counter there were people; either huddling close to each other or standing near the shelves in front of them, attempting to conceal their curiosity.
Suddenly he heard a rumbling crash and shortly after a group of five men came barging through door. ‘Where the hell did that come from!?’, asked one. Their shoulders, arms and heads were completely wet. ‘I told you it was going to rain. I told you let’s wait to go outside’, said another. Before he could come from behind the counter to tell the men to first dry off before coming inside completely, she came in. He froze. She was wearing nothing more than a hot-pink bikini with tiny fake gemstones on it and cobalt blue stiletto heels. Her hair was down and completely wet. It fell to just below her shoulders. Their eyes met. She smiled shyly and he had a splendidly stupid grin on his face. He was caught somewhere between panic and complete fascination. She looked fantastic. ‘I just needed to get something from my car and got locked out of my room’, she said apologetically, ‘Then this storm came out of nowhere.’ He still couldn’t get a word out of his mouth. Drops of water were falling from her hair and rolled down her chest onto her belly. Her nipples had become hard from the air conditioner. Her entire body was tanned and looked completely tight under the bright fluorescent lighting in the shop. The strap from her bikini bottom cut wonderfully into her side accentuating her hips and bottom. The bikini top was small enough to reveal the line of her breasts from the side. ‘I’m starting to like this storm!’, said one of the men by the door while eyeing her up and down, ‘This place isn’t so bad.’ Almost everyone in the shop was male, and they had all stopped what they were doing and were looking at her standing by the door.
He jolted from behind the counter towards her. ‘Are you OK? You’re trembling.’ She wasn’t but that is the only thing he could think of to say. He went up to her to lead her into the shop and away from the gazes of the customers. When he put his hands on her shoulders she got goose bumps and he felt these like an electric shock running up his arms and down his legs. The beads of water on her body could just as well have been sweat and it was driving his imagination in overdrive. ‘I’m fine, I just feel so stupid about getting locked out’, she giggled. He didn’t know where else to go with her but into the back of the shop. On the way he got his jacket from behind the counter and put it around her shoulders. She turned and looked at him from behind with the most sensual smile on her face, or was it just because he was seeing her like this? He led her to one of the empty cabins in the back, and opened the door for her. ‘Let’s both take a break in here’, he said. Before she went in she turned and gave him that smile again.