Dressed up for a night out with the girls, short top revealing her cleavage and a short skirt, she was out to find a man, the man of her dreams. She was not like some of the girls out there, looking for sex, she wanted a relationship, love, marriage, kids.
Jessica arrived at the club, walked to the bar, ordered a drink and sat with her friends, enjoying the attention she was getting and the song she loved came on. A whole hour she had danced for, her feet sore, she made her way back to the seats and sat down for a brief second, as her phone beeped into life, she knew before she opened it, that it was from one of her brothers, knew that they wanted or needed her for something. What it was this time she had no idea. She took a long deep breath and flipped her phone open, there it was a message blinking at her, from James. Should she open it, or ignore it? Not that she ever ignored a message before, but she needed a night to herself, surely she could have that. She shook her head, pressed open.
James: Where are you?
Jessica: Out with a friend, why?
James: You are late, you were meant to be here already!
It was unlike Jessica to forget anything, and they knew it, she wrote everything down, her calendar was full of dates of her plans and meetings. The next few that came, told her it was a family meal, that was odd, she did not recall planning that, or ever being told about it, surely they would have told her, she must have forgotten, she was sure she would have written it down, but she had to go, if she had planned to go, she would be there. But that meant letting down her best friend, she would make it up to her, she apologised and made her way to the restaurant her brother had text to her.
She had no time to change, what she was wearing was not exactly restaurant clothing, suitable in her opinion, it was to get the attention she had at the club and she liked how it made her feel, it was not all about catching the eye of a man, she did not usually dress that way for clubbing, her best friend talked her into wearing it.
She entered through the glass door, everyone staring at her, nothing she did to try to make the skirt longer, or top less revealing worked. She could image they thought she was some kind of hooker. The man at the desk stared at her.
“Miss, you need to leave,” he said, reading to push her out the door.
“Excuse me, I am meeting my family here,” she said.
“We have a dress code, we…”
“Jessica, there you are?” James said, rushing to her aid.
“She is with you?”
“Yes she is, now come on Jessica, you’re already late.”
“Excuse me sir, but we have a dress code.”
“You do, thank goodness, I would hate to eat where everyone is naked.”
Her brother led her to the table, and whispered in her ear, asking why she was wearing such a revealing outfit. She explained, before they reached the table, she found her other brother, but not her patents.
“I thought this was a family meal, where is mum and dad?”
“Jessica, please don’t be mad at us, but we had to get you here, we need your help.”
“I knew it, I never forget to write down our plans and meetings, why did you lie to get me here, and I want the truth. You know I ditched my best friend because of you two.”
“We are sorry, we really are, let us get you a drink and then we can talk.”
As she sat down, Jessica looked at her brother, her hand flew to her mouth, his eye was black, and practically closed. Jim looked at her, and then bowed his head.
“What the hell happened to your eye, Jim?”
Her drink arrived, she picked it up and downed half, before her brother began.
“Sis, we're in trouble, big trouble,” James began. “We owe money, and we are a little behind in payments.”
“And they did that to you, because?”
“We don’t have the money to pay the full amount we owe, and this is just a taste. Next time,” he began, Jessica interrupted.
“Yeah, they will break my legs, and if we don’t pay up the whole lot, they will come after you, mum and dad, and our children.”
Guys, you don’t think I have any money stashed away to pay them, I would if I did.”
“No, we don’t.”
“I could sell my car, if that helps?”
“That is a kind offer, it is, but we owe more than the amount your car would go for, but thank you.”
“Okay, so how can I help?”
Her brother lifted his own drink and downed it, and refilled his glass.
“How much do you owe?”
James swallowed and quietly said, “Sixty-thousand.”
“How the hell do you owe that much?”
“Jessica,” Jim began, shaking his head.
“No, it doesn’t matter, but I am telling you now, if anything happens to our family, mum and dad, I…”
“Well, it’s why we called you, they gave us one option.”
“One option and what is that?”
“Whatever it is, do it,” she said.
“Why are you both looking at me,” she said. “Oh, me, how do I play into all this?”
“You know we wouldn’t ask you to do this, but we have run out of options.”
Okay, but there really is no other way, you, we have no choice.”
“Tell me what they want me to do, because if you think I am sleeping with some old guy to pay this debt, I don’t think I can.”
“It’s a little more complicated than that.”
“So you do want me to screw some old dude.”
Not exactly, but this means our family will be safe, our parents, and our debt cleared.”
“TJ, the guy we owe the money to, has a son.”
“Oh god, don’t tell me you want me to be his first.”
“Again, not exactly.”
James took her hand, his own trembling.
“Tell me, now!”
“What he wants is more than you sleeping with his son, he wants you to marry his son.”
“What! Are you joking, why can’t he find himself a wife, and what is he unattractive that no woman would marry him, so he has to find a woman this way?”
“I don’t know, Jessica, all we know is that this is the deal, you marry him, and half the debt is paid. You have a son, the debt is cleared.”
“I need another drink.” She called the waiter over and asked for a refill.
“If there was any other choice do you think we would have taken it, this is what he wants, and…”
The waiter placed her drink before her, which she downed asked for another.
“Don’t you think if we had any other choice, we would have done that instead, don’t you think we know what this means, what we are asking you to do,” Jim said.
“We thought long and hard about this Jessica, but neither of us could say no, we have to think about the kids, our parents, if this was the other way around, we would do this for you.”
Jessica rolled her eyes, and looked at her brothers; she knew that this TJ guy was a bad man, and assumed his son, would be too. She heard rumours of his operations, and knew what her brothers were saying that he would do was true. They feared for the safety of their children, their wives and their parents, she had done many things for them, but marrying some guy, for them, to fix their problem. She already knew she would do it, she could never allow anyone to hurt her family, she wanted them to squirm, his son may be the ugliest guy on the planet, but she would do what was needed. The only part she was not ready for, what a child, sleeping with some guy she was forced to marry would be hard enough, but to have a child, and it be the son they want, what then?