As the cruise came to an end, my sugar daddy, Marco, held me closely as if to say he was sorry for our fight, but without ever actually saying that he was sorry for yelling at me about bringing up the topic of marriage. Marco was in control; it was his way or the highway and he’s only ever apologized once during our entire time together. That’s just the way it was, but I didn’t know any better at the time.
After the cruise docked, I asked for some space from Marco while I walked the streets of downtown Seattle for hours. I had my cell phone, $20 cash, and my ID. That’s not much to go on. After two months of not smoking because Marco hated the smell, I walked up to a small convenience store that had advertisements for bail bonds in giant bright yellow letters on the window. I was certain this was a bad part of town, but I was just too angry to even care. I purchased a pack of Marlboro reds, a lighter, and a bottle of water. I spent the next several hours walking the streets of downtown Seattle, ignoring calls and texts from Marco despite knowing he was genuinely concerned about my well-being.
It was a warm summer night, one of the last few nights in August of that year. I made my way up to Fifth Avenue and encountered an architecturally interesting building that was curved in two opposite directions. I followed the steps up to this building to find a terrace, surrounded by beautiful blooming flowers. My legs were tired, so I sat down and stared up at the sky for a moment or two. Another call, another text—again, I ignored both.
“It’s a beautiful night,” said a man with a rustic smoker’s voice. I looked around frantically, but couldn’t see anyone in the dark, so I stood up. “Don’t worry, I’m harmless. I’m down here,” the man said as he lit up his cigarette, revealing his location; he was lying on the small bench to the immediate left of the terrace. “The name’s Kip. What’s yours?”
Two more calls from Marco came through, and again I ignored them both. “Vivian. You scared the crap out of me. What are you doing lying down there?” I asked. I heard another text message and this time I silenced my phone.
“I think the question that should be asked here is why are you ignoring that person’s attempt to reach you?” Kip retorted. I looked down at my phone to see yet another message. Marco was at the hotel and angry; he was ready to contact the police as I had been gone now for six hours without so much as a word. I ignored the message and turned my attention back to the mysterious stranger in the dark…