The aroma of dim sum penetrates the streets of Soho; arrow neon lights point to seedy downstairs basements, offering the lonesome fellow an offer of three-for-two on adult magazines and videos; and Margot watches the world pass by, teary-eyed, from behind a café window. She glimpses her tired reflection, and thinks, Who am I? How did I become this person I despise? Will I ever escape the tangle of this dark underworld?
She is broken from her thoughts and reflection by her mobile vibrating wildly, next to her half-finished latte; she checks the caller ID and answers.
‘Hey Margot, I’m sorry for such short notice, but we had a call from Fi this afternoon; she’s had to cancel tonight. Are you able to cover?’
‘Yes. Sure, Kelly. No problem.’
‘Great. I’ll see you at eight? Oh, and Margot, bring some silver-sequin nipple pasties; it’s tonight’s dance theme. The men can’t get enough of them!’ She beams.
After their goodbyes, Margot turns back to the window to face her reflection. Who am I? She thinks. How did I become this person I despise? Will I ever escape the tangle of this dark underworld? Maybe one day, I’ll find the courage to pack my bags, wave down the nearest black cab, and leave this place; but for now, I need to earn; it’s all about the money, isn’t it always? She finishes the last dregs of her latte, gets up, and exits the café.