Lost Innocence

Lost Innocence

Lost Innocence

About The Book

MICHAEL, an artist locked up for a crime he claims he didn’t commit and John, a self-confessed heroin smuggler, are brought together to survive in the primitive, over-crowded, hell of a prison infamously known as the BANGKOK HILTON.

Michael fights for his freedom, while John, resigned to his fate, wants only to regain his dignity. Michael’s grandfather, a once brilliant lawyer, is brought out of retirement to fight a case in a city where justice is bought and sold to the highest bidder and corruption is not a kink in the system – it is the system. Running out of time and unable to find the only witness, he searches for another way to succeed in this hopeless case.

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Reviews

I started reading the story and suddenly, I was 120 pages into it without stopping. I think the storyline is realistic and gripping with characters you want to follow. The plot is believable and it is a book, which I could read on holiday and enjoy.

Conrad Jones

Bestselling author

It’s very good!  I really enjoyed it. The description of Michael taking girls back to paint them was particularly well written and the story itself intriguing, I was compelled to read more. The description of the Thai prison was also vivid.

Kelly Davies

 

Great book, I could see it selling very well, if marketed well.  I followed it and found it quite compelling.  That’s quite a compliment from someone who has not read a fiction book in 10 years.

Paul Greening

First Chapters

1

I was lying on the golden sands on the south-west coast of Thailand, the blazing sun warming my body. The view as I gazed out onto the vast expanse of the Andaman Sea was breath-taking. It was like a laptop screensaver or the front cover of a holiday brochure. The serenity of the still blue waters was only broken by the sound of the waves lapping against the rocks. I was about to begin my book, the latest crime thriller by Conrad Jones, when my eyes met those of a passing hawker. She was carrying her wares in two bulging sacks attached to a long pole that rested on her shoulder. I felt a sharp pang of sympathy for her and found myself pointing to some fruit. Once she had gone I returned to my book and was flying through the pages when my nostrils started to twinge. I looked around with a disapproving frown, but couldn’t tell what it was or where it was coming from. I squinted up at the sun and could feel the rays burning my eyes. It didn’t seem any brighter or higher in the sky, but oh my god it was hot. My parched throat cried out for water, but as I scrambled in the sand for my bottle, I couldn’t find it. Then, rubbing the sweat from my eyes with my forearm, I noticed my book and the melon I’d just bought had gone. I lay back to calm myself, but was surprised when the back of my head met with someone’s feet. I turned to apologize but couldn’t have been more shocked; the beach was now packed. So many bodies lying crammed together within so little space. And then the noise erupted. The cacophony was unbearable; everybody was jabbering loudly in a language I didn’t understand.

 

The stench hit me again, but this time I could identify it. It smelt like human excrement mixed with sweat, body odour and cigarettes. I glanced around to see who was smoking: everybody was. I wanted to run, but as I tried to rise I felt something tight around my ankles. I glanced down, but with beads of sweat restricting my vision, I couldn’t make out what it was. Then something ran under my feet. It felt like a cockroach: it was a cockroach. I kicked it away, but then another appeared, and then more. Was I having a nightmare? I didn’t think I was dreaming; this felt so real. I shook my head and screamed as the surface that was before a golden sand, was now a dark, hard, filthy floor. My body started to tremble. I looked up at what was once a clear blue sky, but all I could see now was thick black smoke. It was everywhere and causing me to cough. As I sat there trying to compose myself, the smoke finally cleared and several stained panels emerged with flickering florescent strip lights. It was as if the sky had somehow imploded and then transformed into a ceiling of a filthy neglected room. Shock gripped me, and terror struck once more as I remembered where I was. My mind had been playing tricks on me, creating a mirage of a beach, a mirage of freedom. The trauma almost blew my mind: I had to face reality once more and deal with the torment all over again. I was in a Thai prison. I was in Hell.

2

I was sitting cramped on a damp, uneven floor, wedged in by a sea of hot, sweaty, restless bodies of people, people I didn’t know. The memories of my living nightmare began to resurface; that first day when the cell door swung closed; the helplessness of being locked in. I was the only Foreigner or Farang as we were known, and although we were packed in so tightly, I had never felt so alone. The extreme heat was so oppressive that I almost threw up. I constantly tried to calm myself, but it was all too much. The rusty iron leg-restraints that clamped around my ankles still hurt and reminded me of the day they had been put on.

 

I couldn’t have been more terrified as I sat on a lumpy concrete step out in the yard. The man in charge was a shabby, sick-looking Thai who operated a machine that looked like something out of medieval times. I muffled my screams as he clamped the restraints on and looking into his eyes it seemed he took sadistic pleasure in my pain. Tears rolled down my cheeks. I tried desperately to nurse my throbbing ankles, but couldn’t reach beneath the rings, the rings that were now permanent. I was still sitting on the step observing the flesh swelling around my ankles when three surly guards took a hold of me and dragged me out into the rain. I could barely feel the rough wet floor beneath me as the pain continued to sear through my body. They stopped in the middle of the yard where I was held firm, and stripped. I didn’t struggle, I just stood there naked; the fear of being raped had gripped me and momentarily restricted any movement. I was bent over by two of the guards while the third parted the cheeks of my arse, reached in and shoved his latex covered finger in as far as he could. My body jerked forward while I struggled to hold back my screams. He had supposedly been checking for drugs, but more likely was just enjoying the sadistic infliction of pain. I had suffered the worst violation of my body; I had been degraded and abused.

A coughing fit brought my mind back to the cell. I glanced up and noticed a thick blanket of smoke had enveloped me. Prisoners were smoking and then dropping their smouldering butts between the cracks in the floor. My pounding heart continued transmitting its beats through every inch of my being, I needed water – I needed to get out! An odd creaking noise distracted me. Glancing up, I saw a worn-out ceiling fan wobbling and creaking as it spun round. It didn’t seem securely fixed and looked like it could fall at any time. My damp sweaty clothes clung to my body and the pain of lying on such a rock hard surface was horrendous. Some of the inmates had a bed-roll to sleep on. I just had the floor.

 

The bugs continued to torment me. It seemed they were waiting for me to sleep or die. I continually flicked them off, but it was exhausting and futile. Some sampled my blood, and others defecated leaving foul traces of their presence. Mosquitoes were constantly landing and feasting on the cuts around my ankles. My mind began to play tricks on me. It was as though, even when the bugs weren’t there, I could still feel them crawling all over me. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a man gripping a plastic tube and sucking what I assumed to be heroin into it. He stuck a needle into his friend’s arm, drew some blood and then combining the two substances, he injected the mixture into the emaciated arm; all the while his friend sat gazing into space. As sickening as this was, I couldn’t help but watch. After several long, drawn-out hours, the yelling finally subsided and I noticed some of the others trying to sleep. The thick fog of smoke was beginning to clear, and my intense sense of fear began yielding to fatigue. For a brief moment I was relieved of this place as images of my family flashed through my mind. I was warmed by my mother in the kitchen reading the morning paper and began to believe that amidst the chaos the thought of my family might be the only thing keeping me from going insane. But then a wave of guilt came crashing down. I hadn’t called! It was her rule that this being the first time I was away from home, I would ring her every Wednesday.

3

Louise was sitting in her spacious kitchen with The Times in one hand and a steaming mug of freshly made coffee in the other. She was an attractive woman in her late fifties with honey-blond hair that hung over the shoulders of her small frame.

Stan burst in, his eyes darting all over the room. “I’m late, I’m late.”

He had short, brushed-forward brown hair and wore bushy side-burns like landing strips on both cheeks. Now in his fifties, he had taken reasonably good care of himself, retained his boyish good looks and held a natural, easy charm.

“Lou! Have you seen my keys?”

She rolled her eyes. “Try the coffee table.”

“Which coffee table?”

“Living room!”

Stan rushed out and returned moments later, jangling his keys triumphantly. He leaned over his wife and planted a kiss on her cheek.

“Whatever would I do without you?”

“Michael didn’t call me yesterday.”

“Should he have?”

“Yes, every Wednesday. I told you that!”

“I’m sure he just forgot.”

Stan had one foot out of the door and was itching to leave, but evidently thought better of it. Louise smiled, semi-comforted.

“I’m sure you’re right, it’s just—”

“What?” Stan interrupted, waiting for her to look away so he could sneak a peek at his watch.

“It’s so unlike him not to call.”     

“Then call him. There’s no harm in that.”

“I did: no answer.”

“Then try him again later. I’m sorry Lou, but I really must go.”

Stan waited for the approving glance from his wife and then stepped out of the door.

4

Time stood still and sweat dripped off my body as I fell in and out of consciousness. This had to be the longest, most uncomfortable night of my life, and just when I finally seemed to be finding some peace, a piercing bell rang loudly in my ear. It continued to ring: the others woke and the shouting erupted. I accepted there was no chance of any sleep and my tired aching body was now suffering as much as my nerves. It must have been morning, as most of the other inmates were awake and the pattern of the previous day began to play out; the loud chatter, the thick smoke, the revolting smells, and the sick, sinking feeling that I was trapped in here.

 

The cell door swung open, the inmates rose to pack away their belongings into the corner of the room, and then we were filed out. I had no idea where we were heading, but shuffled with difficulty behind the others, trying to keep up. We were led down some cracked steps to a spacious yard with a concrete floor, surrounded by some small rusty sheds. At the back of the main cell-block was a large rubbish area with over-flowing bins and farm-like troughs filling with running water which aroused my raging thirst. I followed the others into a cramp dining area that had tired wooden tables and chairs.

 

Then, picking up what was referred to as food; I found a small table, brushed away some lively ants and sat alone. The rice was a brownish-black colour and had a foul smell of burning rubber. It tasted dreadful, but it was food and I was famished. After breakfast I wandered over to the back of the yard and found a cracked plastic bottle on the floor. I picked it up and filled it from an old rusty tap that supplied one of the troughs. Warm, dirty water leaked freely and ran down my arm as I drank. It tasted strange, but it was water and I was parched. Shortly afterwards I plucked up the courage to wash. I had watched the others stripping down with difficulty over their restraints and then stepping over to the troughs. I clumsily pulled off my sweaty clothes and carried them with me. I was naked except for the restraints, and could feel eyes on me as I made my way over. I was handed a scratched plastic dog bowl by an older trustee who then reached out his hand. I shook my head with a sincere expression on my face.

“Tomorrow you pay,” he grunted.

I nudged my way in, and looking down at the water, I almost threw up. It wasn’t clear, smelt of urine and had bits of what could only be human excrement floating in it. I then felt a strange tickling sensation on my big toe and glancing down I saw a huge black rat scuttling away. I screamed, the others laughed: my wash was over. I climbed back into my own dirty clothes and then stepped away from the crowd. Seeing a small cracked piece of mirror stuck to the wall, I peered into it and was saddened by the image that greeted me. My eyes looked tired and the blue had faded to grey. My face showed clear signs of stress and my hair seemed thinner.

 

I stepped away from the glass and looked over at the others. I guessed I was a little taller than them, but it was clear I carried more weight. Feeling the sun burning down, I grew concerned about sunstroke and de-hydration. The others were just chatting and seemed unfazed, but I was searching for shade. As time dragged on, the sun grew even stronger and I could feel it jabbing at the back of my neck. I resorted to sitting with my head down; one hand fending off mosquitoes, and the other protecting my skin. It felt like hours until food arrived again, and it was just as tasteless as breakfast. A short while later we were summoned back inside where it was indicated that we should return to the same spot. I carefully stepped over the others to take my place, crouched down, and looked back to see an inmate closing the door. Kicking away a cockroach, I gained the attention of a nearby Thai. He was a small, dark man with weary eyes and sat next to a lady-boy. I’d seen lady-boys before, but never imagined they would be in here, and certainly not kitted out in a short red dress, makeup and heels.

“You want her suck you?” he asked. “I give you good price.”

I shook my head politely as the lady-boy lowered her eyes to my groin. He laughed, slipped down his shorts and then pulled ‘her’ head down onto him. He fixed his eyes on me as ‘she’ sucked him. I turned away. A prolonged churning in my gut, along with disturbing bowel movements alerted me to the fact that I needed to go. This would be the first time to use ‘the hole’ in the corner of the room, and I wasn’t looking forward to it. I rose to my feet and dragged my restraints over the others until I arrived at the hole. Then, slipping down my shorts and folding my body into an undignified squatting position, I tried to balance. It was difficult at first, but more distressing was being watched by the others. I closed my eyes and tried to ignore them, but then I was distracted by strange noises coming from beneath. I tried to block out whatever that was and pushed my bowels with urgency. I managed to relieve myself and felt a little better for it. The lack of any toilet paper was annoying, but the half-filled bucket of water sat next to the hole was disgusting. It smelt as if a dead animal had died inside and was decomposing at the bottom. I pulled up my shorts and returned to my place.

 

After another long night and very little sleep, I was out in the yard. Breakfast had been just as bad and the bugs were as lively as ever. I had spent most of the morning trying to brush them away, but had grown so tired that I drifted off. I hadn’t been asleep long when I was rudely awoken by a man kicking at my feet. I rubbed my eyes, tucked in my legs and glanced up at him through the rays of the sun. He had a short, uneven haircut, cracked teeth and by the look in his eyes, he was high. I thought it best to look away, but once I did, he started screaming something at me in Thai. My heart raced and my body pumped with adrenaline. I then noticed a larger man, looking equally as threatening, standing alongside him. The shouting ceased for a moment, but then the first man pulled out a knife and showed me the blade. My heart-beat throbbed through the whole of my body as I glanced into the man’s eyes, unsure what he wanted. The two Thais spoke together for a moment, giving me the chance to scan the yard for a guard: no guard. I thought about making a run for it, but that was wishful thinking with the restraints. In desperation I just sat there and prayed. The first man then pulled down his shorts, his manhood hanging inches from my face. Then, reaching for the back of my head, he took hold of it and pulled it towards him. I held my mouth closed as tightly as I could, but then the other man stepped over and slapped me hard on the back of my head. I was awaiting the inevitable, too cowed to fight, when another man appeared and took a seat. He wasn’t Thai, but he could speak Thai. The first man stepped back and pulled up his shorts while the Farang took a pack of cigarettes from his pocket and handed it over. They took the cigarettes and walked away.

“Are you all right?” the stranger asked.

I clearly wasn’t.

“The name’s John.”

“I’m Michael,” I replied, still out of breath.

“Take a minute to calm down.”

John had a roguish but sympathetic look about him. I guessed he was in his mid-twenties and had short fair hair, deep brown eyes and a small, firm build.

“Thanks for helping me out.” I said finally. How long have you been here?”

“Just over five years. What about you?”

“Just a few days. How has the last five years been?”

“It was rough at first. The heat, the loneliness, the lack of any decent food and never enough water. I was ready to top myself.”

“I’m glad you didn’t.”

“Thanks.”

“What got you through it?”

“I met a guy who got me into Buddhism.”

“And that helped?”

“It did actually. I was never really religious before, but Buddhism showed me a new appreciation of life. It’s kept me alive in here mate. Have you ever tried meditation?”

“I can’t say I have.”

“You should try it. It may help calm you down. If nothing else, it will distract you for a while.”

“I don’t know if I—“

“You can’t sleep all day, mate,” John interrupted.

I nodded in agreement.

“Forget everything else for now and just focus on your breathing. Straighten your back and breathe as deeply and as slowly as you can.” I focused, breathed deeply and told myself that I’d be all right. My grandfather Nigel immediately came to mind; this would be the sort of mantra he’d rehearse. I smiled, for the first time since being here.

“How are you feeling?” John asked.

“Better thanks, but my mind keeps drifting. Can we try this again later?”

“No problem mate. We have all the time in the world. It’s good to see you smile. What came to mind?”

“My grandfather. He’s into meditation and spirituality.”

“Sounds like an interesting guy. It’s good that you have family to focus on while you’re here.”

I flinched when a cockroach darted past.

“You okay with all these bugs?” I asked.

“Not really, but they outnumber us by about a million to one. You’ll get used to them.”

“It would be easier if they didn’t constantly attack.”

“They’re just trying to survive.”

“What about infections?”

“You stay strong physically and mentally and your body will take care of itself.”

“Is that right?”

“The body is equipped that way. How you doing for money? You contacted your embassy yet?”

“I didn’t think to do so.”

“You should mate, but don’t worry, I’m sure they’ve been informed. They’ll send you money while you’re inside, but it may take a while to come through. If you have an ATM card you can leave it with a guard and have him credit your prison account.”

“I don’t have any money, and already owe a guy out in the yard.”

“I’ll take care of that,” John smiled.

“Thanks. So besides meditation, what else do you do with your time in here?”

“I write poems, mate.”

“Do they give you any paper?”

“No mate, no paper, no computer, but I have all that I need right here.”

John tapped his head.

“What do you write about?”

“Whatever comes to mind. It can be anything.”

“Could you write a poem about an apple?”

“Give me a minute.”

I had put him on the spot and he had gone into what seemed to be a meditative mode.

“You don’t really need to—”

“Shush…I’m composing.”

Less than five minutes had passed when John turned to me with a look of contentment. He coughed, cleared his throat and began.

I was a little apple hanging from in a tree

   A sheepdog came along and made his way to me

   He waved his tail up in the air, so causing me to fall

   I rolled off down the hill, just like a little ball

   A boy then picked me up and carried me away

   He took me to his mother, could this be my final day?

   I was thrown into a pan and later brought to boil

   Then sliced up in a dish and served with olive oil

   I was eaten very quickly, without any special wine

   My life was pretty good, in fact really rather fine

   If I could have had another moment or any final words…I would end this verse by saying that I’ll really miss this world.’

   “Well done John.” I clapped in appreciation.

“Did you like that?”

“For a minute my heart went out to all the apples out there.”

“There you go. Actually I’m a trained mechanic. Poetry is more of a hobby.”

“You should write them down. Get them published.”

“Maybe one day mate, if I ever make it out.”

“How long you in for?”

“I got life.”

“That’s tough.”

“Now I’ve got you wondering what I’m in for.”

I didn’t reply, but he could see that I was curious.

“I’ll tell you mate, but I warn you right now. I’m not an innocent man.”

“That’s all right,” I smiled. “I hardly have the luxury of choosing my friends.”

“I should probably tell you what you need to know to survive in here first.”

“I’d appreciate that. Have you made any friends?”

“Not really, and I can speak Thai.”

“That must have helped.”

“It has, but the Thai’s don’t give a shit about us and the guards are lazy bastards. They have trusted inmates they call ‘blue shirts’ or ‘trusties’ working for them. They do everything. The guards themselves don’t get violent as long as you pay them, but the poorer inmates are often beaten. No cash is allowed inside. Everything is paid for with vouchers or coupons.”

We talked for hours about the prison conditions, or rather John spoke and I listened.

“I need a break mate. Why don’t you tell me how you ended up in here?”

“You want the long version or the short?”

“What do you think?”

I looked around, raised my eyebrows and considered the wisdom of opening my heart to my new friend.

5

 

“I’d never left home and once my two older sisters fled the nest, mum seemed to have taken a hold on me. My plan was to live a single life here in Bangkok and then continue the same lifestyle when I returned. I figured that would be easier on my mum too. I was always good at sketching at school and my Art teacher encouraged me further. Dad hit the roof when I floated the idea of attending a real Art school. He’d had his heart set on me becoming a lawyer, like him and his father before. He didn’t appreciate Art and had no idea if I was any good, but I stymied him when I was awarded a scholarship to one of the best Art colleges in London. I had six months before my first term would start so I decided on a trip to Thailand. I’d saved some money from sketching caricatures of people in Camden every weekend, but most of my savings came when my grandfather generously purchased one of my paintings. He appreciated Art, had an original Rembrandt hanging on his wall: he believed in me. ‘Follow your dreams, Mike,’ he would say. My plan was to have a go at sketching some real Thai women, not models, but girls that worked the hostess bars. I’d seen enough Thai girls on the internet to send my libido off the Richter scale, but my only intention was to sketch them. I would never pay for sex. Within days of my arrival in Bangkok, I’d found a real studio apartment which could double as my pad and a working studio. It didn’t take me long to find the hostess bars and glancing in, most of the girls looked as though they had skipped innocence altogether. One girl standing alone at the bar caught my eye. Her face had a look of a dreamy sadness – exactly what I had in mind. She was breathtakingly beautiful and had the kind of body to drive any man crazy. I approached her, and to my surprise she smiled coyly.

‘What’s your name?’ I asked.

‘My name Bee,’ she replied. Her eyes seemed to open and close in slow motion.

A tough looking lady appeared out of nowhere.

‘You want lady?’ she asked. ‘It cost five hundred baht for bar and two tousan baht for lady. She stays to mornin.

   ‘I only want to draw her.’ I stated. ‘Please tell her.’

‘That same price. You do what you want with her.’

I agreed, paid the money and waited while Bee ran off to change. She returned several minutes later in a pair of tight, faded jeans with a long, purple shirt hanging loosely round her waist. She had a look that I so much wanted to capture. I could only describe it as a look of ‘lost innocence.’ That was it, the name of my next Portfolio, ‘Lost Innocence:’ a collection of working girls that had quite simply that look. When we arrived at the studio, I directed her to the bathroom that led off the bedroom and gestured for her to change into a towel. I then placed my sketchpad on its easel, searched through my ‘Tombow’ drawing pencils and selected two of a similar shade. I glanced at my watch, waiting for her to emerge from the bedroom – where was she? I leaned my head to one side and caught a glimpse of her through the partially closed door. She had slipped off her jeans and without undoing the buttons on her shirt, she was lazily pulling it over her head, exposing her upturned breasts. She slid between the sheets of my bed and then casually tossed her shirt onto the chair. She caught sight of me looking through the door, smiled politely and then turned back the top sheet inviting me to join her. My heart was racing, but I kept cool, walked over and held the towel out in front of her.

‘You not want me?’ she asked, with the grumpiest expression on her face.

‘I only want to draw you. Please come with me.’

She lay there in a huff as I stood over her waiting. Eventually she snatched the towel from me, slid her body into it and followed me back to the studio. I sat her on the stool opposite my easel, returned to my place and began. She watched me with curiosity as her look of sadness returned, but she couldn’t keep still. She seemed more nervous sitting there than lying on the bed. Losing patience, I offered her a drink. She took a large whisky and coke and after a couple of generous sips, she relaxed. I sketched her for hours, pausing only to loosen my wrists, change pencils or take a drink with her. When I was ready, I showed her what I’d done and she was so impressed she took a picture on her mobile and sent it to a friend. We worked all night, finally finishing in the early hours of the morning. I took out my wallet, pulled out a couple of thousand baht and paid her.

‘I finish?’ she asked.

‘Yes, finished.’ I replied.

I put her into a taxi, returned to my studio and then rolled into bed. Against my better judgment I had allowed the beauty of her face to burn into my brain – I just had to see her again.’ Later that evening I found my way back to the bar and ran into the tough-looking lady from the night before.

‘Hello handsome man. I am Mon.’

‘Is Bee here?’

‘Bee have customer. Take other girl. I have many.’

Over the next couple of weeks, I had the pleasure of taking several girls back to the studio and my pencil came alive each time I worked. I slept most of the days, worked tirelessly through the nights and it wasn’t long before my studio was filled with sketches depicting some of the most beautiful bar girls in Bangkok. One evening I was invited to take a girl I hadn’t seen before, called Mia. She moved warily as if some experience had taught her that, and watching her glide towards me made me think of honey dripping from a spoon. She had her own look of ‘lost innocence’, but it was as if it some of her innocence had somehow survived. Her figure was perfect. She had long straight black hair, dark dreamy eyes and smooth tanned skin. As we entered my studio she noticed my other sketches, flicked through them and her eyes lit up. I pointed out the bathroom; she smiled and then disappeared with her bag under her arm. She was nervous when she returned in just a towel; all the girls were, the first time, but a little Thai whisky helped to calm her. I positioned her sat facing away from me and gently pulled the towel from her shoulders.

‘What you do?’ she asked holding onto the towel.

‘I want to sketch your neckline, like I did with Bee.’

She allowed me to slip the towel down a little. I stepped back to my stool, selected a pencil, but was shocked when I looked back. She had dropped the towel to her waist and now her thick black hair hung down her smooth, slender back. It was as if she had lost all her inhibitions. I was surprised, but loved the pose. I began sketching her frantically, worried that I’d lose what I had, but she just sat there quietly and didn’t move.

Once I was finished, I waved her over and she crept across the room with the towel still around her waist. I couldn’t help but notice her long flowing hair hanging over her perfectly shaped breasts.

She stood there standing over me with the look of a lost child. ‘You make me beautiful.’

‘You are beautiful.’

It was a great sketch and I was ready to start another, but first needed the bathroom. When I returned she appeared with two drinks. I took a generous sip, trying to keep my eyes level with hers. I then suddenly felt exhausted and flopped down onto my stool.

‘Are you tired?’ she asked. ‘You want to go to bed?’

‘I am a little tired,’ I replied.

‘Let’s go to bed. I take care of you.’

She dropped her towel completely and as she stood over me naked, I looked up at her. I was attracted to her, but it seemed that all my energy was drained and my mind was drifting off. I tried to focus, picked up her towel from the floor and gently wrapped it around her.

‘What’s wrong?’ she asked.

It may have been the alcohol or simply the lack of sleep, but I was incapable and couldn’t go on. She took my hand, led me to the bedroom and lay me on the bed. She pulled off my clothes and dropped them on the floor. I didn’t stop her; it was challenging enough just staying awake. Then my heavy eyes gave in – I was gone.”

***

 John sat up with a frown on his face.

“Unbelievable! You had the most beautiful girl wanting you, and what do you do? You fall asleep.”

“I must have been drugged.”

“What makes you think that, mate?”

“There’s no other explanation. I know I never touched her.”

“You’re telling me that you never slept with any of the others…not once?”

“Not once.”

“That still doesn’t explain why you’re here.”

“I’m getting to that. Shall I continue?”

“Please do mate.”

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