Photo: Marjoleine van Kalken

The quickie (part 1)

“Yes, I’m just leaving Jan!” Tamara said, slamming the old phone down on its cradle. She grabbed her bag and once again it managed to get hooked on the chair’s armrest, its contents flying everywhere. Frustrated and muttering, Tamara scrambled to gather her stuff dumping it back into her bag. Lighter, cigarettes, makeup, wallet and a bunch of other undefinable junk.

Those damn guys and their sudden horny urges, she thought to herself, that they demand to have taken care of no matter what. Not intending to be available today she had just woken up and had planned to take a nice long bath. Instead of working she thought maybe to take the train to Maastricht, where she had never been, to do a little shopping, eat a leisurely lunch and then wander around to explore the unfamiliar city. But, that’s not happening now is it.

Carpenter Fred is waiting for her and it seems that something is not quite right with him. It’s only 9:30 am. Tamara has seen the carpenter before and he’s usually calm and easygoing so being in such a hurry is not like him. Anyway, she’ll find out soon enough. Besides, Jan can get pretty wound up sometimes. All this rushing around was probably totally unnecessary. After taking one final look in her bag she leaves, reminding herself that she really needs to sort out that mess one of these days.

Dressed in jogging pants with a sweater thrown over her pyjama shirt, Tamara races out the door and cycles through the city centre to work. Jan, the owner of the brothel, is already waiting for her at the front door and hustles her into the lounge. No one else is there. “Jesus, can’t you dress up a little?” asks Jan. Tamara snaps back, “Don’t get so worked up! When Fred and I are in the room we’ll take a shower. Which room is he in?” Jan lets her know that he is drinking coffee and waiting for her in the big room in the basement. She quickly brushes her teeth in the kitchen while listening to Jan telling her about his conversation with carpenter Fred. 

“Fred showed up a half hour ago and for the first few minutes he just sat bawling in the office,” said Jan. “At first I just let him be and went to pour him a stiff glass of cognac for when he was ready. When he was calmer I offered him the glass and sat down across from him.” Tamara rinsed her mouth and splashed some water on her face. Drying off she walked quickly to the mirror to do her makeup, looking quizzically in the mirror at Jan. “And then?” she asked.

“Now, he threw back the cognac and told me that he had probably killed his wife“ said Jan nonchalantly, as if this was something that happened every day. “And now he’s here asking for you.” 

Next week part 2!