Donna Louise here. Vivian looked horrible when I opened the door last night. She rushed into the house and looked around. “Are we alone, Donna Louise?”

“Yes, as far as I know. I haven’t let anyone in the house all night. Why?”

She plopped down on the sofa. “I just wanted to make sure there were no children present.” She scooted to the edge of her seat. “You’re not going to believe what I heard from Larry, my beautician.”

“The guy who lives two blocks over? What’s going on in his ‘hood?”

“Sit down, honey. You’ll need to sit when I tell you.”

I joined her on the sofa.

She grabbed my hand. “It scares me to death.”

“Would you just tell me what happened?”

She leaned over and whispered in my ear. “Two women in their mid-fifties have disappeared without a trace. Gone. Vanished. Larry says the police think they were sold into white slavery. I don’t understand that part because one of the women is African-American so it can’t only be white slavery.”

I suppressed a giggle. “Vivian, ‘white slavery’ is a term that means they were sold into prostitution. It has nothing to do with their race..”

She screamed. “I’m too old to be a prostitute.”

“You were thinking of becoming one? I don’t understand. You’ve seen the ‘girls’ on the avenue and they don’t look like they’re having a good time. Times are hard all the way around…uh, no pun intended.”

Vivian asked for something to calm her nerves so I brought her a shot of whiskey which she downed with a little blue pill.

“You aren’t mixing alcohol and sedatives are you?” That combination can kill a person.

“I need something to put me out for the night. What if they take me? Where will I end up? Some foreign country? In some harem? Oh, my God. What am I going to do?”

“Vivian, why do you think you’ll be next? Two women in the ‘hood have disappeared. It’s not that unusual for people to go missing. Maybe they just ditched their lives and moved somewhere exciting.”

She looked at me as if I were nuts. “Vianna and Lucille were not that kind of women. They’d never done anything unusual or exciting in their lives.”

“It’s never too late, is it?”

“For them it was wayyyyyyyyyyyy too late. Trust me on that one. I’m feeling sleepy. Guess I better go home and prepare to be taken by the pimps.”

“I think they’re called ‘white slavers.'”

“Whatever.” 

I offered to walk her home to make sure she arrived safely, but she refused. “What if something happened to you, I’d never forgive myself.”

“Call me when you get home. Okay?” I helped her up off the couch and out the door. She looked a little unsteady on her feet so I watched her until she disappeared into the darkness. Three minutes later she called. “I’m home. If I vanish, promise me that you’ll find me and rescue me. Okay?”

I laughed. “I promise.”

This morning at 3:30 a.m. my phone rang. By the time I crawled out of bed, it had stopped ringing. I checked the number. It was Vivian’s. I called her back, but no one picked up. She probably butt-dialed me. I’ll check on her in a few hours.

Didn’t white slavery disappear in America with the advent of the sexual revolution? Guess I’ll google it.

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