There was nothing atypical about her. Melanie was pretty and tried to get by on her looks. Not superstar model pretty, but cute and most people liked having her on their arm. So she thought she could get most anything in life, with a smile or pout. Maybe a little flirting. Or God forbid, a tear if they were really stubborn.
Melanie was often given gifts by men, so they could spend time with her. So she hardly had to work. She lived the life of a courtesan in many ways. Except sex.
There were the “dear friends” who paid her rent and other bills. So they could have an evening with her alone. They took her to fancy restaurants and to art events. So she became “seen” around town. Fell into an art crowd. And met the guy who finally reached her heart.
He was a starving artist. Richard had a studio apt, with a small kitchenette, a bathroom and his bed-sit room. He barely had room for his easel. So Melanie offered him a room at her flat. And became his favourite model. At first with her clothes on, of course. When she started letting him paint her nude, she had them made into lithographs and had her friends buy copies of them. They became closer. But not lovers. Her friends were quite insistent that she could not sleep with a man if she wanted their continued support. And she did. Richard wasn’t particulary thrilled by that, but it was to his advantage. So he put up with it.
Ah yes, young love. A little varied, but oh well lol.
All was well, in this odd relationship. Till a “friend” got too adamant about what he was owed. And presented Melanie with a due bill. He wanted sex with her or she was cut off. He was done waiting. He didn’t ask. He just told her time was up. Nothing Melanie did could stop him and Richard wasn’t in the apt. She was raped.
She screamed for Richard! but he didn’t hear.
He didn’t find her till hours later. She was nude, bloody and bruised. Almost unconscious. Her voice hoarse from calling for him. He heard her tale of woe and helped her clean up. Then told her why they couldn’t change anything. Why the police couldn’t be told. He was finally getting some notice in the art world.
Melanie just stared at him and her love evaporated. As if it had never existed. And he saw it happen in her eyes, in that second.
Melanie walked out of the apt and never went back.
She never saw Richard or any of her friends again.
She got onto a bus and left the town she had always known, to begin again. This time, she knew that her looks might get her everything she ever wanted. But there was a price to be paid.
Richard was left alone. By the end of the month, he was back to his studio apt. With no golden goose. All Melanie’s friends abandoned him. He actually had to get a “real job”. He had traded Melanie for nothing. And he was sorry now.
Most nights he cried, “Melanie, come back!”
He wanted just one more chance. Now he knew, without her he was a flash in a pan. But Melanie never heard his cry. She never cared about him again either.