He started to ask her about her scars, both from the mastectomy and the reconstruction, and asked if I was helping to take care of her. He asked if she had other children, and when she revealed she had two daughters, he began to question her about my younger sister. She withheld.
Perhaps Grant admired my mother’s ability to dodge questions about my young sister, or perhaps he assumed she would be an older, more domineering version of myself. Regardless, something about her manner inspired him to ask her out for coffee. She prudently declined, said goodbye, and immediately went to perform her own cross-examination on me.
I was too sleepy and shocked to say anything as she recapped their conversation. Eventually, she demanded to know what was going on. Since it seemed that she was about halfway to the truth on her own, I had no idea what to tell her. I also suspected Grant would call again and my mother would continue to investigate the situation until she found a satisfactory answer. It was clear that the only option was to tell her at least most of the truth.
So, I told her the expurgated version of how I had started doing sex work and I explained that Grant was my first regular client. I’m sure I also accused her of ruining everything, or something to that effect. Teenagers.