It had been years since he had last been able to observe her. That beautiful face, so innocent and yet alluring. Despite the years and the mist on the bus window, it was definitely her. London is a big place and if someone doesn’t want to be found, it can be easily achieved. Likewise, the simplest way of finding something lost, is to stop looking and let yourself be drawn to it. She was obviously no exception on this particular day.
He fell through the bus doors and landed hard on the wet pavement. Looking up he saw the distinct hat she was wearing in a sea of umbrellas. Gathering his wits and rubbing his sore knees, he limped after her apologising to whoever raised a care for his clumsy walk. She disappeared numerous times, only to reappear through a small gap in the crowd. He was within shouting distance, but his heart hammered in his chest and his breathing took too much effort. He watched her as she slipped through a curtain of rain and neon lights before finally be absorbed by dark doorway.
Left and right the Soho strip clubs attracted small crowds of shy but curious tourists. Occasionally a couple of Japanese men or quorum of mixed couples would enter in for an expensive drink and a cheap thrill. This place was incredibly sad he thought as he paid the lady on the door. Her face resembled a painted tree trunk and made him not want to look at her any longer than necessary. The large space beyond was taken up by numerous doors of which behind he knew would be just a chair, a box of tissues and waste bin. He was no stranger to ‘wank-tanks’ from his army days in Hamburg. There was no bar, just doors, and the reality of why she was here weighed heavy on him.
Taking a seat on the plastic chair, he checked to ensure his long coat did not touch the floor or anything organic that may lurk there. The waste bin overflowed with white tissues and the odour of previous visitors; it made him gag. In the dim light he sat and caught brief reflections of other tank-dwellers. This was not how he remembered such places.
As the lights went up the reflections were blacked out and there she stood. Long brown hair, pale skin randomly decorated with garish tattoos that were alien to him. Her breasts were firm and her nipples so erect he could not look away. She gyrated to the sound of a decade old euro pop tune and pushed her arse high in the air in wide circles. The thong she wore disappeared between the cheeks of her perfect round arse and pronounced the soft bulge between her legs. With her head thrown back she arched her spine and ran her hands over her breasts and down between her legs. She was beautiful and without doubt, and so extremely sexual. As she moved about, she cast shadows across the glass walls that produced ghastly images of swollen faced ogres wanking furiously. It made him angry that men saw her this way and disrespected his special relationship with the angel before him.
In unison with the lights dimming he heard the muffled grunts of tissues being filled around him. He too held a handful from the box provided and yet pressed them to his eyes. The tears burned, but only half as much as the lasting image of his daughter exiting the stage.