I met Kaja back in 2003. She was 22 years old. She had called my office about getting some life insurance. Like most financial reps I went to meet with her at her apartment. I ring the bell and she comes to the door.
The young slender woman standing before me is what I have always described as an ethereal beauty. An exquisite fine boned, absolutely beautiful woman. She was born in Estonia where apparently all of the most beautiful people come from. At that moment she was probably one of most lovely women I had ever seen.
Kaja was very sweet and also had a little son. He was probably 4 or 5 years old so she must have had him young. Apparently things didn’t go with her baby daddy because they have to do pick up and drop offs at the local police precinct.
She also had a roommate who was a pretty dark-haired girl. I don’t remember her name. I think they worked together.
So I start the application process and of course the client has to be honest about all of their facts with their agent.
She goes on to tell me that she works as a dancer at Delilah’s Den. That’s the finest gentleman’s club in the city. She worked a few nights a week and earned around $15,000 a month! That’s crazy money for a 22-year-old girl.
It’s also a high risk business. So I didn’t know if I could get the policy approved. But I was good and I figured I’d find a way for this single mother. Oh, don’t ever say “I support single mothers” to a stripper when she’s working. You’ll get your ass kicked.
So everything went fine and we eventually closed the deal. I remember me bringing a little toy to her son and she gave me a book about Estonia. It was a nice business relationship. I liked that she was a very sweet and kind woman even though she worked in a tough industry. I liked that I knew her outside her business and never went to where she worked. Discretion with my clients is paramount.
Through the years we always kept in touch. We never really hung out together. It would be more like a visit. We would meet at her apartment for tea and just chat and catch up on what was going on in our lives. This would go on for years. But there were years I didn’t see or hear from her. Sometimes I thought each time would be the last.
I think she kept in touch with me because even though I wasn’t ever part of her chaotic world, she could trust me. She worked in an industry that makes the women who dance start to resent or even hate men. They meet a lot of married guys and even local public figures who act like total slobs and perverts. That can mess with your head.
She would text me on facebook or call me on the phone and we would meet somewhere. One time we met and just strolled around Rittenhouse park. Then I wouldn’t see her for a year or so. It’s been a unique friendship. But someone you really make a solid connection with you don’t need to see all the time. I haven’t seen my friend James in a few years but when I do, It’ll be like when we were like teenagers. I don’t need to talk to someone or see someone all the time. If I like you and you text me that you want to meet up, I’ll set it up.
That’s how it’s been over the last twelve years for Kaja and me. I know she’s had her ups and downs but so have I.
I remember once she reached out to me and we met up for brunch at Square 1682. She drank Long Island ice teas and was getting buzzed. I unfortunately had to pay for everything. After brunch we are walking down the street and she wants to go to a gentleman’s club. I get us an UBER. We end up going to Cheerleaders strip club down on Delaware Avenue. She’s pushing strippers at me and giving me a hand massage. I’m drinking wine and she’s getting annoyed that her boyfriend is texting her.
She tells me that her boyfriend is coming to the club. I’m not worried because once jealous boyfriends meet me they see that I’m not a threat. So he shows up and he’s just your run of the mill douche bag. But he’s actually nice to me and is telling me about his business and buying me drinks.
I go to the bathroom and when I come out they are gone. They just stranded me down there. I really thought this was a dick move, but he’s weak and she’s drunk. I’m a big boy and I get a taxi back to Rittenhouse. I chalk it up to the alcohol and figure I won’t see her again. No big deal. It is what it is. I’ve been duped and used by worse people.
A year or so goes by and I get a text on Facebook messenger.
“Good morning, friend! How have you been? It would be nice to catch up.”
“I’m good! How are you? I’d love to catch up.”
“I’m good, thanks! When can you pencil me in?”
“Next Monday? Do you still have the same number?”
(Provides a new phone number. I notice as I enter into my phone it’s the 3rd one she’s had in a few years.)
Now we’re texting and we set up a lunch for that Friday at noon at Misconduct at 18th and JFK blvd. That’s one of my go to spots. I text my friend Mary the hostess that I’d like to reserve table 12. (See: Mary – 2016 to Present – Unexpected table for two)
Thursday I get a text from Kaja asking if we are still on for Friday. I assure her that we are.
I get there on Friday, fifteen minutes before noon. I get a call from Kaja that she’s running about fifteen minutes late. No worries. Then she calls again and tells me she’s arrived and is looking for me. I get up from my table and walk to the hostess stand. I tell her where I am and I don’t see her.
“Do they have more than one location?”
“Yes. I’m at the one at 18th and JFK.” (I texted her this exact location the other day)
“Oh. The UBER driver took me to the wrong one. Is it within walking distance or should I cab it?”
“Take a taxi. It’ll take too long to walk here.”
“I pride myself on being punctual. I’m so sorry I’m late.”
“No worries, Kaja. Just get here safely.”
Ten minutes go by and she arrives. It feels like a long time since I’d last seen her. She’s as beautiful as ever. Those luminous blue eyes still dazzle me. She hugs me and we take our seats at my table. We’ve got time and we’re going to be here for the next two and a half hours. I tell her all the stuff I’m doing and we order our food. I of course get my go to chicken tenders and she goes with the mac n cheese with chicken and peppers.
Kaja says that she has to tell me something. But she needs a little courage. She orders a glass of chardonnay. What she’s about to tell me will shake me to my core…
Tune in again tomorrow for the thrilling conclusion!
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