‹ Prequel: Zoned
Status: Part Two

Zoned: Waking Up


The main course has been served, and the Award Ceremony is about to begin. It's 8:30.

"A, we have to go. It's bad enough we're late, but we have to go now. " Rich leaned in and whispered to me. She was sitting on my left, and Jake was on my right. We were all sitting at a circular table, and at our table was me, Jake, George, Asia, Dylan, Victoria, and Richi (all in order).

"I know, I know. We need to go before they start announcing the awards." I replied.

"Exactly. So let's go now. "

"Is everything alright?" Jake asked me. Richi and I both looked at him.

"Yeah, Richi just isn't feeling too well." I lied.

"Why, what's wrong?" Dylan quickly asked. It wasn't in a suspicious way or anything.

"My stomach hurts. I've had a headache all day and this crowd is really loud." she said. Jake and I shared a look. He knew exactly where we were going with all of this. He awkwardly took a sip of is wine and looked back at Richi.

"Oh I have some aspirin in my purse! Do you want one?" Asia jumped in as she started opening her clutch.

"No, no! I'm okay. I think I'll just go home." Richi quickly said. The whole table was looking at her in confusion.

"Is that necessary? Can you not just fight through it for tonight?" Dylan asked. He sounded disappointed. She glanced at me and I could tell she really wanted to stay for Dylan and his friend. She gave me a quick and dirty look, then looked back at Dylan and sighed.

"Sorry, but my stomach is really hurting. I think I need to go to bed. You guys have fun tonight! Tell Wes I said 'congrats', okay?"

"How are you gonna get home? We drove you here." George said.

"I'll get a cab or something."

"I'll go with you. You need someone to take care of you for at least a little bit." Dylan said as he started pushing his chair backwards like he was going to stand up.

"That's okay!" I quickly said, "I'll take care of her. This is your friend's night. You should be here for him."

"Why are you so determined to go home with her? You're here with Vickie." Asia tried to be funny.

"Yeah, I don't want my pain to keep you from your friend's night." Richi ignored the ignorant comment, as did everyone else.

"Are you sure?" George asked. Asia didn't hesitate to answer for us, "They're sure." I got annoyed and almost said, "You know what? I think you can make it, Rich. She will take that aspirin, Asia, thank you." But I didn't. I politely smiled and said, "Right. Okay, well I'll call a cab and I'll text you when we get home."

Dylan faked a small smirk and scooted back to the table as he said, "Alright. Well feel better. Want us to come straight home after the ceremony?"

"No!" Jake and I blurted at the same time. Way to be fucking obvious, I thought. We quickly looked at each other and then at the rest of the table. They were all looking at us with confusion. Richi was the only one looking at her plate to avoid the awkward eye contact with anyone.

"Um it can be a guys' night tonight. We're out having fun and shouldn't have to drop our plans because two girls are home." Jake defended.

"I agree. Jake is right! We should go have fun. Let's go to the dance club again! I'm not working tonight anyway, so I can keep you all company!" Victoria jumped in. Very smooth, Vic. Try not humble yourself too much, I thought.

"I'm okay with that!" Jake played along. I was pretty sure Victoria knew what we were doing, too.

"Okay well we'll see you guys later." I stood up with Richi and then remembered it was a formal dinner when Jake, Dylan, and George stood with us. "Oh right. It's polite...." I said to myself.

Richi and I walked outside and waited for our cab after I called.

"That was so awkward." I said. Richi didn't say anything. "Okay what now?"

"Well I really like this guy and I had to choose dancing naked for men over staying at a beautiful dinner for his friend. I just walked away from free food so I could strip. I'm a little mad. I wish I drank more before I even agreed to go tonight."

"Look I'm sorry. I know you like him, but we have to help pay for the house, too. I know we payed off our debt for the apartment and continued dancing just for spending money, but now we really need the money. We can't just sit around and let everyone else pay for everything."

"Well they're gonna question why we don't go to work! They'll start wondering where all of this money is coming from if they think we don't have jobs. Your little plan is gonna break and I don't want to be apart of it when it does."

"Well do you want to get an actual job, then? Wanna work at Target as a fucking cashier or work in a damn cubicle for the rest of your life?"

"I don't wanna be stripping when I'm 40, A!"

"Shhh! Wanna get off your soap box before the whole neighborhood hears you?"

"Well sorry if I'm frustrated! I'm just not wanting to do this forever, A. I would like to get married and have a family eventually. And I don't want my kids to ask why Aunt A-Rad wears whore makeup and glitter miniskirts to their recitals because you haven't stopped stripping."

"I'm not passionate about this! You act like this is my fucking calling or some shit! I just enjoy doing it because we're young and we should enjoy our bodies while we can! It's not like I want to do this forever, dude."

"Okay, okay. I get it. You can only say the same thing, different ways, so many times. You don't wanna strip forever, cool. Just....please don't make me miss important shit for stripping, please. I feel sick to my stomach for lying to him like this."

I chuckled and said, "Well at least you'd be telling the truth if he asked how you felt, now, right?"

"Shut up."

We waited for the cab to get to us, and sure enough it was there in about 5 minutes. We told them the address to our house and had the driver wait while we picked up our clothes. After we got to Neverland, we got dressed and Richi and I were in the dressing room, fixing our makeup.

"Ladies what the hell! I had to send Majesty and Destiny out there in your places! You're almost an hour late!" Tammy, our boss, came in. Tammy was a guy who's parents wanted a girl. They stuck with the name after he was born, hoping he'd decide to be called a girl or something like that.

"We're sorry! We had a lot going on! But we're here now." I said.

"You know Destiny was at her sister's wedding recital, right? Yeah imagine that conversation when I had to tell her to come to work." Tammy said.

"What! I feel terrible now-" "She fucking thanked me! So you girls are lucky. She hates her sister haha." Tammy interrupted me. "Anyway, you ladies needa get busy. Majesty is dancing like she has 2 left fucking feet! Lizzy, you're up after Diamond!" Tammy said to Richi. Her "stripper name" was Lizzy and I was Maria. We wanted to be sure no one knew who we were, even though we wore masks, we had to be "safe." Richi sighed and put her mask on. The mask was white that looked crackled, with gold lips, and black eyes. She was wearing black lingerie with black heels.

"I'm still not happy about leaving the dinner." Richi said as she stood by the curtain and waited for the dj to introduce Lizzy to the stage.

"I know, I'm sorry. It's my fault and I'm sorry." I adjusted my fish-net stockings and set my shoes on the vanity. I was wearing a blue corset with black bottoms and my mask looked like a Day of the Dead/skeleton mask. I had black heels that curved into a hook type, and I used them to help spin on the poles.

"Please give a warm welcome to one of our best dancers and one of our Mystery Girls, Lizzy!" The dj announced and played Porn Start Dancing by My Darkest Days. I sat on a stool and took a deep breath before starting my shift and giving lap dances. I wasn't insanely happy about stripping. I didn't want to leave the dinner, either, but I knew we really needed to help pay for the house. I mean, yeah, I enjoyed it on occasion because I felt empowered getting money just for dancing. It wasn't like we were completely naked; Richi and I were just really good at dancing. I walked out and onto the main floor. The people looked like they were enjoying Richi's performance. She even made it look like she was, too. The other two girls in masks were very odd. They wore matching masks and outfits, but one had blue and the other had pink. They were both giving some weird teacher-looking man a dance. The worst kind of dances were the ones in the private rooms. There was a mini stage and pole in the private rooms and it looked like a tiny strip club. The biggest room had a couch that wrapped around the entire back wall. The private room was on the right wall (if you were looking at the main stage), and there was a huge couch that wrapped around the back wall and had a tiny stage in the middle of the room. It was always scary going in there alone because Neverland allows groups to go in there and get dances from one girl and some girls have been raped in there before, but the owners were stupid and kept the private group dances. Tammy, however, hired security to stand outside the room and there are cameras in the private rooms for the person at the front desk to see what's going on. The front desk person would call the security guard on a walkie talkie if he didn't hear any commotion if it was made.

I looked around the room and caught Tammy's eye from across the room, and he pointed to a scrawny, old man that was near me. Tammy always pointed at the people he thought would "appreciate a lovely dance" from the girls. Let's just get this over with, I sighed.
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So sorry I've taken forever to update. I always plan on it but I get distracted really easily.