At first I crashed down the stairs to announce that I was coming out of my room. I wanted my Dad to know that I was moving around for him to expect my approach. Maybe it would calm him, or maybe it would pull some of the awkwardness that was about to happen away. My heart felt tight, like I was having difficulties breathing, like I forgot how to use my lungs. I clutched the railing on the stairs to make sure I didn’t plummet face first down them. My pulse roared in my neck, and I could feel the beat stretch out my skin from the inside.
He was in the basement, his sanctuary in this house. Rene, his new wife wasn’t home; thank god. I opened the basement door and heard the steady drum of his fists on the punching bag and the wiggling chain snap it back into place from his impact.
I hesitated. Should I call out to him, or boldly walk into his domaine? I almost turned back; it was so humiliating. I was naked riding a dildo against a mirror, deepthroating a black rubber cock, and had a sparkly heart shaped buttplug in when he had opened my bedroom door. On top of it all, I was performing for strangers online. I took a deep breath. This can’t be worse then fucking on camera I said to myself. It was though. This was my dad, this was the man that had promised me “everything was going to be okay” before he left me alone with my mom. This is the father that while absent for most of my life was always a beacon of hope and happiness. Whenever I was down or distraught he was the person I turned to; he righted my straying ship.
Except once Rene entered, he had become more distant, more withdrawn, and when I begged him for money he refused saying I needed to grow up. The next day was the first that I sucked my boyfriend’s cock with his cell phone camera live-streaming on the cam site. We made $100.00 for that blowjob scene and I spent my $50 on food. My boyfriend bought weed and cigarettes.
No. This was not his fault, and even though I kinda blamed him for turning to cam-showing, it wasn’t his choice to screw for tips. He tried to do the right thing and get me to take personal responsibility for my choices. Well, I took a breath, here I was about to own up to my choices and give him the honest truth. I was a cam-girl. Once I was allowed to I’d be moving into an apartment to do it full time. I was an adult now, and while I was grateful he had let me live in his house after I’d been kicked out college this was who I was. That was my plan. That would be my speech.
I stepped lighter on the first step then when I was trying to sneak out of my house at 15 to hang out with boys.
“Daddy?” I whispered. It was obviously too quiet but it was a first step.
Another couple stairs down. Louder this time each step growing in boldness.
I didn’t allow myself to stop walking. More stairs, and I was halfway down. He could see my legs if he was watching the stairs, but I couldn’t see in yet.
“I’m coming down. I want to talk.”
The punches stopped on the bag, the solid “whaps” ceased leaving only the rattling chain and my steps.
“Is it okay? I know you’re mad.”
“Violet,” he said it like a sigh.
I finally was at the base of the stairs, and I paused. This was his space; half finished with a leather set of couches, a flatscreen that dominated one wall for his games and shows that Rene didn’t want to watch, the pool table in the far corner with the wet bar and rows of liquor bottles, and the unfinished corner for his workout space and the punching bag. It looked tired and worn, like he had demolished it.
He was streaked in sweat, and large circles spread under his armpits, over his chest, and stomach. He was soaked with exertion. Wow. He was pissed. I’d never seen him yell or rage verbally at me; that wasn’t his way, but I’d seen him destroy a hockey net with a baseball bat when he found out about my mom wanting to divorce him. I’d seen him punch a hole in a wall and then rip out the drywall instead of patching it spraying white crunchy debris everywhere. At least this time he had focused his ire on the punching bag.
“Dad. I’m sorry.”
“Violet. No. I don’t want to talk about it right now. It, I mean, that was just awful. What were you even doing?”
“Dad. I’m a cam girl.”
“What the fuck does that mean? Are you doing this for strangers online!?”
“Yes. It is like being a stripper without having to see anyone, or touch them.”
“A stripper! Violet! You’re better than that! You’re a smart girl why the fuck are you debasing yourself like that? and ON CAMERA for STRANGERS!?”
His fists clenched and his face reddened like a ripe strawberry. I took a step backwards. He noticed, and let his fists drop to his sides and he turned away.
“I make money from it. I couldn’t get a job that paid enough, everything was only like $7.75 and hour, or a stuffy unpaid internship, and you weren’t helping me out, I was kicked out of school, so I lost my scholarships and all the loans, and mom couldn’t help, so I had to do something.”
“Masturbate on camera for strange men online?! They’re going to hunt you down and rape you, Violet!”
I couldn’t help but laugh, but covered it with a cough. I hoped he didn’t notice.
“It is totally anonymous, and they can’t see anything I don’t show them. I’m careful.”
“You’re going to have to leave.”
“I can’t move in until next month. You know that. Where do you think I got the money to afford this place?”
“I don’t know. I thought you had a job or something.”
“I do, technically.” I said.
“Well, I can’t have you doing that here. I can’t support it. Violet, you’re my daughter. Please, stop. We can work something out.”
“You said I’m cut off. I have to do something for myself. You said I needed to take personal responsibility and find my way.”
“Not by stripping online for everyone to see!”
At that moment I decided not to tell him that I’d been fucking my boyfriend online for months before we broke up, that he’d taken my anal virginity while we cammed it, I’d done my first facial with his cum shooting up my nose and over my eyelids online, that I’d gagged on his dick while riding a dildo in my pussy while strangers commented and tipped us. I let him think I was only soloing.
I sighed. I didn’t know what else to say.
“Can I stay till the end of the month, when I move into my new place?”
“Are you going to stop doing, whatever you were doing?”
“I can’t, dad. It is my job. It is how I make my money. If I don’t keep doing it I’ll lose everything I’ve worked for.”
“Worked for?! You’re a god-damn whore! How long have you, what do you mean worked for?!”
“I mean, if I stop now I’ll lose the momentum I’ve gained and I won’t have enough money to afford my new place and I’ve signed the lease already!”
“Then get a FUCKING JOB!”
“I have one!”
“STRIPPING online is not a job!”
“It is for me! I make money! I made $3000.00 tonight!”
Whoops. I shouldn’t have said that. He went silent. He couldn’t argue with the cash. Yes, it was an anomaly, yes it was an exception, and the most I’d ever made, but I needed all the ammunition I could muster.
“You have to leave.” He said after a long silent pause. He wouldn’t look at me. “I can’t have you doing it in my house. I cannot support it.”
“I’m sorry. Pack your stuff and go. I expect you to be gone before morning. If you’re making that much you can stay at a hotel or work something else out.”
“Daddy.” I plead.
“But, Dad. Wait. I can do my shows elsewhere but let me stay here; come on.”
“No. I can’t do this. Go. I love you Violet, but this. This is too much. I don’t even know where to begin, but I cannot keep enabling you; you need to leave now.”
“Now?” It is like 11pm!”
“Pack your stuff; if you leave anything you can come back and get it, but you need to leave. I can’t support this, and I don’t think you’re going to quit. God help you. I’ll pray for you.”
I took a step towards my dad to hug him. He wouldn’t face me. He stood stoically and immobile, hands on the pool table leaning forward. I couldn’t tell if he was crying, but I was.
He wouldn’t speak, wouldn’t move. I hugged him like I did when he left my mom. I hugged him like he was moving out all over again, but this time I was betraying him like my mom’d betrayed him. I clung to his waist, his shoulders, and sobbed into his back, but he was like a frightened rabbit caught in the open frozen in fear.
I let go, and tried one more time.
“Dad. Please, say something. I don’t want to go like this. I don’t want to leave. I love you.”
I heaved a sigh, stared at him in defeat, and turned back to the stairs. At the foot, I turned back. He hadn’t moved, but was heaving in a panicked fit; crying. My heart shattered, and doom flooded over my chest. Shame and despair worse than when I had approached to talk to him crushed my spine, and each step up the two flights to my room were like crawling up a mountain weighted down by every mistake I’d ever done suddenly realized.
When I packed my toys, lube, cameras, and computers it was with indifferent disgust. I needed them, but all motivation to perform and pleasure others and myself on camera had fled. My bank account was light at the moment, and I had to use a credit card to check into a hotel nearby that had a reliable internet connection.
I pulled up snapchat after throwing my bags in the corner, flopping on the bed, and at 1pm filed an update.
“Hey everyone. Well, I spoke with my dad, and he kicked me out. I’m at a hotel room now,” I panned the room, “and won’t be doing my show tonight, as you can see.” I sobbed a few times. My make-up was a mess over my face and I hadn’t bothered cleaning it off yet. I must have appeared like a lunatic. “Well, goodnight everyone. Thanks for everything; your support has helped me get through this. I’m crashing now. Laters.”
I didn’t bother flashing my tits, or spreading my legs for them. I was too spent, too exhausted, and too defeated.
Before slipping into sleep I scrolled through the DM’s on my snapchat and found comfort in the stream of well wishes, positive encouragement, and hopeful offers of a place to stay (with them of course). The last thing I saw before sleeping was my token balance pushing $5,000 for the last 24 hours. Maybe everything was going to be okay.