A week passed and I still hadn’t seen Jan Baptiste. I was beginning to think I’d imagined him, due to all the moonlight-and-magnolias’ scenarios that had been clouding my mind. It didn’t make any sense. What was he doing in the cemetery? Was he a ghost? How weird is that?! On Saturday night, I heard the ragtime music again. I wasn’t sure if it was coming from the cemetery or not. I put my robe on and ran across the street to look through the fence to see if Jan was there. As I was looking, I felt a cold presence behind me. I quickly turned around, and there was my Jan. I threw my arms around his neck and showered him with kisses.
He pulled away and said, “Come with me. I want to show you something.” I followed him around the fence and we came to a place that was opened enough for both of us to get through. “Are you frightened?” he asked.
“Not when I’m with you.”
He took my hand and led me to a burial vault. He pointed to one of the names on the family plot.
I asked, “That’s you?! So you are a ghost?”
“I’m afraid so.”
I tried wrapping my mind around what he’d just said. It was hard to believe. I didn’t know if ghosts really existed.
He pointed to some stairs leading down to the vault. “Follow me.”
“Have I died, too?” I asked him.
“No. You’re very much among the living.” He pointed to a door.
“Where are we going?” I asked as he led me towards it.
“We’re going to Storyville. That’s where I live.”
“Storyville? You mean the famous red light district?”
“I’ve read about it. Storyville doesn’t exist anymore. Are we going back in time?”
“Yes. Back to 1899.”
Wow! This is weird, but exciting, too. I couldn’t believe it. “Wow!” I said again.
“I hope you like it.”
“What do you do there in Storyville?”
“I play piano in some of the brothels.”
“Wow! That’s where Louis Armstrong and Jelly Roll Morton got their start!”
“You know about them?”
“Yeah. My grandfather likes jazz.”
“If you like jazz, you’ve come to the right place.”
I could hear music playing in the distance. Before he opened the door, he said, “Are you ready to go back to 1899 with me?”
“Sure. I’d follow you anywhere.”
He opened the door and I beheld a barely-recognizable Basin Street. Back then, it had railroad tracks running down the middle of the street. People were scurrying about wearing Victorian era clothing. There were two-storied stately mansions, some adorned with turrets and cupolas, lining the street. Some of the houses had naked women hanging out of the upper floor windows trying to tempt the men on the street to come inside and join them. There were saloons and gambling parlors.
He said, “We’re going to the Mahogany House.”
“Okay,” I answered, ready for anything.
“Have you ever heard of Lulu White?”
“No. Who is she?”
“She runs this place,” he said as we walked up to the door of a large mansion. “It’s a lot nicer than some of the brothels down here. It even has a marble staircase and two parlors.”
He opened a door and I saw half-dressed women sitting in a parlor talking to men. A pianist in the corner was playing ragtime music.
Jan led me up the marble staircase and we came to a room. I didn’t know what surprises he had in store for me next. It was all so thrilling!
We entered a very plush bedroom filled with antiques. It had a large crystal chandelier in the middle of the ceiling. At first, I didn’t notice her: I was too busy looking at Jan and the dazzling interior. Then, I saw her—a red headed young woman sitting up in a four-poster bed. She was wearing a dressing gown that barely covered her large tits. I looked at Jan with fire in my eyes and said, “What’s this all about?! Why are we here?”
He told me, “I wanted you to meet Lily, my wife.”
“Your wife!” I shouted. “You never told me you were married!” I was about ready to murder him.
Defensively, he answered, “I do have a past, you know. I’ve known Lily since I was a child. We grew up together.”
“Is she a prostitute?”
“And you’re never jealous about her having sex with other men?”
“It’s all we’ve ever known. We have an understanding.”
With building anger, I shoved his chest and yelled, “I want to go home. I don’t like you anymore.”
He gripped my hands, trying to get me to stay. I was surprised when he said, “Don’t be jealous. I’m not going to be having sex with her.”
I didn’t understand what he was talking about.
He said to Lily, “She feels funny about being in bed with you. Come to her and help her feel more comfortable.”
Lily stood up and I saw that her dressing gown had come undone, and one of her very large tits was halfway out. She did look good; I had to admit. She approached me and put her arms around my neck and then kissed me deeply. Against my expectations, I liked the way she tasted: it was fresh and clean, like the cucumber-infused water served at my favorite spa. She started unbuttoning my blouse. I felt like backing away, but then I looked over at Jan sitting on a chair in the corner. He winked at me. I told myself, now I get it. He wants to watch. Well, I’ll put on quite a show, if that’s what he desires. I opened up Lily’s dressing gown, and caressed one of her luscious breasts, then buried my face between them. I looked over at Jan and he was taking off his pants.
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