“The Cleaning Agency” by Ayn Bootham
Blurb: Life can be messy sometimes.
Just how messy is something Eva Charles finds out when her husband flees the country with all of their money. Men in tight vests start making unannounced visits and the bank threatens to take her house.
She needs a plan. But for nine years she has raised children, scrubbed kitchens and removed stains from upholstery. What does that qualify her for? Starting up her own cleaning agency of course! But with a twist….Eva’s business is a naked cleaning agency with sexy girls offering all kinds of services…
With the help of a moody handyman, an attractive drug dealer and an eccentric neighbor, Eva tries to keep her life from spiraling out of control.
But she has to get her hands dirty, very dirty, to clean up the mess she is in.
* * * * *
For nine years I was a typical suburban housewife, a car pool mom and dutiful wife, spending large parts of the day thinking about what to cook for dinner and where to plant my petunias. I was your basic law-abiding citizen who always got the books back to the library on time and who didn’t even break the speed limit when she was late for a doctor’s appointment.
Then I got one phone call and everything changed.
That was all it took.
One phone call.
It was the bank, informing me of unusual activity on our accounts.
It sounded like a joke. I mean, it had to be a joke. What did unusual activity mean? I tried to think of what I had been buying lately, if I had gone overboard with any retail therapy.
But the bank was not worried by a few big purchases. The bank was concerned about several extremely large withdrawals. I was on the line with an accounts manager or a client liaison person, something like that. I hadn’t really paid attention to anything she said on the phone until she told me that our money was gone.
All of it.
Then she really had my attention.
“But we have overdrafts,” I replied, slowly.
“Well, yes”, she said, kindly. “But these have now also been exhausted.”
* * * * *