Carmen didn’t know—or better yet couldn’t know, from the perspective of her plagued existence as a working girl—actual loneliness, sadness, and other feelings. Yes, she’d undergone all types of troubles, such as being beaten by perverted customers, having limo drivers treat her rudely, receiving insults from pimps, being arrested and defrauded. But all of these were, suffice to say, side effects, the inescapable troubles that must accompany the life of prostitutes in New York. These troubles barely touched Carmen’s soul, especially because she was consistently under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Ultimately, she gave in to Sam’s demands that she leave the sex-business, informing her boss in the escort service, the equally charming and heartless Roberto, about her decision. Roberto the Charmer looked at her understandingly. He put his hand on her shoulder. This favorite gesture of his always catapulted Carmen for some reason into a great confusion and a total paralysis of her will.

“Don`t you want to whore for me anymore, bitch? Are you sure?” Roberto reached into his pocket, where there was always a thick bundle of hundred-dollar bills to offer her money.

However, Carmen found the strength at this moment do not give in to him and she refused the money. She considered that life with Sam would be more peaceful, stable, and carefree. There was also the prospect of financial prosperity—insurance policies, investments, stocks and money in the bank accounts of Sam’s parents, who were old and couldn’t live forever and had their own home in Florida. Her instincts and experience suggested to Carmen that Sam was firmly on the hook; she’d caught him so deep in the gills and he couldn’t escape.

To continue the fish comparison, the perch Sam (he indeed had some perch-like characteristics, such as sharp facial features and wide mouth) turned out to be a simpleton. He confessed to his parents that he’d “entered into a relationship with a charming Mexican lady and had very serious intentions toward her.”

His parents hurried to New York. Although the senior citizens wore glasses, they weren’t blind. Try as she might to ingratiate herself to them, modestly batting her eyelashes, often fixing up her neatly coiffed hair, and keeping her hands in her lap during the family lunch, Carmen couldn’t make any headway. These served rather to achieve the opposite result. Later on, trying to figure out the reasons for her failure, she understood that she had been too unnatural. “Not Salma Hayek.”