Chapter 5

Winston brushed his hand through McKenna's hair as they stood in an embrace in the middle of his living room as McKenna cried into his chest. When she was finally able to pull herself together, she broke the hug and fell onto the couch with a spent sigh.

"You were right, of course," McKenna said.

"About what?" Winston asked, taking a seat next to her.

"The piano. Mom loved listening to me play."

"You remembered how?"

"Like riding a bicycle," she said with a sad smile. "So, anyway, I wanted to thank you for that gift. It was a meaningful way to spend those last few months together."

"I'm glad," Winston smiled. "Do you want something to drink or anything?"

She shook her head no. "I didn't realize she was going to go so quickly," McKenna revealed.

"I wish I could have helped you through it."

"I could have used you at the service," McKenna admitted. "It was as if I had cancer too. Nobody knew how to act around me, the scandalized outcast with the horrible past. It was an unbearable torture to have to endure that while trying to grieve my mother."

"It's all over now," Winston encouraged.

"I'll always be Madam Mayer no matter what I do with my life," she sighed. "I should probably just disappear forever now that Mom's gone."

"Please don't," Winston said, taking her hand in his.

"I don't remember when I decided to start doing what I did," McKenna revealed. "I never intended to do it but I just couldn't stop, it seemed."

Winston didn't say anything, letting her get it all out to him for the first time.

"I enjoyed being watched," she told him. "I liked the way men were captivated as I wiggled while music played. All I needed was a good webcam and my own site. Most of the men wanted someone to talk to. If I didn't talk they'd get upset and leave the page. I got my biggest tips when I took a long time to take my clothes off. There was nothing natural about it. Nothing normal about the way I advertised my sexuality, revealing everything and talking dirty and saying things on camera I'd never say in real life like describing a man in my mouth."

She wasn't making eye contact with Winston, staring off in the distance instead.

"I was really a modest almost prudist person," McKenna insisted. "A stereotypical school teacher. Madam Mayer was my Jekyll and Hyde alter ego and I became very aware of producing the best show with the best lighting, using the sunlight during the day to highlight my naked body in an almost angelic effect."

Winston knew he couldn't react although it was hard to hear her telling him such things.

"Watching yourself being watched can be stimulating," McKenna admitted. "Using your body to make men react even though they were all anonymous screen names. I wondered how they could type so quickly and beat off at the same time."

McKenna let out a loud sigh and she started to stand. "So you can understand why I am so despised and why I need to disappear."

Winston grabbed her arm and tugged her back onto the couch. "How'd you get caught?"

"Some perverted parent logged on to get his rocks off and recognized me," she said. "Had the actual gall to report me even though he's the one who logged on in order to satisfy his own perversion. Some Dad role model, huh?"

"You don't do it anymore, do you?"

McKenna let out a groan. "Madam Mayer is dead," she assured him. "She destroyed my life and I'm glad she's gone."

"Okay," Winston said. "We won't talk about it again."

"Everybody else knows," she said.

"So what?" Winston asked. "You don't owe anybody an explanation. You have a right to live your life. You've atoned for your sins. You've paid for your mistakes. You lost everything. Now you get your second chance." He paused for a moment. We get our second chance."

McKenna looked at him with amazement. "You want to go out with me?"

"I'm still game for a movie if you are," Winston replied.

She fell into him with wonderment and relief. "We can go to the Greenville Cinema," she decided after a few quiet moments. "I'm not going to hide out any longer if you're willing to be seen with me."

"Will you play the piano for me?" He asked, causing McKenna to start crying all over again.

"But it's a good cry," she told him when she was able to collect herself. "Tears of happiness, gratitude, relief, and hope. Of letting go and moving on."

"Be my guest," Winston said.

"I'm in your book," she replied.