He was still wearing his favourite perfume, with his white Baba Riga and brown cap; Alhaji had not changed one bit. It seemed he could not recognize me, but he also stood still, then he finally broke the silence
“Chief-Chief, yauwa ! This package is the complete one aii…” he spoke to Chief
Chief: “Let me allow you guys. Dan iska Alhaji! Enjoy yourself” he laughed and left us alone.
Immediately we lost sight of Chief, Alhaji gripped me by the arm and pushed me forward, into one of the rooms
Alhaji: “You bastard! So you did not die? Today I will kill you. So you brought your prostitution all the way here? I will tell Chief who you really are, but not until I finish with you” he threatened.
It seemed like his weak bones had rejuvenated, he pinned me down, giving me a scary look, gathered very thick phlegm in his mouth and spat on my face. As I struggled, my legs slowly shifted the white blanket to the ground, it felt like a battle between grown up kids; I was determined to prevent him from having sex with me. Somehow, I tapped energy from him, dragged his bald head closer to me like I was about to give him a forceful kiss, then reached for his lips and
My small mouth was dripping blood and shredded flesh, he fell to the carpet staggering in pains, I stood up and walked boldly to where he was lying, spat his blood all over his face
Me: “For your mind, you think say na the Shiberwey you been know before? Useless old man, na like dis you go dey till you die. You no go die better man. Idiot!” I put my legs on his two sides and cursed
I could hardly sleep, the images of Alhaji with lips chopped off kept flashing in my mind. It was hard to sleep,
Me: “Oh my God, what have I brought upon myself?”
Whenever it seemed my life was going in a direction trouble would lurk and jump at me. Why was ill-luck smeared around me? Life had started smoothly for me in Abuja only for misfortune to come grappling me to the ground. My eyes roved from the ceiling to the bolted doors and windows. Sleep came when my mind flew back to the prophecy. I was told since from infantry that I would make it, no matter what I was face with. I didn’t need education to be famous. I broke into a song “rich and famous”. The thought of the prophecy calmed me and I, sure, wasn’t scared of whatever trouble that was coming. For whatever happened I was destined to be famous.
My mind flashed back to
Prophet: “Praise the Lord, somebody!”
Shiber’s Parents: “Alleluia o!”
Prophet: “This child is destined for greatness, I see her star clearly in the sky standing out in brightness and leading other stars. I see her mates celebrating her. You shall stand out among your peers, it’s your destiny and nothing can change that”.
Shiber’s Parents: “Amen o, man of God”.
Prophet: “But, you all must be close to God. The devil has seen this star and will do everything to stop it from shining. The future is too bright to jeopardize it with carelessness. The devil can go as far as taking your lives thereby making your child an orphan and causing her to lose focus. Be steadfast in prayer and hold on to God”.
Shiber’s mother: “We are trying, God too knows that we are trying with prayer”.
Shiber jerks back to reality and smiles at the comment her mother made back then. “Maybe my parents weren’t prayerful and godly enough and that’s why they died. As for me, nothing can stop me just like the prophet said. Yes, Shiber, I will be great!” I told myself. “The prophet couldn’t have made a mistake, no, prophets don’t lie. I don’t care what I do or how and where I achieve the greatness. What do I even need education for when I have the assurance that I will be great. After all, look at Kim Kardashian who became popular as a stripper, did she have to put in much effort to become a celebrity? No! So why bother yourself Shiber baby”, I smiled to myself.” I will be successful in life and I think that is why I come out alive in any trouble I get into. The world awaits my greatness”. I threw myself on the bed feeling better after this thought.
The following morning, Godfrey banged my door
Godfrey: “Come out you ingrate”
Me: “What’s the problem?” I yawned
Godfrey: “You ruined my career! Are you a vampire? That man was diabetic, why did you have to chop off his lips? Do you know what you have caused me? Jesus!” he placed his hands on his head
Me: “I am sorry, but he tried to use me for money ritual. He had a knife to my private part, which was the only option I had…”
Godfrey: “Just shut up you tramp. How could he have cut off your parts there at the lodge? Well, for your information, Chief just dismissed me, and you owe me your life from now on… You will follow my orders strictly. If not for Chief, you would have been dead by now. And get your things ready, we are moving to a new site, I don’t want that man looking for you” he turned around, I looked at him as he walked angrily
That afternoon, we moved in to our new house, a more spacious one. Godfrey had showed me a hotel across the road, explaining to me that my new job was to stand on that street at midnight, calling on clients
Godfrey: “It’s not like Lagos that you will be half naked and be calling on clients o! This one is a modern style; dress decently, cover your head with a veil and stand like you are waiting for a cab.” He had demonstrated
“You will now stand like this, and when those big Alhajis wind down, you will say SalamuAlaykum and smile. I know you are a fast learner. Just do as I say and profit will be coming” he had added
Me: “But why do I have to cover up? They will still know I am a prostitute now”
Godfrey: “That is the logic. All these big Abuja men like you covered so no one would know they are carrying a prostitute, if you are half naked, you will only attract those small boys that can barely afford three square meal- Our target is the upper class, the politicians.”
I understood every word he had said and followed his instructions. Our bank account rose like we were into the yahoo business, clients paid generously. On one occasion, I met a pilot, he was my seventh client, a very gentle man with prospects
Pilot: “I don’t like the fact that a beautiful girl like you is doing this business. When you save up enough, you can do part time classes while you sell clothes or something. Have you ever thought of that?” he asked
Me: “Abeggi, forget school o. As I service you na-na you no like am? For dis world every body get in own calling o…I don hustle tire, I come realize say dis na my calling. Na small I be when dem rape me o. So no talk dat one”
Pilot: “You are still young, don’t give up. Let me tell you a story of my niece. She was raped by uncle. Uncle David was her favourite uncle, he raped her everyday and she was scared to tell anyone. To cut the long story short, she had given up, drank some chemicals to commit suicide. I saved her life, advised her to move on because life has many phases, now the case is in court and my uncle will serve a worthy jail term. Look at him, will you ever believe a man with this kind of innocent face can rape a little girl?” he showed me a picture on his phone
“I never liked him, my instincts never lied to me. Why do you look so sad? Did I say anything wrong?” he asked
Miebaka’s father, Mr. David had not changed one bit. He was the one on my client’s phone. So it wasn’t just me he raped? I asked myself as tears rolled down my eyes
“Sweety, what’s the problem, do you know him?”
Me: “Na d man wey I talk say rape me b dat. My aunty boyfriend, Mr. David. This useless man” I stared at his picture, wishing I could drag him out and punch him till he lost his breath
The pilot had stayed longer than we bargained, talking to me about life expectations and how to overcome them; I knew he would not have understood my situation, no matter how much I explained. How could he even have understand, he was from a rich home.
One cold evening I stood on the street, waiting for clients, but none stopped for me; the new girls who had joined me in the business were young and slim, they were the ones the Alhajis were now attracted to. I felt disappointed, my stomach was not as flat as theirs, they could speak Hausa fluently; I was no match. Then the thought of going home empty handed struck me; Godfrey would be disappointed. A great idea came into my mind; I was going to talk to the security guard of the big hotel opposite where I stood
“at all at all naim bad pass” I told myself
Me: “Good evening bros. Abeg I need small favor” I approached the security man
Security: “How now. Wetin I go do for you?
Me: “Em..abeg I fit change for your room? If I change I go leave my dress with you. I promise say I go come carry am tomorrow by Gods grace abeg my brother”
Security: “No be brother and sister matter o. Na scrub me I scrub you. Shop me I shop you, no lele”
Me: “I don’t understand”
Security: “Na quickie things na.abi how you see am? Abi you no want make I secure d dress for you?”
I understood what he meant, I only asked him to give me the chance to remove the long dress I was wearing and keep in his security post but he wanted sex in return. I had no choice, we got into his post and had sex; he was the most inexperienced man I had slept with…sucked my breasts like they were his mothers, squeezed my nipples so tight and screamed all through the whole time, calling his mother for help. I walked out of his post with my bom shots and crop top, feeling pains all over my chest.
Me:”So you nor get money to settle and you dey carry ashawo. Wo, no make me curse you and your generation. My money na Twenty Thousand Naira, pay me before I design your face with this bottle” I threatened
Man: “Ashewo kobo kobo. As I carry you, you tell me say I go pay? No be you stop me? Useless woman. No be say I enjoy anything sef. Na as I enter I take comot. Reason am well o, we no be mate. I go beat you scatter for ground for this Garki and nobody go touch me” he held my hair
After I left the security man, I had met a young man who bargained to have fun for one hour and refused to pay afterwards, so I held his shirt outside the hotel. People had gathered, begging me to leave his shirt, but I refused
Passerby: “It’s obvious this young man has no money to pay you. Just leave him to God. You know he is a man, he may even end up hitting you o”
Me: “E dey mad? E drink cow piss? How in wan take torsh me? E nor reash! E must pay me my money if not we go do two people burial” I threatened
Shiber! Shiber! Shiber is that you?” a strange voice called from the nosy crowd
I looked up to see who could recognize me in such a crowded place…It was Miebaka!
To be continued!
What is Miebaka doing in Abuja? Will Shiber accept that she knows him? How will her fight with the broke client end?
And…. Just as Shiber said, Is it true that everyone has his or her own calling in life? Must everybody go to school to become successful in life?