Growing up for me was like a smooth sail across the ocean; there was never a turbulent wind. Things were just almost perfect. Though my parents were the very staunch disciplinarians, but I got everything I wanted. When I was twelve, my friend introduced me into watching pornographic movies which I later got addicted to. At this time, there was something I desired most that I couldn’t get on time__ sex! I wanted to have a feel of the smooth naked bodies of women. And since I couldn’t get a lady to perform this practical, I resorted to masturbating; a habit that almost got the better part of my brain before I learnt of a brothel which was close to our home. I stole my daddy’s money and went to the lair of commercial sex workers. There, I was welcomed into the world of sex. I was sixteen.
When I got admission into the university, the freedom I desired from my parents’ persistent scolding finally arrived. Sex became my food; an everyday ritual that must be performed as though I would lose my life without it. Girls on campus and prostitutes off campus I did trade with. This however did not affect my grades negatively. I graduated with a strong second class upper. Though, my friends still insist till date, that I would have had a first class if it weren’t for my knack for that mouse betwixt the woman’s legs. I got a job in a reputable telecommunication company; at this time the orgy for sex had taken a new dimension and the better part of my thinking. Getting married wasn’t a part of my agenda. I went home every day with a woman, and some nights I took two or three prostitutes home. (I had gotten my personal apartment, and so there wasn’t any interference from my parents.)
One evening, after I had closed from work, as usual, I drove straight to the prostitutes joint. I pulled to the road shoulder; about four ladies approached me, chewing gums, forming and bursting up gum balls in their mouths. One stood few feet away on the other side of the road; her figure and charm was wonderfully alluring. But then, her breasts were properly covered and not sagged to get customers unlike these four that surrounded my vehicle which made me wonder if she was indeed a prostitute. Her very short skirt was suggestive of a prostitute with a class. I stepped down from my car and crossed to the other side of the road where she was. I’d thought I’d seen beauties, but this was exceptional. ‘The beautiful one is born! Those who think the beautiful ones are not yet born must still be living in the 16th century.’ I thought. She winked at me; a wink that attracted a broad smile from me. I did what I usually don’t do when I come here to pick women; I stretched out my hand towards her. “I’m Collins,” I said as she welcomed my palm into her soft palm and grinned.
“What’s your name, pretty?”
“Is it my name you want or sex?” she said.
I stared into her eyes; they were brighter than a cloudless sky. “Okay, shall we?” I gestured, pointing to my car. She said and followed me. This night, I didn’t bother to carry two or three prostitutes home. Her beauty and sexy curves quenched my thirst for more.
“A night is N5000. Deal?” she said before entering my car.
We got to my house and had our baths separately. She’d insisted she took her bath separately. There was this thing about her I could not fathom; a hidden treasure, my mind could tell. The aura around her was something I have never seen in any woman; yet, she was a prostitute.
It was time for action. She took off her under-pant, rolled up her miniskirt, but left her top covering her chest. She climbed to the bed; spread her thighs and her mouse staring at my curious face.
“That’s the internet you’re paying for. Enjoy browsing,” she said, throwing her face aside and facing the wall.
“That’s it? Ain’t you gonna take off your top and bra?”
“Nope. My breast is the pride I have left now.”
“So, how am I supposed to enjoy this without them? You have to be completely nude; it’s part of the deal.” I demanded.
She got down from the bed, wore her pant and rolled down her miniskirt. “Please take me back, or you give me money to transport myself back,” she said, picking up her bag.
“Come on! Okay, how much will you take to uncover them?” I asked, pointing to her breast.
“Mr. Man, my breasts are not for sale. Not even for a million Naira,” she reaffirmed her words. I sat on the edge of the bed wondering what to do with her. Does a prostitute have any pride to protect? I asked myself. “Mr. Man, you’re wasting my time; I need to get another customer for the night.” She said. Her sharp eyes cut into me, and I just could not let her leave. I picked up my wallet and gave her N8000. “So, do you agree to my terms now?” She asked me, counting the notes.
“Not really; but it’s okay.” I told her.
“I hope you’re not planning to drug me tonight so you can get all you want.”
“No, I can’t do that. Sex is better enjoyed when both parties involved are participating, and not when one is lying on the bed like the log of a tree.”
She threw N3000 back at me. “It’s N5000 we agreed on, not N8000” she said, stuffing the N5000 into her bag.
“Come on, take it. Consider the N3000 as a little gift.” I told her.
“No, I’m not a beggar; I’m just an unlucky one. I won’t take it. But thanks though.”
There was this innocent look that glistened on her face, which threw swords of compunction at me whilst she again took off her under-pant and rolled up her miniskirt. I just remained seated on the edge of my bed, sternly staring at her.
“What are you waiting for? Enjoy your money.” She said, taking her earlier posture on the bed.
“What’s your name?” I asked her.
“I can’t tell you that.” She said.
I made to my wardrobe to pick a shirt. I’d been in my boxer shorts. “You’re a pretty girl. One of the prettiest girls I’ve ever seen, I must confess.” I told her while putting on my shirt. “And I can see, as far as my mind can tell, that you’re endowed with the ingredients of beauty…”
“Story!” she said.
I went on, ignoring her comment. “But what I don’t know is the mystery you carry which I hope to unravel. Can I ask you a question?”
“You can, but I’m not guaranteeing you an answer,” she said.
“How did you get into this? I mean this work.”
“Sorry, I can’t talk about that.”
“Please, I really want to know. Perhaps I can help.” I said. She laughed and got down from the bed.
“There was a time I needed help from people. All I ever got was total rejection from everyone I approached.” She said, sinking her butt to the edge of the bed. She added, “I don’t need that anymore.” She looked at me, “At least I’m still alive. I’m surviving.” She said, picked up the bottle of wine on the stool by my bed and poured some in one of the two glasses and gulped it. For some minutes, we were there staring at each other; words betrayed me this time I needed them. “Who are you?” She asked.
“Same question I’ve been meaning to ask you. But I’ll tell you this; I was a self-spoilt brat who has grown to become an adult excessively addicted to sex.” I said, looking intently at her and added, “So, who are you? Why…”
“Well, as you can see, I’m just a prostitute,” she cut in before I could finish the question. “Isn’t who I am obvious?” she asked me.
“No, something deep within me tells me you’re not really what you claim to be.”
“Perhaps, you tell me who I am then?”
“I really wish I can.”
“And now that you can’t, can we continue with the business that brought me here?” she said.
I paused, looking for the right words, but I found none.
“Please, can you always just come around here and spend the nights and weekends with me?” I asked her. Suddenly, this day, I had lost my unrestrained thirst for sex. “I need your company around, and I’ll be paying you.”
“If that’s what you want. So long as I get my money every time I come.” She agreed. She left my house early in the morning untouched.
The second night she came, she told me her name was Nancy.
When she came the third night, she was extravagantly elegant, beautiful and sweet. Those eyes of hers again pierced into me, killing my urge for sex instead of sexual arousal. She didn’t bother to take off her pant this night because she had become used to me not touching her.
“Nancy, I guess we can continue our chitchats from where we stopped yesterday. Don’t you think so?”
“It’s okay. No problem.” She said.
“I really want to know you more.” I told her.
“Remember that I told you that my life is a story I hate to tell.”
“I’m interested in this story, please.”
“No way!” she said, shaking her head. I insisted and did my best to cajole her into talking. She broke into tears, sitting on the armchair beside my bed. I held her whilst I sat on the edge of the bed, resting her head on my bosom as her tears dropped on me.
“It’s okay, Nancy.” I said, doing all I could to comfort her and stop her from crying. “If this story about your life will hurt you, it’s okay, please don’t talk about it.” I told her. She was silent this time, the crying had subsided.
“I was born into a family of four.” She broke the silence, opening up, “dad, mum, my elder brother and I.” She began. “Life was okay. Dad had enough to take care of all our needs. There was joy, until June 26, 2001.” She wiped her tears with her arm. “Then, I had just completed my secondary school education. I’d gone out with my friends, and I was coming back home when I found the gateman in the pool of his blood. I screamed and ran into the house, shouting ‘daddy’. I got into the sitting room and …” she sighed, trying to be strong now, but the tears in her eyes mocked her courage. “I found dad, and mum,” she continued, “and my brother, lying dead in the pool of their blood.” She wept.
“Damn! Notorious hoodlums. What…” I was blathering at the horrible experience she had.
“Nobody really knew if they were hoodlums or paid assassins.” She coughed, “after their burial, my aunty took me into her house to live with her. Things got tough when she separated from her husband, and we moved into one bedroom flat. Life just got tougher and tougher for us.”
“How about your dad’s properties and monies he must have left behind?” I asked her.
“My uncles shared that among themselves and squandered it. They said I’m just a girl, and by their stupid tradition, I have no right to inherit my father’s properties.”
I listened as she continued this heart-breaking story. “My aunty changed when things really got bad, and she started coming home with different men. Several times I entered the room and caught her having sex with these men; always a different man for a different night. On this ugly day, in the evening, I was in the sitting room when my aunty came in with two men. She locked the entrance door and put the keys in her bag. One of the men sat beside me and she ordered me to serve him with whatever he wanted, while the other man followed her into the room. Barely a minute when she entered with her man for the night, the man who was sitting beside me unzipped his trouser, pointing his ugly and fierce looking manhood at me and asked me to take off my clothes that he’d paid my aunty. I tried to run but he held me and pushed me to the sofa. I was shouting and screaming for my aunt’s help, but she didn’t come out. That was the day I lost my virginity to a total stranger; the blood that left my body that day, and the excruciating pain I felt, I can’t even begin to talk about. I was just seventeen, and this continued unabated. Do you have an idea of how it feels to be raped daily by different men you don’t know?” she asked me.
“I can’t even begin to imagine it. It’s horrible.” I said.
“One day,” she continued, “I hid a sharp knife on the sofa. The unlucky man she brought for me that night wanted rape me too, but I’d decided to put a stop to this sexual abuse I was suffering. I reached for the knife and drove it into his shoulder. He screamed and ran out. That was the day my aunty threw me out of the house. I started sleeping in a nearby church until the pastor found me one day. I told him my story and he took me home. The wife treated me like her own daughter. I tried getting a job to help myself, but I couldn’t secure any with my WAEC certificate.” She raised her head away from my bosom, got up from the armchair and walked into the bathroom. She’d gone in there to urinate.
“I was sleeping one night,” she said, leaving the bathroom, and then leaned her back on the wall by the bathroom door; her arms crossed over her chest. “I felt a hand on my body, cuddling me. I jumped up, with memories of those incessant rapes at my aunt’s place still very fresh. It was the pastor. He tried to force himself on me, and I threatened to shout to his wife’s hearing. He left me and walked away. The next morning, he asked me to leave his house. He told his wife that the Lord had revealed to him that I was a marine spirit, and God told him to send me away.” Tears again rolled down from her eyes. “His wife pleaded on my behalf to let me stay. But he didn’t listen to her. That was how I left that house.” She walked towards me, and sat on the armchair she’d seated before. She continued telling me the most horrible story that is best imagined in movies. At a point, I got emotional and wept.
“My real name is Tina. Celestina. Not Nancy. I lied to you about that. I’m sorry.” She confessed.
“Oh… no problem at all. I understand.” I assured her.
“I looked for help, but I found none. And the men, they always ask for something in return before they can help you. I had only two options; prostitution and suicide.” She poured some wine for herself again. “I’m in my third year in the university, studying economics,” She said as she took the cup of wine to her mouth, “I sponsor myself in school through this indecent work during the holidays. I school in the North and do this work in the South for fear of familiarities and all that.” She added, and drank.
There was a guilt I felt that really hurt me. I felt I was the privileged one taking advantage of the less privileged.
Tina and I got very close and we gradually became lovers. I proposed to her and took her to my parents. My parents are against us getting married, especially my dad. I don’t know how my dad got to know Tina’s past, until few days ago when she told me the unbelievable thing I can only wish it were not true.
“You remember I told you I stabbed one man on his shoulder?” She asked me.
“Yes, I do.”
“Your dad was the one.”
I was shocked! My dad had come home one evening with a bandaged shoulder. He claimed to have been attacked by hoodlums. Sadly, it has occurred to me now that daddy wasn’t actually the good man he’d made us believe he was. I’m just so confused right now, not knowing what to do. Tina has since not stopped crying. She’s been through a lot already, and I hate to see her surfer more pains; and I certainly can’t allow her to go back to her former work. I have changed her and given her hope, just like she has changed me to a better person. I really love Tina. She is the first woman I ever love and want to marry. My parents think otherwise and have threatened not to give their blessing to us. I really don’t know what to do now. Do I tell my mum the real truth daddy is hiding from her? But I fear that would cause a great deal of trouble between them.