“ASHAWO NO BE WORK”
It was Vicky who introduced me to Joe thinker. She said he treated his women nicely and paid them well. That’s what they say of every client though. But what’s to lose? I’ve slept with boys that offered me two thousand naira.
Moreover, if I sleep through the night doing nothing, even the two thousand naira will not come. So, I dressed up and headed for City Lodge Hotel.
“Make him happy o! That one na ATM.”
“I done hear! Ashawo!” We both laughed at the absurdity of calling ourselves exactly what we were.
I had only seen City Lodge hotel, once, in passing. I said hello to the gate men and walked straight to the reception. The receptionist was either tad rude or experiencing her time of the month.
“All these runs girls sef…” She muttered after ignoring my several good evenings and informing her that I was there to see Mr. John.
“No be your yansh I dey use do am na.” I retorted.
She eyed me and called one of the security men to show me to where Joe-thinker was.
“He is expecting you.” She slyed.
Joe welcomed me with a warm hug, as if he had known me since ages past. He was tall and well built, in his late 40s. “You’re so pretty and fit, just my type.” Please make yourself comfortable. I sat with my ass half on the couch and half in space, trying to absorb the environment. There were books on the table, a bottle of wine, a pack of cigarettes but they seemed untouched.
“So, tell me a little about yourself.”
“My name is Sophia,”
“Where is Sophia from?”
“Oh ho! Adamawa, in the North East. No wonder you’re so pretty, trademark of your people.”
I blushed. We talked for a long time, I began to wonder if I was there to fuck of have a long conversation on my tribe and dead parents. I had my bath and laid underneath the duvet, the cold from the AC was making me shiver. Mr. John joined me soon and wrapped me in a warm embrace. “If it’s too cold, I can turn off the A.C.”
“No, it’s fine” I smiled.
In all the months I’ve been a runs girl, there hasn’t been a time I felt uneasy about any client. Maybe it was because Joe is rich and sophisticated and had an untouched pack of cigarettes on his table.
He planted a kiss on my lips and whispered “suck me” I buried my head underneath the duvet, dutifully. If it were possible to choke on a penis, I would have choked. Joe was not a one-minute man, it made my job more difficult. Each time I tried to raise my head and rest, he pushed it back, groaning like a pig. When he came, I felt more than relieved. I quickly rushed to the bathroom and spat out the substance in my mouth. I stared at myself in the mirror, all I wanted to do was scream.
I went back to the room, sat beside him and wore a smile.
“That was some 7-star performance baby.” I laughed.
“Excuse me, let me clean up.” He added, grabbed his phone from the side drawer and made for the bathroom.
More than 15minutes had passed but he was still in the bathroom. I got off the bed to stick my nose around his stuff, then realized there were whispers. I pressed my ears to the door. He was on a call. I couldn’t really pick the words. I didn’t think it was anything. The toilet flushed, I went back to bed and hugged the duvet.
Minutes later, he offered me wine.
“I don’t drink alcohol sir.”
“Just not my thing.”
“Come on, take it. It will make you enjoy our love making more.”
“I have an aphrodisiac in my bag.”
I shook my head. His expression turned into a grimace. “You don’t want me to force you, do you?”
I laughed. “That’s a joke right?”
No it wasn’t. He raised the glass and actually pushed it to my lips. I resisted and stood up immediately. He dropped the glass, reached for me and pushed. I stood up immediately and made for the door. But before I could open it, he had happened upon me again. This time holding a knife.
He probably brought it out of his bag. Then it occurred to me, he was actually going to sedate me with the wine then do whatever.
The thought strengthened me. I raised my knees to his groin and hit as hard as I could.
When he fell, I opened the door and raced to the reception. I was in a bathrobe. I met the unpleasant receptionist. “He wants to kill me!!?” I yelled.
She jolted from her seat as if wanting to offer some form of help but Joe was shouting thief from upstairs. I continued running. The security men at the gate were too confused to stop me. They just watched me run out of the gate half-naked. Joe’s screams faded into a distance.
I was now on the express. I ran from tudun wada to gada biu. How I got the strength, I can’t explain. But I was running atop gada biu bridge, running for my life. I used to read it on gossip blogs. “Woman’s breast cut off by sugar-daddy.” “Suspected ritualist beheads 22year old.” but never thought I would come close to it. I too would have become a gossip headline. Pictures of my breastless body will flood the internet. God forbid.
At the hostel, Vicky was with the other girls keeping vigil on bottles of wine when I raced in. Her boyfriend had probably left. They all stood up and ran towards me.
“Where are your clothes?”
“Your phone. Your bag.”
I sat on the floor, gasping for breath. They surrounded me.
“Babes, Ashawo no be work.” I said between heavy breaths.
By Farida Adamu