It started out as a conversation.
I and my friend were discontented about our financial status. I talked about how pleasant it would be if I had ‘sufficient’ and steady income.
She talked about how she could not bring herself to ask men for money. We talked about the ‘Aristo Chics’ we knew that summed up enough courage to collect humongous amounts from their customers.
God was listening to our conversation. He had to make a comedy out of it, so he provided me what UNILAG girls would call ‘opportunity’.
Later that day, I was buying yoghurt around Honours when a white jeep honked at me. I walked up to the car and saw that an old man (most likely older than my father) was the driver and only occupant of the vehicle.
‘Good afternoon Sir.’
‘Good afternoon my dear. Do you stay in this hostel?’
‘Where do you stay?’
‘Moremi, Sir.’ I lied, ‘Is there any problem, Sir?’
‘No my dear. I would just like to know you better. I want you to be my friend.’
I could not help but laugh. It was too funny. I remembered the discussion my friend and I had some hours before. Coincidence? Opportunity!
‘No problem, Sir’
‘I want you to ‘accommodate’ me and I will take good care of you. Let me have your number. When will you be free today?’
I gave him my number. ‘I should be less busy around eight in the evening, Sir.’
‘Alright. I’ll call you before then.’
The foolish man called me three hours later (five o’clock). I was still ‘busy’ – busy pondering on whether I should ‘chop the man’s money’. I decided and struck the gavel. I would. It seemed like the right thing to do… well, at that point.
I went to Moremi to ask for advice from my experienced friends. They recognized opportunity and knew how to deal with it. I listened to them.
‘Lay out your terms first. Make it look good,’ one said.
‘Noooo. Let him talk first so you’ll know what he wants,’ another said.
‘Don’t let him take you out of school o. He might even be a ritualist,’ one other said.
‘I’ll follow you to take note of the type of car and the plate number. Don’t worry. Just act like you know how it goes. He’ll drop money,’ one another said and winked at me – the ‘you will pay me for following you’ wink.
One another escorted me to the car by eight thirty after keeping the man waiting for about forty minutes. I was told you had to keep “them” waiting.
I got into the car. I had changed into white shorts… to match the foolish man’s jeep. Hopefully it would bring the money out faster.
The foolish man did not wait for my bottom to get accustomed to his passenger’s seat before he smacked me hard on my left thigh and caressed it with all his little might. He even had the impudence to bring his mouth close. The idiot was expecting me – MUA! – to kiss him. Inyama!
‘We are going to have a good time! …’
He mumbled a name that sounded like that of a motel’s and I quickly interrupted, ‘NO! We have to discuss price first,’ with a big frown on my face. I did not like that I sounded like a roadside prostitute.
I smacked his hand off my thigh and urged him to drive into the dark. I could not be seen with an old man – everyone knew my dad and his car; I’m sure they could tell the difference.
We parked under those trees at the senate car park. I wanted to be over and done with this disgraceful thing I was doing. A.S.A.P Rocky.
Before I could organize what I had planned to say, the foolish old man had flown to the back seat and was now stroking his wrinkled below. My eyes darted from his flushed and flustered face to the area his hand stroked.
‘Excuse me Sir, we are not children here. Can you please come back to your seat?’
He replied, ‘Of course I know we are not children. The back seat is more comfortable. We’ll be leaving here soon. Come and join me first.’ He patted his leather seat.
I replied, ‘If you do not come back to your seat I will walk away. I have other things to do.’
He replied, ‘What is wrong with you? Just accommodate me for some minutes. I won’t take your time.’ he patted the seat again.
I replied by opening the door first, and then I said, ‘I’m not the usual. When you are ready, you have my number.’
I had been advised to bluff when necssary. I came down and as I was about to slam his door, he came down from the back seat.
‘OK! Get into the car. Let’s talk about whatever it is you think that is so important.’
I got into the car and my mouth started moving. ‘See Sir, it is a simple matter. Before I take on anybody, I must be sure they can take care of me. I know what to do and I do it well. Actions speak louder than words.
‘My major concern is me being pampered. You see all of this; all of this (me gesturing at my upper goodies) is expensive. I spend a lot of money taking care of myself. I can’t be with someone that is lacking.
‘You need to show me that you have what it takes to keep this girl looking good, even better than how you met me. Eyan o le maba iru yin rin ki awon eyan ma sope a ni eyan leyin (direct translation: we cannot be walking with someone like you and people will not acknowledge that we have someone (influential/wealthy) behind us). You get me Sir?’
He sighs and then replies, ‘I understand what you are trying to say. I can assure you that you will be treated better than you expect. I just think we should be reasonable about this issue. You scratch my back, I scratch yours and we both go home happy.’
I replied, ‘I want visible assurance. Word of mouth won’t work with me.’
He replied, ‘I know. In the past, I encountered girls who I was very nice to. These girls would give uncountable reasons of why I had to be nice, and after I was, I never saw them again.
‘Some even went around and started running their mouths. I have to know that we both have something to lose and something to gain. You have to be careful. This is Lagos.’
I replied, ‘Well, I am sorry about your past but it won’t cause me to change my principles. It’s either visible assurance or nothing. That’s it.’
The man looked at me and seemed to weigh his options for what seemed like an eternity.
‘Ok. I’ll give you thirty thousand naira right now and then we go have ourselves a good time. The whole night. How about that?’
The whole kini (what)? HELLLLL NOOOOOO!!! Kiss sef I can’t give! I won’t even let you touch me Nigga!
‘No o. You give me thirty thousand naira in preparation for tomorrow evening. How about that?’
He replied, ‘Ahhhhh! That’s not an agreement. How am I sure you will show up tomorrow?’
I replied, ‘You will just have to take my word for it. If not, please drop me back in my hostel.’
After much thought, he got into the car and started to drive. He dropped me beside the arts block.
As I walked into Moremi to narrate the incident to my experienced friends, I thought about the girls that made a living from this ‘opportunity’.
It saddened me. For how much?
If God can provide for the birds in the sky, the fishes in the sea, why should he forget men whom he made in his own image?
How many wrinkled men did those girls have to sleep with to maintain the façade they call lifestyle? How many homes (that took ages to build) have they destroyed? How many lives have these men and these girls ruined?
For how much?
This post appeared on 234STARS.
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