The room was silent as I thought it would be, I took the opportunity, got up and walked out but not before I dragged Efya with me and warned her never to try that ambush rubbish with me again, I hope she listened, this one was as stubborn as they come.
“Ajifa I want to ask you something.” Oh boy, what’s she got stuck in her head this time, at 16 she already acted like a 25 year old. Life had hardened her at such an early age.
“yes” I reply whilst scrolling through my phone. “what do you really do for a living? I know you don’t work customer service for CBN as you claim, just tell me and I promise not to Judge you no matter what.”
I laugh hysterically, pick my bag and begin to rummage for the ID card I was able to procure thanks to one of my clients. I knew this day would come and I needed my story to be accurate. Funny thing is I don’t even know if there is a customer service department in CBN, I only knew I had to explain the large amounts of money that entered my account on a regular.
I show it to her and she takes it from me and begins to scan through as if looking for a fault. I don’t blame her, I expected the question when I first got them back but she never did ask but now that she has, I assume Jacqueline has something to do with it.
5 years later.
Its official, I had become a graduate of History and International Relations and boy, did it feel good! I threw my cap up in the air with my mates and felt the wave of freedom envelop me. I looked back at the row for Efya and baba (who insists he be called Marvin) they both looked teary eyed. Efya was more so happy knowing where we came from and how this was almost an impossibility.
She was already enrolled at the University of Lagos studying statistics and I was the proudest I could have ever been of her.
I thought of the life I had built for myself and my siblings, it wasn’t too shabby. A beautiful house in Lekki Phase 1, a nice range rover sport, and a mini cooper, Marvin was in one of the best schools in Lagos and Efya was in her own rented and furnished apartment off campus.
We had everything we needed and there was nothing anyone could do to take this away from us. I had worked my back to the bone and I was damn proud of my achievements.
I should have guessed, she would simply ask me at random times, how much I had been able to gather and I would tell her foolishly, everything I had saved up
Well now here I was, in the biggest mess I thought I was ever going to be. After three months working as an escort and four months with Amaka. She had vanished and left me with a debt of N200,000.
Funny as that was the exact amount I had made over the months. From house rent to shopping debts, to money lent, Amaka left me in the wind to dry and all the people who had come to collect were not playing games, they wanted their money and they wanted it now.
Settling all those debts was the hardest thing I had to do with my money, I had planned to go back for my siblings when I had made enough money but I guess no such luck this time around.
Amaka may have vanished but she did have a great clientele and she did leave me with plenty knowledge on the art of seduction.
I was going to get back in the game with such a vengeance…even Amaka would bow to me when next she saw me.
This was my gift to myself on my 16th birthday.
“Who would you blame today?” that’s exactly what Amaka said before she left and never returned. Today I guess I blame her. She saw a poor beggar on the street and should have left me there but she took compassion on me and housed me till I was looking like a child ready to be stuffed in the oven.
It was her fault that I got introduced to the life of an escort and also her fault I had to keep up with my clients knowledge, to be honest the latter part was always my best.
Amaka would say with such pride and Joy “ they don’t pay for just our bodies, they pay for our minds as well, that is what differentiates us escorts from regular N200 prostitutes”
She always thought it was offensive to be as dumb as a door knob and I agreed, the thing is even if I didn’t, who was I to question her? She picked me off the streets, took me in , educated me in her own way, fed me and taught me to sustain myself financially. The most shocking was that she let me keep all my money and never asked me for a dime.
I didn’t know if I was ever coming back to that shabby, ignorant neighborhood but I knew one thing, I had to get away to find myself.
Many would look me in the eye and say I was a cold little girl simply overcome with her thirst for the finer things in life and some might be right but I was sure like I had never been sure, I needed to get away, from Jacqueline, from her boyfriend Djimon and that demonic cat that always watched me as I slept.
I would come back for my siblings I figured, after some time, but I needed to be able to take good care of them when that time came, after all “ the loneliest of lions always found comfort in the warmth of her cubs” I would very much love to dwell on them but for their sake I had to leave.
A story that follows the life of a young girl and her quest for redemption
Ajifa thought twice about what she was about to do, is this really what she had been lowered to doing? Would this have been her life had her parents been alive to give her all that she needed?
Sometimes it became so hard to bare the burdens of the family she was forced to take responsibility for. She wanted to risk her life in an Indiana Jones adventure or even skydive or so. But she knew her place as the head of the house was more important than her love for herself right now. She needed to survive for them.
She looked around her and tried to take in the surroundings that she was sure she would soon forget. She did know however that the broken bridge of madam Bridget’s nose pressed against the window in hopes of finding something new to talk about in her “ book club” would never leave her memory.
She adjusted Efya on her hip and put Baba in front of her so she could knock on the door right in front of her.
The door opened up and as such her life never remained the same…