She said as she rubbed her hands against my thighs…. She slightly raised her back, which she had rested on me as she reached for some grapes from the bowl placed beside the bed. She had on nothing but her very transparent nightdress. After picking a handful of grapes, she turned around and knelt in-between my legs. My head was directly facing her breasts; her firm nipples staring back at me even as she fed me a grape and then another. Then she slid one in her mouth and slid it in and out. I saw a smile grow on her face even as she bit slightly into the grape and then closed in on my lips as if to kiss me.
I woke up. I looked around me and it took a few seconds before I could process where I was. I was wearing nothing but my boxers and I was on a bed – Kassy’s bed. I turned to my left and saw her then, wearing a transparent nightdress sleeping. I carefully eased myself out of the bed and as I slipped out, I saw my car keys, phone and wallet on the bedside table. I saw my clothes well spread out on the chair for the dresser. I picked up my things, tiptoed to the chair, grabbed my clothes and quietly left the room.
I stepped out and began to wear my jeans. Just then, two girls walked in from another room. I recognized one of them – Debby. She seemed to startle as she saw me. She quickly turned around and went back into the room they had come out of. The other girl stopped to look at me and then continued past me into the living room. I noticed then, just how bright it was outside and I hurriedly wore my jeans and while still wearing my shirt, I walked out of the house mumbling a quick “good morning” to the girl who was then sitting on one of the living room sofas as I got out of the flat. I wore my shirt before I got into the car. I started the engine and checked the time. 6:30am. I made to put my wallet in the back pocket of my jeans and for some reason I decided to check it. The money I had in it was intact but I noticed some extra notes. I pulled them out and counted – 5 pieces of $20 ……$100. I tried not to think much seeing that I was somewhat late. I shoved the wallet into my pocket and drove off.
I made it to my room just before 9am. I walked in and met some of my many roommates. My room was one of the few rooms that still operated like the Unilag of pre-2000 we often-heard stories about. Four bed spaces but I had eleven roommates. Squatters, floaters, hangers whatever you want to call “us”. Yes, Dare was actually squatting me. He was sprawled out on a mattress somewhere on the floor. I was sure he had only just got into the room from the library. I said my greeting to the other roommates, I grabbed a bucket and went to take my bath. In another 30 minutes, I was parked outside Princess’ building. I brought out my phone to call her and as I tried running through my contact list, I saw Fadeke’s number. I made a mental note to call her later. As I was about pressing the call button, my phone rang. It was Princess.
Good Morning. I’m outside…
I know… I can see you…
Impulsively, I turned around and looked up to see if I could see her. She was standing on one of the balconies high up in the building…
Do you have a suit?
Erm… like a full suit or a jacket?
Never mind. I’m coming down.
Some minutes later, she was in the car. She sat at the passenger’s side beside me – like she always did. I started the car and asked where we were off to.
Faculty of Law.
As I approached the faculty car park, she reached into her bag and produced a card. She asked me to stop even before we got to the park. She handed me the card and made to leave the car.
It’s going to be a busy night, I’m sorry I didn’t tell you before now. Go to the address written on that card and ask for James, he’ll attend to you and then meet me back at High Rise by 4pm.
I watched as she walked away in her black skirt and white shirt. She looked so professional and yet graceful. I took another look at the card she gave me; on one side it had a logo – an “A” with angel wings and the word “Angeli” written beneath it. On the other side was a name, address and phone number. Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, not so far. I didn’t have any lecture that morning so I decided to quickly make the trip. As I got outside the gate, the thought of Uncle Mufu came to my mind and I knew I couldn’t go straight. I couldn’t run forever but it wasn’t the time. I turned right and decided to go the long way around through Fola Agoro to burst out at Abule Oja. There was a beat up cab moving very slowly in front of me, I recognized it immediately. It was Emeka, one of the drivers from the park – lousy was an understatement when defining Emeka. I cut out from behind him and overtook him.
I soon got to Ikoyi, the address turned out to be a boutique – a male boutique. I wondered for a second what I was picking up but then again, it wasn’t any of my business. I got in and asked for James, he was a young man, well spoken and very happy to see me. Before I could ask what I came to pick up, he zipped to the display rack and pulled down a blazer…
Here you go – try this on (He handed me the blazer)
Err… yes. It should fit perfectly.
I put on the blazer and even before I looked in the mirror, I could tell it looked good on me. James adjusted the collar and fit the blazer properly.
Do you like it?
Erm..well (I laughed)…
Yes, I’m sure you do. Ok, let me pack it for you.
For me? I’m sorry but I don’t understand, Princess asked me to come and pick up something for her.
And that something is what I’m packing up.
I stood there looking bewildered but that wasn’t the end. Before I left the store, James brought me a perfectly fitting shirt, chinos trousers (he kept referring to them as slacks) and a wonderful pair of shoes. He handed it all to me and told me to tell Princess he’d expect her call. I left the store still trying to figure out what had happened but knowing Princess, I thought maybe she used me to fit the things for someone with a similar stature.
I got back to school and not wanting to be seen with the car, I parked it at High Rise. I went back to my room, Dare had left, probably gone to the library again. I went through some of my notes and did some reading before I went for my only class of the day. 1:30pm – 3:30pm. I made sure I left before the end of the class, I couldn’t risk running into anyone that could waste my time. I took the shortcut through Hellfire and headed towards the Faculty of Science but just then I got a text message. It was Princess.
Please change into the clothes you got from James before coming to get me. Thanks.
I stopped in my tracks as I read the message again. I shrugged and walked even faster. I made it to the car and I drove into a corner where I found a way to change. I looked at myself in the side mirror when I was done and I knew I looked good. I spent some more minutes admiring myself and I eventually snapped out of my moment and drove back to Princess’ house. I called her to inform her I was around and she said she would come down soon. 15 minutes later and she wasn’t out, that was unlike Princess but I found out why moments later.
Princess walked out of the front door flanked by two other girls. Kassy was on one side and the girl I saw earlier in the day at Kassy’s house was on the other side. All of them had on short black dresses in different designs. They all looked attractive and appealing. Princess and Kassy got into the back seat while the other girl sat in front with me. From the rearview mirror I noticed a smirk on Kassy’s face even as she complimented my blazer. I expected her to say more but surprisingly, she didn’t. The smirk on her face, however lingered much longer than usual. I started the car and began to drive out. Before I could ask where we were heading, Princess told me we were going to Abeokuta. She asked if I knew my way there. Traveling between Lagos and Ibadan, I often had to go through Abeokuta – especially when the churches had one event or the other.
For a moment, I wondered where we were heading in Abeokuta and why we had to leave so late but as always, I reminded myself that my job was just to drive and that was what I did. The journey was smooth, driving a new car makes driving enjoyable. The girls hardly spoke through the journey. They were all busy typing away on their ‘blackberry’ phones. Once we got to Abeokuta, Princess asked Tomi (the girl who sat in front with me) to give me directions to the destination. It all felt like dejavu. Like I had been in that exact situation before. What was different? I had Kassy and another girl with me this time.
We made it to our destination just as it began to get dark. It was a guesthouse that looked more like a hotel to me. It was hidden somewhere far away on a lonely street like some sort of treasure. From the moment I drove in, I could imagine the kind of clientele the guesthouse had. Perfectly done landscape complete with fountains and lights. I had only read about things like these in novels. I drove to the entrance and parked for the girls to get out. Someone already stood beside my door to escort the girls.
A-Zed please come with us.
I sat in the car still trying to process what I had just heard. It was when the man by my door opened it and ushered me out I realized it was really happening. I got out of the car and handed the key to the man. Kassy and Tomi were already ahead at the reception, Princess had waited for me to catch up. I walked up to her and she whispered to me…
It’s just a party…. try to relax and have fun… I just want you here, close by… that’s all…
I said ok, like I almost always did to Princess. By the time Princess and I got to the reception, a guide was already waiting to lead us in. He walked ahead and we all followed behind. As we walked, Tomi whispered to Kassy…
Mama Kas… see this place… na my luck shine wey Debby Papa call am oh. Na so her Papa go dey summon her from now on in Jesus name – amen.
They both giggled and almost immediately went back to looking serious. The guide ushered us to the poolside. As we walked in, I noticed the party had already started. The poolside was beautiful and the lighting effects were exceptional. I noticed three girls in the pool, it wasn’t until I looked closer that I realized two of the girls were completely nude. Yes, nude. The third had a bikini on but it was transparent. There was music playing in the background and I heard voices laughing and talking on different tables around the pool. The poolside area wasn’t well lit so I couldn’t make out faces but I didn’t need anyone to tell me just how exclusive the party was, all together; there were probably just thirty of us, five of which were bodyguards. There were about twenty girls spread out among the tables. When we got to a certain point, the guide asked me to go with him to a particular table and Princess nodded in agreement. The girls walked on and they all sat on different tables.
I was lead to a table where three other men were seated. There were all sorts of drinks on the table. From alcoholic to non-alcoholic, juice, wine, champagne, those whose names I could pronounce and those I couldn’t. The guide pulled back a seat for me and asked what I would like to eat and drink. I told him I was fine. He walked away then and one of the men at the table began to laugh.
Your first time abi? (He said, looking at me)
I answered ‘yes’ in a very unsure tone. I looked round my table and realized the other men were in a world of their own. One of them had a cigar on one hand and a glass in the other. The other was busy examining the powder-like content of a little transparent bag.
It’s always like that on your first visit. It’s a world you might have heard of but never really believe existed.
A world? What is this place?
He burst out laughing….
Don’t worry, in time you will understand. They call me Senior.
He stretched his hands towards me. I shook him and introduced myself as A-Zed. He didn’t ask about the name.
That’s Balogun and Usman (he said as he pointed at the other two men) It might be a long night so if you haven’t eaten, I’d advice you to get something to eat. You can have anything and I mean aaaaanything.
He stretched the word and then gestured to the waiter who seemed to have positioned himself close to us permanently. The waiter hurried towards us and Senior asked him to bring us two bowls of fish peppersoup. I looked around again just then and I wondered where I really was. I occasionally heard loud raised voices laughing or making one remark or the other about political issues. Our fish pepper soup arrived and the moment I took in a whiff of it, my stomach reminded me that I was hungry. I examined the peppersoup and discovered that the fish in it was larger than usual. I didn’t know where to begin but watching Senior, I soon began to eat and it was the most delicious peppersoup I had ever had in my entire life. I reached for a pack of juice on the table and one of the other men, Usman, chuckled out loud.
You don’t drink
Erm..well, I’m working tonight
All three men burst into laughter and then Senior spoke:
It’s part of the job Azed. Here, try this he said as he handed me a glass of something. I hesitated a bit but then I took the glass from him. I was in a place I didn’t know, I needed as many friends as possible. At that point I noticed some activity. It seemed some guests were ready to move their party elsewhere. I watched as Princess, Kassy, Tomi and few other girls walked away with four men. All of them were dressed in white traditional attires and I could have sworn that one of them looked like the governor of the state and another, like the man widely tipped to take over from him in the coming elections. Maybe it was the alcohol. I decided to take more of the peppersoup and less of the alcohol that I couldn’t even identify.
As time passed, more guests left the poolside and went into the main building. At some point, Usman took off his shirt and trouser and jumped into the pool where he played around with the girls. Senior tried to engage me in conversation but all he did was go on and on about himself. I reckoned he was drunk as well. Time seemed to have flown by. I realized it was just past midnight and as I stood to stretch a bit, it happened.
A gun shot…