I started calling my friends more often, especially Cindy and Bimbo. They had refused to get off their trade. In fact they had taken to a level where they had a cartel where girls were traded off to men for a night of fun. They had to learn finally the hard way though. Something terrible happened to them.
According to Bimbo, they had both arrived at the lobby of Presidential hotel and cat-walked to the receptionist’s counter. The lady behind the counter ignored them and pretended as if she was doing something serious on the computer when in actual fact she was just playing some kind of computer game.
Cindy got to the counter first because Bimbo got a call and had to hold back briefly.
“Good evening. I would like to see Chief William. He is expecting me,” Cindy said as she stared expectantly at the lady who was still engrossed with her computer. “Excuse me?”
The lady held up her hand, “One moment please.” She carefully ended her game, rearranged the files before smiling at Cindy through her teeth.
“Yes can I help you?” she asked finally, the forced smile still in its place.
“I would like to see Chief William of suite two on the presidential floor,” Cindy said again making sure she emphasized the floor. The lady clicked absent mindedly on her computer and the smile faltered but she quickly collected herself. The man had left instructions that his guest was not to be delayed.
She looked up at Cindy and smiled foolishly, Cindy stared harder at her and the lady swallowed hard. This lady looked like trouble, the man she was to see was trouble too but he was their most important and influential guest. If this lady should report her to the man and him to the manager, she would be fired for sure.
“Oh, I am so sorry…I…”
“Spare me, please but it is okay. I am used to lowly girls acting smart,” Cindy replied as Bimbo joined her. Bimbo was surprised to hear what Cindy said to the confused girl and pulled at her bag to caution her.
“Stop it. I am sorry. We are here to see some guest here please. Suites 2 and 3 on the presidential floor,” Bimbo said and glared angrily at Cindy. The lady actually panicked that time.
The man in suite three was a very close friend to the owner of the hotel. She picked up the intercom and called the suites, after a few minutes she told the two ladies to go up. As they turned to leave, she held Bimbo’s hand and begged her to plead with Cindy on her behalf. Bimbo was confused but smiled and promised she would beg Cindy.
“What happened between you and the lady at the counter?” Bimbo asked as they entered the elevator.
“Don’t mind the girl. I scared her anyway. I am sure she is already thinking of what to tell her family when she gets fired,” Cindy replied and smiled devilishly.
“Don’t do that. Please do not cause her to get fired. Please,” Bimbo pleaded and held Cindy’s hand.
“Okay I will not. I just wanted to scare the silly girl. She thought we were just one of those shameless tarts that just walked into a hotel without an invitation,” Cindy replied and shrugged. Just then her phone started to ring; she flinched and hissed as she saw the name on the screen.
“Now is not the time, Mabel,” Cindy said into the mouth piece. Bimbo shook her head.
“I said I am busy right now…didn’t I just send you fifty thousand naira…what are you talking about?” Cindy said angrily and cut Mabel off.
“What is it again?” Bimbo asked.
“Some crap about Vivian. I don’t know what is wrong with Mabel,” Cindy replied. Her phone started ringing again and Bimbo snatched it from her.
“Hello. Mabel what exactly is the problem. This is Bimbo…yes I understand…please do not be mad at her. I will make sure you have the money…okay then. Bye dear.”
Cindy made a face and collected her phone from Bimbo. Vivian was Cindy’s two year old daughter, the daughter she left with her sister to take care of because she didn’t have the time to take care of her herself.
“Please do not lecture me. You are making me spoil this sister of mine,” Cindy remarked and leaned on the wall of the elevator.
“She is trying, Cindy. She is just a young girl after all,” Bimbo maintained.
“Yeah, a young mother of a five year old,” Cindy said sarcastically.
“At least she is trying to be a good mother to her kid. I believe that was why you handed your daughter over to her,” Bimbo maintained, “You are so ungrateful.”
“Don’t even go there. Why are we even talking about this? She is my sister and I will handle her,” Cindy said and hissed.
“You have to send the money to her. I will make you give her even if it means I have to force you to do it,” Bimbo said with a finality that weakened Cindy. She knew Bimbo well. She might be shy and reserved, but she had a way of making things get done the way she wanted it. Bimbo smiled and winked. The elevator door opened and they stepped into the corridor of the presidential floor. A door opened and a man came out with a chirpy grin on his face.
“My…oh my. Which one of you lovely ladies will Cindy be?” he asked and grinned wider.
“That will be my lovely self,” Cindy replied and stepped into the big man’s embrace. Chief laughed out loud and hugged Cindy.
“You are just right for the job. A well paid one at that,” the chief replied and eyed Bimbo. Cindy turned his stare back to herself and the man smiled foolishly.
“If you want the two of us, it will be another day and a whole lot more than the mere three hundred thousand naira you gave me,” Cindy replied gaily and led the man towards the room. Bimbo smiled and knocked on the next door.
It opened slowly and a man stepped into view. Bimbo gasped, he looked sickly and very much like a corpse. Bimbo looked at Cindy who shrugged and went inside the room with her man. Bimbo swallowed hard and stepped into the room after the man. The money was good and she had no choice but to sleep with this man even if she had to do so in total darkness. She felt nausea gathering in her but she pushed it down.
Bimbo opened her eyes and froze briefly to analyze the scene before jumping out of bed. The man was in a red wrapper and was holding a calabash in his left hand and a razor in his right.
“What are you doing?” Bimbo asked, scared stiff and very alert.
“Come here. Come back here now,” the man said angrily. Bimbo got really scared, she was in her night gown and her things were on the chair by the door.
“What are you doing with that calabash?” Bimbo asked again, her voice shaking with fear.
“Come on. I just want a piece of your hair and toe nails,” the man replied pleadingly.
“Why? For what purpose? Maybe I can give it to you then,” Bimbo maintained, her brain calculating how long it will take to dash out the door after hitting the man with the small stool by the bed. Bimbo’s mind was in turmoil. She moved back and hoped the man would step over the bed towards her which would bring him to her striking reach.
“Stop this nonsense. Do you think you have anywhere to go? So you didn’t drink that wine,” the man queried and Bimbo gaped. So this ugly, sick man drugged that wine he was persuading me so much to drink, Bimbo thought.
He stepped over the bed and Bimbo picked up the stool and struck the man across the middle and he bent over. Bimbo grabbed her things on the chair, opened the door and dashed out. As she dashed into the corridor she collided with Cindy. Bimbo glared at Cindy, her clothes and bag in her hands too and they eyed each other before running for the elevator.
When they got to the ground floor, the elevator door slid open and they hurried out, waved at the girl at the reception and walked briskly out. It was midnight and Port Harcourt was getting ready to sleep. Luckily they found a cab and didn’t even bother to haggle about the exorbitant price.
“It was in the wine,” Cindy said and Bimbo nodded. They were silent all the way to their house, each lost in her thoughts of how narrow their escape was.
I was mortified and I didn’t know what to say to Bimbo when she finished her story. I had always feared that something like that would happen. I shook my head and hoped to God that Cindy had learnt her lesson. She was the difficult one and as for Bimbo, she sure needed to get away from Cindy if she were to live long.