Sitting alone with those questions ramming her mind, Gbemi became restless, she stood to visit the ladies, but she feared that her english might not come out urban enough for comprehension by anyone she asked, she decided not to ask anyone then. She almost fell when she stood, obviously, she was not getting accustomed to the high heels that Star had compelled her to wear, she heard the giggling of some ladies and she knew that she was the object. She however didn’t stop walking towards where she hoped was the direction of the toilet.
Lots of people were in the restaurant, many of the men were smoking and puffing heavy rings of smoke into the air, Gbemi’s eyes also caught hold of some ladies drinking heavily. As she neared her targeted destination, she realized that her prediction of the loom was right. She went in. There was a large mirror in it. Gbemi saw herself in the mirror and she came very close to shedding tears. This was obviously not what her expectations had been when she left her parents’ safety at Oogi in Osun state. One of the big pictures that came to her mind was her initial desire to visit the village and spend money on her parents, after she must have accumulated lots of it in this city, but obviously, this wasn’t what she had imagined it would be like. Gbemi feared that shedding tears or washing her face with water would not go well with the makeups applied to her face, so she made no attempt at neither. She simply tore a piece of the tissue paper she saw and cleaned the tip of her eyes with. As she headed back to the restaurant, her mind started praying for wisdom and safety.
“Gbemisola!” Star Lady yelled as she saw her approaching, “I’ve almost died here looking for you. C’mon hurry up, there is someone special I want you to meet.” She led the way, holding Gbemi’s hand so that the young lady would not slip away again.
They came finally face to face with a brown door with the number 408 tagged on it. Star knocked stylishly.
“What are we doing here?” Gbemi heard herself asking naively. She tried but failed to hide her fear.
“No big deal baby.” Star replied, and shrugged as if it was really no big deal, “we just want to make some money. Look at me. Look at me Gbemisola!” Gbemi raised her eyes shyly to see Star’s face, “Remember I told you that you are special. Remember?”
“Yes,” Gbemi nodded carefully.
“You are very special Gbemi. I want you to know that I love you, and I can never harm you. I know what it is to be a young girl without money, especially with a major family challenge like your father’s.” Star paued bbriefly, she didn’t expect Gbemi to be surprised that she knew about her father’s farm issues.“Trust me, I’ve been there before too. We are just here to make money.”
Gbemi could perceive the odour of cigarette from the air Star poured on her face as she spoke, she feared it wasn’t Star talking to her but intoxication.
“How are we going to make the money here?” Gbemi asked. “I told you that I will be willing to learn trade, not -”
“Keep calm girl.” Star Lady knocked the door again, if there were people inside, they were probably sleeping. “This is also trade, with this you would earn at once what Trade cannot offer you in a year.”
Gbemi sighed, the door suddenly flung open, Star entered first, Gbemi trudged quietly after her. The man that had opened the door was dressed in nothing but towel, Star Lady attempted to greet him, but he had quickly shushed her because he was speaking to someone on his G.S.M.
“Just do whatever he tells you to do and be a good girl.” Star whispered in her ears, “Trust me, this Chief pays heavily! You might feel a bit awkward today mnph? But there is no big deal, we’ve all been there before.”
“STAR LIGHT!” The man had obviously finished calling, he came towards them with open arms. Star embraced him too without any iota of shame. Gbemi winced, she realized how easily huggable Star was, Star hadn’t even considered the man’s hairy chest.
“Chief Chief. I was just telling this jejune how special you are.”
“You need not to? Of course she would soon know too.” The chief said laughing, “Why not tell her to stand up and wriggle that thing for daddy!”
Star quickly held the reluctant girl up and turned her around for chief to see her attractive features. Gbemi turned shamefully, feeling like a common commodity – maybe a bone, sold at the market and about to be devoured by a hungry dog. Her heart kept pounding while she prayed.
“Hmmmm!” Chief exclaimed, Gbemi could imagine his big eyes shining brightly as he unclothed her salaciously in his dirty mind. “This one is original. But what is the matter? Why is she looking very scared? I can almost hear her heartbeats.”
“Chiefuuu. Is that not what you always like? This one is real original o, straight from factory!” Star replied.
“Of course!” Star said.
The chief was filled with great enthusiasm on hearing that his new catch is a virgin. He quickly grabbed his cheque book, scribbled something – a bit more than the usual pay – on it and offered Star. Star Lady kissed his bald head in appreciation, she kissed the naive looking Gbemi too on the cheek. It smelt like cigarette and tasted like the very kiss of Judas, when he was about to sell Jesus. Gbemisola felt pained, she wish that – like Judas, – Star Lady would go and commit suicide. But she knew that a verbal protest here, would automatically mean her death. She kept praying.
‘Good luck girl. Don’t forget everything I told you.” Star said and left the room.
Chief looked at the naive girl. He walked close to her and tapped her buttocks. “Oya take this off,” he instructed quickly, “I expect that you know what you are here for.” He helped her lift up the small blouse that she wore, although she was reluctant, he succeeded with a little force. He unhooked her bra and played with her breasts. Then he tossed her to the bed and ridded himself of his towel. He massaged his shaft in preparation for a triumphant entry.
Gbemi took her clothes off gently. Every piece ignited the old man’s interest.
“How much are you paying me?” She found herself asking.
“Certainly? 300,000 naira. But if I like your style, I’d give you 200,000 more than that, or even double the initial!”
“That’s a lot of money!” She consented. In her entire life, she had not seen a quarter of that, but it was of course not enough to buy the temple of GOD which her parents constantly emphasized was her body.
“Yes baby, that lot could be yours if you please me.” He said now bending to kiss her neck.
“Of course I want it!”
“Then let’s start action,” the man said.
“There is something you have to know.” She pushed him off so that he’d listen to her.
“Then say it fast girl.”
“In the village where Star Lady brought me from, Rape has wrecked a terrible havoc in my family, because we are very pretty. My grandfather therefore decided to do a terrible charm so that anyone who sleeps with us before marriage would die within 7 days. I know where the charm is and what I have to do to neutralize it, but that can only be done when I get back to the village.”
She had not completed her speech when Chief suddenly flew off the bed, cupping his phallus as if he had already done it. He grabbed his trousers quickly and struggled to wear them. “Jesus!” He screamed as he fell while trying hard.
“You may continue if you doubt me sir.” She said respectfully, now lowering herself comfortably on the bed. But the chief was too scared. “Chief, please come and continue, I only told you so that you can prepare for the coming ordeal. I need the money.”
To Chief, the girl had suddenly become a fire he didn’t want to touch. He ran to his cheque book, wrote a check of 500,000 naira and offered it to the girl. Even though she didn’t fully know the procedure of withdrawing a cheque, she still collected it.
“That is for saving my life! Please leave my room now and never come back please!” The man shivered while he spoke.
Gbemi knew that it was her prayers and not intelligence that had worked the scene out neatly. She wore her dress quickly and walked towards the door. She turned back suddenly and said, “But sir, after neutralizing the charm, may I come and meet you to pay for the -”
“God forbid!” The chief yelled. “And please tell Star or whatever her name is never to come see me again. Please!”
Gbemi left the room.
Continues in one final installment…