THE ONE FRIEND
In Davida club, Boma and Anny are sitting opposite each other , drinking from a bottle of wine as they gist and laugh with each other like two good friends. ‘How come you are into this? Quizzed Boma who hasn’t stopped wondering why a wealthy parent child would turn to prostitution. ‘Into what?’ replied Anny. ‘prostitution of course… I really wonder a lot why you would do that when you seem not to have any problems and you are a daughter of rich parents’. Anny wondered if it was time to refute the lies she has worked so hard to retain for years, after all Boma was not better than her, she is now a strip dancer in a nude club. ‘ no..no.., I have to wait till she is well entangled’ she said to herself. ‘Why are you not talking? Do you feel bad about it? “no..no..no, it’s not that, why would you say am into prostitution?’ Boma opened her mouth wide like the shark that swallowed Jonah, wondering if what Anny does with the men at the club was anything other than what prostitutes do. ‘ What I do is called “RUNS”, not prostitution.’ Oh, now I get it, but can’t get the difference though’.
‘Please leave that matter for now. Tell me, how much have you made so far? Boma complained that doing belly dance for hours is really hectic and the pay is not as much as she envisaged. She expressed fear of not been able to pay the remaining part of the bills since the club manager could only lend her part of the required amount. Meanwhile, Anny had already discussed with the club manager to try and lull Boma into sleeping with his male customers. Hence he began to fluctuate Boma’s payments. He would tell her that the customers did not cheer her much, that’s why he was paying her less and some days he would pay her appropriately.
‘So what are you going to do now?’ Asked Anny; ‘I don’t know, I really don’t have an option. I will just go with the much I have to the doctor.’ My fear is that some of these doctors place business over their patient’s life. Anny added. ‘They seem to be heartless sometimes. Replied Boma’. Anny narrated numerous stories she has heard and those she made up about how doctors allowed their patients to die because the families of those patient could not pay on time and sometimes when they are ready with the money, it would already be too late. Listening to Anny tripled Boma’s fears, she began to imagine her mum lying lifeless and the money for the bills in her hands and if that happens it would mean that all her efforts have gone to waste. ‘Anny, please you have to help me’. I understand your situation Boma, what are friends for, don’t worry I will link you up to a very rich and generous man. Just in one night you will have the whole amount you need then you can quit the long hours of belly dance in this club ‘Anny replied’ Anny, please the help am asking for is for you to lend me some amount to augment the one I already have. I told you from the beginning that I don’t want to prostitute or do ‘runs’ as you call it’. ‘Boma, don’t be such a hypocrite. Were you not doing it with Tom? You did it with him for free yet you find it difficult to do it for money, which you will use to save your mother’s life. Are you not being foolish?’ ‘I understand what you are saying but I still can’t do it. I truly love Tom, I don’t want to do something that will hurt him’. ‘Oh my God, Boma are you ok? Have your brains stopped working? Why do you think Tom has not called you in months? How would he even know what you are doing? Are you going to allow your mum, who gave birth to you, breast fed you, pampered you and loved you hundred times more than Tom, to die just because of someone you don’t even know what he is doing right now with other female ‘kopas’. She nudged her on the head. ‘Boma, be sensible please. Boma became very quiet and pensive. One can clearly read confusion written boldly on her face like the over filled ASEPA bins on the face of Umuahia.
Anny sat more comfortably in the chair feeling like Ernesto when messi scored in between courtois legs the second time relishing herself in the confused look on Boma’s face. After about five minutes she decided to break the lingering silence. ‘Boma, it’s almost 7 o’clock. You need to go and get ready for stage. Yes, yes’ she stood up ‘take your time and think about it’ ‘ok, thanks, I have to go now before oga manager deducts my pay again’. ‘Alright run along’. When she left, Anny brought out the video camera she had specifically bought to keep track of Boma’s adventure. With the permission of her friend, the club manager, she hired one of his workers to video Boma’s every activity in the club.
TO BE CONTINUED