Back then I had almost no interaction with prostitutes and no respect for them. That has changed - story for another day.
Back to my tale of #WhatDoIDoForALiving
Hang on tight. Let's go dia!
I flagged it down and the driver slowed to a stop. I was quite pleased to find the car unoccupied.
That evening, my slender frame was dressed in a yellow Lycra blouse and a knee-length, black, pencil skirt; two of the presentable pieces from my meagre wardrobe.
Yup, that's #tbt me 👇🏾
"How much?" he asked, about minutes later.
I was bemused. He was the driver. Why would he ask me how much it was? Didn't he know his fare?
"Twenty naira." That was the standard fare.
"Hahahhahahaha," he burst out, to my utmost consternation.
"You're funny," he said.
"Purely unintentional," I replied.
"Twenty naira nah," I replied. From Ogui Road to UNEC main gate had been twenty naira for as long as u could remember.
This time, he chuckled.
"Okay. 200 naira," he said.
"WHAT?! 200 NAIRA?" I bellowed.
At this point, I was torn between confusion and panic. Because I couldn't understand why he'd hiked the fare. Because I had only 30 naira in my purse. Because I was so darn confused!
"Sir, 500? How nah? I don't have 500."
In that moment, I went into full panic mode.
"Please, drop me here," I said, searching for the door handle.
"Baby act mature nah. No need to be angry. Oya, 1,000 naira last," he said, reaching out to touch my thigh.
I quickly shifted away from his touch. That's when I realised I couldn't open the door from the inside.
Oh God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego!
I could feel the tears coming.
"Sir, please, I'm not going again. Drop me here," I pled.
I wasn't even listening anymore. There was a traffic stop in front of us. As soon the lights went red and the car to a car stop moving, I opened the door from outside sand jumped out.
That's what I thought, until I got to my friend's room and narrated the story.
She and her roommate couldn't stop laughing.
He thought that commercial sex was #WhatDoIDoForALiving and was trying to o get laid.
I was so mortified!
I went to the Silverbird Entertainment Centre to watch a movie. I still remember it, because the movie annoyed the heck out of me - that Twilight movie.
On getting to the hotel front, I saw a bevy of pretty, well-coiffed ladies with flawless makeup, all dressed as if they were going for an evening outing.
However, several flashy cars came and picked those girls. I figured those were their dates for the imagined evening event.
Then a car parked in front of me. Thinking it a cab, I stepped up to the window.
"I was like, 'huh?'
That's when he noticed my t-shirt & jeans, shook his head and drove over to another girl.
Right then, a friend returning from the cinema spotted me.
"Eketi, what are you doing here?" he asked, looking surprised.
"Erm...let's move away from here," he said. "You won't find a cab here."
I wanted to argue that the hotel entrance was a better spot. But since he was a resident of the city, I took his word for it.
"How much do you charge?" he asked.
"Charge? Charge what?"
He started laughing again and eventually, told me those were call girls.
Again, I was mortified at my naivety.
"Sir, please where’s the entrance to the bank?" I asked a portly gentleman who'd walked in my direction.
"Follow me," he said.
In the two minutes it took to reach the doors, we'd done our introductions. He was a lawyer working in a firm upstairs. He was pleased to find I was a colleague.
"Baby lawyer," he called me.
Two days later, he called. Said he wanted to take me to lunch. I declined. He pressed. I declined again. He insisted. I reluctantly accepted.
He said we should meet at his office.
"I'm taking you to Karu," he said. "There's a place there where they do fantastic barbecued fish and nkwobi."
I said, "Okay."
I didn't know where Karu was, only that it quite far from our location. But no yawa. I had about 5k in my purse.
At some point, I mentioned that I drove. He parked the car, and asked me to take over the driving.
"I like a woman to drive so my hands can be free to explore," he said with a wink.
This is where the gist got ugly.
"So, you lived in Kano?"
"You made friends with those Alhajis?"
"Of course, I have friends who are Alhajis," I replied.
"Tufiakwa!" he exclaimed. "Those people who don't bath?"
"It's a lie. You're covering for your Almajiri boyfriends."
Offended, I wanted to end the outing. But I was exhausted from a long day at work, famished and that barbecued fish was going to be the one bright spot in my entire day.
"When you were in Enugu, you had friends in Enugu too?"
"Yes, I did."
"Enugu girls are very generous and they don't ask for much. If you find them small something, they will take care of you. The last time I was there, I dashed 1 girl 5k for taking care of me."
"I'm not an Enugu girl. I'm from Akwa Ibom."
A little over 40 minutes, we arrived at a Golden something motel. The address showed that we were no longer in Abuja, but somewhere in Nassarawa state.
Myself said, "Hmm?"
I said, "Don't panic. We have vex money."
He drove into the compound. As I got down and scanned the area, I saw that all the tables save one were occupied by middle-aged men and young women couples.
But he stopped at the reception. A girl walked up to us.
"Why are you looking at me like that, as if I don't come here often?" he asked, playfully nudging her.
Usual room ke?
At those words, I walked outside. He called my name and hurried after me. I went to the bush bar and sat down at a table.
That's when it hit me. This wasn't a date, not in that sense of the word. This was supposed to be a paid hook up.
I told him to relax, that I was going to take good care of him. After eating, that is.
I ordered barbecued fish, goat meat pepper soup, rice and stew, three bottles of malt, and a bowl of nkwobi.
He complained about the fact that I didn't order any alcohol.
"If you drink, you can be free. You can relax, caress me well, and love me."
I ate until I had to unzip my jeans to make way for my stomach. I nearly died but it was worth it.
"Can we go upstairs now?" he asked.
"Give me a few minutes," I replied.
The girl brought the bill. I espied it. 7,890 naira.
I nodded with satisfaction. Then I picked up my phone and set the alarm.
"Yes? Right now? I'll be there."
"I need to go," I said to him.
He asked why. I said it wasn't something he'd understand, got up and went to the car.
Dude was mad as a hornet!
You didn't even drink. Now you want to go back to town.
I didn't even answer him. I kept picking my teeth.
"Were you deaf when I told you I'm not from Enugu?"
His shocked expression was priceless.
"WHAT? You're talking to a senior colleague with such disrespect. Didn't they teach you respect at law school?"
Car parked, I locked the door, and turned to him.
"You're mad. And stupid. Very very stupid. How dare you?! You looked at me,...
Look, if you know what's good for you, delete my number from your phone. If you ever call me again, I'll deal with you. Idiot!!!"
Hi mouth was still ajar when I got down and walked away like a boss.