Lagos was pale and weary but not quite asleep. Lagos never sleeps. Highway lamps illuminated dark streets with pale yellow rays, lending shadows behind all caught in their stares. Traffic was non-existent, goading cars to hit speed limits or die trying. One or two cars honked for the fun of it, disturbing the otherwise peaceful atmosphere of Lekki Pennisula.

‘We go soon reach there now,’ the taxi man said.

‘Thank you.’ She knew that. The information provided by the chatty cabbie with an uneven distribution of grey and black hair was unnecessary. They were only a detour away from her destination and the realization suffused some degree of relief over her body. It wasn’t his loquacious manner that was the turnoff, or the constant, spasmodic bursts from the clogged silencer, or the jiggling loose knots from the rickety motorcar. Three years of work experience had accustomed her to episodes of talkative drivers and jalopies. What she abhorred about this particular ride was the smell of rotten fried fish. Every time the taxi man, who referred to himself as Baba Jay, opened his mouth, an unrestricted supply of fishy odor filled the car.  To diminish its knockout effect, she constantly stuck her head through the window. Another option would have been to tell the man to shut his trap. And she would have if he was younger or at most someone in her peer group. Effective socialization from her mother had instilled a deep obligation to respect elders. And she took her mother’s advice seriously. Well, most of it.

The car turned into Road 14. She raised her left wrist and her blue, optical contact lens shot a glance at a wristwatch: It was 9:23 pm. Her appointment was for 10:00 pm. She smiled. The business was business, and she was nothing, if not punctual.

‘Number 3 Funke Sabo Street, abi?’ Baba Jay asked.

‘Yes Sir.’ A swift paint of grimace brushed her façade as soon as Baba Jay looked away. The car turned into a street and soon rolled to a stop in front of a two-storey duplex. Its gate was black, huge, and menacing but it didn’t scare her. After all, it wasn’t her first time. She alighted from the vehicle, shivered a little. Not from the cold breeze. It was a simple spontaneous reaction with no obvious foundation. It happened every time she met with a client. The streetlight’s silver stare caught her glossy black bob hair cut. Her black, tailored-fit, buttoned-downed, knee-length, lightweight trench coat shone too. Her white ankle-strapped, high-heeled sandals nicely contrasted the entire outfit. She looked about 5.7 in height.  From her frame, it was fair to conclude that she was slim, curvy, and moderately endowed, upfront and behind.

She retrieved a wad of cash from her leopard-skinned purse, counted N5000, and paid Baba Jay.

‘Thank you, Omoge,’ Baba Jay winked mischievously. ‘Don’t forget to use my card o. Available for pick up after business,’ he stated and zoomed off. She shook her head as the car disappeared. There would be no passenger-driver rerun with him. She proceeded to the gate and punched the buzzer.  

‘Who is there?’ A soft, confident masculine voice sauntered out of the buzzer’s receiver.

‘Ashley,’ she responded.

‘I’ll be over in a second.’ The enthusiasm behind the voice was palpable.

Soon the lock was unlatched and Ashley stood facing a man of average height wearing a white t-shirt, grey shorts, and black flip-flops. She was taller by two or three inches. He was bald, of an athletic build, and had a broken nose. He grinned broadly, showing off a recently flossed set of white teeth.   

‘Hello, Ashley. It’s been a year or so. You look lovely.’ He playfully sniffed the air. ‘Smell nice too.’

‘CJ, you haven’t aged one bit,’ Ashley said, scanning him again. ‘You look trim and fit.’

CJ, initials for Colonel Johnson, beamed as he shut the door behind them. ‘Life in the Navy does that to you.’

‘That’s untrue,’ Ashley stated curtly as they strolled towards the entrance into a magnificent duplex. ‘We both know that you don’t have to stay trim and fit. I have known a few military officers who sell rotund bellies.’

‘Sell?’ Colonel Johnson guffawed. ‘Your way with words never ceases to amuse me.’ He playfully tugged at her coat, eyeing her physique appreciatively. ‘I’ve missed the goodies underneath your trunk.’ Ashley took his hand and slipped it through the gap between two mid-section buttons of the coat. His palm felt delightfully warm against her cool flesh. On some level, she found CJ’s company comforting and, on odd days like today, sensual too. ‘And the trunk’s eager to reveal its content.’ Just then her phone rang and she grimaced. Instinct told her it was her boss, Dotun. He was the only one who consistently called her at that hour of the day.

‘Don’t you have to get that?’ The Colonel asked.

The grimace was gone, replaced by a sensual arch of her eyebrows. ‘Nah, I am more invested in the seduction that is about to begin.’

 Today was the 16th of January 2014, and it was significant to Chinwe.

Although the bathroom door was shut, it wasn’t soundproof. She could hear jets of water splash against skin. Today’s customer, Alhaji Danjuma, took hygiene seriously: a shower before and after sex. He was fifty-something, Chinwe wasn’t certain, but he was absolutely, sexually virile. Virility was a trait Chinwe valued in sexual partners. She glanced at the wall clock that hung at a corner of the lavishly furnished five-star hotel suite. Another appointment had been slated for 10 pm; a mere thirty minutes away. Thankfully, it was in the same hotel. She admired Alhaji’s uncompromising taste for a sanitary lifestyle but it pissed her off that he took an unnecessarily long time to clean up.

Chinwe got off the bed. She had showered and her scent was an amalgam of lavender and lemon. A white jacket over a simple purple dress and low-heeled black shoes complemented her ebony black skin. Chinwe was one of the few that could pull off a crew haircut and still look attractive. Her booty-booby endowment also played a vital role in exuding an aura of seduction. The sound of jetting showers died out. She sauntered to the misty glass bathroom door and drummed her multi-colored fingernails against it. Her voice was loud but controlled.  ‘Alhaji, please take your time. You know I have absolutely nothing else to do with my evening! You be woman?’

‘I’m sorry my love.’ His accent was Hausa rich. ‘I’ll be out in a second.’

‘Come out now. Let me have my fee, then you can continue with your manicure in the bathroom.’ She had a strict policy of payment before pleasure but Alhaji was her longest benefactor and he was the only exception to the rule.

‘As you wish my princess,’ he laughed.

Steps approached from within and the doorknob turned. Chinwe backed up quickly to avoid the diffusion of steam. Alhaji Danjuma had a white towel wrapped around his waist, a bulging belly lolled over the top of the towel. He was a huge fair man, with a bald head, hairy chest, and saggy man boobs. Chinwe was unconcerned about his looks or those of her other clients. A deep pocket was the only thing that mattered in her line of business.

Alhaji Danjuma strode to the drawer beside the double-divan bed and retrieved a purse.  He counted out a wad of notes and handed it to Chinwe. Chinwe did not bother to count them. Experience had taught her that Alhaji was a generous tipper. She grabbed her handbag, slung it over her shoulder. ‘See you, same time next week,’ she pronounced and made for the door.

‘Hey, young lady,’ Alhaji called. His grin was wide, hearty, and foolish like that of an unpopular school junior who had just received a wet kiss from a crush. He placed a finger on his lips. ‘Aren’t you forgetting something?’

Chinwe hesitated by the door and looked over her shoulder. ‘Our appointment for the day is over. You’ll get your kiss next week.’

‘I’ll pay you for it.’ She scoffed. ‘Mugu Money Spender. Our appointment for the day is over.’ With that, she shut the door behind her.

Chinwe cat-walked into the elevator and hit the button that led down to the 4th floor. The elevator chimed and she made her way to ROOM 29. Her knuckles had barely rapped against the door when it swung open. He was tall and muscular, dark and dashing, had a goatee and a killer grin. ‘Christy,’ He greeted in a husky voice. ‘Do come in.’ She was Christy to him and he was Thomas to her. They had agreed not to share their real names. Chinwe smiled. Thomas had always had that effect on her. ‘Don’t mind if I do.’ The door swung shut behind her.

Thomas’s room was a Classic, much smaller than Alhaji Danjuma’s but it was adequate and cozy. Chinwe dropped her belongings on the bed with blue sheets, then, got out of her clothing, leaving on only a thin gold necklace, a silver bra, and matching underpants. She held Thomas’s gaze and waited.

Thomas scanned her thoroughly and nodded. The grin had dissolved into a charming smile. He took off his English club jersey and flung it onto a nearby sofa. He sauntered up to her.

‘Shall we begin?’ Thomas asked. She scowled. ‘Don’t be a gentleman about it. Just do it.’ He smiled, then, landed a hard slap on her cheeks. She barely reclined but delight flashed in her eyes. ‘Harder.’ This time the connection was reverberatingly louder and harder. Blood spurted off her lips as she fell backward onto the mattress. She adjusted her hair off her face. Her smile was pure delight, a feral glint flashed in her eyes. Desire and desperate passion coursed through her veins. ‘Now Thomas, Do me.’     

Kreate is a budding Nigerian writer with a flair for fiction. Writing for him began sometime in secondary school where he dabbled in poetry and plays. He has authored two self-published short novels. He is a banker and lives in Surulere. Read more interesting pieces at KREATEATALE