“But, you know, he was wrong in the first place. In politics, when you switch camps it is not like you have to go and burn the bridge after you as you go. You leave some marker and room for backtracking, for when things went wrong with your new alliance. But, he….” The rest of the discussion was lost on me. I tuned it out as my mind engaged itself in other things.
We were seated, me and the girls and four other men, on the upper column exclusive members only part of The Cave in Ikeja. The four men ranged from the ugly, pot-bellied to the slightly handsome but loquacious kind. They were all members of the ruling party in the state and members of the State house of assembly. They had been going on and on about politics since we arrived at the club; some two hours earlier. It was dreary conversation and held no interest for me. I had barely murmured a word since taking my seat, rather preferring to knock back my drinks with a ferocity that should have surprised the men if not for the fact that they were engrossed in their discussion. I was passing murderous glances at Thilda every few minutes for arranging such a boring set for us. But each time, she only smiled and flicked her head at her male companion, an ugly chimpanzee look-alike with a humongous pot-belly to boot. It was like she was saying: “why are u complaining? See what I have for the night”.
Well, I was lucky to have been paired with the ‘slightly handsome’ but he had talked more than looked at me all evening. He had acknowledged my beauty for only a flitting few seconds when Thilda introduced me to him and that was that; I was not used to that from men. They usually ogled and could almost never take their eyes off. Even with the girls, there was a silent acknowledgement that I was the most beautiful and as such should get the best guy during our nights out. In exchange I pay a concession fee – a percentage of the extra I get from my kill to the girls.
The arrangement works well for everyone. But, tonight things were going a bit slow. These guys seemed more interested in talking about their political issues and dreams than paying us much attention.
I let my gaze stray around the bar and to the lower level. Like a camera controlled by a dolly crane, my eyes were drawn to a newcomer at the bar.
I zoomed in on the new comer. He had found himself a seat almost under the upper level column where we sat. From where I was seated, I could only see the back of his head sitting on very broad shoulders. He was tall, judging by the height of his upper torso even while being seated. His head was clean-shaven and shone in the dim light of the bar. He was wearing a black silk shirt on white trouser pants and white Gomini suede shoes. It was all very sleek and promising. He had around him an air of confidence and self-assurance -my kind of man. He shone in the distance like a beacon calling to the distant sailor.
Me being the sailor.
My eyes scanned the rest of the bar quickly and I could see that a number of the unattached and, even attached girls, at the bar had taken notice of him too and were weighing up their options. I have to make my move fast and as unobtrusively as possible before any of them got any ideas.
“Excuse me. I need to get to the ladies,” two of the men gave a curt nod while talker just went on rambling. I stood up and made my way through the other tables to the rear of the upper level. Rather than go in through the door on my left marked Restrooms, I made for the stairs and climbed down. Mr. Macho was still sitting alone to my right. I rummaged in my bag as I stepped forward towards his table, making sure to stay in the shadows so I won’t be spotted by my small group on the upper level.
“Hello….” I made my voice as casual, yet firm as possible. I almost dropped my bag when he looked up from his phone. He had the most piercing eyes I have ever seen. They seemed to bore into me right away. It was all I could do not to shake and stutter. “I spotted you from up there,” his eyes followed my pointed finger.
“Yeah…the exclusive club,” his voice was not all that remarkable. But, I was not concentrating. My eyes riveted round his lips. They were full and a bit light, especially the lower lip. Like those of someone who always had them clasped round something – trumpet, flute or….my mind was going wild.
“Well, errr….yeah. I came to say hi,” he arched his brows and put down his phone. “ I saw you come in and you looked familiar. I can’t place where…or when but….anyways, my name is Anu. This may sound lame, but I do feel like I have met you before.”
“I don’t know. Sorry Miss Anu. Be kind to have a seat.”
Bingo! Looks like I have played my card right here.
“Sorry, I can’t stay. But, here is my card. I am a make-up artist; probably that’s how I met you. Maybe a photo shoot or something. “
It was a well-practiced line, one in among a few others; in this case it seemed to have hit right on target, because Mr. Macho straightened up in his seat and stood up. Took the card and glanced at it briefly before looking up again.
“Most likely; it might very much be so. Are you sure you can’t spend a few minutes before….”
“No I can’t. Sorry….but if you do need me for anything feel free to call.” With that I turned on my heels and walked back up the staircase.
Thilda gave me a knowing wink as I sat back down at the table. Silly girl; she must have observed all that happened downstairs. But, other than her the rest of the group was oblivious of my little rendezvous with Mr. Macho.
“Let’s split up the party girls,” talker announced with a flourish.
Party?! What party?
I was apprehensive, but to my relieve Mr. Macho was no longer seated at the table as we made our way out of the bar. Outside, we split into four groups.Thilda gave me an extra-tight hug, as if she wanted extra strength to face her night with chimp. I went with talker in his Prado Jeep. For all his loquaciousness, he was quiet for most of the drive from Ikeja to Ogudu. And he had also given me more side glances than he did all night at the bar.
He drove into a one storey, fashionable house in Phase 1. Apart from the Halogen security at the gate there was no other sign of anyone else living in the place.
“Will you do me the pleasure, Anu?” Talker was turning on all the charm now, his hand was stretched out as he opened my side of the door. We are coming to the home stretch and it is time to charm the game to come to the party in its best behavior. An amused smile crossed my lips as I placed my palms gingerly into his hands and stepped down from the jeep. I am ready for the party. The interior of the house was impressive, but talker didn’t linger in the lushly furnished sitting room that took up two-thirds of the ground floor. He guided me straight up the stairs and into a bedroom that was equally, if not more, lushly furnished than the sitting room. The bed was huge and clean and already laid out. The soft blue of the blankets were cool and blended well with the cream-colored walls. There was a small side refrigerator, a standing mirror and an entire length of one wall was covered in glass. The effect was breathtaking. I pulled off my shoes to feel the soft, velvety touch of the Persian rug underneath.
This is the life!!!
“Do you want me to make you a drink?”
I had a ready-made answer, “I won’t mind a tomato juice, honey,” he stood there and looked at me like I had asked for a freshly cut head. After a couple of seconds, he grinned and snapped his fingers.
“In my house, everything is available. One cold glass of tomato juice coming up.” He left the room and that gave me enough time to check it out for hidden cameras and mics. I was relieved to find that the glass was a stand-alone and moveable, so no cameras could have been hidden behind it. Satisfied there was no hidden camera or microphone in the room, I stripped my clothes and stepped into the bathroom.
When talker came back, clutching my glass of tomato juice, I was waiting for him on the bed naked.