Wednesday, 5 April 2017

RED LIGHTS AND BLACK SISTERS

Esther is a real stunner. She has this kind of beauty that is readily apparent to even the casual observer. She warrants more than a second glance; the third and even the fourth glances have been known to cause havoc to unwary men. This evening, she was really cranking up the charm with her mega-watts smile. I’m dressed in my usual work clothes and standing very close to Slim Lizzy. Esther glances at us and there’s a contemptuous look in her eye as she walks farther away from us for a better vantage point. I glance at Slim Lizzy, who lets out a hearty guffaw for my benefit.
   “No mind am o. Ashewo osi”. Martina just shakes her head.
This is her first year after all-the girl is awfully timid. You learn soon in this trade to lose all inhibitions.
Lizzy lets out a long hiss. “Aren’t we all whores?”
 I wonder quietly. Lizzy is the last child of a popular pastor back home. Her parents have the world believing she is studying a course in Ukraine or one Scandinavian country or the other. Every once in a while, the course changes. I’m not sure if Lizzy loves or hates that her father’s congregation thinks she’s going to come back as a neurosurgeon.
 “… na padding go finish am. Brainless slut.”Lizzy curses.
She and Esther are archenemies, you may have noticed. Why, just yesterday, James came by for his weekly cut of our earnings and left Lizzy with a purpled face and Esther with a big smile. Lizzy hasn’t been attracting earnings as much as before, she has been studying Pharmacy, Medicine and is now taking courses in Neurosurgery as well. She has been in this trade for very long. Her parents might soon release her obituary very soon, I muse.
 “Wetin dey do you sef? Have you heard anything I’ve said at all? That girl thinks she’s better than us all”
 “Hmm. Lizzy leave her joor. Let’s just focus on doing our work this night”, I reply.
Lizzy looks at me confusedly and continues her tirade to Martina. Unlike Lizzy and myself, Esther was born on the wrong side of the bed sheets to a maid girl. Her father is some Business man in Port-Harcourt, she has always thrown herself with zest into any entrepreneur activity that could bring money to her in the shortest time possible. Needless to say, Esther is zesty! Indeed while at work, her lusty voice often drowns out the groans of her customers - the better to pay up the hefty debt we all incurred on our way here I guess.
Martina is the daughter of a hardworking village headmaster who died too early. Her family gave her to a visiting ‘Italian’ big sister to “learn work”. The irony! Well, its work indeed. Martina is not so eager though to “learn work”, but as they say no food for the lazy man. This is her first nightly outing and I turn to her and say, “Hope you’re not scared? Don’t worry ehn. It won’t be too bad. Just try to remember all I’ve told you and instinct will take over.”
  Yep, that’s me. Madam understanding. James brings the green girls to me to instruct in the ways of seduction. I try not to mince words. Soft girls with soft minds don’t last here. Only soft bodies with hard minds do. I mean just look at Esther, my greatest work yet. There have been others too who were too soft and paid the price. I glance up and a car has stopped in front of Martina and I, Esther is long gone, the driver rolls down the glass and I flash a smile on my face and lean in. He looks disinterestedly at me and points a crooked finger at Martina. I feign hurt and glance at Martina, who is visibly shaken then at the driver, smile lasciviously and wind my fingers round his exposed palm and say “Why not take us both, I promise you won’t regret it”.
He looks at me and shakes his head, “No, just her.”
“Okay then, whatever you want, Love”
I saunter jauntily away from the car and glance meaningfully at Martina with an inaudible, “Get in”. I watch her go, she looks like she’s about to cry but I just watch. It’s just me and Lizzy now. Soon enough, another car stops in front of me, by his stiff dark suit and burly arms, I can tell he’s the driver/bodyguard, the client was in the backseat or probably back at some hotel. Only the best for Samantha, lucky me.
 “Get, in.” He says gruffly.
I look at Slim Lizzy, and see the hurt and forlornness in her eyes, she’ll probably die here in Italy. I find myself feeling sorry for her, then I wave giddily in mock pretense whispering shrilly, “See ya!” I’ve got a cold, mean heart. Yes, I do. But it’s just another night in Milan. It’s the endless circle of money, sex, power. I stare at the back of the driver’s head as he drives, I see him glance at me through the rear view mirror and our eyes meet. I think wryly, the face that launched a thousand ships and smile coquettishly at him. I’ll take any chance I can to get out of here. He resumes driving, he might stop before we get to the hotel to have his way or not. It’s just another night in Milano.

Guest Post: Favour Borokini, the author, is a Nigerian law student with a dedicated love for fiction writing.

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