It was dangerously late and cold outside. There were signs of an impending thunder storm too. The Call girl was obviously terrified by the prospect of facing those horrendous conditions outside. She hadn’t been lucky and didn’t catch the fancy of any of the male guests the previous night. She was so desperate to earn something that she waited till it was too late for her to leave and it would cost several times more to transport herself home that late and she could afford it. So she hid in a deserted corridor, hoping to stay out of sight until it was dawn and she could leave quietly, pretending to be leaving a guest’s room. The receptionist had discovered her tucked away behind a massive curtain and some decorative floor pots and insisted she left.
The stranded Call girl offered the receptionist a bribe in cash and kind, but the cagy young man wouldn’t play ball. Kengua found that last bit amusing as the Call girl reached out to the receptionist with loving probing hands, pleading with him to assist her. The young lad was adamant, obviously he was more concerned about keeping his job than he was about getting sexual favours. Kengua had to offer the receptionist some cash to let the Call girl stay. The young man agreed and the girl was relieved to be able to stay on within the secured premises of the hotel, until it was bright and safe in the morning. It hasn’t been safe around the entire country of late and the Call girl was more than willing to explain this farther to her rescuer. Kengua had no choice but to listen politely as she went on to tell him things he already knew about.
“There has been spades of night killings of local people, since ire Muslim youths went on a vengeful campaign in retaliation of the multiple bombing incidences, alleged to have been carried out by the local Animists youth in the area,” she reported in very good Hausa.
“The recent spate of violence had started when Animist youth were purported to have used a powerful locally assembled incendiary bomb on a Friday afternoon, at the largest Mosque in the town during mid-Friday prayers. The explosion had killed over five hundred men at once. It was the first bombing in the immediate area but not in the entire country.
“The other bombings of its kind had killed much less victims, but cumulatively the casualty rate was getting so high because the Muslim community doggedly refused to suspended their big Friday prayers, insisting it wasn’t an option. The fanatical local Muslim clerics kept preaching that those who died as a result of the Mosque bombings were headed straight to paradise to parley with the almighty God, his dead prophets and immortal angels for all eternity. So the more the Muslims refused to stop congregating on Fridays for mass prayers, the more the casualties.”
Kengua listened to her without saying a single word in reply.
“I’m not taking any chances,” she concludes.
Kengua deduced she is obviously a Hausa Muslim girl from the region of the country around the capital city where Kengua stays. She was only making a living the best way she could, in the part of her country more hospitable to what she had to do to get by. She was only marginally dressed in a flirtatious fairly large brassier she was passing off for a mini blouse top and in the highest possible white mini skirt. Her bright red panties kept showing in crimson flashes against her dark skin. No matter how hard she tried to keep her underwear hidden and from being seen by others around her, she was always doomed to fail because her skirt was too high up. She kept clasping her thick thighs tightly, crossing and uncrossing her short plump legs to no avail.
There were traces that she had attempted to bleach her dark skin into something lighter in the past but she must have given it up when she couldn’t afford the pricey creams any longer. She now had amber coloured streaks of stretch marks around her very visible thighs that Kengua found nauseating. It was obvious that she didn’t flaunt her thighs in the afternoon, only at night.
She had the most colourfully thick application of cosmetic make up on her face and it made her look more like a Japanese opera actress than a serious prostitute. It was little wonder she got no offers, Kengua thought as he kept his eyes away from looking directly at her. Dressing up and looking like that is simply just a necessity for her trade, in her opinion. She and her sort had been so badly indoctrinated over time and she was particularly too illiterate, to know better.
It is more than a shade easier for a girl to be corrupted sexually, than it is for a boy. A girl is naturally more endowed with the implements to lean back on and conveniently make a living off in the dark, more than her male counterpart. Besides, her clients are naturally conditioned to pour in, in droves. Most times, the girls are culturally pressured to play along when economically tasked. It is a merry go round legacy they inherit and grow up to bequeath to their successors.
Sitting next to the talkative girl most of the night, into the earliest morning hours, Kengua realized how stereotyped his treatment of Laraba affections towards him was. He reflected on the silliness of his assumptions and concluded he had no right to decide for Laraba before he told her his sexual predicament. He wasn’t even in a bad state and she would most probably be delighted by the experience. Meanwhile, there was no stopping the Call girl from talking on.
“I didn’t even know how to say the alphabets until I started this work. The very first teachers I got were actually members of a French NGO. They came to the brothel I worked to educate us on the dangers of HIV/AIDS. They kept making us repeat the letters ABC, which they went on to explain was an acronym for Abstinence, Being faithful to one partner and Condoms. We had lots of fun memorizing it but then they got a rude shock when they discovered we didn’t even know what the original ABC stood for or is used for. So they taught us the basics.”
Kengua learnt the Call girl’s name is Hajo, when she kept repeating her own name in her haphazard story telling. She sometime refers to herself in the third person as she chattered away, completely mindless and uncaring that her sole listener wasn’t contributing or enabling her with nods or even looking her way. She was simply satisfied he was awake and appeared to listen. Out of sight but still in the lobby, the loud snoring receptionist slept soundly on the floor behind the reception raised wooden counter. That also reminded her of yet another story she had to tell.
“The girl snored louder than this young receptionist throughout the night we were locked up in the cramped jail. We had to be locked up with some male criminals in the same tiny cell. It is the only one the police station had and the cops didn’t trust us enough to leave us sitting on our own behind or beside their open duty post, while they slept away their night duty hours.
“I was barely two weeks into this trade then, when we were unfortunate to get caught by the police men on patrol. The police had raided our regular hangout at a local bar to possibly round up criminals and it turned out that the proprietor of the place had fallen behind in his regular security payments to the local police chief. The raid was actually a timely reminder.
“Our fellow work girls who had enough money on them, had summarily paid their bail money up front before they even got arrested and those who had boyfriends amongst the raiding coppers, got off on good behaviour since they had good reliable character witnesses.”
Hajo giggled alone to her witty summation.
“There were twelve harden criminal men in that tiny cell room with just the two of us, off duty Call girls. The criminals waited until it was all quiet outside before they woke us up to the duties they had in mind for us, all night long. They whispered threats and demonstrated how they will snap our frail necks with their massive hands if we dare call out. I was terrified but the other girl dropped her panties and took a missionary pose like she was out to spread the gospel.”
Kengua started to find this story a lot more interesting.
““Hajo,” the other girl called out to me from beneath the first rogue that stepped forward and mounted her. Her name is Mina and she is a veteran from many years of active whoring.
““Just try to sleep.” Mina encouraged me but I was too scared to even look at her any more. It meant six hefty guys a piece and there was no telling they would stop at just one turn each. I just swallowed and braved up the onslaught. It was slow going and I stopped counting at ten. The men just kept taking turns at sampling both of us. They went about it silently and the coppers just a few feets away from us didn’t hint they knew what was going on while we had no choice but to resume work right within the belly of the law, under its protection.” Hajo giggled.
“I was soon very bruised, hurting and bleeding. That must have irritated them because the few that were still up to it, concentrated on Mina onwards and she laid back almost perfectly still. I was worried for her at first, scared she was unconscious. Not until I heard her snoring.
“She actually slept all through the ordeal and when the morning duty sergeant let us go by dawn, Mina simply stood up, yawned like she had a good night sleep and walked out as steady as a reigning queen. She certainly must have handled about thrice my portion without noticing it. I was really hurting afterwards. I walked funny in my anguish and wasn’t the least embarrassed to spread my legs apart with every stride I took, like a big slender crab. The criminals in the cell and the policemen had a big laugh watching me go when we were released in the morning.”
Kengua laughed politely too.
“Though I was bruised and couldn’t walk properly or indeed work for weeks afterwards, I got the last laugh. It became known that most of the guys we were locked up with were part of a notorious armed robbery gang that had killed a number of citizens and policemen in the area, running into a year before they were nabbed. And their case was swift and highly publicized.
“Mina made me go with her to the robbers’ well attended court case . Mina said it would be a therapeutic experience for me to see the men that brutalized my source of livelihood get what they deserve. Mina had become my closest friend after our common police sanctioned gang rape. She had been so nice to me afterwards and practically nursed me back to good health.”
Kengua’s thought briefly veered elsewhere. He was wondering if the priest’s wife had returned to her room. It was just a couple of hours before dawn and Hajo had been talking non-stop for more than two hours. Kengua’s mind returned to Hajo’s narration soon enough.
“The gang’s trial was held in a huge hall at the edge of town, not the regular courtroom. Three federal judges were assigned the case as the government made an exhibition of the trial because it was an election year and the politicians were in a very showy mood. The judges took turns in calling out the years of jail terms they were sentencing each of the criminals. They made it sound like the number of years they were calling out were just hours or even days, not years. Not 365 days or 52 weeks but a staggering 25, 30, 45 and 50 years were called out for each count, and there were as many as 12 counts for each of the twelve defendants.
“Each of the three obese judges seated behind a massive table on the raised stage had alternatively returned to called out the sentencing, until each judge had a fourth turn at it. Then finally the usual concurrent adage to the final sentence of the verdict instantly made amateur mathematicians of everyone in the court room, as a majority of the spectators in the hall tried to work out the number of years each of the criminals would spend in prison.
“Predictably, Mina had erroneously arrived at an incredible 150 years each and voiced her joy out loud but she was greatly disappointed when a elderly man seated nearby explained to us that concurrently meant none of the robbers would be in prison for more than fifty years. I was watching the youngest member of the gang closely. He was almost in tears. I wasn’t sorry for him. He had mounted me too and I especially recollect he was heavily endowed and tore me up. He sat back and counted out his own share of the decades of incarceration in one hand, with his other hand. He went over each of the five fingers repeatedly by briefly holding each finger of the first hand between the forefinger and the thumb of the second hand, touching each finger lightly.
“He starts from the smallest finger and ended at the thumb each time, repeating this six times over. He must have ended up with the same utterly wrong heart wrenching figure of over a hundred years doled out to him because he visibly broke down and wept. I felt sorry for him and it made me reflect that I was no different from him in many ways. We were creations of our last resort and just as he is physically endowed to be brutish, I was also hollowed to be whorish.”
Hajo had conclusively made a very salient point that resonates around what Kengua knew to be true. He felt sorry for her and as if he were paying her for keeping him company, he gave her a generous helping from the thick wad of the very low valued local paper currency he had in his wallet.
She wasn’t pretentious in her surprise when she received the money and offered to quickly give Kengua part of his money’s worth of service right there on the large leather sofa he was seated in. He declined and the disappointment he saw on her face was also quite genuine. She actually pleaded with him to reconsider, assuring him that she was safe and he wouldn’t be disappointed. He was adamant in his refusal. She was ecstatic as they said goodnight, though it almost dawn. She hugged him as he stood up to leave, before he was even remotely aware she might. He was stunned but didn’t cringe or feel repulsed. She needed the sympathetic hug.