I was speechless still.
“You see son! This girl is a hooker! A prostitute. She sleeps with men for money and the sexual enjoyment.” He said facing Jide.
“And how do you know all of that Dad? 10pm? Allen Avenue? What were you doing there?” He said with his voice becoming violent towards his dad.
“I won’t have you question me in my own home or create unnecessary fuss over this prostitute here. This lunch is over.”
“Shall we?” Jide’s voice beckoned on me to stand up.
I left without a word. I was broken. Jide never said a word throughout the drive home. Even when he dropped me at home, he never uttered a word or open the door of the car for me as he used to. I sat for an hour in front of the house speechless, sad and hurt.
The whole compound was extremely silent. It was becoming late, almost 7pm. I decided to open my door. I came in, on the light to an huge display of fresh blood all over the rug, smelling so fresh. I was scared. No one was around. Not even one neighbour. Has someone broken in? And by the way where’s Amaka? She was supposed to be at home. What has happened to her?
I dialed Amaka’s line countless times, it wasn’t reachable. There was a huge cause for alarm. What has happened to her? Who would I call now?
Amaka Coker was one out of the few great things that happened to my life. I remembered the first time we met; it was like we had known each other for ages. She has and always had an alluring and magnetic personality; she’s ‘realer’ than life, ‘couthly’-blunt and highly hyper-active. She has this laughter and smile that makes you wanna believe life is problem-free and everything is perfect with her. Her voice and words speaks Bob Marley’s “Every little thing is gonna be alright. . . Don’t worry be happy, even if your landlord says your rent is late.”
We met in one of the awkward places most men don’t wanna meet their future wife; where most ladies beef each other just for the night. Where ladies who covet each other’s body shape during the day, bad-mouths the so-called perfect body to sell market. There you see the realest of all boobs and the fakes; those 3 inches padded boobs where customers discover say na bobo juice after e don pay finish.
Ours is a meeting point where different dialects of pidgin is being spoken; where figure one during the day becomes figure 8 at night; where people who no sabi each other for day become enemies with abusive words hurling at each other.
Amaka was the hot type; with the Joselyn Dumas kind of shape and a Mercy Johnson type of height. She was of high demand and has a high class taste of customers. She had a zero tolerance for low self esteem and even though the girls talk bad about her when she was not around, they dare not the moment she arrives. My babe get respect for body. Most times, customers drive off without hooking up with anyone if she was. not available.
Amaka never does multiple per night. She always says, “my body no be deliverance centre where I attend to many situations per day” lol. The girl is a piece of work; a human comic relief when everything turns boring and sour.
Sitting on the couch, staring at the clock; watching the short hand of the clock on 7 and the long hand on 12; it was as if darkness was over the face of my earth and the only person to proclaim ‘tada! Let there be light’ had suddenly gone missing.
The house felt so empty without her and I can’t help but feel something terrible has happened to her. She tells me always, “no matter what happened to me, I’m a big girl, and I can always handle the situation”.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
“Hey, you are not going home tonight?”
“And you are?” I fired back
“Hey, chill! You don’t have to be hard with everyone just because life is hard on you. Life is hard on everyone girlie, you just have to handle it pretty well and stop throwing tantrums at everyone that comes your way. . . Anyway, I was just showing some care, that’s all.”
She sounded so bitchy as she sounded so cool in one stretch of sentence.
“I’m sorry I replied you that way.”
“Well, forget it! I don’t take things too seriously. . .
“Well, I am. . .”
“Never mind, I know who you are. I mean beyond the walls of the streets. I know you don’t remember my face but I do. You are the girl with the incredible brain. . . Remember that response you gave Dr. Freeze at LEM 201 class? You made a lot of sense. Anyways, I’m your coursemate.” She said in a long-stretch of utterance without a pause.
“Ow! Okay. So sorry I couldn’t recognize you, I’m not too good with faces.”
I just lied though. I was very much good with faces. Maybe faces that hurt me are quite unforgettable to me but I really never noticed her like I really never noticed any of my course mates because I love my solitariness.
“So, why are you here?” we both asked each other at the same time.
“You first!” I responded.
“Why are you working here? You don’t care if anybody who knows you like our course mates find you here? Even though you don’t know them, they know you!”
“Do you care?” I asked her.
“Who gives a damn?. . . But why do you work here?”
“Cos I needed the money.”
“Really?” she asked.
I almost gave her a disdain look.
“What do you mean really?” I asked with so much disgust
“Never mind. So, won’t you go home tonight? After all, the show is over”
“Well, I have nowhere to stay for tonight and the little money I have with me is not even enough for my plans.”
That was so unlike me; I just blurted out to a total stranger without holding back.
“Anyways, this is N50,000; you can add it to whatever you have in your purse if it’s enough to get you a place to sleep for the night and maybe solve your problems.”
I collected the money that it felt like a dream holding it between my hands. I spent almost 15mins caressing the money, as I looked up to thank her or ask her why she gave it to me, she was almost far gone.
“Why did you give me the money?” I screamed ontop of my voice hoping she would hear or reply me and sure she did.
“Because I don’t do this for the money. You need it; I don’t.”
“Thanks. . . But who are you? Your name? You didn’t tell me.”
“Amaka Coker” she screamed back.