I carefully inched towards the back of the room we were in as the cultists ordered everyone to be quiet and kneel down in an orderly fashion.
These cult boys were from LASU and their don was one of my boyfriends. Now, I hadn’t expected them to show up for the party because they weren’t invited. Of course they knew I worked at the club but I hadn’t informed my boyfriend that I had organized a party.
To create hype for the party and make sure that every big boy and girl in UNILAG, UI, Babcock, Leadcity and Covenant attended, I let it be rumoured that I was dating the most sought after boy in Lagos.
K Money was a popular Yahoo boy who also had connections with cultists and drug barons. From Lagos to Benin, girls threw themselves at his feet and guys wanted to be his minion. If K Money wasn’t at your party, then your party wasn’t worth talking about. And if the venue of your party isn’t filled to the brim with hundreds of people outside the place looking for a way to squeeze in, then your party wasn’t worth talking about.
The party scene in Lagos is very simple to study and predict. Where the big boys went, girls hoping to catch their attention followed suit. Now if you throw a party like this, you’d have big, rich boys in abundance surrounded by desperate and hungry girls. It is not a good look, the boys will get frustrated and leave, your party will flop. To even this out, you had to make sure that classy and rich girls were in attendance too, girls who drove their own cars and could afford to get into the VVIP section on their own. That way, the guys will dance, converse and chill with girls on their own level while the skreps will be in the regular section of the club, serving the purpose of making the venue swell.
How do you get the girls to attend the event? Give them something to look forward to. All the big girls in Lagos naturally wanted to see the girl K Money was now dating. They were desperate to see for themselves because K Money had slept with almost all of them and they wanted him to continue.
So, to sell my event, it was rumoured that I was dating K Money. I’m actually sleeping with him on the side but that’s beside the point. The dating gist was just to attract the movers and shakers of Lagos to my party but my LASU boyfriend must have gotten wind of it.
This was very bad. I had even invited Chief, one of my clients to the party so he could have his pick of the ripe and succulent girls with half their body parts on display. Now chief is nowhere to be found and Gator’s boys had come to disrupt my party.
On my left, one of the girls I had brought from Moremi, a fresher, fainted and there was a moment of pandemonium which I quickly took advantage of the distraction to slip behind the bar. From there, I crawled into the next room which was the kitchen. From there I took the back door and escaped through the gate at the back which was very rarely used.
I was barefoot and disheveled as I ran as fast as I could down the street. If anyone saw me they’d probably think they had happened upon a ghost. Thankfully I had my phone and some money tucked into my tights, I hailed the first cab I saw and didn’t even bother to negotiate the price he charged, I just told him to drive off as fast as possible.
It took me a moment to register that Yemi was dragging me towards the back of the building, the opposite direction of where every other person was running. Before I could ask him what he was doing, we were at the back of the building and he opened the pedestrian side of the back gate and we stepped out.
The street was behind the one where we had come into the club through via the front gate. There was no sign of the shooters in sight as the street was almost deserted. We hurried off and Yemi led me to where he had parked his car, a sleek Mercedes SUV. We got in and he started the car. “I live in Ikoyi, if it’s okay by you, we can go to my house till morning and I can drop you off wherever you want to go in the morning.”
My heart was still pounding from the narrow escape. While I was grateful to him for possibly saving my life, I could not follow a total stranger to his house just because he was handsome, smelled like a dream and spoke with the sweetest accent. So I told him I’d be grateful if he dropped me in school instead.
He started driving and replied “No problem. I’m just so happy I arrived late for the party and had to park three streets away. I can’t imagine escaping and then fall right back into their hands while trying to get into my car.”
I laughed a little and said “Well, thank God that didn’t happen. I’m so grateful, thank you for saving me. I can’t imagine being stuck there now.”
We drove the rest of the way in silence as I admired the beauty of the Lagos lagoon as we drove through the Third Mainland Bridge. In no time, we got to UNILAG and I heaved a sigh of relief. At the gate, the security men told us that the gates were to be open by 5am and so they couldn’t let us in. After I showed them my ID card and Yemi gave them ‘something’, they opened the gate and we drove in.
At Moremi however, the security guards were nowhere to be found so I thanked Yemi and told him I was fine and that he should head home. He would have none of it “You really think I’d leave you all alone outside your hostel in the dead of the night? C’mon, I was raised better Becca. I’ll wait with you till they open the doors”
So we sat in the car and talked and talked and talked. Conversing with Yemi was so easy; it felt like I had known him for eons in another life. I learnt that he had attended high school and university abroad and he was back in Nigeria to learn the ropes from his father because he was slated to take over from the old man.
His father owned one of the telecoms companies in Nigeria and he was one of the richest men in Africa. Feeling a little self-conscious, I told him about myself too. “I don’t always dress like this”, I said, gesturing to my get-up with an embarrassed chuckle.
I told him I was more or less a preacher’s kid and that my mother would have a heart attack if she saw me like this.
We continued to exchange stories and information about each other and were unaware of the passing time. The doors must have been open for a full 30 minutes before either of us bothered to check the time. Stifling a yawn, he promised to call me as soon as he got home to assure me that he was home safely. He also said he’d try to come and see me in the evening.
I waved goodbye till his car disappeared from my sight and I was shocked to discover that I was sad to see him go.
I had cried myself to sleep by the door and I woke up at dawn with an ache in my neck. I said a lengthy prayer, asking God for guidance and direction and healing. I took a shower and got dressed, determined to break the jinx and go out today.
As I opened the door, my palms got sweaty and I began to tremble all over. I forced myself to lift a foot and as I struggled to cross the threshold, I saw one of my neighbours.
Professor Iforiti was an elderly man who lived in one of the duplexes in my area of the staff quarters. The man was good looking, even as old as he was and he exuded an air of authority. You just immediately wanted to defer to him and when he spoke, you hung on to every word.
He taught in the Sciences and his wife taught in the International School on campus. Their older children were schooling abroad but the last child schooled in UNILAG. They were a pleasant family and Prof was friendly with me.
“Temi, hello, how are you?” he called out. “I haven’t seen you in a few days and I noticed that your car hasn’t moved either. Is everything okay?”
I stammered that I was fine and he beckoned to me to come over. But as much as I tried, I couldn’t move outside the apartment. That was the only place I felt safe and I wholeheartedly believed that something terrible would happen to me the moment I stepped out. The belief was so strong in my mind that it controlled my body.
I started to tremble and feel faint. I swayed and would have fallen down if Prof didn’t have quick reflexes. He caught me just in time.
He made me sit with my back to the wall and commanded me to breathe rhythmically. When I recovered, he asked me what was wrong and I couldn’t keep it to myself any longer. My chest swelled and threatened to burst as I dissolved into tears and narrated what had happened to him.