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Saturday, November 07, 2015

'I'm a high class prostitute, but my parents think I work in a bank!' (5)

Having made up my mind on what to do, I swung into action. I began making traveling arrangements with an agent Bibi introduced me to.
 Two weeks before I was to travel out of the country, my mother came visiting. She had informed me about the visit some time ago but it had skipped my mind until she called me on phone to tell me she was coming in two days time.

  I called Sasha and had a talk with her.
 "My mother is coming this weekend. You know what that means. I have to keep up with the pretence- that I work in a bank as a professional lady. I can't ever let my family know what I do for a living. So, I need your support to keep up this charade. You have to behave- no drinking and smoking in the house while she's here. None of your clients can visit during this period. And tone down your dressing and make-up as well. Those your false eye lashes look like caterpillar legs. Get rid of them! I don't want her to get the impression that my housemate is a slut!" I said firmly.
 She eyed me and gave a short laugh.
  "So? Am I not one? And you nko? You are no reverend sister yourself!" she countered, laughing.
 "Cut that out, my friend! This is no time for jokes! My Mum doesn't know what I do for a living and I want to keep it so. She is a very conservative and religious person. She's even a deaconess in her church. Imagine the shame and embarrassment it will cause her and the family if her church members hear about my escapades- that Deaconess Martha's daughter is a high class prostitute. 
I love my Mum very much and I want to spare her that humiliation," I said. I wagged a finger at her, warning her to behave and act like a good girl or...
 "You will kick my fat butt out of here!" she concluded for me, laughing again.
 I smiled then. That was one of the things I liked about Sasha- she was a fun person who took things in her stride and hardly ever got angry. The only time I had ever seen her lose her cool was when a client failed to pay her the exact amount they had agreed on. Then, her bitchy, nasty side would surface and I bet you, it's not a good sight to behold.
 Anyway, my Mum finally came and for the one week she stayed with us, we were very well behaved especially Sasha. Her long Brazilian weave that reached up to her waist was replaced by a short wig that made her look very young and innocent looking. She wore minimal make-up and her clothes were more demure than her usual outlandish dress style. I did the same too and hid the sexy and revealing clothes I often wore.
 In the mornings, both of us would dress up in suits- trousers or skirts- looking like those banker ladies or any of the corporate ladies in the city of Lagos who work in offices. We would pretend as if we were going to work.
 "See you later, Mum," I kissed her on the cheek, on the first working day of her arrival.
 "Alright my dear. Come home early o! You these Lagos people and night waka! Always coming home late from work!" she said.
 As soon as we left the house, we headed to Bibi's house which was not far from where we lived.
 "Babe, how long will you keep up this pretence, this double life," Sasha enquired as we drove off.
 I turned to give her a searching look.
  "Forever if possible. She can't find out about my lifestyle. It would kill her," I replied.
 She shrugged and gazed at her image in the car mirror.
 "God! I look like crap. This your little make-up rule is not funny o! I can barely recognise myself!" she grumbled, bringing out her large make-up bag to apply more lipstick to her mouth.
 Sasha was right; she really looked different. Gone were the usual heavy layer of make-up, fake lashes and nails, long weaves and other beauty aids she and our group loved so much.
 She now looked more natural and even in my view prettier than when she was in her full get up.
 We spent the whole day at Bibi's place just hanging out. By evening, we returned to the house, looking as if we had just closed from a hard day's work at the office. That was our routine for the one week my Mum visited.

 A mother's advice
The night before my Mum was to return home, she called me into her room.
 "Doris, my dear," she began, calling me by my given name, which the rest of my family called me with. "I will be returning home tomorrow but I just want to let you know that your father and I are very proud of you. We also appreciate all the support you have been giving the family. At such a young age, you have taken up the responsibility of training your younger brother, David in a private university. I know it's not easy but my prayer for you is that God will continue to bless and prosper you, that you will keep getting promotion at your place of work. All your hardwork will not be in vain," she prayed.
 "Amen!" I intoned, wondering if she would pray so fervently for me if she knew my source of income. David was the last born in the family and the only one left in school. I had two older brothers and a sister, Mary, the first born who was married with two children.
 My mother was still speaking.
 "But my daughter, there's one more thing you need to do. You are already 28 years old and at the prime of womanhood. This is the time you need to bring a suitor home to your father and I for assessment, so you can settle down," she noted.
 I looked at her, frowning slightly.
"Mum, I'm not ready for marriage now o! I'm too busy with my job," I told her.
"I know. But your job can't give you children! I know most of you young women of today especially the career ones like you don't take marriage seriously; you feel marriage is bondage, tying yourself to one man. But as your mother, I will advice you to reconsider and think seriously about settling down. You see, a single woman in our society is seen as a boat without a captain and as you know, every boat needs a captain to steer it to safety. A woman needs guidance and protection which a man can give. So think about it, my dear," she said, patting me on the shoulder.
Then she added: "By the way, who was that young man that came to see you the other day, the one you were talking with outside the gate?"
 "That was a colleague at the office. He brought my damaged laptop which he had helped me fix. Why do you ask, Mum?" I wondered. The guy in question was a client, one of the few I allowed to visit me at home. But I could not tell my Mum that, of course.
"I thought he was your boyfriend or fiancé," she stated.
"I'm not engaged so he's not my fiancé," I said.
"Then get one and bring him to your father and I!" she insisted, getting up from the bed and heading for the bathroom. 
 It was not the first time my Mum had spoken to me on the issue of marriage. But I had never taken her words seriously until now. Settling down was the last thing on my mind especially with the type of 'work' I did. But since I was planning to 'retire' anyway, getting married in the future did not seem such a bad idea. It was part of the things I needed to do to 'reform' myself, become a new person.
On the day of my trip to Dubai, Sasha drove me to the airport.
  "Don't forget to buy the items I told you about," she said as we drove past the busy Oshodi area of town and headed towards the Murtala Muhammed International Airport.
 "You want me to buy all those stuff for you. How much money did you give me?" I countered.
 "Ha, Vanessa! Am I not your friend again? So, you can't even buy a few gifts for your friend from Dubai out of all that money Jacques gave you! Stingy girl," she said.
 "And you, you have long throat! You are greedy!" I told her and she laughed.
   That trip turned out to be a turning point in my life. It was on the trip I met Ron, who would later play such a big role in my life...
Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story.

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