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Saturday, November 07, 2015

'I'm a high class prostitute, but my parents think I work in a bank!' (6)

After a slight delay, our flight to Dubai eventually took off. Some time later during the flight, I brought out a magazine from my handbag and was going through it when a guy came up to my seat.
"Can I sit here?" he asked, indicating the empty seat by me. I glanced up at him and shrugged.
He sat down and fastened his seat belt, then he turned to me. 
"Hi. I'm Ronald," he introduced himself.
  I told him my name then he stated:
"Hope you don't mind my staying here for the rest of the flight. The lady sitting by me is a bad sleeper. She has been sleeping and snoring since we left Lagos. As if that's not bad enough, her head keeps rolling and falling on my shoulder!"
"Really?" I said, feeling amused.
"Yes! It's really annoying. She's sleeping as if she's in her bedroom at home!" he stated grumpily.
  Ron and I sat together and chatted for the rest of the flight. He told me a little bit about himself, that he was a businessman who dealt in importation of industrial chemicals, drilling and mining equipment and other materials. He was visiting an old friend who worked in Dubai, he explained and he would be spending a few weeks with him.
"I've not had a vacation for years. My friend has been nagging me to take some time off from business. So, here I am!"
"How long will you be staying in Dubai?" he asked as the plane touched down at the airport.
"About a week. I need to make some purchases, then head to Turkey later," I said. 
"That's good. Hope we can see before you leave town," he said.
  Outside the large airport, his friend was waiting for him.
  He offered to drop me at my hotel before going home.
  "Thanks a lot. I appreciate," I said, getting into the car.
My business in the city went well and a few days before I was to leave, Ron visited me in my hotel. He took me out to dinner and later, we went in a cab to some interesting places in the city. I had visited Dubai a few years before with one of my rich 'clients' who had come for the birthday party of a friend. We had spent just a few days and I had not seen much of the place.
"To think this used to be desert land some years ago," Ron stated as we drove round.
"I see what you mean. The city is really impressive. The people here have worked hard to turn the place around," I concurred, looking at the wide, well lit roads, towering, beautiful buildings and other imposing structures.
Before parting that evening, we exchanged our Nigerian numbers, with him promising to call me as soon as he was back home from his vacation.

New love, fresh start
Back in Nigeria, I focused on my business. My goods soon arrived and I distributed them to my customers in Lagos and Abuja. Since my business was doing so well, I cut down on the prostitution work. I only saw Jacques and a few others whom I liked occasionally and turned down others. My friends began to complain.

"Vanessa, what's going on? You no longer want to come out with us on 'runs' anymore! What's up, girl?" said Nikki, a friend who had come visiting one day.
"Ah! She's a big time business woman now. She doesn't have time for 'runs' again o!" stated Sasha. She had spent the night with one of her 'customers' and had been sleeping on the couch all day.
"Is that so?" Nikky said, turning to me.
  I shrugged and picking up the remote, changed the channel on the flat screen TV.
  "It's true. She has turned down so many big 'jobs' in the past couple of months that Bibi is pissed off with her," Sasha stated.

Just then, my phone rang. It was Ron. He had called a couple of times since his return from Dubai and had wanted us to meet up but I had been too busy. 
He was calling to invite me to a party this weekend in town and wondered if I could bring a friend along.
"One of my friends is coming too and he doesn't have a date," he explained. I told him I would arrange someone for him. We chatted for a while then hung up.
When I told Sasha about the party, she declined, stating she had an engagement on the day. Nikky was free and she agreed to accompany me to the party.

After that date, Ron and I began to see each other regularly. With time, he took me to his house, a duplex that he had recently built on the outskirts of the city. He was doing quite well in his business and it showed in his opulent lifestyle. He told me he had a girlfriend but she did not live in the country.
"She comes for visits once a year and I travel to see her when my business commitments permit. I have told her to relocate to Nigeria from the U.S but she says she can't stay in Nigeria anymore, that she's used to life abroad," Ron said.

About six months after we started dating, Ron told me he loved me and wanted me to be his life partner.
"I love you, Vanessa. I think it's you I want to be with, now and always," he stated one evening after we had returned to his house from an outing. His cousin who lived with him had gone out and we were alone in the house.
That day, he proposed to me and I accepted. You might think I'm crazy accepting a marriage proposal from such a decent guy as Ron considering the kind of life I have lived. But the truth is, I love Ron. He is the kind of man I have always wanted as a husband whenever I thought about marriage. So what if my lifestyle in the past had been bad? What if I had done a lot of terrible things in the past that I'm not proud of? 

Everyone deserves a second chance and I have decided to turn over a new leaf and live a decent life and not live like a slut anymore. I wanted a fresh start, a new beginning.
Ron is ignorant about my sleazy lifestyle, that I sell my body to rich men for money. I don't intend telling him, at least not yet. Maybe after the wedding, I might open up to him. Ignorance they say is bliss and I plan to keep my past life a secret from him for as long as possible.

I called my parents to give them the news about my engagement and they were really excited. My mother wanted to come to Lagos immediately to see Ron but I told her I would bring him over in a short while to meet the family. 
"Come as soon as possible. Don't keep us in suspense for too long. I can't wait to see my son-in-law!" she stated excitedly over the phone.
"Ah, Mum! We are not married yet and you are already calling him your in-law," I said teasingly. She laughed, stating that it was a matter of time before he would become her son.

Some of my friends though were not too keen on my marital plans.
  Bibi, for instance was against my decision, stating that I was making a mistake. 
  "Why do you want to throw away your freedom for marriage? Marriage is not for the likes of us! Why not stick with what we are good at- hustling and making money! We have been living a good life with that. Marriage will only 'tie' you down and all the fun life you have been living will end," she said.

I pointed out to her that there was more to life than hustling, making money and catching fun.
"Look, Bibi, I understand what you are trying to say. But the truth is I want more out of life than this. I want the love of a man who cares about me and I have found that in Ron. It's a special feeling. It's not the same as all those other men we go out with for money. They are only interested in our bodies and the pleasure we can give them. They use us and pay us off. They don't care about us or what happens to us. In fact, we are no better than all those short time, cheap prostitutes who stay in all those brothels in town!" I said.

"Call our 'work' whatever you like but you can't deny that we have made lots of money from it. It has given us a lifestyle many normal workers can't afford. Now, you've suddenly decided to throw everything away all for one man. Are you sure that Ron or whatever his name is has not charmed you, used juju on you?" Bibi wondered.
I laughed, pointing out that Ron was the one acting like one charmed as he was so much in a hurry to make me his wife. I informed her that it was my decision to settle down and it was her duty as a friend to support and encourage me in my desire for a new life with Ron.
She shrugged then and stated:
  "Well, it's your life. But I still feel you are making a mistake. A very big one at that! Don't come running to me if things don't work out well!"

  By then, I was so certain of Ron's love for me that I couldn't imagine anything going wrong in our marriage plans. If only one could see into the future...

Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story.

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