OSOKA CHIDINMA - ALTERED
Mama would wet her pants if sees me like this. But I don’t really care about what she thinks anymore. All I care about is what Kingsley thinks. My life is a lot better now and even though Kingsley hits me whenever I do something wrong or embarrass him in front of his friends, most of the time, he is really sweet. Being away from that hell-hole that used to be my home until recently still seems like a dream. After my dad died, leaving my mum with nine children to take care of with the minuscule income she makes from her job as a maternity nurse, life kept going down hill for us. It’s not as though we were buoyant when my dad was alive. It just wasn’t this bad. At least the little money he made from his carpentry business supported the family somewhat. I bend my waist a little so that my ass looks a lot sexier to Kingsley and his friends.
“Kings I would really love me a piece of this ass”
“You better behave yourself or you’ll have to use the door. I’m not done with her yet”
I smile slyly at Kingsley and he repays me with the devilish smile I love so much. I know most people think I’m too young for him. But hey, I’m seventeen, done with high school and by next year, I would no longer be a minor. So, who cares if I am dating a drug dealer and fraudster eighteen years my senior? At least most of my mates in northern Nigeria are already married with kids for men old enough to be their fathers or even grand fathers.
I’ve been staying with Kingsley for eight months now. When I left my mothers shack, I carried just five cloths; my best clothes at that time. Right now, I have a closet filled with clothes. I had to dispose the rags I came with. I can’t believe I ever thought they were pretty. I wiggle my ass to the sound of the music playing from the dope sound system in Kingsley’s luxury sitting room. I admire the chandelier hanging from the ceiling and thank my stars for my good fortune. Before I met Kingsley, I never imagined that people really lived like this. We do not have a television in my house and the television at the viewing center where my brothers go to watch football matches is a joke when compared to Kingsley’s. Here, I get to watch a big flat screen that makes me feel like the actors are actually there with me in the sitting room. I smile at the imagery and head to the bar to get more drinks for everyone. I serve them, making sure that my busts are placed seductively for them to admire. Since Kingsley is my first boyfriend, I’m not sure other men allow their girlfriends flirt and display their goodies in front of their friends. I really can’t think about this right now. I don’t want to have a furrowed brow. I look up and offer Wale the sly smile I’ve perfected from weeks of practice.
After the boys leave, I clean up the mess they left in the parlor, set things back as they are supposed to be and head to my room, longing to have a cool bath and then, collapse on my bed for the sweet oblivion of sleep to envelop me. When I moved in here, I used to sleep in the same room with Kingsley but after about two weeks, he told me to move my things to one of his guest rooms. Though most people think I’m stupid, I am not stupid enough to be ignorant of the fact that Kings sleep with most of the girls that come to this house. Girls who eat the food I cook and serve. It’s okay, I know when he is done sowing his wild oats like they say, he will come back to me. Really! What man would want to settle with any of those useless whores who can’t even get her own drink? I climb the remaining steps to my room concentrating on how good the water would feel on my skin. When I walk into the room, every thought of bathing disappears because I am accosted by a slap that makes my stagger backward. My brain goes numb and I see red. I’m about to strike back at my attacker when my brain starts functioning again and I realize that I can’t strike him. It’s just like the relationship between a lord and his serfs. I know I must have done something to upset him and I try to review everything that happened today but I am interrupted by Kingsley’s stern outburst.
“What took you so long? I asked you a question and I expect you to provide an answer. What the hell have you been doing downstairs?”
Blinking repeatedly to prevent the embarrassing tears rioting for release, I take on the part I always play; the docile pacifier. “I’m so sorry. I was tidying things up downstairs. I would have come earlier if I knew you needed me”
“Oh so I’m supposed to tell you that I need you before you realize that my pleasure is your number one priority right?”
Sometimes, I wonder if he does not work himself into a fit over irrelevant things so that he would enjoy the pleasure of abusing me in whatever way he chooses. The make up sex that comes after arguments like this is always a horrible experience for me and I’m sure today would not be different. In fact, now that I think about it, it is rape as long as your partner is unwilling. And in times like this, I am always unwilling. I am pulled out of my reverie by a sharp pain in my gut that makes me throw up my dinner.
“Are you deaf? I told you to strip. See the mess you’ve created. Are you a baby? Just that little shove and look what happened. I need you to clean up this mess and be in my room in five minutes.”
The door bangs as he leaves and I shrink involuntarily. I quickly go to the bathroom to get a bucket and towel to clean up my puke. Immediately I’m done, I rush to the bathroom to shower because I know I’m part of the mess he referred to.
I slip into his room praying that he will be asleep. My prayer does not reach God because he is seated wide-awake on the sofa. Immediately he sights me, he stands and prowls towards me. I try to numb my mind towards the onslaught as he feasts on my mouth like a man who has not eaten in a while would attack his first meal. He carries me to the bed and I lie still trying to think of anything but the pain.
When I moved in with Kingsley, I promised myself to do everything to make him happy because I felt indebted to him for picking me from the squalor I was living in to this luxury. Right now, I feel like I have paid my debt and have nothing else to give. His dilated pupil is the only sign that it is over.
I don’t know how long I sit on the floor with my hands around my knees, rocking back and forth, staring at nothing. I know I’m supposed to feel something but I’m not sure what. I stare at Kingsley’s pocket knife. It is now covered in blood. I’m no longer sure what I was thinking when I stabbed him but I know I do not regret the act. I look at his still form sprawled across the matrass and wonder how I ever thought he loved and would marry me. I know he treated his other lovers better that he treated me so why? Well, at least I know where he keeps the key to his safe and if my memory serves me right, those guys I entertained downstairs earlier today came with a lot of money which Kingsley would have stored in his safe.
Spurred by a renewed purpose, I slip my hands into his breast pocket and retrieve the safe’s key. I empty one of his boxes and pack all the money from the safe in it. Later, I would think of what to do with the money but right now, I have to take as many valuables as possible. After emptying the safe, I move to his wrist watch shelf. When I’m done with his “babies,” I head to my room and fill a box with clothes. I don’t check to see if they match, I just shove in whatever cloth I lay my hands on. After that, I change into something that does not make me look like a whore.
I’m not sure what time it is but as I fit the boxes into the hood of the Mercedes I intend to dump as soon as I decide where I’m headed. I remember the first day I met Kingsley. Last year after my graduation from high school, I went to a club with some of my friends to celebrate. At that point, I was still innocent in every sense of the word. He was so different from the other guys I knew. His wealth fascinated me and when I went back home, a life I used to be comfortable and sometimes happy living suddenly felt like hell until I ran away from home without a backward glance. Even now when I do not have a destination in mind, I do not consider going back to that squalor. I know my mum won’t accept anything I give her so what’s the point?
I drive out of the compound feeling like I’ve aged a hundred years. Life for me would never be the same but when I look back at the choices I made, I realize that even though they were not the best, they just made me frigging rich.
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