After checking into the room we spent the first 7 minutes in silence, cooling off the tension. When we were both relaxed we continued with the silence, waiting for the first person to make a speech. Whenever I looked at her, she would pretend to be looking at something else to avoid making eye contact with me. And when she finally turned to look at me, I would do the same. So about 10 minutes more was spent in silence. Then I started talking.
“So how’s the hooker thing going?”
“What? What hooker thing?”
“Come on girl, I’m not trying to nasty or something. I’m just trying to make a good conversation here.”
“And calling me a hooker is your idea of a good conversation? I think I better get going right now in case you think you can just say anything to me because you paid for this room.”
“Oh no, you don’t have to do that! Okay, I won’t say anything again till we leave. It could be dangerous out there. You could have told me you didn’t want to talk, and I would just keep shut.”
“You don’t get it do you? I’m not a hooker!”
“Seriously? Then what the hell were you doing out there with the hookers by this time of the night?”
“This time of the night? It’s just after 11pm, and this isn’t my first time of returning home late. I return home after 10pm on Friday nights because my fellowship holds a prayer meeting to pray and commit the weekend into God’s hands. We dismiss by 10pm. And what just happened today doesn’t take place this early. For some reason it did today and I happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Thank God I didn’t fall prey into the hands of the police.”
“(Smiling) Yeah, thank God I was there to rescue you.”
“(Laughs gently) You’re not serious. And you, what were you doing there? You went to pick up a hooker right?”
“I didn’t want to tell her why I was there because of shame. After all, we’ll go our separate ways in the morning. So why should I begin to let her in on such information.”
“Not really. I felt so bored at home. I had been sleeping all day and there wasn’t any sleep left for the night. So instead of just lying on my bed like that, I decided to……..”(Ogechi interrupted)
“I know! You decided to go there and get yourself a woman to keep you company till morning. ooOOhH’ Guys!”
“That’s not what it was. I just went there to have a drink and then, you know, feed my eyes a little.”
“Oh yeah? You expect me to believe that?”
“Of cause! How on earth could a man who went to take home a hooker be sleeping on a rubber chair in a semi bar with a bottle of water in front of him? Haven’t you thought of that?”
“It’s possible you just fell asleep, or you could be waiting for a girl you had already concluded arrangements with.”
“No! None of that happened! Just like you, I was at the wrong place at the wrong time okay?”
“Okay, I believe you. (Turns away from me and whispers) wrong place at the wrong time my foot. (Speaks out loud) I need to take a shower.”
“Yeah me too. You go first. When you’re done, I’ll do same.”
She got into the bathroom while I lay on the bed waiting for her to come out so I could also get in and take a shower. After we both took a shower, I asked if she wanted anything to eat before going to bed. She didn’t, neither did I. There was no pajamas whatsoever so we went to bed with the cloths we had on. Before we went to bed we watched TV a little. She sat on the couch while I lay on the bed. It crossed my mind to switch and let her have the bed in case we slept off, but the bed was so soft and comfortable to lie on, plus, I paid for the room and that was the first time I would be spending the night in such a comfortable place since I got to Enugu, so I should get all the comfort there was to get. I was still contemplating on whether or not to make the switch when she stood up from the couch and turned off the TV. Next thing I heard was, LET’S PRAY. I said okay and stood up without hesitation. We held hands, sang some worship songs, and then prayed. After the prayer, she at once made way for the left hand side of the bed and lied down, not minding if I was gonna sleep on the bed or not. I wasn’t really sure of what to do, but I decided to lie on the bed with her, expecting to get an objection from her but instead, she turned and faced the ceiling, closed her eyes and said goodnight. Good night, I replied. I was so happy she made no objections because I really wanted to sleep on that bed.
By 6am in the morning I heard a tap on my shoulder. Wake up, wake up, she said. I stretched myself a little and went back to bed. Wake up, wake up, she kept saying. Then I woke up still feeling sleepy. What is it? I asked. It’s morning, she replied. This is just 6am; allow me to sleep a little more. Besides, today is Saturday and the pay for this room expires by 12pm. So relax. Saturdays was usually my day off from my N5000 job. I didn’t know about her but I assumed she would also be free on Saturdays no matter what her occupation was. If she had somewhere to go, she could go ahead and leave. Why wake me up? She got up from the bed and stood beside it, looked at me and said; LET’S PRAY. I didn’t say anything more. I got up and joined her and we prayed. After freshening up she wanted to make use of body cream but there was none there. Oh! She exclaimed softly. What is it? I asked.
“I can’t go out without applying cream to my body.”
“You shouldn’t worry about that since you’re going home from here. You’ll do that at home. Or will you skin change its color if you don’t do so now?”
“Stop kidding! I’m not going straight home. First I’ll go cash some money from the ATM, and then to the market to buy some stuff for the weekend. I might not return home soon enough depending on the queue at the ATM and the total time I might spend in the market. So I must apply cream on my body to avoid some stuff like that. You wouldn’t know. You’re a guy.”
“Yeah, right. You’ll have to go home then and do so before proceeding with you plan.”
“Good idea, but my house is nowhere close.”
I didn’t know what else to say to her so I just proffered a solution that never existed just to appear to be kind and concerned.
“My house is just close by. I would have taken you there so you could make use of my cream if I had one. As it is now, na only Olive Oil I get.”
“(Cuts in) That will do! At least half bread is better than none.?
“(My eyes wide open)What? Olive Oil? no no no. That is definitely not good for the skin”
“Don’t worry. It is my skin. I’ll wash it off before the day is half spent. I just need oil on my body. So let’s go. Let’s not waste much time. There is a whole lot more to do today besides going to the market. I also have to cook, clean my house and wash some cloths”
“Ehm…, ehm…, ”
“What is it? You don’t want to go now? If you don’t want to go now, just let me know so I can be on my way. ”
“(I stared at her, looking confused and then said); it’s not that I don’t want to go now o o, but eeh…..,,”
“But what? In fact, I don’t know what the matter is with you oo. I think I better get going. Thanks for everything.”
She made way for the door of the room and I rushed towards her, held her back and said; you see…, the truth is that I don’t have a place to stay for now. I just got into town barely a month ago and have not gotten an apartment yet. If I had known you were going to buy the idea of making use of the Olive Oil, I wouldn’t have mentioned it at all. I was just pretending to be kind and concerned. You don’t have a place to stay? She asked. How then do you survive here? I mean like, where is your baggage? Where do you sleep, where do you have your bath and all that? Wait a minute, you live in a hotel? No I don’t, replied me. That place you saw me last night is where I spend my nights. I then narrated everything to her and she took pity on me.
“So how soon do you plan on getting yourself an apartment?”
“As soon as I have saved up enough money for that, let’s say two months.”
“(She went into deep thoughts for a moment snapped out and said) I live alone. I can’t bear the thought of letting you continue like this when I can do something to help. That would be against my believes. But that will only happen if you promise to be of good character during the period of your stay in my house.”
“Haha, don’t worry girl, I can take care of myself. I’d rather sleep on the streets than in the house of a girl who will have me live by her rules. What do I look like to you? Your kid brother? Kill that! I’m a big boy, and big boys don’t cry. I’ve been in this position before and I survived. Thanks but no thanks.”
“Hmmm, I see your ego is getting the better part of you. I wish you would just understand that I’m trying to help. Come on, you’re a guy, and I’m even offering to let you stay at my place. Isn’t that strange enough? It could be a very big risk because I don’t know you and what you’re capable of. But none of those matters because I’m doing this for Christ’s sake and I believe God will save me from any danger should you turn out to be undeserving of this kindness. But I can’t path ways with you just like that after what you just told me. Allow me to help. Just be of good behavior.”
“I don’t need your help g..i..r..l. I can take care of myself. And I must tell you to be careful of the kind of kindness you show to people you don’t know. I could just be a member of an occult group seeking whom to kill and sacrifice to keep the money flowing, and then you show up like this with such offer? You would have succeeded in making things quite easy for me you know? Be careful! I warn you. You don’t know who I could be.”
“Whoever you couldn’t be last night, you won’t be within the next two months. Besides, if you were anything that ugly, you wouldn’t be exposing yourself would you? So let’s go.”
(After much convincing words from her, I succumbed. But I had already agreed to her offer in my heart the moment she voiced it out. Just that I didn’t want it to look like I was waiting for her to say that. It also amazed me that a girl would take a guy into her house to live with her without even knowing him. And that she said she was doing for Christ’s sake. Or could it be that she’s an agent of darkness looking for guys with bright future to destroy? Well, I’ll find that out soon)
“Seems you don’t want to let it slide. Okay, I’ll do as you say. And know for sure that I didn’t ask for this. This is sorely your choice. I’m just playing along because you said you’re doing it for Christ’s sake. I wouldn’t want you go against your believe.”
“(Murmurs) Egotistical fellow!”
“(Sharply) Nothing. Let’s go.”
We left the hotel room to the ATM. She withdrew some money and we boarded a bus to her residence. You are welcome to my humble abode. I hope you find it very comfortable. By the way, where are you belongings? She asked. I came here with just a school bag and I keep it in a store at my office. I’ll go over there later on and get it. She raised her shoulders and said; ok then, let me prepare you breakfast before I head to the market. Thanks, I replied. She quickly prepared tea for me with left over bread that was there. While I was consuming the bread, she went into the bathroom with some set of creams and cosmetic. I wondered what would happen to her if she didn’t apply cream for one day. I used that time to survey the house she lived in. It was a self-contain. She had a set of electronics and a refrigerator in it, a bed big enough for two, a reading table and wall hanger. I wouldn’t know what she had in her bathroom and kitchen. This kind of houses cost a lot in Enugu, so I concluded she must be a rich girl. After a short while, she came out of the bathroom glowing like a diamond in the sky. I stared at her in an unusual manner, and she noticed. Immediately, she dropped those cosmetic in its place and said; I’m heading for the market now. See you when I return. Okay, I replied. She got to the door of the room and stopped suddenly, turned towards me and asked; I forgot to ask what your name is.
“oOhH! My name is Jesusboy”
“Yeah, that’s my name.”
“Okay, enough with the joke. What’s your name?”
“I’m not joking. That’s my name”
“As in, that’s the name your parents gave you at birth?”
“Nope! I gave it to myself”
“And why would you call yourself Jesusboy?”
“Because Jesus is the one I claim.”
“(Kind of short of words for about 5 seconds) Okay Jesusboy, see you when I return from the market.”
She left shaking her head and smiling. I quickly got up to analyze her from the window. That was when I realized that she was a beauty to write about. She had long black hair, amazing curves and was about my height, probably my age. Her fair skin glittered at making contact with the light of the sun. Her slow and gentle steps made the guys around take a second, third, fourth and fifth look at her. When I noticed these things, I was glad that I was gonna be staying with her for a while. I watched her until she boarded a bus to the market before I returned to the breakfast she had prepared for me. I couldn’t stop thinking about her afterwards and couldn’t wait for her to return so that we could enter into some real conversation.
To be continued