Just as the words escaped my mouth I wished I could retract them. The gentleman! Why would I call him that? To his face! I just didn’t expect to see him tonight… or any night. If he’s back then… well, he’s just another face, another meal ticket, another client. No need to show any form of expression. Business is business.
I quickly switch on my poker face.
‘Yeah. The gentleman. It could be your whore name if you decide to have a little side job. I hear ass is the new rave these days. If you’re into those kinds of things.’
I watch him silently, as I lean in through the passenger window, checking for any kind of reaction but he just laughs and scratches his head. It seems I made him a bit nervous. Good. I’m back in control and hopefully he won’t pursue ‘the gentleman’ comment.
‘I don’t get paid to chit chat. What do you want?’
‘I met your friend the other day.’
He says this while motioning to Naomi. I don’t look, there’s no need to but I clench my fist as I recall our fight earlier today.
‘And? Should I fetch her for you? Do you want to fuck her too?’
‘No! Jeez, can you just give me a minute.’
I openly glare at his trousers.
‘You definitely didn’t need a minute the last time.’
The thought makes me chuckle. A little teasing wouldn’t hurt. The light inside his car isn’t on so I can’t make out his expressions well but from his voice I can tell I’m making him uncomfortable. Why I’m making fun of him is beyond me. I should instead be getting money out of him and based on his game the last time, sex too wouldn’t be a bad addition.
Why did he ask for my number though? I can’t prevent the thought from crossing my mind. And why is he here again? Well, that isn’t my business as long as he can pay the price but I am curious to know why he asked Naomi for my number. That really is unusual. Most clients would rather keep their indiscretions a secret and not try to contact them. At least not directly.
I roll my eyes at him.
‘Your minute is over. You’re holding up the line. I could have gotten two more clients at least with the amount of time I’ve wasted talking to you. What do you want and why did you ask my friend for my number?’
‘Get in and I’ll explain.’
I eye him through the darkness. I’m well aware of the fact that I can barely make out his face right now. Not that I need to, I remember clearly what he looks like but this seems strange to me. What is there to explain and why does it involve me entering his car?
Alarms in my head start blaring. The last thing I want is any bruise on my body. I can’t risk it no matter how much of a gentleman he was to me. I just can’t. Especially after what happened earlier today.
‘See. Whatever you want to tell me you can tell me. I’m not getting into your car with you.’
‘Why not? Isn’t that what you usually do? Enter cars of random men for sex in exchange for money? How am I any different?’
What the…? The fuck does he think he is?
‘Yeah! I do that. I enter cars of random men for sex in exchange for money. Key word: MONEY. I don’t get paid to ‘discuss’. If you’re looking for someone to talk to find a shrink or better yet go fuck yourself because that’s definitely what you’ll be doing tonight because I’m definitely NOT getting into your fucking car!’
From the corner of my eyes, I see Ruth and Naomi watching.
Calm down Ola. Calm down. Mask your emotions. My emotions are still out of control.
‘What if I paid you for your time?’
I find his eyes through the darkness.
‘Turn on your lights.’
Without saying another word, he obeys. I look into his eyes and he’s obviously serious. What’s going on? Is he that rich that he would willingly give me money just to listen to him? Then again, why should I care?
I can’t help it, my curiosity is growing by the second. I wonder how much he’s willing to pay.
‘How much do you want?’
‘Ten Thousand Naira.’
I call the first amount that comes to mind.
I conceal my shock. This is the second time I’ve called a random amount for this man and he accepted without a question. Is this really okay?
‘Give me half first.’
‘You really are apprehensive. Do I scare you?’
‘I don’t trust random strangers I fuck. Give me half now then the other half after we are done. This is a transaction. Nothing more, nothing less.’
He says nothing. Just looks at me as he puts his hands inside his trouser pocket and brings out his wallet.
I watch him count Five Thousand Naira and hand it to me. It makes me wish I asked for more.
‘Can you get in now?’
I turn to Naomi and Ruth who are talking to different men but watching me through the corner of their eyes. I notice them watching me as I enter his car and that’s all the comfort I need, that they have my back.
The gentleman starts his car and starts driving. Panic sets in.
‘Thought you said we’re just going to talk?’ I say trying to sound calm.
‘Yeah we are but not here. Let’s go somewhere else.’
I hear the sound of the car doors lock and my heart is suddenly in my throat. Not again.