Madam was the first to wake me up the next morning. Time was 5.21.
“Good morning ma,” I said, rubbing my palm on my eyes.
“Come to the club now,” she said and hung up before I could protest.
I wondered what the problem was as I hurriedly wore a pair of jeans and a tank top. By the time I got to the club it was 6.30 am. The car park had only madam’s SUV, but some five minutes later, a team of policemen— five in all— zoomed into the compound.
“Where is Madam?” An Inspector, who led the team, asked me.
“She should be in her office,” I said and we all went in.
I knocked on Madam’s door and she asked us in. The first thing I noticed was a film of tears in her eyes.
“Good morning Madam,” the Inspector greeted.
“Good morning,” Madam’s said in her shaky voice.
The door soon creaked open and Aruna came in reeking of alcohol. He immediately went to hug Madam.
“Relax ehen, relax,” he said.
My mind was occupied by questions. Why were policemen around? Why was Aruna telling Madam to relax?
“Kemi,” Madam called me, “Chief Aniyikaye is dead.”
Who was Chief Aniyikaye? Then I remembered. Madam had told me the day before that the deceased and Alhaji Usman needed four girls, two each. I had randomly picked four girls and dialled their numbers. I distributed Anita, Sandra, Chinyere, Hannah and Ekaete between the gentlemen.
I also remembered the girls were scantily-dressed when they sauntered into my office and patiently took down the details of the men they were to be with. I assigned Anita and Sandra to Alhaji Usman of Surulere and Chineyere and Ekaete to Chief Aniyikaye, who Madam just told me was dead.
“He died atop one of the girls you assigned to him. His house help heard the girls screaming around 3am, and rushed him to the room. They all rushed him to the hospital and he was confirmed dead. Ekaete ran away after that. ”
I could give anything to be at the scene. I pictured Chinyere and Ekaete giving him a head, doing a double bounce on him and wrapping it up with a doggy.
“Can you give me Ekaete’s address and phone number?” the Inspector asked me.
I went to my office to source the information. I lingered in my office, afraid the police would subject me to unnecessary interrogation. But by the time I returned to the office, Madam was laughing and the Inspector was holding a fat brown envelope that was not in his hand before. I also noticed that the other members of his team were no longer in the office. My instinct told me the man had received a bribe and the case would be killed.
Everything went on smoothly for the next few months. We never found Ekaete and no police came to ask any question and Chinyere was released and was back on the field, doing what she knew how best to do. One night, however, I was suddenly awoken by a nightmare, a lion was pursuing me. It caught up with me, ate my left breast, then graduated to the other and its next point of call was my ‘punani’. Blood was gushing out of my chest region and my ‘punani’, life was ebbing out of me by the time it started devouring my head.
I woke up sweating. My breasts were intact and my ‘punani’ had not lost its position. My phone rang before I could form any thought. It was Madam calling. Time was 722am.
“Come to the club, now.”
As usual, she hung up before I could ask any question. I sensed trouble. I remembered the Ekaete incident and wondered if another client had gone cold atop another babe of the House of Malaika. I dressed with a pounding heart and drove the Toyota Corolla 2005 model Madam dashed me after the Ekaete incident. In ten minutes I was in the club, having moved closer.
There was nothing unusual in the car park, a number of cars were parked there. I met a bouncer by the door and he opened the door for me. I went into Madam’s office and when she opened her mouth, the first thing that came out made me realise the end was here. I knew there was no way I could continue in the service of House of Malaika and that my journey with the babes of House of Malaika had reached a cul-de-sac.
“Sandra is dead.”
Sandra was one of the girls I assigned to Senator Lai Ikudaisi the previous night. The man was notorious for asking for four girls anytime he was in Lagos. He had a luxury apartment in Park View Estate, where he indulged his fancies.
“Anna, Sumbo and Alice sustain gunshot injuries and are in the hospital.”
My mouth was wide open.
“Senator and his partner had a fight and guns were pulled and in the process Sandra died and the three others sustain injuries.”
I wanted to ask her how it happened. What was the cause of the disagreement? But since she was not there, she would only have second or even third hand information.
“We just have to be strong.”
Strong? I wondered what she meant by that, but she did not allow me waste time before offering an explanation that shattered whatever respect I had for her.
“I’ll send you a list of requests for tonight.”
This woman was simply heartless. She still wanted to send out more girls into danger.
“Okay ma,” I told her, but I knew I was only deceiving her.
As I walked out of the building, I told myself the time had come for me to accept the offer by my father’s only surviving sister, Aunty Deborah, to come to Abuja. Lagos had been unfair to me, seriously unfair.
I looked at the club’s signpost and looked at it very well, sure I would not see it again. Bye-bye House of Malaika!