I knew I had pretty face right from pupillage years because it was a comment many would make. I let it not get in my head but sometimes the remarks would be so inordinate prompting me to secretly run to the mirror to corroborate with the praisegivers. But I had an aunt who never minced her words.
“With this beauty my dear, save it for a worthy man! Don’t dish it to every riff-raff you find on the street!” She said these words when I was thirteen, when puberty was passionately messing with my growth. She had seized a love letter written by a classmate to me.
Her words aroused a pride in me that I never thought I had. I always thought my aunt was sunset gorgeous and to think that she saw beauty in me, shocked me, it prided me. I decided from hence to heed her advice. No hoi polloi would have the chance to taste my winsomeness. So I stayed chaste but abhored for my self-regard.
It was when I got to college that I was offered a gold platter. I did not know what to make of it. Some of my friends were green with envy while others clamored in mockery at my opportunity.
My friend Mirry and I were walking along the college roads while a convoy drove lazily along the driveway. We knew it headed to the administration offices to meet the school owners.
We bothered not to peer in to try and ascertain who the big man behind this power was. We instead concentrated on checking out the big machines, their lustre and poshness covering engines that moved without roaring loudly like the cars we were used to.
“The third one is my dream car!” Said Mirry.
“I like the second one better!” I opined although they all had the same make, the difference being very minimal.
Then the convoy stopped. The students around became more alert. Why had they stopped in the middle of the road? Suddenly ,from the third car, came out a herculean bald man. His eyes were covered with a pair of dark goggles. He wore a black polo shirt, in a black suit. His black shoes gleamed like the automobile he had alighted from. He was heading towards Mirry and I.
Our mouths were agape as the man approached us. I turned back quickly to escape this hulk but Mirry was quick to hold my hand firmly.
“Hallo ladies. The big man wants to talk to you.” His voice was deep toned and his face seemed to address me.
“Who is the big man?” Mirry asked bravely.
“I am talking to the cute one!” He retorted at Mirry. This chafed me. I turned back now , more eager to leave.
“Let’s go Mirry!” I said. Then a strong hand held me. It was the Hercules. The hold was firm and even painful.
“Hey!” Mirry shouted.
“Leave me alone!” I screamt as other students watched from a distance. There were no mobile phones those days for people to record videos.
“When the big man calls you, you go!” He whispered menacingly in my ear.
” Now, follow me!” He was pulling my hand but I garnered all my strength to stay put and show my dissent.
“If I have to , then I am not coming alone, I come with her!” I said. Hercules faced my direction then looked at Mirry. He let go of my hand and walked to the middle car (the newest Mercedes of the five) whose back left’s window was slightly pulled down. Hercules bent and spoke to the person inside. After a few seconds, he straightened up and walked towards us.
“Let’s go!” He gestured to us and we ferafully, albeit curiously followed the man as he opened the sleek Mercedes for us.
Mirry was the first to get in . She gasped in awe. When I saw what she saw, I was speechless. I thought I was in a dream that I would wake up to and narrate it excitedly to my friends. The door closed on us and the cars started moving. The inside was customised in a way that a pair of seats faced another. We sat facing the The Big Man.
He was a different picture from how we often saw him on TV. His no-nonsense face had a smile on him that day. He leaned comfortably on the leather seat holding a glass of a red drink.
“Divinah, how are you?” He said as he smiled and I stammered back shocked that he knew me. Mirry looked around the cosy car in bewilderment.
He asked me not to be scared. He said had seen me a few days ago and was attracted to me instantly. He wanted me to be his girlfriend. When the convoy left the college premises , it stopped again. Mirry was asked to get in another car. It was more of an order than a request. I was left with The Big Man. One could not tell where the driver was. The Big Man’s car had walls!
The Big Man hated to beat around the bush. He asked me to undress. I hesitated. He ordered again with a threatening tone. I was trembling and my voice would not speak for me. As I undressed, he smiled and caressed my body with his walking stick. Then he asked me to lie on the seat. He undressed waist downwards.
I was in sixes and sevens. I wondered whether to be excited that The Big Man was about to sleep with me but also questioned silently whether I was the only girl who had experienced this.
He penetrated gently and moaned loudly when he realised he was my first. His excitement heightened and he reached an early climax. I wore my clothes shyly as he zipped up, still smiling. He asked me to sit next to him and lie on his chest. Our hearts beat only for different reasons.
We drove like this for hours as he hummed lullabies to me, stroking my hair. We were dropped back at the college late in the evening. I was gifted with a big bag of money filled with notes. Money was no longer a problem henceforth.
When I visited home, my parents had brought down the average stone house we lived in and in place was an enormous mansionette. There was a new Pajero parked outside the house. I asked them how the change had come to be.
“You will not believe this, two men came and presented us with an offer to buy that piece of land at the south. The offer was excessively handsome so we grabbed the opportunity!” Father paused then continued, “Funny enough, they left no address and we did not sign any sale agreement. The land I could say, is still mine.”
I smiled at the generosity of The Big Man. He had taken care of my parents. We met often times and enjoyed the pleasure of each other frequent times. The demure girl in me had been replaced by a girl willing to please. I became an expert in matters romance and he was happier. We grew a friendship out of each other until he met another beautiful girl.
There were no more bodyguards to pass messages to me from him. There were no more gifts. There were no more love making moments in a moving Mercedes. But I did not mourn, I saw it coming. He had also warned me, he got bored easily. So I moved on with the memory. It is a sweet memory. I watch him on TV and I still cannot believe that he once chose me.