Purity woke up every morning to hustle. Yes, hustle,she insisted to those who looked down on her because she sold her body for money. She had developed a thick skin to the sneers, mockeries and condemnation from the critics and santimonious ones.
She had a new client on that Sunday afternoon. He was not new to her eyes, for she had seen him often at ‘Trap Street’, as her and her colleagues had dabbed it . This client was Lady Q’s but she was unwell so she asked Purity to take care of him until she felt better.
“He is the ‘do and leave’ type so you will be done pretty quickly.” Lady Q briefed Purity.
“Should I expect kinky demands?” Purity asked.
“Nope, just the normal stuff, mission style…you will wish he was your client Lady P,” Lady Q said addressing Purity by her street name.
Lady Q was right about the client being ‘normal’. He did not demand much. When he asked her to undress herself, he was already in bed, stark naked. He jumped on her and was done in thirty minutes. But there was something else about him, he had that strange gaze at her.
“What?” She asked,vexed.
“I don’t feel guilty with you. I don’t want to dress up and run to my wife like I do with Q. Please stay with me.”
Lady P stared at him. His eyes were pleading like a two year old pleading for candy.
“I am sorry but I don’t do emotional attachment stuff.” Lady P announced.
“I will pay double.” He shouted as she left. She stopped. She needed the money. So she stayed and listened to him whining about his wife, life and work.She learnt he had inherited a Hair Oil Company from his father-in-law.
“On top of that at work, our marketing strategies are not producing quality leads.” He said, adjusting the pillow on his head confortably like he was at his home. Lady P wanted to suggest the internet as a solution to the marketing problem but she prefered to just listen. It was all he seemed to need.
“I hate to say it Sir but your time is over. I have a client to see.” She said and left. He had offered money for the third time and it was three hours past. She needed to maintain her own customers although she hated most of hers. Like the one she was about to see. He hated commercial sex workers yet he frequently paid for their services. He called her names and showed great contempt while handling her.
“You took your sweet time whore! I am not going to pay for lost time.” He said angrily.
“I am sorry, I was caught up somewhere.” Lady P said as he grabbed and pulled her skirt down,smacking her painfully. She shut herself from what was he was doing to her body. She had learnt that was the easiest way to make it through. He threw a big bundle of cash at her aching body and left her. She felt sore all over her body as she dressed up. A session with him always made her close shop early, not only because of the state her body would be in but also because he paid well.
“Mummy!”her son greeted her with a hug. She winced in pain but tried not to show. She was grateful her sister had closed school. Her son really loved his aunt. As he went back to play with his sixteen year old aunty, she sat down and watched them. They were the loves of her life. The two and her mother were all she had as family.
Her mother was in prison for murder. She had been accused of killing her husband and his lover in a fit of rage. Purity remembered her mother crying for months at their father’s negligence of his duties as a husband and father.
One day she had woken up, a knife in hand and gone to her father’s lover’s house. She had met them asleep and stabbed the two countless times and did not stop until neighbours stopped her. Purity was fifteen then and could not afford to go to school after that. Now it was just Purity, her sister Mary and her son. Purity vowed that Mary would go to school,by hook or crook. Her son would also have the best education no matter what.
The next day’s clients were the usual. She always met new clients on the way. She was amazed at the hypocrisy in the society. Most of her clients she would meet later in the malls with their families in tow, looking like a perfect picture family. The men would pretend not to know her and pass her like a total stranger. Some men she would see on Sunday TV preaching how the kingdom of God was not for sinners.
Then there were the aspiring and already politicians who condemned commercial sex on 7 o’clock news and later ask to meet the very people they had condemned. But Purity did not dislike them as she did the police. That night,she had every reason to abhor them all the more. There was a crackdown on Trap Street. She and many of her fellows were apprehended after a public outcry fronted by the politicians.
They were thrown to the cells. Purity was no newcomer in this. She knew she had to avoid going to court, so there were two choices; ‘please’ the policeman in charge or raise the amount of money they would demand. She, like many opted to give in to the officers’ demands simply because the amount they demanded was large.
“Purity!Out!” Lady P was surprised as her colleagues stared in envy as she confusedly walked out of the cell. The policeman informed her that she had been saved by her ‘sponsor’. She was shocked to see Lady Q’s client waiting for her. She knew this was trouble. Lady Q would not be happy about that.
“I just had to talk to you.” He said, looking happy like a two year old who had been rewarded with lots of chocolate. He took her to their hotel room. She knew the drill so well that she never needed to be told what to do next. She started to undress.
“No! I don’t want sex! I told you I just wanted to talk.” He saw the bewildered look on her face and laughed.” I will pay, don’t worry.” She sat on the bed amd listened. As he ranted on about his life, Purity realised that this was the “forced” client type. He would have wanted to be faithful but circumstances had forced him to search for a venting place. He had found it in a brothel.
When he realised dusk was creeping in, he rushed to the door after placing on the bed an amount of money he did not even bother to count. She was pleased at the amount. It was more than a week’s toil. This became a pattern for months. They would meet often for some boring sex and a lot of talk or just a lot of talk. He often said he felt refreshened after talking to her. However, Purity always warned him not to fall in love. Their relationship was just business.
This partnership did not last for so long. It was finally discovered by the wife. Purity felt in her gut that that was Lady Q’s doing in revenge for ‘stealing’ her client.
Mr. D’s wife posed as a client. She used sms to lure her to a hotel room. Purity was not appalled by this because some men invited her like this. It was too late for Purity when she realised she had been trapped. As soon as she entered the hotel room, two women pounced on her and roughed her up, spitting all kinds of profanities at Lady P. She knew a negotiation was the only way out.
“Mr. D really loves you!” Lady P screamt, stealing the attention of the irate women. She turned to look at them , wondering which of the two would be Mr D’s wife. A closer look at one of them gave her the answer. She was stunned at what she saw. The two women were also astounded when they set their eyes on Lady P.
“Gosh Mrs D., the resemblance you two have!” Her partner in crime exclaimed. Lady P looked at the heart shaped face, light complexion, deep brown eyes and snub nose. It was as if she was looking at the mirror. However, Mrs D had very thin lips while hers were thick. She now understood why Mr D had once told her, “You are so beautiful, but I hate your thick lips. I wish they were very slim, you would be the most beautiful woman.” Purity had thought that as odd but did not reply. Her job was to listen.
“Mrs D, your husband loves you so much but you push him away all the time.” Purity said. Mrs D’s tears started to well up. Her friend, disappointed in that there would be no fights, bid her friend goodbye.
“He keeps talking about you all the time. He wishes that you would listen to him more than you do to your rich parents.” Mrs D’s tears were flowing down on the hotel bed.
“I have heard the story of how you met at your father’s office when he was a mere employee so many times that I can rehearse it without missing a word…I am not the problem, with all due respect, he is not either, you are.” She held her mouth to stop a loud sniffle.
“What do I do then? How do I save my marriage?” She asked despair in her voice. It was like Lady P was fifteen all over again. She remembered her mother crying endlessly, shouting at her father when he would decide to come home, the insults she hurled at her father, pushing him away every day and finally killing him.
“Young girl, why are you crying? Are you in love with my husband?” Mrs D asked.
“God!No! I don’t get emotional with my clients. One reason, it reminds me of my father’s mistress. She got too comfortable in my father’s life and ended up dead. As for your husband, he knows my time is money.” Purity looked at Mrs D and saw hurt in her eyes.
“Mrs D, I recommend this, appreciate him, please don’t demean him especially when things at the company don’t work, stop with the insults too and finally, most importantly,listen to him.”
“That’s it Mrs D,just try. I promise not see him while you experiment on the ideas I just gave. I have lost a good customer, though.” Lady P said. She shielded her face as Mrs D came to her unexpectedly. She embraced a surprised Lady P.
“Can I call you? ” Mrs D asked a still surprised Purity who nodded in amsuement. And she did call, frequently to update her on the progress to save her marriage. A friendship blossomed. Lady P for the first time even told her of her baby daddy, a secret she had kept from many.
“He was a gangster, I loved him with all my heart. We had planned to leave our demeaning jobs one day and start life anew. He had promised he would deal in one last big robbery then never do another again.I was planning to tell him I was pregnant that evening. Then I saw the news. He had been shot dead by police.”
“I am so sorry dear. Tell you what, I have been thinking. I need a favour from you.” Mrs D said.
“Anything Mrs D.” Purity replied.
“I want you to assure me that you will never have something going on behind my back with Mr D ever again.” Lady P was taken aback by Mrs D’s statement.
“Of course Mrs D. His chapter even as a client is closed. Never.” Lady P swore.
The next day, a call came from Mega Hair Oil Company. Lady P was asked to arrive the following week on Monday at 8:00 o’clock and commence on her job as a Social Media Manager. The salary that was mentioned threw her off guard.
Lady P called Mrs D immediately after and told her of the shocking news.
“You are a smart girl Purity. That job does not require degrees, it requires a creative mind like yours. I have also noted that you are very conversant with internet stuff. So go do your thing girl!” Mrs D said.
And that’s how Purity’s life changed. She no longer sold her body. She was happy she wasn’t hustling that route any more. She now worked in an office,with a computer facing her.
As for Mr D, he still did not understand how his wife had been kind to get Purity a job. She had changed a lot. She was not only kind. She also no longer insulted and nagged him. He still was awed by the striking resemblance of Purity and his wife but his wife’s lips were to die for. He was a happy man at home. Now he needed to take Mega Hair Oil Company to high levels. He had to make his wife proud.