Saturday, 24 June 2017

Alhaji Dollar-Dollar


I stood at the bus stop that Saturday evening, dressed in my usual stare-stealing fashion, hoping to steal more than just stares from any man who fits into the specification of the catch I was after. It was 4pm, that time on Saturdays when any popular bus-stop in Lagos is more active than an anthill sprayed with sugar. But unlike the hordes of people around me, rushing about from weddings, visits or to and fro their businesses, I was directionless. I was not going anywhere, I was there to make a killing. And because of this, I stood as far apart from the crowd as possible to announce myself and my intentions to potential clientele.

In case you haven’t guessed yet, I am what most Lagos folk refer to as ‘runs girl’. Ugh, how I hate that term; very derogatory. What exactly are we ‘runsing’? It made one sound like some kind of fraudster. I am simply a girl ‘surviving’ In Nigeria’s harsh economic situation, and doing so with what God has blessed me with. If you ask me what my occupation is, I would simply respond ‘student’. You can call me that, not runs-girl.

My name is Kira, actually Shakirat but it had been cool when I was a teen to shorten it down to Kira; that was before Shakira made the name ‘tush’. Yes, I am no longer a fresh young thing, I was already a teenager before Shakira blew.

So there I was at the bus-stop awaiting my latest catch, trying hard not to let my face scrunch up in depression as I did. It was getting more and more difficult for me to find new catches these days, and even my regular blokes seemed to be getting stingier by the day. Blame it on ‘change’. The country’s worsened economy was hitting everyone hard, and I was not left out. You ask, how?  See ehn, it’s only natural that if the men who take care of me are affected by the economy, I will be affected too.
I have been standing at this bus-stop for almost an hour now, and not even one of the fancy cars that had passed by had faltered in front of me, not to even talk of stopping. And to make matters worse, there was nothing to shield me from the still harsh rays of the sun where I stood and the heels of my imitation Louboutins were killing the soles of my feet.

O God, is it that the naira devaluation has affected the brains of men now that they no longer think of sex? I moaned to myself.

Naira devaluation, naira devaluation. It was on everyone’s lips everywhere I turned; the boutique owner on my street, the taxi driver, the meat seller, even the shoemaker I had called this money to spray the tiny peeling part of my shoe. Dollar don cost, dollar don cost, was all they kept saying. Even my oil company boyfriend, actually one of my magas (I know he’s married even though he would never admit it) had given me just N25,000 the last time I went to PH to see him. ‘Baby, you know the dollar has gone up, and fuel prices have come down. Things are really tough for us in the Oil sector now,” had been his excuse. He hadn’t even paid for my flight back; I had to take a bus!

And now here I am, roasting here, trying to…

Kai, mata…ina uni?” A thickly accented Hausa voice broke into my thoughts, I turned round to view a short man standing behind me. His countenance, clothes and speech clearly identified him as a Northerner. I knew he must be one of those bureau-de-change mallams that had their post not far from the bus-stop and always scouted for people who wanted to change currencies. ‘I no change dollar,” I dismissed him and turned back.

But he did not go away. “Kai, mata…you fine well well…Walahi…I like you”

My pursed lips let out a pissed hiss and I made to put some yards between his person and mine. Shey iru e lon so? I thought to myself in YorubaHow much could he possibly earn from his dollar-changing business to think he could talk to a posh babe like me…? I stopped in my tracks. Dollar?! But that is in the in thing in town. I spun back to the mallam and my hitherto foul expression transformed to smiles.

“How you dey?”

The smile gave him the green light to come closer. “Kai mata, you yallow well well, kai, just like my mama,” he gushed. “I like am.”

A quick look around reassured me that no one was paying us any attention, so I turned on the pidgin-speaking of myself. “Me too I like you, but you go fit take care of me?”

Yowa! Me I go take care of you well well. Me and you like this…” he joined the forefingers of his hands together, expressing intimacy. “…me give you money fala-fala.”

“You go give me dollar?”

“Ah walahi, no froblem. For here dem dey call am for me Alhaji Dollar-Dollar. Me get am for dollar plenty penty. I go give you.”

That sealed it. I let him lead me away from the bus stop. He almost looked like a midget beside my tall and heeled frame. This Alhaji Dollar-Dollar, as he addressed himself was no time-waster. He led me to a place that turned out to be a ‘codedly’ hidden brothel. Apparently these bureau-de-change mallams patronized the place to ease their lust whenever the need arose. I was faintly disgusted, I was not a girl to come to this kind of a place on a good day. All my runs are clean runs, I don’t do this kind of dirty parole, but the thought of the dollar the Alhaji had promised me suppressed my disgust. A girl had to get her hands dirty once in a while if necessary.

Alhaji Dollar-Dollar disrobed. I was shocked to see the size and look of the instrument on the midget, and shuddered and at the ugly thought of that going into me…but again, a girl has to do what a girl has to do…

The Story Continues>>>Click Here For Part 2

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