explicitClick to confirm you are 18+

The Dead Street,(page2)

OnyenkuziMar 29, 2019, 2:25:24 PM

"I cannot believe this humiliation happened to me", Lisa cursed while narrating her ordeal to Alexa. "How can a bunch of animals in men's skin treat a woman like this," she continued. "I warned you as a friend but you did not listen. Sorry you had to learn the hard way," Alexa replied in a gesture of both blame game and sober reflection. " Go and take breakfast and prepare so that I take you to Kapo at  four o'clock. That is the best I can do for you as a friend but if you continue in this your obstinacy, then do not come back to complain to me," concluded Alexa. 

The harrowing experience of the morning had left Lisa bewildered and agitated. She had had a history of post traumatic syndrome. Lisa was a child abused at early age. Her mother died when she was ten years old. Her step mother Jane raised her to the age of fifteen when she fled from home into the street. Lisa was severally flogged by her step mom especially when her father John who was a lorry driver was not in town. John would travel to Ogun state with load and would not come back for one week. When he did come back, most times, he would quarrel with Jane who had always accused him of having a concubine in Ogun State. John had always vehemently denied even though Jane never believed.

John had taken to alcoholism shortly after the death of his wife, Linda. He loved Linda so much. He actually met Jane in the bar he frequented after the death of his wife. Jane and John resolved to co-habit while pretending to be married to people outside. He needed someone to take care of Lisa when he was not around. There was no official marriage ceremony which was against John's village custom. He argued with his aged mother concerning the co-habitation several times without finding any solution because he had barely enough money to feed himself and his only daughter Lisa and could not afford the luxury of a marriage ceremony. Jane had viewed this differently. She was quite old to be bothered about formal wedding. In her opinion, the pageantry of walking down the isle should be the obsession of young, adorable women who are still under the age of thirty. She just wanted a man she could call a husband to remove the stigmatization she received from her family and peers over spinsterhood at fifty five years of age. In her culture, a single woman was considered an irresponsible woman with no honour nor respect.

Whenever John traveled, Jane would bring her boy friend to the house. Lisa grew up observing these absurdities and these influenced her life in no small measure. Jane would punish her and maltreat her whenever her father was not at home over little issues. Lisa had complained to the father who confronted his wife severally but never succeeded in resolving the issue. Lisa confided in her secondary school classmate Uzo who told her that she was having related issue and was planning to run away from home. Lisa bought this idea and on one fateful day, she ran away with Uzo after school. This was how Lisa was drafted into a prostitution ring in Ajegunle Street, Lagos. Initially it was not easy for her; in her own opinion, it was a decision she had to take to survive.

Lisa was very emotional and sober. "If my mom was alive I would never have been in this kind of situation," she muttered with tears dropping from her eyes. Alexa could not stand this and moved forward to her, hugged her and cleaned her eyes with a handkerchief. "Sweety everything will be alright. This is not the time for this," Alexa consoled tapping her friend's shoulder. I made Eba and Okro Soup when you were out. This was Lisa's most favorite dish. She grinned widely and went into the cluttered unkempt room that served as both bedroom and kitchen. They could not afford the luxury of decent apartment with the meager income they made as prostitutes. Most men that patronized prostitutes in the area were not only poor but miserly. That was all Lisa and girls in her class who operated in the area could get. Panama Street was indeed a slum that harbored mostly low income earners in Lagos.

Lisa had a dream of going to Victoria Island to do her business. It was a dream she had once shared with Alexa which attracted a mixture of scorn and derision for obvious reasons. A room rent in Victoria Island Lagos was above  one thousand dollars. All the money both of them had made in five months was not up to one thousand dollars. It was easier for one to know why Alexa laughed at this thought. Lisa had not given up hope. She still believed that moving over to Victoria Island would be possible in the future and for this purpose, she had determined to save at least twenty five dollars per month. She told herself that she would relocate any day her money was up to one thousand dollars. She heard that with one thousand dollar, she could secure a small accommodation in Victoria Island.

The thought of parting with some of her little savings just to please one taut hunted her. "Why is life so cruel," Lisa thought. "I will not give that man any money ooo. I dont have any money to give anybody," Lisa told ALexa."Would you like to sleep with him then? That is the other option and there is a rumour in this community that he has Aids and he does not use protection," Alexa said as though she was talking to herself. "God forbid abeg I go giva m one thousand naira jare," Lisa shouted in Pidgin English rejecting Alex's suggestion. "One thousand what? He takes nothing less than five thousand naira. If you are not ready to do this tell me so that I can go to Apata to do my hair," Alexa stated showing a sign of irritation.

"His boys collected my phone. I hope they will give it back to me," asked Lisa. After a moment of silence, Alexa explained to Lisa that once Kapo was happy that everything collected from her would be returned. Lisa agreed to go with five thousand naira to pay homage to Kapo. Around four o'clock, they left for Kapo's house. On getting there, they met some of his boys playing snooker at the entrance of the visitor's room. "Kapo dey?." Alexa asked one of the boys in pigdin. He nodded in affirmation without muttering any word. While they were considering the next step to take Kapo opened the curtain to the visitor's room. "Come inside," he directed. "You bring the sturbon geh come," he asked rhetorically in pidgin English. "Show me your hand," Kapo directed in a slang that meant that she should bring whatever she came with. Alexa quickly offered him the five thousand naira notes they came with and begged him to consider Lisa as she had little or no money on her; having relocated newly to Panama Street where she had no customer.

"Obi! Obi!," Kapo shouted. "Yes Boss," a voice replied and hurried into the room. "Get this lady's clothes and phone," he directed. Obi varnished from the room and returned shortly after with Lisa's clothes and her cell phone....

To be continued: 

If you enjoy my short stories, upvote, subscribe and remind. Thanks