“Escort me, escort me, na so slave trade start.” – Anonymous Warri Person.
“Be careful who you make your friend.” – My Parents.
Not so many years ago, when I was much more trusting, paid very little attention to my intuition, and quite stupid, I got into all sorts of trouble.
Like this one.
I had this friend who was being asked out by a much older married man. One day, she was going to see the man, who’d just come into town. So she said, “Eketi, please escort me to his hotel.”
Me, Eketi Escort Ette, of the kingdom of Escortia, First for her kind and Mumu of her clan, I didn’t ask questions. I ignored my misgivings. I said, “Sure. At least it will alleviate my boredom.”
And off we went, to see Mr. Married Boo.
When we got there, the man welcomed us so cheerfully and ordered food and drinks. He was much older than I’d imagined, like he was about to enter his seventh decade on earth.
I became uncomfortable. Eketi, you shouldn’t be here. What would your friends and parents say if they saw you now?
Moments like this, when you’re doing something stupid or bad, all sorts of wise sayings will come to mind, unbidden. Sayings like, “The true measure of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.”
But I couldn’t leave like that. So I perched at the edge of a chair while they talked. Barely ten minutes after our arrival, my friend’s phone rang.
“Hello? Yes? I’m coming right way. Just wait for me.”
She hung up, turned to the man and said, “Sweetie, I need to dash home and see someone. Just give me thirty minutes. I’ll be back soon.”
“Ok, my baby,” he grinned. “My driver will take you there and bring you back. You can even bring the person along, if you wish.”
As soon as I heard we were leaving, I heaved a sigh of relief, picked my purse and…
“Eketi, where are you going?” my friend asked, looking puzzled.
“I’m coming with you –”
“No. Stay here with Chief. I won’t be long. Since his driver is taking me to and fro, it means I won’t waste time looking for a cab. I’ll be right back.”
To this day, I don’t know why I didn’t insist on leaving with her. OK, that would be a lie. I was 99.9 percent a people’s pleaser back then and didn’t want to offend my friend.
“Just hurry back,” I said, scowling.
Back in the room, Chief was busy with some documents. I occupied myself with watching all the bad and biased news on CNN.
Quite a bit of time had passed when Chief spoke. “What’s that your name again?”
“Please, get me a beer from the fridge.”
I got the beer, opened it and went back to my position.
I was staring at the TV when someone stepped in front of it. I looked up and died on the spot.
There was Chief, naked from the waist down, holding his penis and grinning at me.
My mouth went dry. Jaws slackened. Eyes threatened to fall out on the floor. Time slowed to very, very, slow pixel by pixel moments.
“Baby, do you like it?” he said, wiggling that…that old thing. “Will this be enough for you?”
I didn’t mean or want to stare, but I was in shock. I couldn’t take my eyes off it. He came closer, sat beside me, turned my face to his, put his hand on my breast and –
I instinctively slapped the man. Hard. His hand went to his cheek. He stared at me, shocked.
I broke out in a stream of words, all said in Eket language. Mind you, Chief was from a different part of the country.
I just kept saying, “Sir, mbok, kpuno idi afe. Bi mbad ubak afe nnyim itighe nim. Ideke se nkedi for aduro. Ku try try ndiseme ntekiang. Mbok, kpuno idi afe.” (Sir, respect yourself, I beg you. This isn’t what I came for. Keep your dirty hands to yourself and just don’t try any nonsense. Just respect yourself)
Mind you, I didn’t say all these with authority o, but with a shocked, pleading voice, and accompanying tears in my eyes. Because, seriously, even if I’d screamed, no one would’ve come. Chief was an Honourable member of a house or flat – I don’t know which – and his boys were outside.
Yes, I was stupid. Very stupid.
For some reason, Chief suddenly laughed, really hard and long. Said it was a long time since he’d met a learner like me. That abeg, abeg, abeg, he doesn’t like virgin drama. He will leave me o, before I start crying like a baby.
He got up and went back to his documents. I just sat there, shivering like a flag in the wind.
My friend returned a few minutes after.
Escorter of the Escort-Lackers.
Onye Obodo Escortia.
The Last Escort Bender.
That’s how my escorting career ended, and I parted ways with that girl.
Years later, I ran into a mutual friend of ours. I asked about that my friend.
“She’s a big madam now o. At least her pimping paid off.”
“Her what?” I screamed.
“She was a pimp nah. I hear say she even try to pimp you one time but you fall hand.”
Heu! Jeezorz! See my life?
This story could’ve ended differently, very badly. I know a lot of young people, girls especially, will read this update.
Sometimes, it seems like our parents and guardians are restricting us when they say we should be careful how and whom we go with to places. But they mean well. And it’s good to heed their words, so you can avoid trouble.
Be careful out there.
Some friends aren’t worth the tag.
Carelessness and stupidity aren’t virtues; don’t cultivate them.
Written by Eketi Ette