She strutted her stuff across the sidewalk, turning from side to side as her hips swayed. It was a Christmas morning, and the cold harmattan wind blew against her exposed thighs, causing goosebumps to appear across her skin. She pulled down her short dress in an effort to cover more skin, quietly thinking about how much more comfortable she would be in a cardigan and sweat pants. She banished the thought as soon as it came; what type of hooker would parade herself in baggy clothes?
Under the ugly yellow lights of the streetlights, her small frame and red dress paled. Her eyes had bags under them, but these did nothing to diminish her beauty; small nose, full lips, and a smile that crowned it all off. She leaned against one of the poles, getting tired of standing in stilettos, and attempted to light a smoke when a car came screeching to a halt infront of her. She jumped a bit as the car finally stopped, mentally cursing whoever was behind the wheel as the windows rolled down.
“Hello.” The driver said in a low baritone voice.
She took another look at the car, more out of habit than a genuine interest in the details. It was an item on a checklist she had learned early, to assess if a client was worth her time. This one looked impressive, and so she approached the car with a sultry smile on her face.
“Hi.” She responded, more of a purr than an actual word.
“I want to have you for the night, can we talk?”
Straight to the point. She was hopeful he would be that way in bed too.
“Sure. Talking is free though, but we have to agree on terms for what happens after we talk.” She replied coyly.
She looked at him intently, studying his strong features under the glare of the streetlights. He was actually dark and good looking.
“What are your terms?”
She estimated his wealth, spotting the ring on his finger, the white material of his native clothes, the smell of his cologne, and called a figure in seconds.
“25k if we’re going all the way.”
She could have sworn she saw his features darken for a bit but she wrote it off. A lot of clients were like that, battling the inner convictions that came with sleeping with a hooker. She wondered if he had a wife at home.
“Hop in.” He said, rather dryly.
She obliged and opened the door, settling into leather seats and a chilly atmosphere in the car as the AC was on full blast.
“So what do you like to do?” He asked with his eyes fixed on the road ahead of them.
“Whatever you like to do, I’m yours for tonight,” She said reaching for the crotch of his pants “We could even start now.”
In a flash he grabbed her hand and braked sharply.
The silence in the car did nothing to diminish the tension.
“Are you okay?” She asked, sincerely worried that she had just been picked up by a maniac. His grip on her hand tightened as he began to cry.
“Oga, abeg I no get time for this one. If you no wan do, leave my hand make I dey go.” She said in pidgin, her frustration starting to rise.
“You’re not going anywhere again, Esosa.” He said with tears in his eyes.
No one had called her that name in years. It was a name from a time in her life she wanted to forget.
“My name is Vicki, not Esosa.”
“I can recognise you in my sleep. I’ve spent years waiting for you to come back. I worked hard to ensure I could give you the life you went out to try to get for me. I always knew you were alive. You’re a fighter, like me.” He said, crying as he spoke.
Esosa’s apprehension began to grow as her mind started to recollect memories she had fought hard to keep repressed. Familiarity began to creep into his features. She couldn’t dare to consider the ramifications.
“Esosa, it’s me Osagie, your brother.”