A number of beaches installed beside the Atlantic Ocean form a Maginot Line of some sorts along the coast of the prestigious Lekki city. The last line of the city’s defence against a watery behemoth. If the people of Lagos saw the situation as such, they certainly didn’t show it. What they showed was how best to party on the beach, consume overpriced booze and weed on the beach, fuck on the beach and pass out on the beach.
Elegushi beach hosts the most hyped partyers and drug dealers and is known in all corners of Lagos City and beyond. Anyone fully grounded can acquire the cheapest grade of marijuana to the dirtiest rocks of what passes as crack cocaine right on its very shores.
Loud music booms all night from the bamboo sheds and doesn’t stop even when partyers begin to drop like termites stripped of their wings. This is usually a couple of hours after midnight. At this hour also, miscreants and corporate urchins abound the shores doing nothing but smoke and lie in wait for unsuspecting victims.
On one of such nights, Atinuke sights and walks up to three men camped by their car, laughing quietly and passing a hemp joint between them. The pungent odour of the hemp grapples with the ocean’s salty, breezy wind for supremacy. Atinuke’s make-up, lavishly applied to her attractive facial features, match the colours of the tight clothing that accentuate her voluptuous curves.
Her voice, smooth as royal silk breaks into the men’s conversation.
“Fine boy” she says, facing the leader of the group who stood out with a tall frame, fair skin and taut muscles. His companions behind look like twin Kevin Harts beside LeBron James.
“I go like smoke with you” she adds. Each step closer to the group of men attracts and casts the unselfish attention of moonshine on her short gown and swaying hips.
The leader retorts warmly.
“Baby girl, you fine oh but I no sure say I go fit pay”
“I never talk say I wan do anything.” She replies. “I’ll just like to smoke with you, but just you.” Her words coming out like sugar coats the tip of her smiling lips.
Kevin Hart would have been proud of the excluded two as they instantly realise they have something that requires attending to at 2am in the morning.
“Uzo,” they begin in unison, “E go be now, make we go run that level.” and suddenly Uzo and Atinuke are left alone. Silence envelopes them for a moment.
“So fine girl, what’s your name ?” Uzo ventures. His Igbo accent ruining any iota of class he tries to potray in his well built but shabbily dressed form.
“My name is Atinuke” she replies in between drags and the silence stretches on, filled in at intervals by the lapping of strong waves on the wave breakers and a few, lousy elegushi partygoers unaware that responsible people have gone to their various places of abode. The dim lamp glow of a mallam’s cart displaying beads and other forms of beautified charms for sale trudges up from the far distance, pushing in the direction of their car.
“so Atinokeh, what are you doing out so late?” Atinuke greatly amused by his accent, smiles. Emboldened, Uzo marches on.
“such a beautiful girl like you baby… I’ve got some chilled Hennessy in my car. Will you care for?”
She glances at him. A wide smile splits his face exposing a gap in his teeth. Puffing smoke into it, she touches his arm lightly and says, “I was bored and the smell of what you were smoking dragged me to your car.”
“I’ll drink if you go fit entertain me.” through the minimal contact she could feel his throbbing erection. Feel his lust swell with every throb of his erect manhood. Feel his excitement, his anxiousness. He was anxious already!. Atinuke could not prevent a giggle escaping her lips. Uzo smiles, this time with his mouth shut. He was thinking to himself, ‘maybe this one go gree follow me go house, the fuck I never fuck since. Today this one go hear am.’
“this skunk na Arizona. Very high grade baby.” He offers, for lack of something to say.
Atinuke drags the joint one last time and gives it to him back.
“Hey, when you finish with that lets enter your car and fuck.”
The sudden and candid outburst catches Uzo off-guard and leaves him racking with coughs from poorly inhaled smoke. Unhindered , he tosses the joint out of his hands, jumps off the boot his car and turns around to open the back door with amazing speed.
Atinuke looks about to make sure no one of import observes them and slides behind Uzo into the car.
Within moments they are mingled on the reclined seats, feeling out each other with roving hands.
Atinuke hikes up her skirt and straddles him, taking him whole, rising and falling. All the while, the smile sticks to Uzo’s face like a child who has received his Christmas presents early. He thought he was feeling weaker but at this point he did not care. He was having a glorious night. A beautiful woman having her way with him in his own car and he didn’t even have to pay.
The headscarf that Atinuke ties so gorgeously on her head comes off in the heat of the moment and Uzo should have noticed that the woman on top of him had a hole in her head.
A hole that seemed to shrink in size the more she galloped on him but the marijuana fumes overrode all concentration. He could concentrate only on executing the task before him to a satisfying end. Until the girl was no longer capable of movement.
The last thing Uzo sees as he spills within Atinuke is a bullet plop out of her forehead and onto his backseat.
Atinuke gets up, closes the car door and walks slowly so as to not attract any undue attention to herself and the dried corpse in the backseat of the Uzo’s suberu hatchback
From behind a cluster of palm trees in the distance, swaying in the night breeze, a wizened old mallam watches the events unfold with the turban-wearing girl and the three boys.
She seemed unnatural, inhuman. He contemplates approaching her but one did not reach old age such as he, by being in the frontline of the battlefield.
So he keeps on moving his cart carrying ornately, decorated beads and charms about so any passerby seeing him would assume he was a poor trader confined to selling what he can to survive.
The mallam’s eyes widen in astonishment at the mangled sight within the car as he walks past it and his suspicions are confirmed. “Ta lalacé rayuwan wanan ma” he mutters in disgust , spits and continues to push his cart around the Elegushi beach, looking for customers.
As Atinuke walked back towards the main road to find transportation that would take her back to the campus she recollected what put her in this kind of situation in the first place.
It was meant to be a simple trip.
Travel, get to Benin, meet with the client, do a little ground work and get paid, simple.
Nothing too drastic and nothing out of the ordinary she hadn’t done before but, the safety of a runs girl is sketchy at best. Anything could happen and it ended up usually being the worst case scenarios like all the call girls that ended up in hotel du mort In Enugu few months ago, just like that they went in and never came out. The hotel staff were paid very well to mind their business and in turn they paid no mind when various young and vibrant university girls from nearby universities like (Uniport, Imsu, Madonna,) came to spend weekends with their daddies.
It only started being a problem when more and more missing person’s cases started opening up and people started looking out for their daughters. Like the saying goes “even ashawo get mama”.
Police investigations led to show that the girls last known whereabouts was to the hotel but no traces of them came up after. If not for the chief of police and his undercover squad, it would never have been known that the hotel beds had a false floor beneath and the chute fed directly underground. The girls were drugged and then passed there either to be used for blood money rituals or sold off to the Eiyè group for sex trafficking.
The owner of the hotel fled the country before he could be caught and that was the end of that.
So the life of a runs girls wasn’t as rosy as an outsider would think. It wasn’t to just about lay on your back and have men grunt on top of you for few minutes while feigning maximum interest.
You needed to be protected.
This hadn’t been her mantra until the client she had gone to see at Benin became very violent one day when he found out he was not the only one she was sleeping with. Men, won’t marry with you, can’t live with the thought of you fucking somebody else.
A military man, he had brought out his nine millimeter pistol, pressed the cold barrel to her forehead and told her that he would kill her and there would be nothing nobody in the world would do.
“You see these,” he tapped the gleaming stars pinned on his starched glorious green uniform “They mean I’ve fought hard for my country and a dirty two-bit whore like you will not make my country want me any less. Nobody will miss you”
He then proceeded to beat the day light out of her before finally roughly having his way with her despite her screams, barely pausing for a second breath.
“I thought you loved me” he growled into her ears, guttural like an animal, as he pulled her hair hard and kept ramming into her from behind. “You look and sound smart Ati, how could you cheat on a man like me? Weren’t you scared?”
Atinuke small sobs had died completely into silence; she was too beat down to cry anymore. The general released aggressively into her and smacked her back down to the floor. She lay in a cocoon of her hand and legs when she heard the creaking of the hotel room door opening followed by the breathless voice of the general, “Boys, come here. I have a small present for you all before we return to the barracks.” Too beaten and broken to scream or struggle Atinuke lay there as the General’s two guards defiled her very essence as if she was nothing more than a piece of meat meant to give sustenance to hungry dogs.
Beaten and battered to the point of lifelessness, raped by rabid dogs on the floor of the hotel room the general and his boys had had their way with her and left her to die in a pool of her own body fluids, blood, spittle, mucus piss and shit. What seemed to be Atinuke’s last moment in life before she passed away flashed in front of her swollen eyes, she reminisced of the kind of life she lived before now how she was introduced into the business of the flesh; that men would pay for sexual pleasures until they were broke or dead by an aunt who had been invested in the line of sex trafficking business since when it dated back to the tomato harvesting in the 1980s, Back when men working on Italian farms discovered it as a side hustle. Since then Atinuke learnt the ropes of the business which she did in conjunction and liaison with the Eiyè confraternity of Nigeria, over the years as she lured innocent girls with sumptuous promises of voluptuous amounts of money, trafficked daughter and sisters upon siblings, she had made a few enemies who made several attempts on her life, and also, there were the range of angry men that she occasionally came across in the business, men like general but the pay had always topped the risk.
Atinuke had been advised severally to fortify and cook herself to prepare her for the rough and dangerous nature of her business but she never listened, but the recent incident with the General was enough for her to make up her mind even though the thoughts came a little too late, she told herself she would not die.
The guards bundled her broken form and dumped her body on the outskirts of the red city. The only thing keeping her alive at this point was sheer willpower, still bleeding onto the bare earth, her blood cried out to the earth around her and the earth answered her call, opened up and swallowed her whole.