I smiled. “Oh, It is OK. It was just a joke” I said.
I wanted to make him believe that i wasn’t serious about going to Amsterdam.
“Give me your phone number” I said out nowhere. It was also one of the things i had wanted to ask him.
“For what, what do you want to do with my phone number?” He asked.
I told him that i just wanted to be talking to him whenever i wanted.
“That’s not necessary. I won’t be coming here again for a long time” He said.
I had believed stupidly, that Dutch liked or even loved me. The way he made love to me, even going to the length of licking my clitoriss, made me believe that he was mine but i was made to know that it was just business and nothing else.
Dutch was ready before me. He didn’t take another bath that morning and so did I. He had simply gotten out of bed, grabbed the remainder of our whisky and drank it in one gulp.
I was awake but was still lying on the bed.
“Get up and get ready” He had said.
That was it, that was the opportunity i was looking for, to tell him that i wanted to go to Amsterdam with him.
I had been thinking about how best to approach him since the night. I knew that if i didn’t tell him at that stage, i would never have the opportunity to say that to him again.
That was exactly when i told him that i would want to go to Amsterdam with him. But the whole topic changed when he said that women didn’t stand in the streets in Amsterdam like they didn’t in Italy.
What made him believe that the only job for a girl my age was to stand in the street?
I wasn’t hoping on standing in the streets when i made that statement. I had believed that there would be other things i could engage in Amsterdam. But that dream and hope died a few seconds after it was announced.
He watched as i put on the reminder of my clothes. Money was already in his hand. He was going to pay me afterall and despite everything that happened between us in the night, it was back to business.
He didn’t add or remove anything from the agreed price, he handed me two notes. One was 50 and the other was 20.
I didn’t look at them twice to know which denominations they belonged. I was fast becoming familiar with the wonderful Euro currency.
“Thanks” I had said as i put the money in my handbag.
He responded and at the same time, turned the exit door handle for me to walk out.
He followed me down to the front of the gate where we said goodbyes. Then i watched him opened a BMW car door and entered.
I didn’t know he had a car with him, he didn’t come to the joint with it the night before, but that was no longer my business, or maybe it wasn’t my business at all in the first place.
I didn’t know where to get a bus heading to my area, therefore, i stopped a taxi and took it home.
Everybody was home when i returned.
Ayo and Tricia wanted to immediately find out how the whole night stuff went by.
Lilian didn’t come out of her room to greet me. The enmity between us was still there. Women were usually too rigid when It came to forgiving and forgeting.
Aunty Philo was inside the house, therefore i took permission from the girls and went into her room to greet her.
“Are you back my baby?” She had asked.
One of those silly question associated with Nigerians in General.
She saw that i was back and yet asked if i was back.
‘No, i am not back, i am still in the hotel room with the man’ I wanted to say but that would put me in trouble.
“Yes Aunty, i am back” I said with a forced smile.
She asked how my first night out went.
I told her it was just business and that the man was a gentleman. However i skipped the part where i took whisky.
I knew she was not going to endorse such acts especially when she had started seeing me as her daughter.
But ironically, she approved the my sleeping with men to make money for her.
“How much did you make?” Philo had asked.
I was sitting on the edge of her bed while she lay on the bed under the blanket.
“100 Euros” I said.
She congratulated me and said i was the best.
I didn’t want to take out some of the money i made. I had managed to hide 10 Euros from the Phils Restaurant & Bar the day before, and as long as i was concerned, that was still a large amount of money.
I had fumbled inside my bag and handed the 100 Euros to Aunty Philo. She took it and kept it near her head.
“We will be going to the Restaurant by 4. Remember to tell others. Tell them to get ready because they will go to the street from there. Tell Lilian to come and see me now” She had said.
That was it. Our lives had just been shaped. It was going to be from home to the store, from the store to the street and from the street back home. It was going to be all about making money for the small organisation owned and shaped by Aunty Philo.
On Sundays, we were expected to head to the Church inside town, to thank God for giving us men who slept with us and to ask him to send us more men.
It was all funny what we go to do in Churches but as women, especially those from Africa, it was expected that we all attended Churches regularly. If not to Worship the God, we could go to show off our new outfits.
We bought clothes regularly and the single best place to show them off was the Church.
In the streets and the Restaurant, we were expected to wear sexy tight outfits to attract men.
We were prostitutes afterall and it never mattered where we hooked up our prospective customers.
Back in our room, I told the girls what Madam had said about going to the shop by 4pm. Not that they didn’t know, we all expected that. What else would we be doing until night, when there was a store with drinks ready to be sold.
After changing my clothes, i went to Lilian’s room to tell her that Aunty wanted to see her inside room A.
“Maria, i have told you to always knock before you enter this room. You and I are not mates” She had shouted.
Right inside me, i felt that there was no need to continue the silly burst up with Lilian. All it required to make things good was apologies.