Chronicles of a high profile gigolo.
If I thought I had done my part of the deal and would simply just get my cut of the LPO's proceeds, I was wrong. I had assumed I was just to be a signatory and front for the whole contract and supplies thing, but I was soon to learn otherwise. Georgina made me realise that women were not all cut out of the same cloth and that you had to find the right buttons to press with each woman. They were not all impressed by the same things, for some it was sex, for some it was money, for some it was the image you created, still for others, it was hard work. I even met a couple of girls who would do anything for and with you if you had a name that meant anything in this country. This is why I say I am not exactly a gigolo, I do not sell sex, I sell a package and if it is the sex side of that package that appeals to you, I have no qualms providing it, if however it is any of the afore mentioned items, it is equally available, however the price tag on those are usually higher considering that almost always, these items are usually accompanied by sex.
Georgina showed me the ropes of supply business, she made me realise that you could do any supply and contract job without having prior experience regarding the items, or skills regarding the contract to be executed, all you really require is excellent people management skills. I was fast asleep at home the following day at about 10am when my phone rang, I was groggy with sleep and my voice must have sounded that way over the phone. It was Georgina and the softness in her voice was gone. “You’re still asleep at this time of the day?” the tone was crisp and I found myself instinctively reverting to calling her ‘Aunty’
“Yes Aunty Georgina”
“Seriously?” she sounded incredulous. I searched frantically in my head, did we have an appointment, was I supposed to do something for or with her that morning, was I supposed to pick up my cut of the LPO proceeds that morning? I came up with nothing so I asked the most obvious question.“Ermm Aunty was I supposed to come for the money today?”
“What fucking money?!”
I didn’t know whether to be pissed or to feel stupid, I should have known it was all too easy, why would she give me a cut of the LPO proceeds just because I had sex with her, even if the sex had been mind blowing? I had enjoyed it too and probably she wasn’t one to pay, anyway I always knew Aunty Aisha was a once in lifetime type of opportunity. But did Aunty Georgina have to play me this way? She could simply have demanded that I have sex with her and threatened me with exposure. I was pained, she didn’t have to dangle such opportunity and then just take it away like that. She was still on the other end of the phone “Have you worked for it?”
I thought I had, taking my ‘A’ game to her and all the night before but I murmured a humbled “no”, maybe it took more than one sexual bout to impress Georgina.
“Oh you thought you would just sit at home and I would just credit your account?”
“No.” I mumbled, thoroughly confused now, she had to be at work or something, was I supposed to move into her house and ‘service’ her every time she demanded it?
“Faruk, you are an adult now, that thing between your legs, no matter how pleasurable; will not pay your way through life. It may assist some, but you still have to use your hands and your brain if you intend to become something in life.”
“Yes aunty.” I was subdued, and still very confused. What did this woman want off me? “Farouk, we are not committing fraud, we are working for that money you saw on that LPO. When you take an LPO and receive money on it, without performing on the LPO, that is stealing.”
“Meet me at my place by 7pm so we’ll work on it together okay?”
“And drop the Aunty.”
“Okay Aunty Georgina.”
Click! She hung up.
I was there at 7pm prompt, I don’t know why, but it was probably because I had never being in this kind of relationship before, she had spoken with authority, as though she didn’t expect to be disobeyed and I found I couldn’t bring myself to disobey her. She was sitting at her dining table, dressed in a silk house robe, a stick of cigarette between her slim, well-manicured fingers a pair of rimless glasses perched at the tip of her nose, poring over a sheaf of papers that were spread out on the table. I greeted her and she nodded as I took a seat next to hers, I watched her read for a while and then dropped my eyes to the table to see if I could make sense of what she was reading.
“Stand up” her voice wasn’t harsh but I jumped up all the same, she reached out and pulled me to her. I moved closer and she dropped my pants.
She was in charge and I think she needed me to know who the boss was. About an hour later, she got up from her bed, tying her house coat around her and lighting another cigarette as she swept out of the room. “Dress up and join me” she called over her shoulder and I jumped out of the bed, hurriedly dressing up. In the dining room, she asked me to take a seat.
“See these, those are proforma invoices, because this is a supply job, it is much easier to execute than say a construction job, all you have to do is buy and get the goods delivered to the warehouse stated in this letter here.” She handed me a document opened to a particular page on which she pointed out an address.
“Now all you have to do is get pro forma invoices from different suppliers which you would compare, and then you go to the warehouses of those whose prices are most favourable to be sure the specifications of the items they are offering you completely match those on …” she rambled on, I got bored fast but I knew I had to take in as much of this as I could. This was not going to be easy money. I could have just forgone the money and walked out at that point but something made me stay. I don’t think it was just the money, yes it was a mouthwatering amount but I wasn’t hungry enough to stay for just that and I could have done without it really. I think something about how Georgina carried on challenged the budding man in me, made me want to impress her beyond the sexual realm. This must be the period of my life that propelled me towards this life but there was definitely more to the making of Faruk James.
I got on board and got good with it, I knew who to talk to in Alaba international Market to get the best deals for machine parts, who to talk to in Coker market to get the best deals in hospital supplies and even who to talk to on Lagos Island to get the best clothing material deals. Yes clothing materials; you see those T-shirts carrying images and slogans of politicians, those Ankara fabrics depicting the commemoration of one national or state event? That is money being made, a lot of it, Georgina showed me the ropes, gave me wings and when it was time to fly, I took off without looking back. And yes I mean without looking back at Georgina, does that make me an ingrate? No I don’t think so, at least I don’t feel like one. She took me over completely, she was a favorite of the Perm Sec at the time and he used his influence to get her contracts not just within the ministries he oversaw but also at the state level and as time went on, at the federal level. She took me around with her on the initial supply jobs and also showed me the ropes on building construction jobs, she taught me people management skills and in a space of about two years, I was thoroughly skilled.
Of course my thing with Aisha became a thing of the past, I was too busy being an unofficial personal assistant, an errand boy, a fronts man and a toy boy for Georgina. Somehow we managed to keep the last one on the hush and even if Aisha knew about it, she didn’t say a word, at least not to me. But I did notice that once it became known that I was doing business with Georgina, their relationship became strained. For a while afterwards, I still attended to Aisha’s sexual needs when I could which was far and in between.
When there were jobs to be done out of state, I travelled with Georgina, we stayed in the same hotel room ,working during the day and having bout after bout of sex during the night. I wasn’t sure where I stood in her books. During and shortly before sex, she would look at me with starry eyes, as though I were an Adonis or something of the sort, sometimes in her relaxed moments, I was like a favourite human pet, but most of the time she simply treated me like a favoured staff. She was an ambition driven woman and this rubbed off on me.
Did I have feelings for her? I don’t think I really did, the sex was insane no doubt, but I was also learning a lot while at the same time making more money than I could have thought possible and faster too, than if I had joined Dad’s auditing firm. It was on a trip to Abuja that I met Senator Mary Udoh, it was a supply job and we had a meeting in her well-appointed office. Georgina stood up to use the ladies and light jumped into the eyes of this, over-bleached and over-made up lady who was of indeterminate age. She magically produced an embossed business card and handed it to me ;
“What is your name my dear?”
“Beautiful name.” she gave me a patronizing smile. I almost threw up, what was beautiful about the name? She finished it off with “Just like you.” and I died a thousand deaths in disgust.
“Call me okay? I have written my direct line on the back of the card.” She was whispering. I nodded dumbly, I could not believe my ears, why would she think I would want to have anything to do with her.
I kept the card and the encounter from Georgina, I don’t know why, but I did.
Three months later, I was calling Senator Mary Udoh and even though it made my skin crawl, I got on a flight booked by her Personal Assistant and spent an entire weekend at her apartment making her ‘happy’. If I thought her over bleached face and hands were bad, the rest of her body was a wrinkly nightmare. Still I made it work, I made her happy, I had to, I couldn’t go back to Georgina, she had to be put in the past, she belonged there now. I had to show her I could rise even higher than she promised and without her help too. She had demeaned the man in me, insulted my dignity and even though we had never set out any rules about our ‘relationship’, I felt I deserved better.
I have since come to know more about detaching business and sex from emotional feelings and pride, but I have also never regretted getting out of Georgina’s shadow, it remains one of the best moves I’ve ever made. I left on Monday morning for Calabar, armed with a note from Mary – she insisted I call her Mary which I found ludicrous - to one Chief Bassey who I was told was expecting me, I was to execute a contract for digging drainage along a 25 kilometer road that was being constructed by him, I wasn’t going to be getting a cut this time, I was getting the real deal. The alert I got on my way from Mary’s place to the airport made me smile so widely I thought my face would crack open. And when I called her to say “Ma, you didn’t have to do that” I really did mean it.
“Farouk, always call me Mary.” She giggled.
It was Mary who would give me all the contacts I needed for my first trip to Calabar, from the shady looking man who brought the labourers who carried out the digging to the over eager woman who supplied cement and concrete blocks on credit. It was also through Mary that I met the first actual mark I set out to actually catch.
Thank you for reading. Episode 4 will be available next week Friday at 1pm. Stay tuned.