The Chronicles of a high profile Gigolo
The fuel gauge had hit rock bottom, the temperature gauge had peaked, to think that just a few hours ago my life was pitch perfect. I have so far lived a charmed life; everything has always just seemed to fall into my laps. I have never done a 9 to 5 nor any conventional job yet I have more money than most of my peers or rather had more money than most of my peers; at least I did until 2 hours before this moment. How things changed in the twinkle of an eye, I still cannot fathom, it is the stuff of movies – American of course.
I am still in denial about the chain of events that are speedily altering the course of my life. In less than an hour, I have gotten run off the road by a truck head; I thought this was an accident until I got shot at from the window of the same truck head. I knew then that this was no mistake. I took off at top speed, pretty certain there was no way the truck head could catch up with me. Because I knew there was a gun in the truck head, I kept my head real low and drove in a zigzag pattern (just like they do in those fast pace movies). Everything was ethereal , very movie like, I lost the truck head in no time and dropped my speed reasonably. I sat up properly and checked my mirror before crossing an intersection, all the while frantically scrambling in my mind for an explanation.
It was at this point that my phone beeped, it was a text message; an alert; debit. I stared hard at it, all the money was gone, "THE MONEY"; this is a huge problem, there however is a bigger problem, the alert said the transfer was done by ‘self’ to an account in the name Faruk James.
There are serious issues at hand here and if this said text message is not a prank, then I am absolutely and totally screwed. I did not do a transfer, and certainly not to myself; my name is Faruk James but the strange looking account number was definitely an off shore account, one which I had no idea existed, the biggest problem of all however is that "THE MONEY" did not belong to me, not all of it, not even a huge chunk of it, yet all my money, everything I had was part of that money. I am talking money enough to buy two choice properties in Lekki with two Ford Mustangs in tow; this is not the problem right now. The problem is the rest of the money, the bulk of the money, this belongs to six other people, three of them made it abundantly clear that I would lose my head within a day if anything happened to their portion of the pot, not lose it in terms of going nuts or anything like that but losing it in terms of my head being hacked off and I have no reason to doubt this given their antecedents. Yes they are rumours but as with most things, if you know the right people, they would confirm to you that the things you heard and thought impossible really do happen.
Pope, that was his nickname; was not only going to have my head if I lost his money, “You can’t lose my money” he said in that deep guttural voice of his, his words almost completely distorted by his thick Enugu accent “but you must make sure the returns you are confirming I am getting gets to me.” He said all of this with his signature crooked smile in place. I remember wondering what made that smile crooked. Was it a quirk of his? Was it some accident he had? Or was it a facial defect? I also remembered wondering if his sentence was right; he used gets right after getting. The mundane things that run through your mind while having life altering conversations. “Why are you smiling?” his smile was still in place but there was a glint in his eye that sent a shiver down my spine.
“Faruk, I’m a business man, I would make money on this money within the period which you are concluding this deal, not as much as you are making for me, but a lot I assure you.” He paused and I wondered where he was going with this “Faruk if I do not get this money back on the day you are telling me I’m getting it, not just my money but the percentage of the profit we are making on this deal” he paused and threw a meaningful look at his lawyer- a timid looking bespectacled middle-aged man with a thoroughly receded hairline. The lawyer immediately got on his feet and walked away. I remember staring after him and thinking he was very agile for his frail looking body. I was brought back to reality by Pope’s deep voice, the smile had disappeared when he leaned towards me from across the table. He looked like he was about to share a very important secret with me. “Faruk, if you are a day behind with my money; all of it, you’ll be dead in 48 hours, I’ll do it myself, and not with a gun, I’ll cut you up, slowly so you can feel the pain.” He smiled again and continued “No, your death won’t bring my money back, but it will be a lesson to future business partners” He slouched back into his chair and then stretched out his hand to pick up the cup of what he was drinking. We were in the bar of Exclusive. That was what the place was called, just that “Exclusive”, from the outside it looked like a residential building, but you couldn’t get in unless you were a member or came in the company of a member. The place had a bar, a sound proofed dance hall, suites and a restaurant. It did not have a VIP section, if you could get in you were already very important. The waiter did not ask pope what he would like to drink, he simply put it on the table as we sat down and then asked in a barely audible voice what I would like to drink. The bar was really quiet with very low music in the background. It was difficult to believe that people were dancing to very loud music in the dancehall just a few feet away.
Two of the other people who made funds available for the venture were a Deputy Inspector General of Police and Alhaji Bukar Baba who brought the DIG into the mix. He was very open about his reason for bringing the DIG into the deal, if anything went wrong, Alhaji Bukar would take it that this deal was a scam orchestrated by me and his friend the DIG would ensure I was put away for a very long time if not forever.
The fourth person was the reason why the prospect of sudden death, or jail time did not bother me. She was the link, she was the daughter of a former minister of petroleum of the Federal republic, she put in a whooping twenty percent of THE MONEY. I couldn’t believe it at the time, this sexy, long limbed woman who reminded one of sex every time you set eyes on her. She had made the meetings happen, procured the necessary documents, all duly signed, carried out all necessary verifications – with me in tow of course and made the transfer to my account without a qualm. She was an astute business woman but of course she was also in love with me, I had her absolutely whipped if you get my meaning.
The first time she walked up to me in Grey lounge, I was there to hook up with my latest mark, Mrs Frances Olanbiwoninu, a textile giant, yes that individual who brings in a more than considerable percentage of all the lace that comes into this country, married of course but there have always been whispers that she had a thing for younger men. Once I confirmed this was not just a rumor and also confirmed how generous she could be if you were a favourite, I moved in for the kill, I schemed, planned and calculated until that evening we ended up in the same club. I obviously couldn’t just walk up to her and strike up a conversation; that never worked with cougars. I had found out that she was into power dressers with a slightly rough edge. So I let my beard grow for days and then on the D day , I trimmed it in a way that made it look like it wasn’t groomed but grew that way naturally, an art I had taught myself. Everything I wore to Grey lounge that evening was signature. I left my Pacinolli shirt unbuttoned all the way to the middle of my chest, showing a smattering of fine hair, my blazer – bespoke of course was buttoned just above my belly button, and my fitted pants stopped just above my ankles, I had no socks on and my soft leather loafers finished off the ensemble. My pockerchief was the only splash of colour in my entire look; it was bright red.
When I had located where she was seated in the VIP section, I walked in, looked around like I was searching for someone, did a double take when our eyes met, scanned the room some more and then left. After a thirty minute wait, I walked back into VIP gave her a slight nod, as I walked to the farthest corner of the room. I could feel her eyes follow me appreciatively. My mum is Hausa-Fulani and I have her pinched features, a slim pointed nose, piercing eyes and her really fine really wavy hair. My broad shoulders I got from my dad and… well from the gym too. My long lean limbs are from both of them. I work out just enough that I have a well-toned body, I’ve always been very careful not to overdo the work out thing, men with bouncer like physiques are not in very high demand by the kind of money spinning women who form the bulk of my clientele. I use the word clientele for lack of a better word. I know it makes me sound like some sort of a gigolo, a label I have always avoided but right now I do not really care.
Who wouldn’t have eyes for me, Frances couldn’t keep her eyes off but I pretended not to notice. If you came off as over eager, you would lose it all. There has to be some sort of mystery to you or they lose interest fast. So I have created my own character, put out enough to keep them entranced but never so much that they can predict you.
I pretended to be engrossed with my phone, and occasionally sipped on my glass of mineral water. That ploy of pretending to be making an important call to an important person never works on the discerning- if really you have that important call to make, you won’t be making it in public. Typing on your phone with a frown of concentration is however altogether a different thing. People find it intriguing, trying to guess what you are up to. Keep them guessing.
I kept pretending not to notice her glances and when eventually I did, she kept it locked for a while, an almost nonexistent smile played on her lips and before I could tell for sure if there was a smile, it was gone; the smile and almost immediately the glance. But I had what I wanted, she was a master in the art of seduction and she was interested in me. I didn’t need to be seduced anyway. She was my mark, one I had worked on really hard, but she didn’t know that. So it was time to wait it out. This was how it usually played, she would summon a waiter give him her card and then I’d order a drink using the same waiter and he would slip me the card while serving my drink. Almost always worked that way but for the more cautious among my marks, they would leave shortly after and I would follow suit pretend to rush past and then brush shoulders a bit roughly with them. I would then turn around and apologize profusely, it was at this point that she would pass me her card. With these things you could never tell which of the two would happen, sometimes a mark would call the waiter and not slip him anything, I think a number of them simply lose the courage to do so, so I would tail them and enact the second scenario. I waited and just when Frances glanced in the direction of the waiter trying to catch his attention, Yvette for that was the name of that sex bomb, sat down on the love seat right opposite me. She was carrying her drink in her right hand, had a small purse slung across her shoulder and was typing profusely on her iPhone with her left hand.
I couldn’t pretend not to notice her, who wouldn’t notice her, she looked like sex, yes like sex, she even smelt like it and still managed to look so innocent. She didn’t have that all in your face figure, nothing voluptuous but she had the right curves in all the right places. Made you want to rip her clothes off and ravage that body; made you want to pamper her, rub her feet, gently massage her shoulders and put her to sleep all at the same time. All this I took in with a brief glance, swallowing painfully as I ignored the smile she gave me and returned my gaze to my phone. I was here after all on business and not for pleasure.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Mrs. Olanbiwoninu get up from her seat, she was jealous already, I managed a small smile, waited for her to walk out of the VIP, threw the vixen in front of me a brief look, she was engrossed in her phone , and I walked out in pursuit of my mark. I caught her throwing a glance over her shoulder, she quickly looked away as she saw me and kept walking , stiffening her shoulder almost imperceptibly. She was excited I could tell, so I picked up my pace while at the same pretending to be scrolling down my phone. It was a mating ritual, one that I’m the best at.
I’m that African cockerel with the most colourful, most shiny plume, standing tall and proud above its peers and an expert at doing that tilted strut cockerels do when they see a female. You couldn’t get any woman I set my sights on from under me. I am simply that good. As planned, I bumped into her; not too hard but firm enough to make her miss a step and swiftly, I grasped her elbow to steady her, spinning around swiftly to face her and began apologising profusely. She reached out with her free hand placing it on the lapel of my jacket to steady herself. Smiling, she shook off my apologies, removing her hand from where she had placed it to offer it in a hand shake as she regained her balance.
“Frances” she said simply, staring intently at my face with deeply intense eyes.
“You should give me a call.” She slipped me her card, that was all, the deed was done.
I walked to my car, waving at her as she got to hers in the car lot. I got in started the engine and drove off. It was important that she see me drive off, that little thing with the girl in VIP could ruin everything if she thought I was even remotely interested. She would shag me no doubt, but she wouldn’t take it as anything special, after all, I was available to all and sundry. You have to make them feel like you are something special, not just a regular shag. Then they feel the need to do anything just to keep you to themselves. I am not a gigolo because I do not sell sex, I sell a package, a feeling if you like......
Continues next week Friday. Stay tuned for Episode 2.
We are indeed over the moon to present our first contributor, Majeed Salako. Majeed is a lawyer, banker and writer. The author behind “Dining in Hades”, a fast paced fiction. The series is a first hand chronicle of a self styled "hustler" who refuses to acknowledge that he is a gigolo. Faruq soon comes to realise that looks and charm are not the only tools you need in the real world...
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