Timi The Prostitute (Short Story) By Preye Johnmark

 


Photo credit: Business Insider


Human trafficking is modern day slavery in action. The industry is worth $150 Billion globally. $99 Billion alone is generated from sexual exploitation. The route between North, East and West Africa generates $150 Million in annual profit.


  Dark, that’s how the evening sky had decided to be, Timi was a lover of the sunset, but today was a bad day, and the weather knew better than to show its beauty when the beholder was not present. Her Uncle had beaten her again, he always did, saying she was following small boys. Uncle Daukuro was the younger brother to Timi’s father who had recently passed on. Her mother was barely surviving for her three children, and Timi being the eldest still needed to further her education -- there came Uncle Daukuro, like the angel sent by God himself. Timi always liked Uncle, he was a generous man, he always bought goodies for her and her siblings whenever he came to the village to visit them. And so when Papa died, Uncle offered to further her education since she was yet to write her JAMB examination.


  Three months of living with Uncle, he was nice, he bought her new cloths and even a small phone, enrolled her for JAMB preparatory classes and always encouraged her to face her books. Living in Yenagoa was not hard to adapt to, she blended well with Uncle’s neighbors and everyone was found of her. Timi was a young girl of 18, but had the body of a woman over 22. Smooth chocolate skin, 5’2 and a clear English accent, many hardly believed that she went to a government school all her life.


  Uncle Daukuro was a man in his late thirties, and not yet married. He had girlfriends, that even Timi got tired of remembering their names. He was a businessman, at least that was what he told Timi, what kind of business? She knew not. Recently, Uncle Daukuro had been acting weird, always watching her and making silly jokes. One evening when he had called her to dress his bed while he went out to get something, she was still in his room tidying up the mess when he walked in and started praising her. “Timi, pure Izon-ere” he said, touching her face, he pulled her close and tried to kiss her, “Ah! Uncle D.” she said, stepping back with a frown on her face, he got mad and that was the first night he had her beaten, even breaking the phone he had bought for her, calling her an ungrateful child.


  Uncle had stopped Timi from going out like she did, even her friends had stopped visiting her, in fear of what Uncle might do to them. The once vibrant girl who always had a smile on her face became the shadow of herself. Uncle had a new girlfriend, her name was Naomi. Naomi wasn’t from Bayelsa she was what many girls would call ‘Bop Mommy’. Naomi liked Timi from day one. She always got her gifts whenever she came to see Uncle, Uncle on the other hand started treating her nicely again, but he still tried to get into her pants. And one night, he got what he wanted. He r*ped her and took away the ‘pride’ of her womanhood. She cried for many nights, she had no one to help her, no shoulder to lean on. She tried to confide in Aunty Naomi, but she feared what might happen and kept shut.


  One evening, Aunty Naomi had come visiting, and after a hot round of ‘adult play’ with Uncle, she came out to meet Timi who was reading a book at the corridor. “Timi, how are you?” she asked, Timi managed to put up a smile, “I’m fine Aunty.”, “Come, stroll with me, and don’t worry about your Uncle. I told him we were going for a stroll” Naomi said, after noticing the shift in Timi’s mood. “Oh okay!”. They walked along the bridge of Tombia, their stroll was nice, and they had chatted about many things. Afterward, they headed back to the house. Uncle lived in Tombia, Agboli. “Timi, would you like to travel?” the word ‘travel’ sounded like a free passport to her and a one ticket to be free from Uncle. “Ah, Aunty yes oh, anywhere good o” she answered instantly, Naomi laughed, “Silly girl. You know, your Uncle is my business partner, and we work hand-in-hand. Due to my kind of work, I get to travel a lot, and most times abroad too”, Timi’s eyes flew open, “Aunty you’ve been to the white man’s land?” she asked in bewilderment, “Why, yes of course my dear, and you could come with me if you’d like”, “Aunty, me I will like to follow you oh, ah but I dunno if Uncle will agree oh” Timi said twisting her fingers together. “Don’t worry, he will agree sharp-sharp; see he has even been thinking about it for a while sef, so don’t worry.” Naomi reassured Timi as she smiled with joy.


  Soon enough she followed Naomi to Lagos, she was fascinated by the big city and things she saw. Aunty seemed to be a very busy woman who had many young girls working for her. Ignorantly, Timi asked one day, “Aunty, can you teach me your business? All your girls are looking fine like you, and I want you to teach me”, “Oh my sweet girl, that is the reason I brought you here, to work, and you will work” Naomi promised with her soft smile, that angelic smile that Timi loved so much.


  She promised and did keep it. First night, she ‘polished’ Timi and took her to her ‘business center’. The shock that overwhelmed her was beyond explanation, she saw the kind of ‘work’ that Aunty Naomi was into, and she couldn’t believe her eyes. Prostitution. It was too late to turn back. It was hell for the poor Timi. She passed out after the tenth customer for the night. But what do you expect? She was a newbie and an attractive one at that. All her cries were the perfect motivations the men needed. The next day she woke up in her room, still clad in the clothes from the previous night. “Heyss, do go baff Aunty wan see u fast fast. I give u ten minutes to do finish oh, I no one come back con still dey see u cry, if not, I go arrange for them to beat u black n’ blue” Kiki, one of Naomi’s girls came to inform her. Timi dragged herself to have a bath, and soon after went to see Naomi. “You did well, because of you I had ten times my normal cut last night.” Naomi praised her, Timi felt disgusted, “How could you do this to me? How?” she cried out, the smile on Naomi’s face vanished, “Eh, eh, eh. No jus carry dah wan near me, u hear me so, if not, that your equipment, I go put pepper inside, u dey craze? Abi I resemble Dundee for ya eye? No jus make me vex o, come on gerrout of mah sight, bloody fool.” Naomi hissed, as Timi walked away in tears.


  Days turned into weeks, weeks into months and new girls who were just like Timi were brought. One afternoon, Naomi had a meeting with the new girls, “Na una I go carry go Italy oh, una go go work for there, make una no go dey mumu for that place oh, cos I gat my guys there wey go handle una if una mumu!”. The preparations were made, and twenty girls were taken away to a foreign land for prostitution. Certainly a lot would die, but it didn’t bother the dealers, not even the customers, theirs were to get paid to get more girls.


  This was the fate of Timi. There are many others with such fate.


 

Tales of The Imaginator.

-          Stephanie Johnmark.



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