Toluwani 30

 



Decades ago....


Fourteen-year-old Ife sat at the back of a black limousine with her mother holding her hands in hers and assuring her that all will be well. She felt like her life was about to be taken away from her. She doesnt know how exactly but she knew that by the time the limousine arrived wherever its going, her life would change and it would be forever. 


Mum, Im scared Ife whispered to her mother, as she edged closer to her mother, Tiwa.

Tiwa smoothed her daughters hair and ran her hands across her back in a bid to calm her nerves. She herself was tensed; she must not let it show however for Ifes sake.  

She hoped it wont backfire and that she would forever be grateful that she made the best choice for her daughter. The choice which wont only benefit her today but which would serve as something she will enjoy for the rest of her life. 

It had all started when a friend of hers from childhood had paid her a visit in her home and saw her daughter, Ife.

The friend had commented and spoke highly of Ifes beauty and had had a difficult time taking his eyes off Ife throughout the visit.

Tiwa had noticed Greys attraction to her teenage daughter and she had ensured that Ife stayed out of his sight while he was still in the house. 

Grey, however knowing Tiwa was becoming uncomfortable with the way he mentioned her daughter in any little conversation knew he had to be cautious.

There was something about the girl that took his breath away! She was stunning even as a teenager! Too pretty for someone her age and too gorgeous for someone who was watching her parents go through a tumultuous season.

He knew Tiwa and her husband, Ifes father whom she had three kids   two boys and a girl have been having some rough season, and their marriage is on the brink of breaking apart completely.

He also knew Tiwa is only trying to get along and she needs all the help she can get especially financially. There is no way she can possibly keep up with the financial responsibilities that  with taking care of three children without cringing. 

He knew it was only going to be a matter of time before Tiwa talks about it.

Grey, are you listening? Tiwa asked. She noticed Grey had been absentminded and had missed out on most of what she said in the last couple of minutes.


Yes..noI mean yes. Pardon me, Grey stuttered. He didnt realize he had been deeply lost in his thoughts. 


“Could you please reiterate? Grey asked as he caught a glimpse of Ifes two younger brothers. The boys who were aged eleven and eight were fighting over a loaf of bread. The elder was demanding he deserved more slices while the younger was crying that he should be treated like the last born.


Dare, whats the problem? Tiwa asked as the boys ran into the sitting room where she was entertaining Grey.


Dayo, wont let me take six slices, the one called Dare answered as he pushed his brother who tried to snatch the bread from him away. Dayo fell and hit his head on the tiles thereby causing a little bump on his forehead.


Stop that! Tiwa screamed. Why would you do that to your brother because of a single slice difference?

“But mum, Im the eldest, Dare said stubbornly. He should always learn to respect me.

She pulled Dayo up and helped to massage his forehead with her hand.

“And you should always learn to treat your younger brother with patience, she snarled at him.


“Young man, let me have that slice, Tiwa commanded.

Mum?  Dare said in surprise.

“Yes, let me have it now, she reiterated.


Dare handed it over and stamped his feet before storming off. His brother, Dayo followed suit as he rubbed his forehead with his left hand and sucked his right thumb.


Tiwa heaved a sigh as she sat back on the sofa and placed the loaf on the stool next to her. Its becoming a real struggle getting enough food for these boys. They now eat almost every minute, she said.


Waw, Grey breathed. He knew this was his moment but he would take it slowly.


“Yes. Theres just hardly enough money in the house these days. Their father barely sends anything to us. Even when he does, its gone even before we spend it.

Grey could see that the financial strain was taking a big toll on her, so he said, Tiwa, what if I offer to help?


“Offer me help? Of course, I dont mind.


Are you sure?


You kidding? Of course not I am damn sure I dont mind.


Okay then, Grey readjusted on his seat and bent forward, what if I want to help you through your daughter?


“My daughter? Do you mean Ife? Tiwa was shocked. She hadnt seen this coming. She desperately searched her head for what Grey could have in mind.


Pedophile!!!!


It flashed across her face. 

No!

No way!

That wasnt going to happen. 


Grey saw the various emotions fleeting across Tiwas face and he could tell she was thinking he wants to sleep with her daughter. Tiwa knows about his flair for young girls.

Yes, he might want to sleep with the girl but the girl would also make money from it in the long run, and not only for herself but for her mother and even her brothers.


Tiwa, you might want to hear me out first, he said in a calm voice that irritated Tiwa.

Tiwa tried to soothe her nerves. She knew Grey from way back. They had once had a fling as teenagers and she also knows that age has refused to diminish his taste for young girls. She was scared her daughter might be the next prey.

Her heart was racing fast but she had to hear him first, at least. She cleared her throat and swallowed her fear, Are you saying you want to sleep with Ife? her voice quivered.  

Grey clasped his hands together and shrugged, yes and no.

What do you mean? Tiwa eyed him in suspicion. 

Well, its actually simple. I would love to help you get out of this financial mess. I understand how youve been struggling to keep up with the bills.


Cut it, Grey! Tiwa threw at him. Why dont you just mention the exact thing you want from my daughter and me. 

She knew what Grey was trying to do. Hes trying to put her on a spot. Make her see herself for who she really is; the mess her life is and then offer his help.

She knows Grey would offer it in a way such that she wont be able to refuse and make her feel too indebted to say no.

Grey was like the devil. You dont ever expect to get a completely free gift from him. There was always a return gift; no matter how big or small. 

Grey stared at Tiwa. He knew she was trying to peer into his mind, perhaps she could have a clue of what is coming. He did a wicked inward laugh no matter how hard she tries; she will still be stunned when she hears his offer.

He saw the curiosity she desperately tried to hide; it was eating at her and she was doing a poor job at concealing it. He resolved to save her the torture and get to it, well, like I said, you and your daughter would be getting more favor out of this than anyone else. All you have to do is allow your daughter hangout with some big boys. Not only to hang out with them but also hang around and get into their circle and in no time she will be a big babe herself.

Tiwa had an inkling of what he was insinuating but she didnt want to jump into conclusion, so she edged on her seat and said, its just you and I here, she glanced around to be sure none of her children were in sight and would perhaps eavesdrop on their conversation, when she realized the coast was clear she continued, you dont have to be cryptic with me. Say in plain terms what your propositions are and whats in it for Ife and I.


Grey didnt perceive it was going to be this easy, he knew she was desperate but not to this degree, since you want me to speak plainly, I would just go ahead and do that.


“What Im saying is that your daughter is gorgeous for someone her age and you shouldnt watch this beauty waste and have some useless teenage boy use her freely before dumping her for the next girl. To avert this, lets use her beauty to our advantage by hooking her up with some big guys who will not only service her body but also her bank account.


I can assure you that they would be careful and fair with her. They would pay her handsomely and also enable her access to some really well-placed people in the country.

Tiwa pondered as Grey spoke. She understood clearly now what Grey was asking her to do. He was asking her to prostitute her daughter at fourteen years old. He was asking her to trade her daughters beauty for money. 

I have a company where I manage girls like her, and I can assure you that she will only get one of the best clients, and you can also be assured that we will keep her tracks clear. However, there is a little condition to it.

Tiwa pursed her lips, what was it? she thought.


Since Im going to be her manager, Im entitled to thirty percent of whatever she makes, he rubbed his chin as he announced greedily.


Even Gods only take ten percent, Tiwa scoffed in response. She sounded like she knew the scriptures. 


Grey, lets peg it at fifteen. She will be doing most of the work while you roll in bed with whatever girl your net has caught, she gave a sly insult.

If Grey had heard the insult, he ignored it, No, I will be doing more than connecting her with the best clients. I will also be watching out for her; you know how fast anything can go wrong in this game. So, I will be there to ensure that her tracks are clear day-in-day-out. Twenty is the least I can go


Tiwa twitched her lips and she mused over it.


“You game? grey asked when he thought she might be becoming reluctant to release her daughter after all.

“Yes, game! Tiwa finally answered after about fifteen seconds. Just ensure youre honest and do as youve promised. She needed to ease some of the financial burdens weighing heavily on her. 

“You can count on me, he responded as he stretched out his hand to seal the non-formal business deal.


Tiwa looked him straight in the eye and wore an I-hope-I-can-trust-you, expression on her face. Grey has the devil as his godfather and the devil can never be completely trusted for anything. If he failed to keep to his promise, she and her daughter will be ruined forever. 

Grey told Tiwa she could come with Ife to their company the next day so she can meet some of his other partners alongside some girls he is also managing. 


The following day was a Wednesday, Tiwa sent her boys off to school early. She told Ife they would need to meet someone together and so she would have to skip school.

Tiwa and Ife were ready just before the limousine Grey sent arrived. Tiwa stepped in gingerly with her daughter on her heels. She observed that her daughter was cold and somewhat uncomfortable. She tried to soothe her fears but she didnt know how.

Grey had warned her not to tell Ife what she was getting into until they arrived at his place. 

Ife had seen how her mother had woken up early to shoo her brothers off to school, she knew something was wrong. Her insides had turned cold last night when her mother had announced that she would have to skip school today. She had tried to ask why but a quelling look from her had made her swallow whatever was on her tongue. 


When the limousine had arrived; she instinctively knew it had to do with her mothers friend who had come visiting the previous day. She also knew he would be waiting to receive them when they arrive at wherever the car is headed. 

She tried to still herself as her mother poured words of reassurance over her after she had confessed her fears but she still vibrated inwardly. She just couldnt shake off the feeling. Her life was about to change and, in some ways, she was apprehensive about the change. 


To be continued........


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