This happened to me in my year one. I was dating this guy, let’s call him Ed.
I really liked Ed. He was funny, sweet, very talented and very popular in school. I don’t remember how we met (I think it was at the sports center) but it was attraction at first sight. Matter of fact, I felt super lucky to be dating him ‘cause I was quite small in age and status alike. I was the supportive girlfriend, you know, always following Ed to his shows, trainings, matches and what have you. Like I said, I really liked him.
On the flip side, it was really frustrating.
One day, Ed told me about a show at Kuramo Beach (now an extinct beach in Lagos, Nigeria). He was to be a judge at a beauty pageant for their Ladies’ night. He wanted me to come along and participate. It was really funny because I don’t have a model’s body or look. But then he pleaded with me and said it would be fun. So, I picked out a dress and heels. You know…supportive girlfriend.
We got to the beach and I started to feel very uncomfortable. I didn’t like the kind of crowd I was seeing. Ed came from nowhere and said he had something to tell me. “Actually, the truth is the girls competing tonight are sex workers on the beach.”
Hey God…I wanted to die. “You brought me here to compete with prostitutes?”
People always wanted his attention and he hardly ever had my time even when we were together. I should understand, right? I mean all that baggage comes with being a celebrity’s girlfriend. Did I mention I was mad jealous too? Being the shy person that I am, I would relegate myself to the background while the other girls take over and do their thang. Sigh.
I was mad. So mad my whole body was shaking. I said I wasn’t going to do it. He begged and begged. Said the first prize was a standing fan and an electric cooker and he really needed the fan for his place and I could take the kettle as compensation. Damn, I wanted to cry.
“How did I get here?”
I eventually agreed to do it. Not like I could leave the place at that time. It was past 10pm or thereabout. I tried to hide my anger as I walked on their makeshift runaway, acting like I was Tyra Banks. Did I mention my gown was short and a bit revealing? With my big breasts. Chai! I just wanted to find a corner and cry my eyes out or better still, let the ground open up and swallow me.
I was trying to look hot for my BF and there I was blending perfectly with a bunch of prostitutes. How did I really get here? The judges asked the questions, very simple questions but apparently too hard for the others. Who doesn’t know the name of the president? Oh, well the other girls didn’t. I couldn’t even look my BF in the eye as he sat behind the table feeling like Simon of X Factor.
They asked a bunch of other questions I don’t remember. But I couldn’t focus because the stupid photographers kept snapping away. Long story short, I won the pageant. Everyone was cheering, cameras kept clicking, forced smiles and clenched fists; I quickly went backstage because I was about to die of humiliation.
Then the worst thing happened.
A guy came from nowhere, congratulated me and squeezed #200 into my hand. He was probably hoping that would make him get me for the night. I couldn’t take it anymore. My parents sent me to school to get a degree and here I was disgracing my ancestors.
I pulled off my stiletto and walked out of the arena. I just kept walking. Had no idea where I was going but I just needed a place to go and calm my raging nerves. Ed didn’t even notice because he was too busy claiming the prize on my behalf. As per BF/manager/pimp.
I eventually found a stall where I went to sit. But I couldn’t sit still. I wanted someone’s head on a plate. I ordered for a cigarette, something I’d never done before. ‘Was halfway through it when Ed showed up. He was shocked. I was pissed. We started to argue. Then I started to cry. I just wanted to go back to my hostel and forget this ever happened. But I had to wait till morning.
As I sat in the bus, holding on to my kettle while Ed went home with the fan, I decided there and then, I was done with the relationship. He had lied to me and used me for his own selfish gains. Was it easy for me? No. But it had to be done because it gave me a glimpse of just how things would go down the line.
Up until this day, I keep praying those pictures taken at the beach don’t come back to haunt me. Just imagine someone printing those pictures when I’ve blown. Chai!
“Pictures surfacing have revealed that Miss Y, the current Minister of Education was a former sex worker at Kuramo Beach…”
Who will exonerate me?
Rant sent in by Dwordchemist