By Babatomiwa Seriki
The elevator door opened and I followed the direction Sandra gave to me earlier; last room down the aisle. I waited few seconds while standing behind the closed door to the room and chewed on the almost absent nails at the end of my fingers; a habit I developed way back to conquer anxiety. It worked at all times but I never put it to test for something this big.
I eventually opened the door quietly so as not to arouse notice. I slowly walked into the room and what I saw nearly drained strength out of me – the beautifully appointed room was filled with good looking men that portrayed the real definition of handsome, the Brad Pitt kind of handsome. Well-cut suits styled in different fashions fitted perfectly into their several devil-may-care outlook. The smell of cologne in the air will definitely last a day or two after the interview and fresh scents overpowered the whole room like a field of roses. l was intimidated so much so I wondered why I ever came for the interview. My presence got everyone’s attention and I literally drowned in my own sweat as every step I took gave increasing side talks and giggle; some even pointed as they laughed. Well, for obvious reasons I wasn’t expecting a warm welcome since the suit looks borrowed and my shoe dates back to the pharaohs, no one would believe I had a bath because my appearance matched that of a rug rat crawled out of mud. But what mattered most at that point was how my girl perceived me, so I wore the “rock star” look and slowly dodged from the spotlight.
I took the last sit on the row just to save myself from further mockery. Still trying to settle in, a nicely cleaned man took the empty seat beside me, he gazed at me incessantly but I couldn’t look back at him because his figure was daunting but I could feel him preying on me from my side look.
“They are just a bunch of spoilt twats”
I still wasn’t sure he was talking to me. I mean someone as dexterous as that, what would he want with me?
“You should pay more attention to yourself than what these lots think of you”. He sounded so perceptive so I crept out of my shell and gave a slight response, “thanks.”
We waited several hours and no one was there to attend to us, people grew impatient and rambled back and forth the hallway, most had even left, few more minutes and the only people left in their seats were I, few numbers of frustrated men and my male crush sitting right next to me whom had earlier, taken so much interest in people’s reactions that he followed every move they made, which was almost as if he was taking notes of their actions.
In no time, everyone had left in frustration and there I was seated, enjoying the free soda and crunches I took from a table in the hallway. It’s 6pm and no sign of activity so I finished up my snack and got up to leave. I gave one last look around the room but the luxury still amazed me so I decided to take a quick selfie just to relish the moment. After several snapshots, I approached the door and to my surprise, the receptionist; Sandra with a more vibrant smile was standing at the door like she awaited me to open.
“I endured the wait Sandra but I guess today is not my day”
“Put this around your neck and come with me. The boss requests your presence”
She smiled continuously and handed me a tag, written on it was “workers only”. I was surprised as to why I was given a worker’s tag when I didn’t even get an interview but obviously she wasn’t interested in what I had to say.
“Come with me Alex,” she insisted.
We stepped into the elevator and she pressed our way up to the top floor. My heartbeat increased as the elevator reached our stop. I stepped out and awaited Sandra’s exit but she stood back.
“This is the farthest I can get. Good luck handsome”
“Sandra! I don’t know what to…”
Sandra gave another abrupt wave before the elevator door shut. I felt so helpless wandering around the large floor but my fool’s errand was brought to an end when a masculine voice beckoned from behind.
“Mr. Wilkinson, please come this way!”
I turned around and it was my male crush who sat beside me earlier. He had a change of clothes into something more casual like he had a gathering scheduled for later.
“You can call me Greg. Only a selected few are allowed up here, you must mean a lot to john”
“What’s my role in this maze game you got me playing?”
“You have been patient enough and all the answers you desire are right behind that door,” he pointed at the rather large door that stood apart across the hall.
He led me to the entrance, opened and directed me inside. He made a disturbing grin as his figure faded slowly into the shadows while closing the door.
“Is smiling a virtue here?” I thought curiously
“Are you going to come forward or would you like to stand there all day?”
I heard a female voice from behind so I turned around and sitting confidently on a large conference table was a real life version of my alone-time guilty pleasure – she sat there with a feisty look dissolved in a unique glance that almost tripped my stance. She swerved her long blonde hair slowly aside which revealed her rather charming blue eyes. Her short tight dress embraced her gorgeous curvy body and I let myself to a gradual view from her brazenly exposed chest down to her stunning slim legs – God help my soul but I couldn’t help but draw mental images of things I could do to that body but I cautioned my dirty thought and walked towards her,
“Now that you are done examining my body, can we address why you are here?”
She got up and took a sit on one of the chairs that surrounded the conference table. She offered me a place in front of her and stared at me pointedly for a few minutes. Moments later, she stood up and brought out quite a number of forms from a drawer and handed them to me with a pen.
“You can spend all day reading through that or we can skip the formality and get straight to the point”
“Okay,” I replied and dropped the forms on the table
“I am sure you must have come across our company name on several occasions during your long hours here today. Discreet Consultancy as the name implies offers to render services but in this case, to the needs of women from all around. We promise confidentiality and professionalism from our workers as a means to shield our clients from unnecessary attachments to the services rendered. That’s basically what the forms entail, so what do you say”
I wouldn’t at that point agree I understood everything she said but I think between the conversation, I picked one or two affirmations as to what the job entailed so I sat up, cleared my throat and replied,
“Thanks for taking time to walk me through the job description but as much as I would love to work with this company, I don’t pass for a bodyguard and I’m not as muscular as you think, I’m sure it’s the oversized suit. I am a coward when it comes to violence of all sorts so I think…”
I was cut short by her uncontrollable laugh. She laughed heartedly for some minutes almost choking on her loud expression; she wouldn’t stop until she was impelled to lie back in the chair. Then she cried, “It’s quite too funny. Wait; didn’t john give you an insight of what we do here? Okay never mind, come with me”
My lined face like that of an old man crinkled in confusion as I sat there completely unaware of my position and it appeared as if I was the only one without a clue of my presence there or what I was expected of. She turned around to see me still seated and reached out for my hand.
We walked by several rooms in the hallway until we came to a halt in front of a red door, she swiped a key card through the electronic device attached to the door frame and the door opened.
The events that transpired after my moment in that room gave my life a new turn
I had seen luxury reveal its lavishness in my short time here but the state of the room swept the other sights beneath the rug. The appearance of the room urged the strands of hair on my thick skin – the floor’s shiny wood panelling reflected my each step, deep toned wallpapers surrounded the walls which were expended in naked portraits of both sexes. The brown leather furniture that sat right at the middle of the elegance gave it an old world cozy feel, although, the sculptured sex toys that stood at several points in the room gave an unsettling feeling. The arched windows overlooked the heart of the metropolis and the breath-taking view of the skyline from where I stood dried the liquid from my tongue – My eyes grew wide open by all the grandeur but at the same time, the naked portraits and sex objects sculptured in the room never seized to arouse my curiosity.
I sauntered around the room and came across an old bottle of scotch sitting proudly in an enclosed casing on a cabinet, I gave her a bug-eye while holding the bottle and she winked an affirmative. I sat across the table before her and poured us a reasonable amount of liquor, after few sips, she sat her glass on the table and walked to a safe built within the wall close to the cabinet, she brought out a leather pouch and slid it towards me as she resumed her seat. I slowly opened while I switched my focus between her and the bag; I brought out an album of pictures that revealed nudes of prominent female figures, “How did she come across these?” I was filled with astonishment as I checked through several of them and still wasn’t done so I voiced out my inquisitiveness,
“Pardon me but what are you trying to get at and how did you come across these pictures?”
“This is what we do Alex, the people you see here are our clients and they pay good money to fulfil their in-between-the-legs urge, although the nudes are a form of fail-safe just in case we become vulnerable at any point”
“Why do you make it so hard to understand you? In between the legs, what’s that?”
“Where is the fun in dishing it all out to you at once? We chose you due to the patience you showed in the interview room, this job would require a certain hold on one’s desires and I’m sure we can channel the little I sense in you into something productive…” She took a sip from the cup and continued, “Alex! These women pay us to have sex with them”
I rushed down a mouthful of scotch I nursed earlier down my throat, “like gigolo?!”
“Well, it sounds unsatisfactory if you say it that way but yeah, like gigolo but I like to perceive my employees as male escorts”
“Wow! John does this too?” I remarked,
“He used to be one of our best but decided to settle down after a while, what a talent wasted. I know this is a bit strange to you but you can take all the time you need and get back to me on my direct line,” she handed over her complementary card.
I walked towards the door shadowed with thoughts of decision making, strange imaginations and to think my girlfriend would accept such an idea was suicidal. Finally my unending hours at Discreet Consultancy came to an end, it’s almost 11pm and Sandra had left for the day when I got to the reception. I checked my phone and found out it was turned off all the while, “Sophie must be breathing fire by now,” I thought.
The cab pulled over in front of my apartment building and right across the street, I saw my girlfriend putting packed travel bags in the trunk of a car. A male figure assisted her with the luggage and when they were done, they kissed a while before they drove off. I sat forlorn at the back seat thinking of how my world had terribly shaped itself; my girlfriend is probably gone for good and the only hope I had for a job was a formal excuse for faithlessness. I got out of the cab and headed straight to my apartment. Sophie’s stuffs were all gone when I checked the wardrobe and her numbers were not connecting so I didn’t need to guess any further to know she had finally left. But why come back if she wasn’t willing to give it another try?
I sat at the balcony staring at the complimentary card in my hand as I ran several possibilities through my clogged brain. I wasn’t sure I was equipped for a job like that and the fear of moral scruple taking a toll on me definitely worried me but by all means, I needed to find a meaning to my life without Sophie. I thought of her exit as a fresh start and I was ready to hit the nail hard at that juncture in my life so I picked up my phone and dialled the number on the complementary card, it rung for a while then a voice spoke,
“There are only 9 people in the world who have this number and they wouldn’t call me at 1am. The complimentary card makes you the 10th so speak up Alex”
“I’m in,” I gave quite a sharp response,
“Good, you made the right choice. We will get across to you… and Alex, get a cat or dog to comfort you during your sleepless nights because next time you wake me up by this hour, I will take it out of your pay check, “she ended the call abruptly.