By Babatomiwa Seriki
Click HERE for previous episodes of ‘Dawn Behind a Red Door”
Evelyn called me on my way home to congratulate me for a job well done so I decided to celebrate my accomplishment with Sarah whom I called after to join me at a restaurant close to work. We laughed and shared my experience which was well against the rules but I knew I could trust her to an extent, my head was buried deep in laughter and as I returned my focus upwards, I saw Sophie; my runaway ex-girlfriend walk towards my table. I was more of worried than surprised to see her; she looked ill-treated and bruises appeared underneath her eye, she tried so well to hide the hematoma with a makeover but I could easily see through her situation. “Sophie are you alri—she cut short my words as she started towards and embraced me, it was obviously a move to avoid the apparent question but I did play along. A deep threatening voice called her from behind and she hurriedly typed her digits on my phone; I looked ahead and it was a stout male with tattoos like that of a gang member. I guess that explained her black eye.
Sarah was sensitive about the episode so I had to relate the whole story to her on our way home; she had requested earlier to know my place and that was a better avenue since I was off work at the moment and she wasn’t in a hurry. I led her inside and shut the door, I turned around and her gown was off, “did she forget to put on underwear or she already had this planned?” I asked myself, but I definitely wouldn’t turn down a beauty like Sarah and on behalf of all manhood, I lifted her up and landed her on the couch, lights off.
Months passed and I had more clients. In no time I was the company’s favourite, Evelyn increased my pay and life was like Hollywood. I travelled countries to meet up with clients and I often got extra funds from anonymous donors into my account for a job well done. Sophie came along during this period, we had sex once or twice and she crafted different ways to crawl back in but I turned her down severally by rubbing her actions on her face, I didn’t mean to be cruel but she was well deserving of it. My very first client who brought me into “stardom” called to invite me to a gala; I attended and was welcomed by my several clients present at the event who also happened to be in her circle. More women hoped to get a measure of me as they focused their gazes like I was a sex god; the ovation was getting too loud so I excused myself to a spot outside the party with a glass of scotch.
I sipped slowly and enjoyed the evening breeze, then a lady joined me barefooted in a swimming dress with water dripping from her body, she swung her hair aside to squeeze water off and raised her gaze. I hadn’t seen such cuteness in a while; she was young, pretty and confident in her look. “boring event don’t you think?” she said as she reached for my glass of drink I held, I chuckled and replied “ depends on your definition, if standing here alone with a hot body is what you call boring then I will choose boring,” she smiled and gave an alluring look.
We interacted for the major part of the night and got to know each other, hours later my first client appeared behind us, “I see you have met my daughter Leila,” I felt despondent because Leila never mentioned that to me, that was a no go for me, it was well against the rule so I apologized and tried to explain how and when we met but their mischievous laugh held back my words, I stood slack-jawed so Leila bailed me, “ Mum told me about you and her experience she shared, I am your new client,” I looked back at her mum and she nodded “but Evelyn didn’t call me” I thought out loud then suddenly my phone rang and it was a call from the boss, “ I’m sure you have met your new client. Don’t be surprised Alex, this is a new experience for you, enjoy.” I stood there still surprised and both females held my hands and pulled me back to the party. I cheered up minutes later as they led me to the dance floor.
I had several meetings with Leila and I was growing particularly fond of her, whom ordinarily I shouldn’t; any form of attachment would go against the rules but I definitely wasn’t ready to stick to my guns. I was aware of her emotions too as she often called and dropped by whenever she could; her mum had noticed this connection and informed Evelyn. I received a message in the morning from her reminding me of the rules and guidelines and not to ruin what we had worked for. I was still holding my phone reading through the text when Leila came in; she had a key of her own. I guess I didn’t reveal enough about our intimacy but that’s it, you caught me; we were already dating and it had gone beyond client relationship. Evelyn’s message didn’t seem to pull a strand off my skin; I dropped my phone and kissed my girl on the lips. She made dinner and we slept after the heavy meal.
Loud anonymous bangs on the door woke me. I looked beside me and Leila wasn’t there, “What’s happening?” I thought. More furious bangs landed on the door so I hustled up to push up my weight and I staggered to the door with my eyelids drooping, I answered the door but what I saw nearly tripped me off my feet. My sleepy eyes flashed open and my jaw dropped in shock from the sight of the lady that stood in the doorway; it was Sophie with a sharp tool held firmly in her right hand as her arms were bent akimbo, she paced restlessly in front of me with a look of dismay and that sent chills down my spine, ‘wha-wha-what are you doing here Sophie!’ I was startled. Then another moment of great scare came to life as four more ladies appeared behind her; Leila, her mum, Evelyn and Sarah, all with similar tools in their hands. I stepped backwards as the fierce ladies moved towards me, my paces hastened as they attained the position of a predator trying to devour its prey. A voice spoke from within, “RUN!” it said, and at that moment, the only resort was to take to my heels but I fell to the ground as my long thin legs stroke each other in the act of running. I lay helplessly on the ground and before I could plead for my life, Leila had pounced on me and my life flashed right in front of me. I could see a reflection of myself from the tool raised up high, my eyes were closed with thoughts of meeting my creator in any second and suddenly, a loud ringtone woke me.
I was drenched in sweat and my heart pounded profusely, ‘God! It’s a dream,” I sat up right and clenched my arms firmly on my chest, I couldn’t help but pause for a count of minutes as I played the dream through my head—the whole event with Discreet Consultancy was all a dream, I still had the interview but clearly I had slept beyond the time. I looked around and I was still sitting on the couch on which I dozed off after the bland meal, the torn sheets of paper still laid around the floor and the book I wrote on before I fell asleep was still there beside me on the couch. “What a life,” I said out loud. I had slept close to 4hours when I checked the large clock on the wall, I imagined how awesome my life would have turned around to have a job like that but then again, the end was life threatening so I was thankful it was a dream. I heard a knock on my door so I stood up to answer and it was Sophie, I took a quick step back just in case the dream came to reality, she wore a look of dismay and walked right past me.
I stood at the door all long as she went in to get the rest of her belongings. She was all packed and ready to leave then she touched my cheek with her lips pressed against it as a form of goodbye kiss. I asked with sarcasm if she took her brush and she replied “have you taken a look at your brush lately Alex? I think you need mine more than I do. Goodbye.” Such a loser I am. I watched her leave till she faded beyond my focus; I closed the door and returned to my life of being uncertain and simply deprived of conviction. The dawn behind the red door was clearly an illusion.