Ada Eze’s Story.
Lagos was a land of opportunities. That was the lie she was sold when she arrived in Lagos eight years ago. One of her former classmates, Chichi, had returned to the village with enticing displays of wealth. She drove a car, distributed jewelry she claimed she bought when she traveled to Dubai and gave some cash to the drooling village chiefs. Ada had been fascinated by this Lagos that had turned her friend into this rich woman. She had followed Chichi to Lagos with the blessing of her sick father and tired mother. They wanted her to learn whatever her friend knew.
Eight years later, Chichi was dead and she was standing by the road in a skimpy dress.
She didn’t start trading her body by choice. When she found out this was Chichi’s business, she had been disgusted and demanded to return to the village. This reaction did not shock her friend, nobody was born with the desire to sell their body. But a few weeks in Lagos and Ada saw the light. Her parents started calling and asking when she would start sending money home. Her father was sick and could not afford the medications he needed. Her younger sister was too brilliant to drop out of school, and she needed her fees paid. Ada herself was very hungry. Chichi had refused to finance anybody who would not contribute to the success of the household.
Four weeks after arriving in Lagos, Ada lost her virginity and made her first ten thousand naira. She was sick for a whole week. She had suicidal thoughts. She could not look herself in the mirror. How could she have done this? But then her parents called her and prayed for her and blessed her from a deep place of gratitude. She knew she had to do this again. And she did. Again and again and again.
After several years, her parents eventually knew what she did. They were disgusted but they needed the money she sent. She promised them to stop as soon as her sister finished her law degree and that had happened a little over a year ago. Ada could not bring herself to stop. She didn’t know how to do anything else. It was even worse now she was a roadside prostitute. She was no longer young enough for the high-end clients that bought her cars and took her abroad. But this paid the bills, and they were many.
But today would be her last.
Her parents had called, her father was dying. The doctors had said he had less than a week. He wanted to see her before he died. She wanted to see him too but she could not go back without money; a lot of it. She had gathered some but tonight she would get enough.
She had a client she had sworn she would never deal with again but he was the only one who could pay the money she required. He never did anything normal, he was a devil but he was a rich devil.
Ten minutes after she called him, he arrived. She opened the door of his SUV and got in. She was met with the bark of a dog and she jumped. She looked behind her and there was a dog sitting in the back seat.
“Don’t be afraid of the dog,” he said. “I know Jim looks fierce but he is a gentle lover.”
Ada looked at the dog and then at the man. For a second, she thought about jumping out of the car and running away without ever looking back. But she knew she had to do this. She had to do this for her parents.
Ada stood by the road. Her colleagues moved around her, brazenly hawking their wares. She could not talk to them but she could not go away from them. This was the only place she could be without killing herself. She had done something she never thought she would do. Was it worth it? She had sold her body a long time ago but she might have sold her soul that night. She remembered one lady preacher who said every sin was forgiven already, she shook her head; this one wasn’t.
Her phone beeped and she looked at it. It was a bank alert. Her account had been credited with 500,000 naira. She frowned, why was the man sending her more money? Her phone rang and it was the man calling. Was he calling because he’d sent the money by mistake? She answered the call.
“Jim loved you and wants you again.”
“Come back in the morning and I’ll give you another 500,000.”
No, she could not go back there. This was bad, very bad. But it was a lot of money. With the extra 500, maybe she could even save her father from dying.
Some meters away from Ada, a man had limped on to the road. And as Ada opened her mouth to say yes…
12 Hours Later.
Newspaper Headline: 30 DIE AND SEVERAL INJURED IN SHOCKING SUICIDE BOMBING.
Ada Eze was one of the 30.