Daren felt guilty. He was over working Annie and he knew it but he couldn’t help it. The girl was a fast learner and excellent at what she does. In fact, she made his work easier. What fascinated him the most about her was the fact that she was on her feet from the moment he resumed till the close of the day. He had never ever seen her go for lunch and she never complained. Even his Mom was also impressed and had suggested that they made her full staff already instead of waiting for the whole three months probation. He liked the idea and felt she deserved it. He had on his own done a thorough research on google maps to know where this Ajegunle of a place was and had been dismayed at the distance, the stretch of traffic that one had to by pass on a daily to and fro the Island and how much energy she had left to work effectively and efficiently. He picked up his phone and dialed the Head of the Human Resource Department’s number of the company.
“Hello Mr. Bayo” he said while he typed an email on his computer.
“Yes Sir, good evening Sir. Apologies I just left the office building not long ago but how can I be of assistance Sir?” Mr. Bayo the fifty year old head of the Human Resource Department sounded eager to please this Mr. Daren who never smiled at anyone. He rarely even called any of his staff which made Mr. Bayo extra curious as to the reason for his unprecedented call.
“What’s the time again?” Daren asked surprised that Mr. Bayo had left work so early.
“Sir, it’s 8:pm.” Mr. Bayo answered wondering if that question was necessary as it seemed that the CEO himself should be at home at that time.
“Fuck!” Daren cursed. He didn’t even know it was that late. Annie had reminded him of a meeting he had with Femi by 8pm before she closed for the day and he had nodded in response but he hadn’t checked the time she had left which was about an hour ago. He decided to call Femi later to reschedule their meeting.
“Sorry about that. I lost track of time as I’m still in the office. Please remind me again, what’s the pay for my PA again?” he asked
Mr. Bayo did a few seconds mental calculation before answering. “Sir, she’ll be entitled to two hundred thousand Naira as a monthly salary, while other benefits from the company in terms of housing, feeding, transportation allowance as well as health insurance will amount to a hundred thousand Naira. That’s after she scales through the three months probation”
“That’s not enough. That’s way too small. How does one survive on such a salary? She deserves more than that” Daren said more to himself than Mr. Bayo. “Anyways, make everything five hundred thousand Naira. Ensure that after other deductions of pension, tax and whatever, she has enough take home salary. I’ll send you an email to that effect. That’ll be all Mr. Bayo. Enjoy your evening” he finished and hung up without even waiting for a response leaving Mr. Bayo on the other end speechless.
Daren stood up and walked to the window. He looked into the dark beauty of Lagos and exhaled. He was exhausted; mentally and physically but his mind wasn’t. His mind had a mind of it’s own. He wanted to do something but he didn’t know what it was. He felt like unwinding but he didn’t know what with. Strangely, for the first time since he left London, he felt like being with a woman. Not just any woman. One woman. That girl. The one with the mask. The awkward one that poses to be a stripper. The amateur one that still hadn’t mastered the pole and no matter how sexy she tried to seem, she just kept missing it. But there was something about her naivete; there was something about the way she handled herself like she was hiding something. And that mystery about her was what kept drawing him to her. That same mystery is beckoning to him again and without thinking twice, he sent Femi a text.
“Let’s see on Sunday. Something came up”
It was 12 midnight when Daren pulled into Akinogun street. He had gone home to nap for an hour, eat and then prepare himself for the long night. The street was lined up with cars and though he found it almost impossible to park, he got lucky. He didn’t step out of his car immediately. He stayed put for a few seconds contemplating if he should go ahead with his intentions or not. He wasn’t confused; he knew what he wanted to do but the question is, was he ready to open up that part of his life? Well, it was now or never he decided and got out of his car.
Silver Fox was crowded. It seemed like all the husbands of Lagos had been given Friday night off to go and sow their wild oats and they’d all agreed to converge at this particular strip club for the same reason. Daren felt clustered. He was about returning to his car when he heard someone calling after him enthusiastically.
“Sir! Sir! Hello Sir! Mr. … Sir, this way,”
He turned and saw Olise, the Manager of the club. He felt at ease. Finally, a familiar face to help him through this crowd of horny people.
Olise was overly excited because he knew that Daren left huge tips. He immediately led Daren to the usual private room then signaled one of the waiters to get his usual drink while he went in search of Terry and the new girl.
The room was dimly lit as usual with Jeremih’s “Birthday Sex” playing in the background. Daren adjusted himself, took a sip of his chilled Hennessy drink and then shut his eyes to enjoy the moment. The amateur stripper was taking time to show up but he was determined to wait. He would see this through once and for all so he can get on with his work and concentrate.
He heard the door open and felt slight movements but almost no sound at all. “She is here”, he thought to himself and slowly opened his eyes. She was standing by the pole. She had on an all white lingerie and red stripper heels. Her lingerie was a detached pant and bra, the hose was a see through black lace. Her hair as usual was packed up but this time, in a long pony tail. She probably added extensions. “Interesting” he thought. She’s coming up. He lifted his glass to his mouth and sipped his drink; waiting for her to dance.
She started moving slowly, then like a feline, she walked sensually around the pole, taking careful steps to keep her balance he presumed. Then the music changed to J. Holiday’s “Bed” and like one who was familiar with the song, she moved erotically with a slight smile on her lips. Daren was mesmerized by the intensity of the moment. He could feel his pulse quicken when she went on the floor slowly and crawled towards him. On impulse, he beckoned for her to come closer and she did. She got off the floor and stood in front of him but he signaled her with his fingers to come closer. She did and leaned closer to him.
“I want to take you home tonight” he said
He felt her flinch and held her wrist when she tried to move away. She tried moving again but his grip was firm and he repeated himself again hoping she’d agree.
“I want to take you to mine. Please” he felt embarrassed pleading with a stripper to follow him home.
“I’m sorry Sir, I can’t” she said and just as she tried releasing herself from his grip, her mask fell off in the process.
Daren stiffen and before he could say anything, she ran out of the room.
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