Akaa & Alima is back! I know it’s been forever… and you may have forgotten what all this was about… and some of you may not even have started at all! Please find the start here: Akaa & Alima. I hope you like it! I have had a few threats over the past week to get working on it, and I’m glad I listened! As always, I’m really grateful that you read my pieces… really grateful that you remind me to write! Please like, share, and leave a comment on what you think! It would make my whole weekend!
Here’s the character Line Up (Because somehow I have so many great characters… and even I get kind of confused!)
The Agency – An agency for high class escorts.
Akaa – Rich businessman, who frequents the Agency. Has a preference for Alima.
Dionne – Akaa’s wife. A beautiful petite Pharmacist.
Alima/Lina – Young girl, high class escort at the Agency.
Naana/Nina – Scarred young girl with a son, born out of rape. High class escort at the Agency.
Adzo/Anna – Young woman, with past sexual traumas. High class escort at the Agency.
Dr. Daniel Anto – Orthopaedic Surgeon, who frequents the Agency.
Celine – Anto’s wife. A constantly nagging Caterer.
Talaata – Divorced multimillionaire who frequents the Agency. Her preference is younger men.
Teju – Young man, high class escort at the Agency
Ato – A young church leader, who uses the agency’s services.
Amber – Ato’s wife.
The day Alima left the agency, she cried more tears than she ever had in all her life. It was as if she had saved all her tears from her heartbreak for that day. Anna and Nina hadn’t made it any easier either. They’d stayed up with her the night before, remembering their early days in the agency. They were probably the only two who knew why she was leaving. Although it was very likely that many people had suspicions. Fortunately, she hadn’t had any issues with morning sickness and the like. She hadn’t gained any weight either. Her situation was not quite obvious yet.
They had had a few girls in the past who had been sent away for ‘bad behaviour’, and even they usually left very silently.
The agency was really all she could think of whenever the word home was mentioned.
And although she would still get to see them on occasion, it felt weird knowing she wouldn’t wake up to their usual routines. It felt as if she was leaving her family behind. And she couldn’t even tell if it was the hormones aggravating her emotions – it all felt a little too much!
After about an hour of paperwork and a short lecture, she was chauffeur driven into the two-bedroom apartment building owned by The Agency at East Airport. Her belongings filled up two medium-sized suitcases. She was given her bank account and health insurance details, an ATM card, a phone, and a small amount of cash.
The neighbourhood was very posh. The apartment building had different shops at the bottom mostly coffee shops and restaurants, and one large boutique.
It felt like a fresh start. She had been given information about her family, and she didn’t know yet if she would contact them or not. She only wanted her mother… yet somehow, she didn’t know if her mother would want her. Because if she knew what she’d been doing over the past few years, she probably would not want her.
The apartment was fully furnished. Nothing overly special, but it was cosy. She put her things into the small closet and sat down alone with her thoughts.
“Dear baby…” She rubbed her belly.
“This is going to be our home for a very short while!” There were tears in her eyes. Tears she determined to not let fall.
“You will not actually see this place. Because once you arrive, we will travel the world!”
Akaa could actually count the days when Alima was not on his mind. For some reason, something would always come up and remind him of her… The way one young girl laughed in a crowd, someone’s perfume on the elevator, a casual hug from a colleague… almost everything seemed to make him think of her. And it had made him incredibly irritable.
He hadn’t stopped sending money to the agency and sending tips to her. He still had hopes that she would one day out of the blue reply his messages. She couldn’t possibly hate him all of a sudden, could she?
And since the agency said she was likely to return in a couple of months, he planned to go see her. He constantly wondered how she was doing. How many clients she’d bagged now that she was out… He wondered so many things about her.
Had she fallen in love with someone else? She had such a soft heart… maybe she had forgiven him and moved on. Did she still laugh the way she did? Weird sonorous laughter, with soft undertones…
“Sir, the last document was not signed.”
He was startled when his secretary walked in with the said document. She must have noticed, because she stood still for a while, before approaching him with the document.
Get it together Akaa! You have never been sloppy, and a prostitute is not the reason why you will become careless.
He gave himself an internal pep talk and pushed Alima to the back of his mind as he signed the document.
So, what if he was in love with her? He had been in love with Dionne before? It would pass eventually. And if she ever came back, he’d be over her. He knew what to do. He’d ask for another girl at the agency. He had to destroy this festering wound before it destroyed him. He had to.
Talata’s father had made her promise that they would take pre-marital counselling. She’d agreed, only on condition that it would be in her own church, and not in the catholic church. She didn’t intend to subject herself or Teju to six long months of long boring hours, listening to some priest hammer on and on about the evils of contraceptives and what nots.
She would go to one of the charismatic churches she had visited in previous times. They were more liberal, more modern, and would definitely expedite the whole process. Maybe two or three months max?
The process of getting Teju out of the agency proved to be a lot easier than she expected. And he had even been given some amount of money for his time there! It was a lot of paperwork, a lot of NDAs, a lot of work, but it definitely wasn’t as bad as she had expected it to be.
She was getting him settled in as one of the branch managers in one of her smaller, newer companies – didn’t want to work directly with him. At least not yet. She kept holding some weird space in her heart, expecting him to switch up. She didn’t want to be surprised if he did… or when he did. Because she kept telling herself that this was for her father. But somewhere inside, she knew her heart was going to him. She was falling.
“So, are there any traits from your previous marriage that you feel could recur in this current marriage?”
Talata didn’t know what kind of counsellor they had gotten.
Elder Ato. He looked unbothered. He had a questionnaire that he was running through.
“I guess the only thing would be a lack of support?”
Teju was taking notes – actually, holding a pen and paper and writing things down. Didn’t he know these things were merely a formality?
“Are there any expectations you think Teju should be aware of?”
“I just want him to have the same support he has for me right now.”
“Teju, what about you.”
“I think the only thing would be respect. Even though Talata is considered classes above me, I don’t think she’s ever made me feel that way. So, I just hope… and expect the same amount of respect.”
It felt like very arduous one hour for her, but as he drove them back home, Teju looked at her and said: “I will always support you…” and just that statement made it feel very worth it.
Lightning never strikes twice.
It was something Akaa had said once to her. It was about one of his business ventures that had gone down terribly and was finally picking up after a lot of expensive changes.
He had no guarantees that it would actually end up doing well, but he was in a glorious mood that day. And that’s when he’d said it.
“Lightning never strikes twice, Lina… at least not in the same place. And considering how bad it got, this surge is good. It means we are likely going to make it!”
She’d looked up that expression that day.
Today, when the expression popped up in her mind with a gush of emotion, her heart beat fast, and all the suppressed hot tears threatened to fall.
She thought about him. Thought about all the beautiful conversations they could have about anything and nothing. One time they spent over an hour discussing the different smells and correlating consistencies of poop! She missed him so much, it made no sense to her. Why couldn’t she stop loving or thinking about him?
She had put all her energies in the past few weeks into moving subtly out of The Agency’s apartment into a new place out of town. She had done some research and gone to see a few places. She was initially torn between one small place in Koluedor, and another in Big Ada.
She was more inclined toward the place at Koluedor because there were fewer people, and the house was out of the way, about a kilometre from a small catholic church with a very small congregation. The small house had apparently been owned by the church and was given out to be rented to some missionaries in the past, before it was bought and renovated by someone.
It was a one-bedroom semi-painted building. The kitchen and living room were only separated by a thin piece of plywood. It was minimally furnished, with a bed, shelves and a table in the room, a fridge, and a gas stove in the kitchen, and a small TV and one three-seater couch in the living room. The whole house was the size of the living room of the apartment she had just left. And though it was not the kind of luxury she had gotten used to in the past four years, she would make do.
It reminded her of her life before the agency. Most of it felt like a blur. But with each day, she would remember something Hamamat would do, or something her father had said to her. Even her brothers… It was as if her mind had suppressed most of her childhood and early teenage years. Because some days, she could remember absolutely nothing!
There was only one other nearby house, and it was right behind hers. There was a man who lived there. Their building was also about forty minutes by motorbike to the Catholic Hospital in Battor, which seemed to have a good reputation. She would go there to have her baby.
Alima noticed after living there a week that apart from the young gentleman that lived behind her place, there was really nobody that passed by her house. There was one family that lived up the untarred road from her, close to the church. She’d seen a woman, probably in her late thirties, with a little boy, about six years old in front of that house.
The young man that lived behind her seemed very weird. He wore white clothes daily. Without fail. White T-shirts and bottoms, and on the weekends, a white overall. In the mornings, he often did a jog. Twice a week, in the late afternoons, when the sun was down, he would come out to water and prune and turn his small tomato and pepper garden. He did all this in his white apparel. Once, it looked like he was going somewhere important. He wore a white dress-shirt and a pair of white trousers!
It amused Alima. Because why would you want to wear white all the time? Especially when you live in this dusty untarred neighbourhood?
She had been tactical about disappearing from the agency’s radar so far. She had created a new bank account and was slowly transferring her money there. And just before she moved to Koluedor, she had bought herself a ring. Because she noticed that even at the hospitals, the pregnant women who were respected were the married ones.
And for some reason, it looked better to people for someone to be pregnant married or widowed, than it did for her to be pregnant unmarried. There were no questions.