Smartly dressed and self conscious, he glanced at his Cartier timepiece to avoid the prying gazes of few ladies posted on both sides of the door leading into the lobby of the hotel. As he brushed past them without a word, he fought back a smile, full of admiration. But as he walked over to the receptionist he could hear their arguments, each cussing out the other and calling dibs on him. The smile won.
The receptionist, a frail looking middle-aged man who was already balding in the center of his head, gave him the once-over from behind his wooden desk and stood to welcome him with a tight-lipped “Good evening sir, welcome.”
Michael acknowledged him with a barely perceptible nod of his Fendi-shrouded head and scanned the price list atop the counter with an air of impatience.
“I’ll take the 15k room. I want something upstairs and away from the windows.”
A bellboy was extricating folded towels from a pile in a storage wardrobe in the far corner and so far he had been too engrossed in his task to appraise the newcomer. Michael’s impeccable English laced with an unmistakable hybridised North American accent galvanised the bellboy into a sharp turn. Leaving the towels unattended, he rushed eagerly to Michael’s side, a glint in his eyes as he offered to bear his Louis Vuitton crested overnight duffel. Michael would not be separated from his luggage, and dismissed the effort with a wave of his hand.
He signed a fake name on an unnecessary form and as he counted out the mint notes from his purse which didn’t need close inspection to reveal that it was a matching set with the carry-on duffel, it was all the onlooking bellboy could do to keep from smacking his lips in glee at the prospects of possibly ending his miserable shift with a more-than-generous tip. Michael paid for two nights and let the overzealous bellboy grab the key card that was stretched towards him. Retrieving his car key from the countertop, he made his way to the stairs, his newfound manservant leading the way.
He was used to elevators, not stairs, and fully serviced apartments or five-stars with 150k-per-night bills, not cheap motels with heavy speakers blasting out a flurry of tunes that changed rapidly on the whim of a resident DJ who didn’t know what he was doing. They located the room and as the bellboy pressed the key card against the electronic sensor. There was a small cushion chair in the corner. The queen-sized bed was already laid with fresh bedding and a portable-size TV displayed the energetic exertions of a Premier League match. The bellboy slid the card into its bracket on the wall and skipped like a deer to AC switch.
When he had turned it on, he proceeded to lay out the towel, a slim packet of bathing soap and a fresh roll of tissue paper on the bed which Michael regarded with visible disdain but said nothing and proceeded to the wardrobe. He had already packed everything he would need. When he had stowed his bag away, he turned to find the bellboy feet apart, arms tucked behind him, the perfect picture of a lackey at the ready to do his master’s bidding. He opened his purse, extracted five 1000 naira notes and handed them to the bewildered guy who reciprocated with a bow that would have put Her Majesty’s royal guards to shame. The labours of his eye service were yielding bigger fruits than he had envisaged.
“You need anything else, boss? You can collect my number for dry cleaning, food, any message.”
Michael wasted no time issuing his response.
“I need a girl. Fair, beautiful, thick. I don’t want a skinny girl.”
The lad grinned from ear to ear, a knowing twinkle in his eyes.
“Don’t worry boss, I’ll bring a good one and talk to her for you.”
Michael didn’t need him to talk for him.
“Just send someone beautiful to me, fair-skinned, thick body but not too big, not fat. If I don’t like the girl, you’re taking her back.”
“Trust me, I know the perfect girl for you, lemme go and call her. Just relax boss.”
And with those words, his minion disappeared through the door.