It was ten-thirty in the night and the roads were beginning to get freer, I could easily breathe in the cold air of nature from the Atlantic surrounding the Island. The man beside me must have thought I was a total stranger to Lagos with the way I kept my head outside the cab window all through the ride and kept “awwwing” at everything.
I was no stranger to Lagos; I was born there but I was a total stranger to its night life.
Temilade dared me. My very adventurous friend dared me to leave my books for one night and venture in to the living spirit of the night, she always claimed that a spirit was very much alive in the night life of Lagos; it makes you high and makes you forget the frustrations of the day hustling.
So I took my dare an extra notch and decided to go a bit wilder than my reserved self. I wore a ripped three quarters length jeans and a crop top that was armless; I felt naked and Temi kept laughing at how uncomfortable I was feeling. Eventually she gave me a really long wig to hide in and it made me feel a lot better.
We got down at a place I later termed “Vegas replica” in my mind and all my shyness returned. I didn’t know so much about how to behave and what to do, worse still I had no clue as to where we were going and Temi had no time to teach me as she was trying to communicate with her boyfriend to come and pick us outside.
After about three minutes of hearing Temi rant on how she was sure her boyfriend was cheating, he eventually came out. Her rants made me remember why I hated relationships; the drama always made me tired. Temi’s boyfriend was really cool but he totally looked like a Yoruba demon so somewhere in my mind I agreed with Temi that he was cheating.
The first thing I noticed as we entered Vegas replica ( I still don’t know the name of the place, there was no signboard or name anywhere; I subconsciously wondered how people located it) was the dim and multi coloured lights. I saw green and red and blue, the lights kept moving in such a way that I could barely see much.
We got in and Temi wished me good luck as she disappeared with her boyfriend that couldn’t stop touching her, to the dance floor. It was at that point I was really able to look at my surroundings and I was shocked to my bones about things I didn’t see before.
There were real life strippers some where by the edge of the dance floors. I had only seen strippers in movie and I never really felt they were real in any sense I could think of, I had to move to the area where they were dancing with silver poles to the delight of the men around them throwing one thousand naira notes or inserting the notes between their legs. I kept staring like a villager seeing traffic light for the first time. Shock couldn’t describe how I felt, it was like I was on another planet.
The ladies serving drinks were topless and they didn’t stop smiling so seductively at everyone and putting tips inside their shorts. At another section some people were playing cards but it was a different kind of card game because except my eyes were deceiving me, the card I was seeing was money; lots of it and different currencies too.
In my timid and shocked survey I stumbled on a veiled section that briefly opened when one of the topless ladies came out and I saw clearly a man receiving a blowjob and another apparently having an orgasm from the lady that kept bouncing on his laps. I averted my eyes as fast as I could but the picture stuck.
I was tired of moving around like a lost puppy and I went to sit by the bar, hoping the night could be over soon. The place was totally not my kind of place and I was way too uncomfortable.
“Hello” oh no! Someone didn’t just think of approaching me in this place, I wondered what he must think of me before I turned around
“Hi” Lord have mercy! The vision in front of me was fifty shades of cute and the bells in my head started staying at alert and getting ready to ring.
“You here with someone?” Before I could respond, in the twinkle of an eye, a gigantic looking man had dragged Mr Cute from my side and dumped him on the ground. If you were brought up by Yoruba parents, you would know I didn’t wait beside him to find out what was going on talk less of try to defend him.
I later found out from whispers around that he was owing the big man and had been hiding about with rich girls. I suddenly wondered what made him think I was rich.
Sometime later in the night, I found myself on the dance floor but I had to rush away when guys started fighting to dance with me when they realised I was alone.
Around four in the morning, an obviously drunk Temi with her barely stable boyfriend came to get me. I thought I would be seeing a lonely road and a quiet Lagos by that time of the morning but there wasn’t much difference between that time and when we left in the night. In fact, the city was very much awake, it was like morning started by that time; police sirens and people in private and public vehicles obviously going to work.
I practically carried a sleeping Temi up the stairs to her room before I found my way to the roof top and my favourite thinking spot. I laid a mattress on the floor and kept thinking about the events of the night, eventually I decided it was truly an adventurous experience but I am still yet to decide if I would participate in the night life of Lagos again
©Onashile Peace( tolarnee)
***Pure work of fiction with my personality as the main persona