This story is by Ohita Afeisume and was part of our 2017 Summer Writing Contest. You can find all the Summer Writing Contest stories here.
Mimi strolled into the bar of the Prestige Hotel at 9’0 clock that Saturday evening, arms akimbo just as she had done in her hey days. She was dressed in a micro mini black dress that accentuated her curves, red stiletto heeled shoes and a clutch bag to match.
On one side of the bar were two business partners celebrating.
“I told you we will clinch the deal. Didn’t I? Amara said, hysteria in his voice.
“You can say that again. Cheers! Buchi laughed. They clinked glasses.
“It will be a double celebration when I win the babe’s heart,” Amara said.
“Ah, your date? You only met in the last twenty-four hours. It’s too early to…
“Sh sh! What do you know? True. Yet I feel as though we have known each other for the longest time. I told her all about my businesses, my love for cars and particularly my favourite Porsche brand. She equally she told me all about herself. An award-winning actress….”
“We are a perfect match as far as I see, Amara said with a twinkle in his eyes. I’m no fan of failure, you know.”
“Of course,” said Buchi eyeing him.
“I swear. This lady is everything a man could ever want. A picture of class.”
Amidst the dim lights of the bar, they inhaled the scent of Mimi’s perfume so strong as if she took a bath in it. Amara swirled round and rose.
“Aha! Here comes the star.
Buchi looked up to see a lady so heavily made up, it seemed that the makeup was wearing her. Her hands and legs emblazoned in tattoos so abundant as to stagger the imagination.
Hi, Mimi. Please, Buchi meet Mimi, my….”
As Buchi stood up to say “Hello,” Mimi snorted off, a frown on her face. Embarrassed, Buchi folded his hands and sat down mouth agape. A bewildered Amara started to tender apologies.
“Ah no, no problems. I’m fine.”
Amara hurried after Mimi. She led him to a table at the extreme of the bar and collapsed into a leather chair. For the first time, she made eye contact and flashed him a smile.
“Do take your seat,” she said, beckoning. She pulled out a cigarette, lit it and puffed the smoke at him.”
With a wave of the hand, Amara blew the smoke off his face. He began to pace up and down in disgust. Suddenly, he stopped and blurted out: “Just what’s all this nonsense about? I was just going to introduce my friend and business partner to you and you did not even have the decency to…”
“Spare me,” Mimi snapped back. “And what business of mine is that supposed to be? You and I have a date, right? For crying out loud, what do I care about your friend or business partner, godfather or whatever?
“Ah, you amaze me. You don’t even have the courtesy to respond with a nod or a smile. At least to acknowledge…
“Acknowledge who or what?”
By now it was clear that Mimi didn’t want to see reason. Neither did Amara wish to bandy words further. He bit his lips twice, took a deep breath, shook his head and remarked:
How uncivilised can you be? And I thought you were a star!
An angered Mimi got up, took the glass of red wine she had been sipping from and emptied it on Amara. “Rubbish. Arrant nonsense.” She hissed in his face.
When Amara managed to find his voice, he muttered under his breath: “What bad luck is this?”
From his vantage point, Buchi had watched the unfolding scene. He could not hold himself any longer. He dashed to Amara’s side to save him from further assault. Trying to keep a calm and unruffled demeanour, he asked: “Any problems? Amara’s embarrassment was evident especially as a couple of ladies came into the bar at that moment. One look at Mimi and the ladies gave each other knowing smiles. Amara heard one say to the other: “What won’t we see in this world?”
“Oh yes, her stock in trade? Suck one man dry and move ahead to her next victim.”
“Rubbing shoulders with the high and mighty. How I pity the men.”
“A thriving career now history. Succeeded in making a shipwreck of her…”
“Now a call….”
Buchi stood face to face with Mimi. His jaw dropped as recognition hit him in the face.
“You? Mimi. You again?
Amara’s eye bulging with surprise, he asked, “You know her?”
Instead of answering, Buchi simply took Amara’s hand, dragging him.” Let’s get out of here. Quick.” Amara knew better than to protest. In the safety of the car, he told Amara about his ex-girlfriend. The one who felt she was too good for him, jilted him having eaten him out of house and home. A girl from a humble background who once her big break came, dumped him to date famous celebrities. She had won a medal as the best actress which went into her head. This Mimi of a girl. Pride and arrogance made her quarrel on set with co- actors which set her fans against her. Later, she had to beg for roles. Having squandered her acting fortunes on alcohol and a high lifestyle, I hear she frequents bars…”
“Wait a minute. You mean she is…?
“A call girl if you like.”
“Hey, I lost on this one.”
“I tell you, Mimi is bad news.”
Afterwards, Buchi drove in silence whilst Amara mumbled congratulations to himself. A narrow escape from being cheap meat for a snob and washed up star like Mimi.
Back in the bar, Mimi suddenly found herself alone. She had made a fool of herself again. At the corner, the two ladies continued to make sneering remarks about her. She put her head on the table and let out a shrill sound. No one paid her any mind. How a star had fallen.