We, the workers up here, would like to apologise for not posting this yesterday. We were experiencing technical difficulties that we know you really don’t care about. Without any further delay,
All she’d ever wanted to do was dance. Growing up, she’d sucked at it. At almost everything, actually. Dancing, chores, party games, and even the games she and the other children in the compound would often play, like ice and water, red light, green light, ten ten, and even catcher. Temi was very awkward when it came to any activity that required her to move her body or socialise with other children, she just couldn’t quite get the hang of it. Still, she loved to dance.
As the years went by, she’d become more and more recluse. Going downstairs to play with the neighbours became something she did less frequently, opting to stay upstairs reading. Books were her escape. Oh, she loved the books! And she read everything, too. Newspapers, magazines, any paperwork her mum brought home, even books that were supposedly for adults, and she didn’t need any help. She picked words up very quickly. Her mind was as sharp as a knife, which is why she always excelled at schoolwork. Her report cards read the same thing every term – “Very gifted academically, but needs to work on her social skills.”
Still, she loved to dance. And now, years later, here she was. Doing what she truly loved. The music blaring around her she mounted the platform and started her routine. The club lights flashed on and off her bikini-clad body as she briefly walked around the pole in rhythm to the music blaring around her, then she shut everything but the music out and mounted the pole. The feel of the cold steel against her bare flesh made her feel nothing short of ecstatic. The pole was her lover, and she treated it as such. She worked on it lovingly, executing each slide, spin, and fall with passion. She’d been doing this for so long, she was dangerously close to being perfect at it. Temi was a crowd pleaser, and the best-paid dancer at the club.
She was rounding up her routine when Kemi walked past and smiled at her. She acknowledged the smile with a curt nod as she did a knee spin. During her routine, she’d managed to steal quick glances at Kemi as she sat at the bar. And, although most of her visuals were upside-down, she’d seen the same scene on several different occasions. She knew enough now to know exactly how it was going to end, and she definitely didn’t need any extra or special abilities to know that poor guy didn’t stand a chance in hell. As she transitioned from a caterpillar into a falling hand stand, she watched Kemi’s latest reject leave the bar, looking as down-trodden as any man whose future had been shattered could look. She figured he realised what he’d missed out on. This was good. She dismounted and made her way to the changing room.
“Temi!!!” The high-pitched shrill pierced her heart like a drill. She disliked this part of her job. Having to socialise with the other dancers was a burden she wished someone else could bear. But, unfortunately for her, being sociable was one of the job requirements, and she’d lied to the owner that she was. This girl, Ify, she especially wasn’t fond of. The other dancers mostly went about their business, conversing amongst themselves only when there was need to, but Ify was a busy-body. She nodded and forced a smile, knowing deep within her that this would not be enough for Ify. “Temi, baby!!” Ify said again, grinning for no apparent reason.
“Hi dear.” Temi finally responded, but couldn’t help wishing the girl would just go away.
“I’m fine, oh!” Ify continued in her unusually high-pitched voice. “Sorry, I just came in, so I couldn’t see your show. But, did you hear about Deborah?”
Here it is, Temi thought to herself, today’s piece of gossip. “No, I didn’t.” And just as Ify was about to open her mouth, the door opened and she was called out. Thank you, sweet Jesus. Temi returned Ify’s wave and proceeded into one of the empty stalls. She still had to make two appearance before she could leave, so dressing elaborately was out of the question. She pulled on a tank and shorts over her bikini, traded her pair of heels for pumps and pulled her shoulder-length, almost-black hair into a ponytail. She walked out without even glancing at the mirror.
The club was filling up fast, and floor space was running low. Temi had to skillfully weave through the crowd as she made her way towards her booth. And then someone rushed past her, bumping into her in the process, and causing her to lose her balance. Luckily, someone caught her before she hit the ground. Safely upright on her two feet again, she turned to thank the fast-acting person that had saved her from severe embarrassment and was instantly transfixed by eyes as blue as the sea. Set in a what she considered to be a finely chiselled face.
“Are you okay?” Her saviour asked.
Oh Lord! That voice. And those eyes! Realising he was still waiting for a response, she composed herself and managed a rushed “Fine, thank you.” before turning on her heels and retreating. The image of his eyes, and face – light bronze, and beautifully defined – permanently etched into the back of her mind.
“Aren’t you fortunate?” Kemi said, upon Temi’s arrival at the booth. “Imagine what would have happened if that guy wasn’t there.”
“I know!” Temi managed as she hugged Kemi, taking note of the subtle hint of perfume she had on “I don’t even want to think about how much of a disaster it would have been if he hadn’t caught me.”
“Yeah. Anyway,” waving her hand like she was brushing away some invisible thing in the air, Kemi changed the topic. “did you see the tool that approached me at the bar? Honestly, I don’t know where these people come from!” Temi opened her mouth to speak, but she cut her off “I mean, really! It’s like the amount of hideous people on the internet has drastically increased. I might have to look for a new way to meet new guys.” She sighed “I don’t even want to talk about it anymore.”
“Okay.” Temi responded “So, what do you want to talk about?”
The waiter brought a tray of shot glasses to the table just as Kemi’s face lit up with excitement. Temi knew this look. This look meant there was a very juicy story about to be told. “You’ll need this.” Kemi said, handing Temi a shot glass “Did you hear about Deborah?”