Birthdays are the type of occasion that encourage vanity and arrogance, for 24 hours you are allowed to make everything about you and what better way to celebrate yourself than to throw an over-the-top party.
Kami told Vanessa not to plan anything, she would be in total control and all Vanessa had to do was arrive in the mood to have fun. The theme would be Girls Gone Wild, and everyone had to arrive dressed in their sluttiest outfit.
She struggled to find an outfit. She was unsure whether to take the theme literally. To play it safe, she wore stilettos and lingerie, then covered it up with a full-length trench coat. Vanessa told herself that she was going to have fun and enjoy herself to the fullest. Vanessa had complete faith in Kami when it came to planning a good time or getting the best birthday presents. She seemed to know exactly what someone needed.
“Hi, how are you? Do you know where we are going?”, Vanessa asked as she entered the car.
“Good evening ma’am. I was instructed by Ms Thomas not to ruin the surprise.”
Not many people referred to Kami by her last name. It was sort of like an unspoken rule, she was just Kami. Vanessa gave the driver a slight nod and put on her seatbelt. She had no choice but to sit back and accept that Kami was in control. The only request Vanessa made that Kami was willing to compromise on, was that the celebration would have a very minimal guest list.
The car stopped outside a strip club. Vanessa shook her head and let out a loud chuckle. The door swung open and Kgomotso dragged Vanessa out the car.
“Biiiiitch. It’s your birthday!”, she screamed.
“KG. Why so loud? I can hear you.”
“Cause it’s your birthday girl. We gonna get turn’t up.”
“Who else is here?”, Vanessa asked.
“Palesa, Kim, Sizwe & Kami. Come on, let’s go.”
The gang was all there. All the girls were found and brought together by Kami, they were all either lost or just had no direction in their lives until she gave them one. This group was different from Tamia’s sisterhood, they were more direct and not shy to step on toes.
Sometimes they wondered if they were her friends or her assets, she always made sure that they knew business came first and she would replace any of them at a moment’s notice.
Her business model was simple. Spending money on exceptionally beautiful women was a pastime successful men could never rest, so she sought out women who were comfortable with using their looks to get ahead. Kami worked mostly with 5 types of women; strippers, aspiring porn stars, bottle service girls, blessed Barbies and sex workers. The scam was simple, the girls would seduce the men and rob them while they were passed out or seduce them for large sums of money and pay Kami a finder’s fee. Kami took 10% of whatever money the girls made.
Even though the girls were obligated to pay Kami, Vanessa was the only who paid out of respect. Kami treated her more like a partner than she did an asset. Vanessa and Kami met the a few weeks before Tiago had moved out. Vanessa was walking around aimlessly trying to figure herself out and ended up in a bar. At the time, Kami was just a junior manager working at the bar and had a side job working at a gentlemen’s club. She was always looking for new talent. When she first saw Vanessa she was mesmerised. She thought Vanessa would be a huge draw-in for new clients, the way her body was shaped, and her round buttocks would attract a lot of men. Kami approached her and started a conversation. She knew that girls only walked into bars that late in the night because they wanted to drown their sorrows. Her plan was to listen to Vanessa’s story just enough to gain her trust and then convince her to try erotic dancing at the club.
In her state of vulnerableness Vanessa opened up to Kami. She told her about her parents, the baby she had just lost and Tiago. As Kami listened, she realised that Vanessa was very intelligent and deserved better for her life. The idea of more men objectifying her didn’t sit well with Kami. When Vanessa started slurring her words mid conversation, Kami called a cab and took Vanessa home with her. When Vanessa woke up the next day, she confessed her intensions to use Vanessa and to her surprise, Vanessa was not upset. Instead, she showed interest in Kami’s business and how it worked. Over the next few weeks they started to get closer, Kami would let Vanessa spend the night whenever she needed a break from Tiago. By the time Tiago had moved out, Vanessa knew she had somewhere to go to not feel alone. Kami saw Vanessa as a voice of reason and would run ideas by her. During one of their brainstorming sessions, Vanessa came up with the idea of cleaning money and that is how her events business came about.
“Where’s that little rude roommate of yours?”, Kami asked as Vanessa approached the table.
“Your skin is glistening, did you get paid today?”, Vanessa asked while giving Kami a hug and ignoring her comment.
“Shut up. Every day is pay day for the boss.”
Kami became different when she was around these ladies, she was normally less on guard and more playful, a side the ladies appreciated a lot more compared to her work mode. She was dressed for the occasion. Knee length boots, bum shorts and a crop top. Vanessa’s favourite part of her look was her dreadlocks.
Kami always said that her accent and dreadlocks were the two things she kept that reminded her of home. She was very young when she left Barbados and moved to South Africa, but she refused to call South Africa home.
“Please be nice when she gets here Kami. You know she was just star struck by Malik, you know that nigga’s good looks will leave any girl speechless.”
“Wait, Tamia’s coming?”, Palesa interrupted excitedly.
Kami thought Tamia was stuck up and refused to understand why Vanessa was so adamant about keeping her around. Palesa was the exact opposite.
Palesa was fond of Tamia because she made her feel important. All the girls were heads of their respective operations within Kami’s business and Sizwe was the one who earned the most, so she would always find an opportunity to belittle the others, especially Palesa.
Whenever Tamia was around, she would listen to Palesa’s stories and make her feel like she wasn’t just eye candy. Being a bottle service girl was 70% being beautiful and 30% being able to make conversation. The beautiful girls got men to spend a lot of money but the ones who were good at small talk were the ones who made them spend fortunes.
Tamia walked in an hour later. Apparently she had to work late but Vanessa knew it was probably a lie and that she was with Malik. She went around the table and greeted everyone but mumbled her words when she got to Sizwe. She was still struggling with using the correct pronouns.
Sizwe knew he was gay from an early age and when he discovered drag, his whole world changed for the better. When he had his wig on, he preferred female pronouns.
Kami once suggested that Sizwe stay in drag full time. When in drag, she seemed more comfortable and full of life. Her customers didn’t mind the look either. Sizwe managed the sex workers working for Kami. Despite being part of management, she still offered services to married men who were still in the closet. She enjoyed the naughty secret sex and the hush money they paid.
“Nessa. So, tell me about your new banker. All you told me was that he was a man in his 50s. What’s he like?”, Tamia asked.
Before Vanessa could respond, Kgomotso asked for his full name so that they could look him up on social media.
“Why are you so curious KG? I thought you met your quota on older men for the month.” Palesa said jokingly.
Vanessa laughed, “You girls can have him if you want. He is not my type. He’s a pig who has no shame cheating on his wife. He and I are going to have a strictly professional relationship.”
The group could see Kgomotso was getting excited, she was asking questions and showing genuine interest in Khosi.
“What is with you and older men Kgomotso?”, Sizwe asked.
“The older they are, the quicker they die. I am trying to find me a rich old men quarter to the grave.”, Kgomotso responded while rubbing her hands.
“Let’s be real, most of us deal with slightly older gentlemen. Every now and then, you see wrinkled dick that is on part-time paralysis. You get to his place at 6 and he tells you about how he is going to give you the time of your life and at 6:30 he is fast asleep. Then you’re stuck pleasuring yourself and watching Netflix the rest of the night because his old self has curfew.”, Palesa said frustrated.
“Wow. Projecting much.”, Vanessa laughed.
“Speaking of things old men do… my new client is an ugly short man, who likes putting his fingers in my mouth and making me pee on him in the shower. He pays me 4 times my rate and brings me designer bags every time we meet up.”, Sizwe jumped in, trying to fit into the conversation.
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