When I first came to the city, I didn’t know how the sugar baby life would be. I was so blinded by the life I wanted that I didn’t think about what I could go through at the hands of a sponsor. What I knew for sure was that I didn’t want to be a small-town girl forever.
I wanted to experience everything the girls in the movies had—the fancy cars, restaurants, clothes, etc. However, I didn’t know where to start when I got to the city. I was so used to my home life that each day was the same.
You wake up, prepare breakfast for everyone then start your everyday chores. Occasionally I would hang out with some of my friends, but all we did was imagine how life would be in the city. We talked about our dreams all the time, and I eventually got tired of talking. I wanted to create that life for myself; the only way to do it was to take a giant leap of faith.
So, I woke up one day and informed my family that I wanted to move to the city and start a new life. We argued, and when I realized we would never be on the same page, I packed my things and left without saying goodbye.
At that time, everyone was conspiring against me. Little did I know that life itself would conspire against me.
When I got to the city, everything seemed so new and fascinating. I spent hours walking around admiring the restaurants and boutiques in the area.
When I realized it was getting late, I called my cousin Tanya, who had moved to the city a few months before.
“Hey, T, are you in a position to pick me up?” I said as I looked around the area.
“Pick you up? Aren’t you at home?” She says in a surprised tone
“No, I travelled to the city, and now I’m near the bus station, but I have nowhere to go,” I said.
“Okay, give me 30 minutes. I’ll be there,” she said as she hung up.
I spent those thirty minutes glancing around the area. At that moment, all I could think about were the stories Tanya had told me over the phone about being mugged. I didn’t have a lot of things since I had only carried a backpack, but I still couldn’t risk losing the few things I had.
A black Mercedes pulled up Infront of me. My first thought was that I would be kidnapped and there would be nobody to help since I was alone at the bus stop. The driver’s car door opened, and to my surprise, it was Tanya. She looked so different from when I last saw her. She wore a tiny, tight black dress that showed off her spotless legs. Her wig was perfectly combed, and it looked like her actual hair. She looked like a model; I could hardly even recognize her as the girl I knew from home.
“Beverly! Oh my God!” She said as she ran to hug me.
“Tanya!” I said in an excited tone as I hugged her back.
She opened the car’s back door and signalled me to get in. When I entered, I realized someone else was in the car —a man dressed in a polo shirt and khakis. I couldn’t tell his age, but he seemed older than Tanya.
“Bev, this is Antony,” Tanya said as she strapped her seatbelt.
“Hi, it’s nice to meet you,” I said softly.
“Pleasure,” he turned and said to me with a smile.
All I could think about during the ride was how much Tanya had changed. She had gone from small-town girl to city model in just a few months. I wanted that, and I needed to know how she did it.
When we got to Tanya’s place, I was utterly blown away. She lived in a penthouse in the suburban area of the city. The cars in that compound looked expensive, and even those who owned those cars seemed wealthy.
Antony gave Tanya a peck on the cheek before entering the driver’s seat and leaving. We got to the door of Tanya’s house, and she pulled out a keycard to open the door. I didn’t even know people could use anything other than keys to open doors.
When we got in, I didn’t even wait to settle down. I wanted to know how Tanya had managed to become successful.
“So, how did you do it?” I asked her as I placed my bag on the sofa.
“Do what?” She asked as she brought me a glass of juice from the kitchen.
“How have you changed so much? You look like the women I see on TV,” I said.
She laughed as she sat down.
“Antony,” She replied
“He helped you find a job? Or he loaned you money?” I asked curiously.
“No, we have a barter trade system,” She said.
“What exactly do you exchange for money?” I asked as I gulped down my juice.
“Myself,” she responded as she handed me a serviette.
I didn’t know what exactly she meant, so I took a minute to think about it.
“I spend time with him and get intimate with him; in exchange, he gets me whatever I want.” She said.
“Ohh, so you’re a prostitute?” I asked in shock.
“No, I only sleep with Antony and my boyfriend,” she responded.
“How can you be with two men at the same time? Don’t they know about each other?” I asked.
“With Antony, our relationship is like a business arrangement, plus he has a wife.” She responded.
I was confused. My cousin was always reserved and used to be strict regarding morals.
“Isn’t that wrong?’ I asked.
“In the city, there is no wrong or right. You always have to find a way to survive. I tried many jobs, and they didn’t work out, so I opted for this.” she said.
If she tried jobs and they didn’t work out, I would have gone through the same thing. I couldn’t risk going back home. I wanted to prove to my parents that I could have the life I wanted. So whatever it took, I had to become like Tanya.
“What are you thinking about?” Tanya asked while looking at me.
“Where did you find Antony? I want to have a man like that.” I said.
“Are you sure? This life isn’t as easy as it looks, B.” She said
“I came to the city to have a good life, and I have to achieve it by all means,” I said.
“Okay, Antony has a friend, and he is handsome. I will see if I can set you up.” She said.
“Okay,” I said with a smile.
“Let’s head to bed; it’s getting late,” Tanya said as she helped me with my bag.
Tanya spoke to Antony the next day, and he agreed to set a date for me and his friend. On the day of the date, Tanya let me borrow one of her dresses, and she did my makeup. I couldn’t believe I was just a few hours away from having the life I had always dreamed about. It was exciting and terrifying at the same time.
Tanya ordered an uber to take me to the restaurant. When I got there, I approached one of the tables and took a seat. Since I didn’t have a smartphone or a social media life, I decided to observe people as I waited.
“Beverly?” I heard a man asking from behind.
“Yes, that’s me,” I said as I glanced back to look at him.
“Brandon,” He said as he reached out to greet me.
“Pleasure,” I said with a polite smile.
As he pulled the seat to sit down, I took a good look at him. He looked a bit older than Antony, but he was handsome.
“So Beverly, are you sure you want to have the life Tanya has?” He asked.
“Yes, I’m very sure,” I responded without a minute of thought.
I wasn’t sure, but there was no going back.
In the days that followed, I spent more time with Brandon. We got to know each other better and true to what we agreed. He bought me everything I needed: A new car, Makeup, Clothes and he got me a new apartment. My dreams had started coming true, and I couldn’t be happier.
As the months went by, Brandon and I were okay. We would see each other on weekends and sometimes during the week after work. I had asked him to open up a boutique so I could be busy. My parents would receive money from me every week for upkeep, and they were genuinely impressed.
My friends back home would call me occasionally to ask for money, and I would always send them. With time, news had spread that I was the small-town girl who made a big difference. I had become a celebrity and was living my best life, or so I thought.
Somewhere along the way, I started dating. Tanya had told me that It wouldn’t be a big deal, so I didn’t think much about it. To be on the safe side, I told Brandon. He didn’t react, so I took it as a go-ahead.
Things started changing slowly after that. Brandon would sulk every time I mentioned I was going on a date. Whenever I would go on the dates, he would call about five to six times to check-in. We went from seeing each other after work and on weekends to spending almost every moment together.
I didn’t view it as a severe issue. I didn’t even consider it an obsession because I owed everything to him. This was until we went for a lunch date and bumped into his friend. Brandon introduced me as the love of his life, and that’s when I knew this had become something else. On our way out, I decided to address the issue.
“Why did you tell him I was the love of your life?” I asked.
“Because he is a player, and I knew he would have hit on you.” He responded.
“You could have just warned me,” I replied.
“I don’t want anybody else having access to you other than me,” he said.
“What does that mean?” I asked.
“I want you to be my girlfriend officially,” He responded.
His response caught me by surprise. I had never developed romantic feelings for him in our time together. To accept this would mean pretending, and I didn’t want that.
“I don’t think I can be with you like that’ I responded cautiously.
He paused for a minute, then looked at me. His facial expression had changed completely.
“I can’t see you as my sugar baby anymore,” he responded disappointedly.
I was also a bit disappointed because I didn’t know if this meant I had to give back everything I had.
“So, what does this mean?” I asked, holding back my tears.
“You can stay with everything, but I can’t see you anymore,” he responded as he left.
We didn’t talk to each other after that. I felt terrible, but I decided to move on with my life. I was glad I still had a business and that my lifestyle was intact.
Weeks later, I got a text from him. He said he hadn’t stopped thinking about me and wanted me back. I thought we would revert to our agreement until I read the last part of the text. He wanted me back, but as his girlfriend, and if I refused, he would tell my family back home that I was a sugar baby. In addition to that, he would take away my boutique.
I started panicking because this would leave me humiliated and struggling with bills. However, being manipulated into love didn’t seem right to me.
I called him and told him he could do whatever he wanted. Nothing was worth my peace anymore. In the days that followed, my parents called me and informed me of what they had heard. He told them everything we had done and added that I had begged him to be with me. He changed the narrative so that I looked like I was the one that was obsessed with him and my lifestyle.
I had talked to Tanya beforehand, and she told me just to let it go because Brandon had the resources to ruin me. My parents didn’t talk to me after that, but they told me during my lecture that I could go back home. Despite all that had happened, I couldn’t risk the humiliation of society, so I decided to stay. Life became challenging, and a part of me regretted my decision not to date him. However, when I thought about it, I realized that if I had given in, It would have made me more miserable. My mental well-being was more important than this life I was chasing.
It took me some time to trust men, but I knew one thing for sure. If I were to be with a man in the city, it would be because of love and not anything beyond that.
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