14 Days: The 9th Day
And so the 9th day began like this…
She’s on her way to work.
She feels as though the week is moving slowly but she does not pay much attention to the thought. After all, it’s not as though she’s going somewhere for the weekend.
So she cruises through the traffic – the little of it she encounters because she leaves her house early enough to avoid the worst of it. But there’s a slight disturbance on her end of Adetokunbo Ademola, so she has to drive down to the bar beach and then past Eko Hotel – and then to the other end of the street.
So she finally makes her way back to her street o, and she’s cruising at a fair speed. But she’s barely past Jade’s Place when this Keke Marwa jumps out of a side street right in front of her car. She slams the brakes – but it’s not quick enough. She rams into the end of the Keke, throwing it askew.
She’s frozen behind the steering wheel – she cannot think or move. The Keke guy, who is totally in the wrong stands in front of her vehicle screaming curses and hand gestures. Horns are blaring, and though she cannot hear the most of it she is scared. And as is typical in cases like this, within moments her car is surrounded by other Keke drivers.
She thinks she is about to die. Or something just as dramatic.
Fortunately, the cops are never too far away on that stretch of road, so they come up and break up the little tricycle party. Slowly, they coax her to move her vehicle, but she’s still so shaky she almost drives the car into the gutter. She manages to park it properly and bursts into tears.
When she calms down a bit, she reaches for her phone and calls Chinedu. “I…I need help,” she stutters into the phone, trying to muffle her snuffles. “I’m at the…end of Adetokunbo. Not our end…the other end.”
It takes Chinedu about eight minutes to get to her, eight minutes during which she’s calmed down a lot more considerably. She opens the driver-side door for him, and he’s about to crack a joke when he notices her disheveled state and puffy eyes. He gets behind the steering and takes her to work without a word.
When they get to the office, he calls the security guard and has him carry all her stuff into the building. And then he supports her gently, half-carrying her into the office and into their own section and unto the couch there. Toke looks up, mouth open and starts to fuss like the mother hen she looks like. Chinedu then steps back outside to examine the damage.
She lies down on the couch, feeling very feminine and hence, quite vulnerable. She remembers the angry faces of the Keke drivers as they surrounded her vehicle earlier – and can’t help but wonder if they would have done the same thing if it were a male behind the steering wheel.
She shudders. Thank God for men; she thinks.
Thank God for us men.