Yesterday was odd. I drifted through it.
I did a bit of writing – I’ve been trying to build my daily quota so I can gear up to that a-book-a-day thing I committed to. So far I’m up to 5,113 words a day.
Meh. So much for bragging.
Anyways, I had written so much my fingers were numb, their joints were creaking and they ached. There was fuel in the generator but I didn’t feel like doing anything. I didn’t want to watch anything sef. I was that detached.
There was fuel in the car too – and I was feeling restless; probably a result of cabin fever. It was something towards ten in the pm; and I did what I predictably would.
Jumped in the car and left the house.
Now, what was my purpose in driving out? I don’t know because I really didn’t think about it, but it would be something along the lines of ‘trying to clear my head’ or ‘just driving’. There was no clear-defined purpose; I just wanted to leave the house.
So I get onto the Lagos – Ibadan expressway doing something close to 80/mph. There’s no reason for the hurry, I just felt like it. Around Iyana Oworo, just before Third Mainland Bridge there’s a small commotion on the other side of the highway. Lights were flashing; I think an ambulance was there. It was a small accident but I couldn’t see much of it and I didn’t try to. I just sped on to the bridge and the Island.
Something other than me was steering the wheel; before I made the decision I was tearing down Akin Adesola, VI. Maybe I didn’t have a destination but it seemed as though my subconscious had a place it wanted me to go. So I sat behind the wheel and followed instructions. We – my subconscious and I that is – drove past Eko Hotel, onto Zenith road and up to the traffic light just beside the Dominos Spot. At this point I asked my subconscious for a destination.
The idiot shrugged.
So I turned right back and tore down Zenith road in the opposite direction. When I got to the roundabout I just continued straight instead of left and back past Eko Hotel. I guess I wanted a change of scenery, but what I got was way more than that.
That was where this thing I’m about to tell you happened.
I was just past the first junction; past that club or ‘spot’ or whatever it is on the right when I noticed something red to my left in my headlights. I glanced that way and realized two things. 1) there was a attractive and bosomy girl standing just on the sidewalk and 2) I was looking at her through a curtain of light rain.
It was drizzling.
That was all I saw before I went past – but automatically I slammed my brakes. If you ask what I was thinking, I’d probably tell you I was thinking of being a gentleman and giving her a ride to her destination and getting a grateful chesty hug and probably a kiss on the cheek – something to warm that cold night.
Lustful thoughts entirely out of character. Or maybe not so much.
Anyways I stopped and was about to reverse the vehicle when I realized she had walked up and was now waiting by the passenger side of my car. Lowering the window, I wore what I hoped was an innocent smile and opened my mouth to ask where she was going when she said; ‘Short time or all-night?”
I think cold interferes with my reasoning; else I would have gotten the picture quickly. As it was, I just sat there staring at her while my brain ran around trying to unravel the maze it was in. When I finally understood what she was saying I still didn’t do what I should have. I think I lost touch with my mouth too because of all the things it could have said what it chose was; “How much?”
She looked at me and calmly said, “Twenty thousand.”
I was high on something, clearly. And I say this because the image that came into my head was how many liters of one hundred and forty-five naira fuel I could buy with that money. But even that wasn’t enough to shock my mouth into behaving because the next thing it said was; “Five thousand.”
She stretched a young slender hand through the lowered window, opened the door and got in.
You could have pushed me out of the car with the end of a thin broomstick.
So I sat there, brain rattling around in my skull like the rat in Skinner’s experiment. There were so many things wrong with the picture. One; I couldn’t possibly take her home. Two, I couldn’t possibly give her five grand. Three; I couldn’t just ask her to exit the car.
What to do?
As usual, my mouth was ahead of me. This time it just fell open and said, “Sister, I hope you know that Jesus loves you and really doesn’t want this kind of life for you….”
That was all the opening I needed. At the ‘for you’ my brain kicked into gear and I just transitioned into a school of theology graduate. “…there’s so much better than this, sister,” I continued, confidence putting the bass back in my voice. “See how beautiful you are…”
I was gearing up for my second wind when the sound of a slamming door brought me out of my séance. She had exited the car after hissing like a hungry and frustrated cobra.
I put my gear in D and sped away from that lonely spot, one thought foremost in my head;