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;
I looked everywhere except at her face. Obviously I was still upset.
Somehow, this daughter of Eve had convinced my boss that they would sign the deal – but needed to discuss some finer points of the contract with the media head.
So my boss had
ordered suggested that I have lunch with her. I hadn’t gotten the call from Chevron or Shell…so I obeyed.
Maybe if I were right-thinking my chest would have expanded a few inches and I would have been levitating. Yeah.
All I felt was anger. I really wasn’t in the mood for socializing – especially not with a member of the opposite sex. Not then.
So I sat there with a wooden face and kept navigating the conversation towards business hoping to get done and get back out and into the safety of my small cubicle.
After a while she sat back and stared at my mouth, chewing slowly and steadily. When she finally spoke…
“We have all day.”
I sat there in silence and swore bitterly.
So it’s been three months. Three of the craziest get-out-here months of my life.
But it’s over.
And so I was once again that guy who wore suits and walked back and forth Opebi, looking at beautiful girls and thinking ‘is it really worth the trouble’?
I sigh and walk on. I like the way my life is – the part where I just become part of the background. The part where I’m of no significance to anyone but my computer and my boss.
I am done with lies. Romance. Heartbreak. Done with confusion and double-dealing. Like that suddenly-trending article online, ‘Marriage Is Not For Me‘.
Mine is just a bit more literal. I am done with love and all related things.
But love is far from done with me…
- Swift Scribbles: Gobe a.k.a E Don Happen! (seunodukoya.wordpress.com)
She looked like something that belonged on a movie set.
Except this wasn’t a movie.
I was on queue at the Opebi junction, waiting to get a bus to go home. I was tired, irritated and angry at the new Keke Napep ban which was just an unnecessary inconvenience, going crazy from the chatter of two market women who looked like they had a mud fight all day – and I just wanted to sleep.
When the whiff of Chanel 05 hit my olfactory senses I didn’t think much of it immediately – and then I saw her.
She looked like something that belonged on a movie set. Except, this wasn’t a movie.
The – Less Story
My phone’s keys miss the first letter. I need to send texts.
My life hinges on missives I need to send in the next few moments. It is of the highest import; those texts must get to the receivers within the next few hours. Else, I will be the most recent corpse in town. So I sit down, bending my impressive intellect to the issue obstructing me.
It is useless trying to phone. I do not possess credit – I hope to utilize the free texts on the HTC device in my possession put there by the network I subscribe to. Motherfucking MTN.
So there I sit looking off into the horizon beyond, processing thoughts joined with concepts. Stuck in trouble I need to get out of. Options. Options. Do I possess those?
Do I go jogging to my enemies, delivering the missives myself one by one? Do I rest here; holing up for my obviously predestined end? Is there something else?
Something to write-off the judgment coming for me?
Oh. Forgive me. I see your interest in this…this trouble I keep going on concerning.
It interests you; no?
I represent the interests of one drug peddler on these streets – representing his interests in the role of delivery boy. I get the bundle, run with it from Ikoyi to the suburbs of Surulere plus environs, get the money. Run with it to the boss on Opebi, then move with cuts off the money for the boss’ soldiers on the lower level of the food string. Sounds simple, no?
Well here is the problem.
My deliveries work with time. If I do not show up by so-so time, the premise of something out of design occurring is to be concluded upon; therefore one extreme step previously settled on by both groups is to be moved on. By every sign, I do not possess the power I need to get to the first closest delivery point owning to the collection of vehicles between my present position connecting to where I need to be. The congestion is overwhelming to the point I get out of the vehicle to sit on the curb, viewing the beyond horizon.
The sunset is stunning.
It looks to me like it’s the sun of my life setting. ‘Then the condemned being consumed his concluding dish’ were the words on my mind.
But the spirit which keeps men trying in the eye of overwhelming odds stirred to life in me. I will not go down like this; I think to myself. I refuse to.
How much more convenient it is; telling over doing. I smile to myself, but rise from my sitting position. If I must go, then let it be on my feet. Not otherwise.
I get to the vehicle, step inside. Gun the engine once more. Suddenly my phone rings.
It is the boss. Ignoring protocol.
“Problems, boy?” he utters the moment I pick.
I become overwhelmed with relief. It is completely unexpected.
Therefore I do not get wind of the kill shot. The shot which ends my life.
If you’re reading this line right now I need a favor – you probably did not notice that the story did not contain the letter ‘a’, either by itself or in a word. I need you to please help confirm that this assertion is true – that one sneaky ‘a’ did not slip past me; in the body of the story that is.
Thank you and have a splendid week!