This lagos traffic was crazy..
We have been stuck on one spot for over 2 hours. .
I looked at my time..It was a few minutes past 3pm.
My flight was in another 3 hours. .
Gosh I hated lagos.
Been here for over 3 years..
And I was glad to be relocating..
I had been praying and waiting for a transfer..
Thankful my prayers were heard.
In lasgidi..as it’s fondly called..
You need to meet up..you would have to wake up much more earlier than you want to..
And still end up going home later than you ought to.
So you are basically tired all through and there ain’t no escaping it.
And God knew I wasn’t built to be a super hero.
I wanted to wake up by 7 latest and be at work before 8am no hassle.
I wanted to close by 6pm and have enough time to go out and crab a bite, hang out with friends..watch a movie in the cinema..go for a party or go clubbing if I wanted to …and stay out late..and still have time to get a decent sleep and then get home and be rested and the circle starts all over again.
But here..C’mon. .
You cant even sleep till 5am..unless you want to be stuck in traffic for hours and what’s worse..when your home is so far from your place of work.
It literally sucked.
And I hated every part of it..
The crowd and congestion..
I love the city but..Mehn! !..
The hustle is hard for the hustlers..
I flipped the magazine I was reading trying to while away time somewhat.
It didn’t matter I left home early hoping to beat this darn traffic..
Now I have to suffer through it.
“Just for today..girl..leave through just for today”…I consoled myself.
The Horning was like a misplaced serenade to my ears..
I picked up my phone and decided to listen to music ..placing my ear piece in my ears..tapping my fingers and feets to the beat as I nodded my head with the flow..
Despite it all.
I sort of loved my life.
I was the youngest and brightest female in the company.
I graduated with honours and the best of my class from one of Nigeria ‘ s prestigious University and proceeded to do masters abroad.
An Economist by discipline.
Masters in accounting..
I worked in a bank after I came home and served my father’s land.
I proceeded to work as a chartered accountant after another two years in a financial firm.
I was one of the most sought after and I was good in what I do. No doubt.
I am beautiful and intelligent.
Quite articulate but feisty and a no nonsense person.
Men had tried to oppress women..
Delegating them to the background and to the kitchen calling it their only place..
And that they can’t amount to anything other than be good in bed, good in the kitchen and birth children and submit to their husband.
I hated it..when they said we couldn’t be equal to men.
We couldn’t do what they do and excel in it.
So I told myself. .
Am gonna prove them wrong.
And by God I did.
I got into school.
I let go off all distractions.
I scaled through. .topping my class..
One of the best graduating students..
I didnt relent..
I became what I dreamed..now I could easily equate myself to any man.
I earned my achievements without laying down or on my back for no man..
So I didnt give a shit about them..
I didnt need them really.
I was my own person. My own boss.
I work hard. I make my money.
I don’t need a man to control me..
Infact they felt quite intimidated by me..and I relish in that fact..
Life was good…
I sighed again..
I was so glad to be relocating to Port Harcourt.
Never been there but I hear it’s quite okay..maybe in a few years it would become as congested as lagos but for now I would make do.
I had left the bank and the financial firm for a year now..
I needed something more flexible and more pay..and more time for myself..
The consulting firm /social media house company was just it.
With my flair for social media consulting and managerial. .I was a good candidate and to be honest
.I loved it.
I got to do what I loved.
I got to meet people and make their dreams come through.
I got to have time for myself to.
I got to travel every now and then..
And the perks of the jobs was just divine.
As a social media manager..
My job was quite simple but tasking..
I have to give that spunk and spark to your company ..
Do alot of rebranding..and reconstructing..
To attract consumers/customers..keep them engaged..interested and keep them coming back.
Everyone loves a good advertising..
And a year later..I was been transfered to Port Harcourt for a two years contract to do a rebranding work for a comstruction/House designing company.. “J.K Andrews construction and housing design company’.
Owned by one of the top politician in Nigeria who had hands in every profitable business in the country..
And that was equalling a multi – billion naira upcoming company amongst many others..well it would be when am done with it.
They had called specifically requesting for me..
Another company had referred me…
“Something about hard work or good work pays”..I smiled..
Okon ‘ s voice broke into my thoughts..
“Hain which kain thing be this naw”….speaking in the pidgin dialect. .
I knew he wasn’t talking to me so I ignored him..
He wund down and flagged down a motorcyclist passing through the narrow way only them could venture.
” My brother abeg…you see wetin dey cause this traffic???
The motocyclist had slowed down..
He wasnt carrying a passenger so he gave him a minute of his time.
“Na police oh.
“Accident happen for front..between
One truck driver and cab man.
Woman goods just scatter everywhere ..
People they fight.
Police they separate.
Police won arrest..
People dey bribe..
The woman done hold the police man for Nicka and person wei jam am crush him goods..
So no movement till tori end..”..
He briefly summarised the cause.
I wondered how he was able to deduce it all at once..
But being a typical nigerian. ..it was expected.
Stopping and enjoying the scene was just what they were good at.
Better get first hand of the story than being told.
I shook my head.
“You mean am?..
“My brother na so oh…”
..He replied with a thick yoruba accent..
“Hain that means before road go clear na die..”…okon said more to himself than to the man
“Just off car relax..or you stop bike begin go your way…abi madam no go mind I go carry am for back…”…He said indicating me..
I didnt bother justifying that with a reply..
The horns of other motocyclist coming behind him prompted him to continue on his way..
“Okay naw”…He said waving and speeding off..
“Thank you my guy”…okon waved back.
“Hmmm madam, I hope we make it in time for your flight…”
“Hopefully..we may if this clears up some..”..I replied.
We were there for another two hours and I was literally fuming.
Tired and not in the best of moods.
By the time we reached the crux of the traffic..
Remnants of the spoils still littered around..
People still gathered.
The bashed cars had been moved to the side to allow other citizens go through..
The woman was wailing by the corner..
Holding on to the culprit of her dismay..
The policemen where dragging among themselves..
Apparently money had exchanged hands but not everyone was carried..
It was a poor sorry sight..
Okon slowed down abit..
To enjoy the moment..
I didnt look up from my magazine.
“Step on it okon.. am already pissed…don’t provoke me more..”
“Don’t worry in due time you can buy the home video. .I bet some twisted director would get inspired by this and equally bag desperate upcoming actors to do the flick and sell it cheap for good measure..”
He laughed..and sped up when he got an opening…
“Madam you are funny oh”..
We got to the airport a little after my departure time.
Luckily for me..
The flight got delayed.
Apparently some confederates where enroute to board the plane as well.
I had sent my things earlier.
I had just an over night bag.
I touched down port harcourt at about 9pm.
I was totally beat.
Apart from having an official car..
Stay in a staff house for VIPS
I was getting extra bonus packages which was super awesome.
But one glitch.
I was getting a male PA.
Name: Brain Andrews
Why didn’t they just transfer my PA to Port Harcourt with me…but MD wouldn’t allow it.
I liked Tina.
She was smart.
She knew what are duties were and left little to complain.
I knew I was a hard ass but..
She took everything in good faith.
You know what they say..
” What can’t kill you will only make you stronger”..
And over the years I had learnt to appreciate her little effort.
I really don’t like men.
They usuall claim superiority..and I wonder how they would tend to react when a woman was above them.
But I wouldn’t care less.
If they did their job well. Am sure we wouldn’t have any problem.
I scaned the faces with placards to see my name.
I was told the PA would pick me from the Airport and have my work schedule and informations and projects I needed with him.
I hated starting without being apprised of recent developments or changes.
It messes up my confidence.
I saw him..standing clueless among the crowd..waving the card at everyone who passed..
I walked up to him.
He looked old.
Not white grey hair old.
But old enough not to be someone’s PA..
I wondered if I could scream at him if he messes up and don’t get smacked or shouted down..
But my opinion.
“Madam Adora chime? ”
“Yes please..”.I replied with a brief smile.
“You are welcome madam..make we de go”..
He looked around…puzzled.
I followed his stare then I read his mind..
“I sent my luggages ahead. I came with only this”…I held it up a little for him.
He stretches out his hand to take the bag.
It wasn’t heavy.
I shook my head.
And followed him to the car as he began to walk.
Yep..awkwardly too old for a PA.
Who hires these people?
What ever happened to the criterias”?…I was wondering to myself.
But I kept quite instead.
He opened the car door and I slid in..
Relaxed..I sighed. It was hot. So when he turned on the Ac I was grateful..
He put the car on drive and then pulled out of the parking area and we proceeded with our journey.
“Can I have the mail and my work schedule sent from the lagos office please?..
“Can I have what’s to be given to me?
“Mails, work schedule and appropriate information and company details I am to be acquainted with please…I would like to go over them as soon as possible”..
He looked at me from the front mirror..
“Er madam I no sabi wetin you mean..”
I was getting visibly impatient..
“Mr brain…don’t tell me you didnt print it as it was mailed to you?
“I think that was your first pot of duty…and you seemed to have failed?
“Hand it over if you will….I don’t have the patience..”
He seemed amused..
“But madam…why you de call me that one…my nam……..’ he was saying but I cut him off
“Are you slow or just daft Mr brain Andrews…”? I had to ask.
“But madam …wetin I do?…
Then he suddenly paused and seemed he recollected something
“Oooh you mean that paper card wei I carry collect you??..
I winced with his constant use of pidgin.
Even my driver okon back in lag spoke an occasional English.
I was getting pissed.
He laughed a short laugh..
He fished with his free hand on the passenger’s seat where he flung it to as soon as we got in…
He gets it without taking his eyes off the road and takes his hand back and gives it to me..
“Madam take am…
“See me oh…I no even remember say nai that one you mean…I con de Jones for here…”.. He shook his head and continued laughing.
I hit his hand away angrily causing the placard to slip and fall on the ground…
He seemed shocked.
He couldnt possibly be serious.!!!
“What nonsense is this …?
“What ignorant fool did they send for a PA. …???
“Mr Brain it’s apparent you don’t know first thing what your job is…
“And to seriously show me a paper for mails means that you aren’t just daft but in need of a re-orientation …
I fished for my phone in my bag..
I was so not ending with this old fool.
I dialed the lagos office..
Got through to the secretary. .
“Yes..Please patch me through to Tina…”…i spoke into the receiver as the secretary picked.
“Yes I’ll hold”…
I threw daggers at the man infront of me…
“But madam wetin dey make you dey provoke?
“Them tell me say make I go airport go wait for you…
Them come give me that paper card wei be like them paste something ontop …
Say na your name..”
“Say the person wei the thing or name resemble go see am come meet me…
That person na the madam oh.”..
“And I done do everything wei them ask even stay dey wait you…
“Nai wetin I give you be that oh…
“Me I no sabi again oh…
He kept talking..
“Mr Brain or whatever you call yourself…I am sure you are not blind to see me on the phone..
“Is something wrong with you as well??
“Don’t infuriate me more…
I shouted at him..
“Hain madam take am easy no vex….”..
His constant pidgin was making me even worse…
I felt like pulling out my hairs and ears…
He continued talking…
“Madam why you still dey call me something wei no belong to me..
“Weitin my mama and papa they call me no be that. My na…………
“Just shut the hell up and drive…
Let me just hear one more sound…a tiny little sound from that mouth of yours…..and God help me i would be your worst nightmare….”…I threatened him..
He shut up but murmured some obscene inaudible comments
I didnt even bother..
“Yes Tina what the hell????
“Ma’am…what is the matter?..
“Was something wrong the travel arrangements, pick up or your apartment?..
“I made sure they got apprised of your settling arrangements. …isn’t it to your satisfaction?
“On the contrary..
That’s not the issue Tina.
The point is am so infuriated I swear I can break your neck if you weren’t so far off..
Sharp intake of breaths.
I wasn’t sure where it came from..
The other end of the line or the man driving infront of me..
“Were you not supposed to have mailed the necessary documents and reconstructing changes to the new PA, plus every other thing I am supposed to be apprised off plus what and what he is needed to know on how I work and what my schedule should look like…???
“Were you not supposed to compile certain reports as well..??
“Why isn’t it in my hands as directed Tina? ..
“Have you suddenly lost your touch…or you simply are trying to get me pissed..
Becuase I am beyond pissed and I can assure you…I may not be in lagos but I can make you burn young lady…
“Hain…my goodness!!!.. she exclaimed..
“But ma’am I did do as directed.
Infact this was sent last night..
And I called and comfirmed that it was gotten and even printed out by the PA..
“So I don’t know what it is you are saying…..
“Are you telling me I don’t know what am saying…have you lost your senses??
“No ma’am but…
The fool for a PA that came to pick me up apparently has no irking of what a PA is nor is he aware of any documents he is to bring..
“Which implies that..
One of you is either lying…or both of you are equally stupid.
And that’s not sitting well with me..
And it would be worse if I go Monday morning completely gearedless. .
“I don’t know how you want to do it.
Make sure I get those documents in my hands latest tomorrow morning.
“And call the HR department..
Ask them to get my another PA..
This one is lousy…”
I cut the call before she started to protest.
I knew very well what she was about saying.
Today is Friday. . No one works on Saturday. .
Well that was her punishment. .
She should have made extra sure..
I noticed the constant stare from the mirror..
I didnt give a shit if he lost his job as a PA..
He should have taken special precaution to know his job even if he was on entry level.
I didnt need a slow daft human tagging along with and behind me when he is especially clueless.
That’s a dent in my A-game. .
And if he is gone and I got a better replacement..
That was just fine for me.
I didnt even feel guilty.
But they wouldn’t have a choice.
They needed me so..
A replacement woundnt hurt.
He pulled into the suburbs area of GRA..
Which was referred to as Government Residential Area..
Or simply put..
The area where the Elite, rich or semi rich…people stay…
Away from the not so polished residents and areas.
It was a staff estate..
Maximum security due to the fact that one or two royals might send their wards or kids..
Other than that..
People who worked in places like Mobil, chevron, Total, Shell..PH were housed there so you could imagine.
Each had its only district section.
Once they security made the necessary validation ….it opened its gate and flagged us in…
He drove down a few flats and then stopped at Apartment 36.
He got out to open the door..and handed me a set of keys.
I took it and brushed past him..
Opening the door and let myself in..
It was immaculately cleaned and adequately furnished.
No matter I was told to just come with my cloths..
I didnt need to think of furnishing.
It was just beautiful and homely..
I was liking the change of environment more and more..
I went to the bedroom and noticed my boxes had arrived as expected and neatly stacked by corner.
“Well at least they did have the decency not to snoop around”….
The locks were still intact.
It seemed as though it was recently cleaned..
It smelled off air fresher and mama – lemon and bleach..with something else I couldnt place.
I walked to the kitchen..and opened fridge.
Ofcos, what did I expect?
Filled with food…
What are they…my mother or my nanny?
I shook my head.
I noticed a side telephone and a pamphlets that had names of resturants and home service numbers…
My tummy began to rumble..
I picked out a menu and then ordered.
I looked back at the stack of boxes..
Today I was just gonna shower, eat…and watch movies…
I came back to the palour and popped up on the chair..
I noticed a looming shadow outside..The door
I got up and opened the door.
“And why are you still here Mr Brain.?
“you planning on upsetting me more with your lingering presence??
He was rested on the bummer of the car and stood up on me opening the door…
Scratching his head. .
“Er…incase madam need me to do anything again..nai make I dey wait?..
“If madam won chop I fit carry am go wei him go see better solid food….”..He smiled..swinging his hands…as though delivering cookies in a platter of gold..
“I will order in.
I have no more need of your annoying presence…you can do away with yourself…Mr brain..
Have a good evening.”..
I shut the door shutting out his words..
I wasn’t going to wait for his reply.
Picked up the remote.
Life just got way easier…
The only thing I need is stuck the house with food supplies..
Tomorrow I will do that.
Unpon remembering I went to the room and got my phone..
Dailing to get Tina.
“Wasnt it common sense for that girl to get back to me and apprised me how she is rectifying the situation”…I wondered out loud..
But her number was unreachable.
“Oh Bullocks! !!..
I gave up after countless tries..
My order came in about 20 minutes later.
I then settled for a series I loved to watch and they were just showing on mnetSeries..
“One Tree Hill”…
My love for Lucas though!!!…
Today was Friday.
Tomorrow was Saturday
One day Inbetween before Monday. .
I better make the most of it.