Journeying into the heart of the crowded city….
“We don reach 3rd roundabout for lekki ajah oh. Na here una money don expire. Oya wear una shoes. Buckle una belt. Come down. Jump oh…we won move fast fast . Quick” The conductor tapped the buss twice and dangled from the door as the bus slowed to a stop.
I and the cute nerdy dark girl came down as quickly as we could and the bus speed off leaving behind two still confused girls alone in the crowded city and no direction of where else to go.
“We got 30 more minutes to 12” I offered as a way of consoling ourselves.
“We can beat it. We just need someone to point us to the right direction. Hopefully they stick to nigerian time and start by 1nish you know”?..
She just looks at me. Not appreciating the joke. I shrugged.
“Please sir, can you direct us to this address..?” I read out from my phone to him.
He seemed confused for an indigene as well. “I don’t know oh. Maybe it’s on the left or the right side. See lagos big..on ni ti feel???
He looks at me and shakes his head. “I don’t know”..and walks away.
“Er thanks??” I say.
Taking her hand we walk for five minutes and on siting a tiny gathering of okada men my spirit lifted. There was no way bike men won’t know this address. They were supposed to know every crock and cranny right? ?
So we hasten our steps.
He jumps infront of us and stops us with his hands., seemingly overly excited.
“Don’t tell me. I know where you are going to. No need. Just follow me. I will take you girls there just na na na. No hassle.”..
My first reaction was to put my hand into my bag to bring out my empty pepper spray and threaten the life out of him. Nerdy girl was already behind me using me for a shield. And here I thought she would have a few tricks up her sleeves, and his hands were still up in the air, spread out…directly facing both my twin towers and if he came any closer he would be giving them a pat…i shifted back just for safely. I didnt want to go home without them..i ain’t gat like that.
When we didn’t move he drops his hands smiles and continues..
“No be Audax una they go. Ploy 24. “?..
*it’s everyone a Pychic or a mind reader in lag?*.. that was what my expression read.
*who tell you say na where we de go”? Nerdy girl has found her voice. Lovely..
We both stared at him.
“Because I just know. Oya tell me otherwise. ” he folds his arms and sits on his bike. Feeling like a boss.
“Well”…I fold my hands too.
“Because we are going to Rebesi street opposi-
“Opposite town hall, Plot 24 Audax building. ” he finishes it for me.
I eye him.
“Don’t worry. I already have take taken over 100 people there this morning since 7am. So trust me. When I saw you both looking lost ….i knew it” he spoke good for an okada rider. Not all of them were unlearned.
“But you can wait here all day or I can take you girls.”
“How much??” Nerdy girl askes as she raises up her skirt to climb the bike.
“300 bucks “!
“For how many people??” I wasn’t climbing on that bike for that outrageous charge.lagos or no lagos.
“You and her na!
“I de wonder wether you see our ancestors for our back wei won join us for the okada”. I replied him. Bringing out a hundred from my bag.
He laughed. “Its 300 bucks to get there. That’s how I charged.”
“Don’t worry. My friend has already told me how much to pay to get there. Rip someone else ok. We too smart for that shii “… I climbed on after her, and he kicks it to a start, and began to laugh.
“Oh girl you harsh oh. So you don’t already ask before now.”.?
“Before unko. See oh. ”
As we zoomed off.,nerdy girl leans into me while the breeze coursed through my hair…
“So your friend told you huh??”
“Which friend? Cos’ not. You gatto use your head babes..else you will be mopping floors to get home. I knew he was lying. A lil lie of my own don’t hurt no body”! Our laughter overshadowed his.
“Please if you have been verified..come in. Here is your code and passkey. Drop your valuables at the door. And begin. Thank you.!!”.. his voice buzzed over our heads as we filed in. The heat of the sun and of bodies was making it difficult to breath.
We got there just in time. Waited an hour and half to get verified. Heard all the needed gossip in all short minutes.
I was particularily sorry for a dude whose picture was so dark that they couldn’t tell wether it was an alien who took the pic on his behalf or he had no face. He was shown the door.
I sat down infront of a white desktop.
Everyone separated as though to be initiated differently into the syndicate of Audax black ops. Silence vibrated the whole room. Everyone to his business. I sighed. The desktop beeped In front of me ..and I knew once I pressed the start button..there was no going back. Nerdy girl and I were separated as we ventured into the crowded cold room. I cracked my knuckles, flexed my fingers and clicked the cursor..and it blinked …”START”! My timer went off. I had 90 minutes and it ran like mad.
Barely 9 minutes to shutting down.
Sweats breaking out of my forehead. My mind and eyes weaving and dancing through words and answers. Aiming for my best. My calculating tactics worse than a child’s sword skills. But the show must go on…so “Tumbo Tumbo bask-kalada titi-ayapooo-I-pick-you” was in order. Then,
She comes in, thick as a maltex bottle. With her high shrill voice..and face with heavy makeup..
“Ladies and gentlemen, please if you have need of using a calculator. Click the upper right side of your desktop and there you will have access. Thank you”
I didnt know when I went “WTf!!! Is wrong with you people??” Under my breath. “Time is gone. Shut down in 5 minutes and you dump this on us? Now? Like right now?..TF mehn??? …someone give me a sledge hammer. Am about to ruin a face. And do time on it. Do you realise you just messed up a sister..do you know what that calculator would have done for my life? Ah mean do you have an idea… ? Jesus am sending someone home to you too soon….prepare room. Ah mean an. ..come on!!!”. . I was biting my lip and fuming. “Someone was going down this hot afternoon..call me the undertaker. Shit! ! This was wrong. So wrong!!”…
Apparently I wasn’t the only one cussing. Ah mean the whole room was was a cuss mess. I had to dodge some. Even some spittle. Cuss and spittle was dancing tango. Oh she left the room . It was too hot.
My time was up. I grabbed my bag,…dusted my heels and came outside as I heard the fading of cuss battle go on.
“Shit happens. Deal with it” I sighed.
Nerdy girl was waiting on me outside.
“Indeed, a friendly face”…i smiled.
While we found our way back to seemingly known grounds and retracing our steps. Licking cold icecream to dull out the hotness.
She went “Oh can you imagine what happened in there? That lady…See the time she came to give an information. .when that would have been the first thing….” She began to rant her own.
*oh nerdy girl…you had no idea the pain i wish could do to her. Maybe tie her to a chair. And use stapler on her lips while I make her recite “am sorry for being such a slow chick” over and over again again as i staple and un-stable her lips*..
“Are you listening to me??” She nugdes me
“Yeah….sucks huh??”.. I replied and went back to picture my thoughts with as smile on my face.