Wednesday, 5 June 2019

The Notorious Story of Azeez (Episode 1)

Eight o clock and I still haven’t made one kobo today. Perhaps I should have just settled for that 1k to Festac. Oh Lord, please let something come up, I can’t possibly survive one more week without buying Dr. Okeke’s textbook. I’m sure he wont even let me into his class. Maybe I can come up with a good excuse – ha, I must have used them all. Mama’s health can’t possibly get worse than it already is. Maybe I’ll just tell him she had a heart attack, a near-death one that also lead to a stroke and …
Heysssssss – TAXI! TAXI!
Good Evening..
Yes, Badore.
For which side Ma?
You don’t know Badore, after Ajah?
Em… I don’t.
Never mind then….
No, no, I can go ma, just direct me …
How much?
After Ajah, at 8pm, from Yaba, that’s almost three hours on the road and I still have to make it back in time to finish my EEG201 assignment and get fuel….
Are you not going?
Two thousand Ma.
Two thousand?
Yes ma.
With that the twenty something looking, slightly plum and very light-skinned lady turned around and gestured at a similarly young girl but much slimmer and much more attractive who I hadn’t noticed. She had with her a small leather travel bag which she gracefully carried as she made her way to the car.
From the moment they both got in, they buried their heads into their phones –those blackberries I see a lot of people going around with on campus. Occasionally, each one would look up, giggle and turn to look at the other – and they say this isn’t partial insanity. Sabo, Alagomeji and even Third mainland were free – thank God. As I approached Lekki phase one, the big one burst out into wild laughter that got me wondering what kind of joke she must have read off that thing.
The skinny one: Kasandra wish one na. This one wey you just dey laff like say you chop winsh.
The big one (still laughing, she hands her phone to the skinny one): You sef take read am.
A few seconds later the skinny one also bursts into wild laughter. As much as I try to stay out of my passengers business, I was curious about this. I wanted to hear this ridiculously funny joke.
The skinny one: This stupid man think say you no dey watch news. How many months now dem don reverse him election wey he still dey behave like say him dey state house.
The big one: See me see trouble oh.
The Skinny one: See, make I just tell you my own, wetha he dey or he no dey the price na still the same
The fat one: wish kain same. Mscheeeew. When him successor don raise stakes. Ik per girl or nothing.
They both laugh and almost simultaneously return to typing on their phones. “1k per girl” I didn’t even want to imagine what that meant. It could mean all sorts of bad or even good things. That was the least of my problems, it was now past nine and we had just gotten past Lekki phase two. The traffic was there but was moving. I watched several hawkers walk past us in traffic displaying various snacks, and my stomach grumbled but I turned my mind to my assignment – every dime I had now had to go into savings for Dr. Okeke’s textbook. A few minutes later, the big one beckoned to one of the Gala hawkers. The boy came running.
The big one: Debby you go chop?
The skinny one: Kassy stop all this thing na, I don tell you say Chris talk say make I dey watch my weight. Na you dey always tempt me with all this nonsense food.
The big one: (laughing) No be only watch weight, lepa like you. Biko, no vex, so na bad thing say I offer you food now, God go deliver you. Abeg bring four gala.
FOUR! I couldn’t help taking a look at her through my rearview mirror. And it seemed my stomach was also interested in the conversation as it grumbled once again, louder this time. So loud, I think the big one heard. She turned to look at me at that point and said:
The big one: Abi you sef no mind?
Me: Err… I’m ok ma.
The big one: Ah, you sef dey watch your weight abi na over fine boys dey worry you. Better collect and eat. Give him two and call that malt boy for me.
She proceeded to buy two cans of Malta Guiness for both of us and I thanked her over and over again. She didn’t know she had just saved my life. At about 10:30pm, we got to the turning into Badore with the help of directions provided by the big one. Minutes later, we got to the front of an unpainted building in a somewhat scarcely populated area. I wondered if I could even find my way out of there but I saved the thought for later. Both ladies made their way out of the car and instead of proceeding to pay me, the big one turned around and said:
Ehen, just wait for us, we’ll be out soon. You’ll take us to V.I.
EHN! V what? Before I could even speak up in protest, they had disappeared into the compound. V.I? At almost 11pm. I have died today. I still have my assignment and I have to get enough rest before my 8am lecture tomorrow. This is why I never take these Island trips. Always one drama after the other. I only pray they just want to change and come back out.
I can’t take this anymore. I need to get out of here. I proceeded to knock on the gate but just then, I noticed a couple of vigilante patrolmen coming my way. I went back into my car and started the engine. When they got to me, I noticed they had on all black attires with red headbands – OPC. One of them peered into the car.
OPC man1: Ekaale o (Good Evening)
Me: Ekaale Sir
OPC man1: Se iwo nikan lo wa ni abi awon iyoku e nko? (Did you come alone or are there more of you?)
Me: Ehn. Sir, I’m just a taxi driver, I’m waiting for some ladies I brought here.
OPC man1 started to laugh and turned to look at the other man. They both laughed for a while and then the second man looked at me and asked me to come out of the car. In fear, I came out wondering what was going to happen.
OPC man2: Na people like you dey spoil this our country. See young boy like you, you go pretend say you be taxi driver come dey look for house wey you fit sneak inside go thief for night.
Me: Err… Me? Sneak? Thief? Nooo oh sir there ….
OPC man1: Will you sharrap there. You think say we no see you when you wan jack that gate. Na God catch you today.
In one swift move, OPC man2 swept me off my feet and held both of my hands behind my back.
Me: Sir, ejo ejo… mi o se nkan kan. Passenger ni mo gbe wa. (sir, please, please, I’ve done nothing wrong, I only brought passengers here)
OPC man1: O ri ole ara e, o ti e gbo Yoruba o wa n so oyinbo. (look at this thief, he can even speak yoruba and he was speaking English)
OPC man2: You go talk all that one for cell. Oya, lets go.
OPC man2 began dragging me away and just then, the black gate opened and out came four young ladies, among them, the big and the skinny one.
The big one: Baba Paro wetin be all this one now. Una don come this night again. Wetin this man do una now ehn, wetin.
One of the other ladies: No mind them. Na only small boys dem fit they use show power. Una go talk say una no know say na taxi man.
OPC Man1: ehn ehn ehn… sharrap there. Everyone here fit talk but you this dirty one with that your kpekpeye mouth just shutup.
Kpekpeye girl: Ehn, na who be kpekpeye girl. See this old shameless man.
She moved forward towards OPC man1 and it was then I saw what she was wearing, which was pretty much nothing. Underwear? Swim wear? I don’t even know how to describe it. She had on these ridiculously high heels, which made it hard for her to walk and she also held something that looked like a jacket in the other hand. Before she could get to us, the skinny one held her back and told her to calm down. She then came towards us and spoke in hushed tones to OPC man2 who then let go of me. The girls then made their way into the car where I already sat as I had moved swiftly immediately I was released. In a matter of seconds I started the car and began to drive off even as I noticed OPC man1 hurling curses at kpekpeye girl.
The big one sat in front with me while the other three sat behind. All the bottled up anger in me had vanished and as I checked the clock on my dashboard, which read 12:13am, all I wanted to do was just get back to my room in school. Just then, I felt a hand on my face. I flinched a bit and then noticed it was the big one; her left hand was rubbing the back of my neck and then she spoke.
The big one: Eh yah, fine boy, shey dey no too rough you sha.
Me: I’m ok ma.
The big one: (laughing) Ma ke? Na who be ma. (she turned to look at the others who were also laughing). Abeg oh, my name is Kasandra, Kassy for short.
Me: Thank you …. Kassy. I said, even as I eased her hand off my neck.
It was at this point that I first took a glance at my rear view mirror to take a proper look at my passengers. The skinny one sat directly behind me. She had on something that looked like a sleeveless short black dress; the ones they call boob tubes, simple but nice. The other two girls that sat beside her were clearly the opposite. The girl who sat in the middle was of average size, light skinned and heavily made-up.
She had on some sort of see-through/netty red material. Beneath which she had on black underwear. Kpekpeye girl sat behind the fat one and even though she now had on her jacket, I still couldn’t bring myself to understand why anyone would dress like that to a club. Yes, I figured they were one of those party clubbers I’ve heard about. What’s my own, as long as they pay me for my trouble and I get back to school in one piece.
12:40am I went past the Mobil building and then through Adetokunbo Ademola back into V.I and I asked the big one, Kassy where we were heading. Adeyemo Alakija, she replied turning to look at the others for confirmation. The netty one replied yes. In a few minutes I turned off Ozumba and Kassy asked me to go in through Idowu Taylor. As I turned back into Adeyemo Alakija, I noticed it was about 12:50am, I also noticed a handful or girls of the night sprinkled alongside the road. Waaoow. I had never been on the Island this late since I came to Lagos two years ago. For a second I was happy I had obeyed Mama’s instructions with regards to staying out late – well, up until now that is.
The big one: You can park here.
She pointed to a dimly lit spot opposite a brightly lit building with a signage that simply read “YNot”. I noticed a lot of activity at the entrance of the building – hefty looking men, probably bouncers, guys and a handful of girls walking into the building. Hmm… This must be one of the happening clubs, I thought to myself as I parked. The girls got out and this time, I made sure I also got out and stood by my door. The big one walked towards me even as the others walked towards the YNot building.
The big one: Fine Boy, sorry again about those men. Wetin be your name sef?
Me: My name? My name is Azeez.
The big one: Azeez? No o… I will call you A-Zed. Don’t you like that? Fine boy like you should have fine name. Ok, we are going to be inside for a while. Shey you’ll wait for us so when we’re done you’ll take us back.
Me: Ha.. err.. Kassy, I have another appointment, I really have to…
As I tried to find the right words, she produced a purse from only God knows where and brought out some notes from it which she stuffed into my hands. I looked down and noticed they were all one thousand Naira notes. My estimation? About 8 of them. Yekpa.
The big one: Look, you are a fine boy, you should be taken care of even while you’re working. Take that and go and find something to eat somewhere. We will soon be out.
With that she walked swiftly into the YNot building. On closer examination, I realized she had given me ten thousand naira.
I quickly folded the money and put it into the smaller inner pocket of my jeans. I didn’t even know I could get that much in it. I took another good look at my surroundings and I still couldn’t believe I was out that late in Victoria Island. Before I could bask further in the euphoria that was slowly taking over me, the soundtrack supplied by my grumbling stomach reminded me that I still hadn’t had a full meal all day. I thought twice about looking for food, it would be wise to save all the money Kassy gave me but then again, what if I hadn’t made it, I thought to myself. One meal won’t kill, especially as I have more than enough for Dr. Okeke’s textbook and still enough to send to Mama and yet still enough to fuel my cab and also survive on through the coming week.
Na wah oh. Ten thousand naira. I wondered what owning a million would feel like even as I locked my car and began to sojourn the street corners of Adeyemo Alakija late into the night, abi early morning, looking for something to eat. As I walked forward I saw more girls lined up along the road, some alone, some in groups of two, three, four, some tall, dark, others, not so tall, light skinned. At first glance they all looked the same… in their very high heels and very exposing outfits – transparent tops, very very short skirts and I even saw a girl in just her underwear but I think she was changing though. Cars drove by, some pressed their horns and drove off, others stopped, chatted with the girls for a while and then drove off, while some stopped and the girls just almost instinctively got into the car. This is a crazy crazy world. I thought to myself …
Ahn Ahn. You no dey look where you dey go?
Ha. Please I’m sorry, please don’t be annoyed.
Caught up in my thoughts, I hadn’t been paying attention to where I was going and I had barged into one of the girls who stood displaying her wares for prospective customers. She was one of the artificially light skinned ones. Medium height, plus sized, heavily made-up, especially with the red lipstick and very loosely dressed. As I tried to apologize, a similarly dressed but fatter girl came out of nowhere laughing.
The fatter one: Why you just dey shout like that na?
Red lips: Why I no go shout, see as he just hit me carry body touch all my goody goody (she said, as she adjusted her very transparent bra wiggling her large sized b-----s in the process)
The fatter one: But no be so dem dey do (she moved closer to me). You know wether na first time customer? Fine boy, you wan f--k? You want us to show you a good time? (She said with the most ridiculous forced American accent I’d ever heard)
I stood there almost too surprised to talk. Before I could force words out of my mouth, the fat one pulled out her b-----s from her top and hauled them right before my face. Yes I said pulled. They were huge and the stretch marks, which ran all the way from her neck continued almost to the top of each n----e.
The fatter one: I’m gonna give you a gooooooooood time (she said, as she jiggled and wiggled her b-----s at my face)
I snapped out of my self-imposed trance, turned a corner around them and briskly walked away, half running and not looking back. A few buildings ahead, I came across a couple of Mallam’s with what looked like mobile food stands setup in wheelbarrows. I quickly walked towards them expecting to see things like biscuits and maybe even gala. To my surprise the first Mallam had various brands of condoms displayed on his wheelbarrow. My God! I never knew they made so many of those things. I quickly turned to look at the second Mallam and he also had packs of condoms displayed along with some funny looking packs with images of naked men and women on them. They weren’t condoms, they looked more like drugs. Most of them with funny names: Energy 2000, Adam’s Desire, Nackam etc.
I couldn’t hide the disappointment on my face, neither could I hide my hunger any longer but before I could turn away, one of the Mallam’s asked:
Mallam1: Oga, which one I wan buy
Me: Aboki, abeg, na food I dey find
Mallam2: Kai, oga, that one go hard por this time walahi. Why I no go por that flace go buy (he said, pointing in the YNot direction)
Me: I no fit get like gala and coke?
Mallam1: Why I no talk that one before…. Which kain coke I want.
Me: Just give me two gala and one coke or if plastic dey bring plastic coke.
The Mallam disappeared almost immediately and I was too hungry to check which direction he went. I looked up to see a few girls casually strolling on the other side of the road. I recognized one of them – Kpekpeye girl from earlier that night. Her jacket was off again and security lights from the nearby building showed her in her “not-so-glory.” Just then, a car pulled up beside them and I watched as Kpekpeye girl more or less ran ahead of the other girls towards the car.
My attention was then drawn back to the other Mallam. A man had just run to him. Breathing heavily, he waved a N500 note at the Mallam and more or less yelled: give me one fantasy. It was at that point I noticed the man was a security guard. His uniform had the logo of a large and popular insurance firm embroidered on it and he kept looking back towards a building, which I later realized was the head office of the insurance firm.
Security man: Aboki, I say give me 1 Fantasy.
Mallam2: (reaching to pick one of the packs of condoms on his stand but then stops) Who send you come buy Pantasy?
Security Man: I say I wan buy something, you dey ask who send me
Mallam2: Abeg, oga, no vex but I know why I dey ask
Security Man: Ehn hen… (he said as he turned to look behind him again) ok, na Princess. Shey you don hear now. Oya bring wetin I ask for.
Mallam2: Kai shege, you see why I ask. Frincess I no dey use Pantasy. (He reached for one of the packs) Na Roup Rider Frincess dey use, take am.
Security man: Aboki I hope say you sure. If I need waka come back here and my tenant go start another round wey I no count, na die oh.
Just then, the other Mallam returned with a pet bottle of Fanta and two galas.
Mallam1: Oga, wahlahi na only this coke remain, shey I go manage am.
I couldn’t bring myself to argue. I collected it just as the security man ran back towards his building. I paid the Mallam, crossed over to the other side of the road and more or less jogged all the way back to my car. I closed the door of the car, wound down a bit and settled to my breakfast lunch and dinner, all wrapped in two delicious packs of beef sausages. I hadn’t taken the second bite from my first gala when I heard a noise towards the back of the passenger side of the car. Before I could turn around to see what was happening, two people were lying on the backseat of my car. Man and woman. The woman who was on top, I quickly recognized as Kassy but this time, her top was almost off.
The man was of Arab origin but I couldn’t really make out his face as her plum body covered him. She unzipped his trouser and then looked up at me. I made to leave the car but she used her right hand to hold me down by my shoulder while she somehow managed to use her left hand to dig into the man’s trouser and produce his private. She then smiled at me, while still holding my shoulder and then bent her head towards the man’s private area. I immediately turned my head forward towards my dashboard and managed to swallow the bit of gala I had been chewing.
The man made all kinds of noises for the next thirty seconds or there about and the noises climaxed into one final loud one. This was followed by sounds of someone spitting. I couldn’t take it, I turned around and saw Kassy spitting on the floor of the back seat area. Chei, I didn’t even want to imagine what cleaning that would take. While trying to control my anger, I flung the half eaten gala on my dashboard and heard as they both exited the car. They both leaned on the car and got talking. All I could hear were giggles and bad English. And then:
Arab man: But how much
Kassy: (giggles) same price, just one
Arab man: Ahn Ahn, me customer, Kassy
Kassy: That’s why its still one, others wont get it that cheap.
Arab man: Kassy Kassy. Kassy Kasandra. Na because say na you o.
I listened on in absolute shock even as I heard the Arab man speaking more pidgin English. He then pulled out his wallet and produced some crisp notes – US Dollars. He handed them to Kassy and said:
I add sometin extra for you to take care of my baby (he said as he tapped her b----t)
Kassy giggled yet again as the Arab man walked away. She then got into the front passenger seat, looked at me with a broad smile on her face and said: A to the Zee. Fine boy toh bad. Lets go home
I checked the clock on my dashboard. 3:35am. I turned to her and asked: how about the others?
They will meet us later. (she said smiling even as she proceeded to rub the back of my head with her left hand)

No comments:

Post a Comment