Rangers was the first team to start the match. They wore their traditional white up and down while Enyimba was on Blue.
A certain Emeka Nwanna who formerly played for Rangers had been signed by Enyimba. He was on the field too. The Rangers supporters booed him each time he touched the ball.
The game ended 0:0 at the end of first half. We all waited for the second part.
The second half of the match started fifteen minutes after the first part had ended. It was the same as first half with each team trying to break down the opponent’s defense.
The match dragged down to 89th minute and no goal was recorded. People had started going out of the stadium.
”Piii” The referee was pointing to the Rangers FC penalty spot. He claimed that an Enyimba’s player had been pulled down by a Rangers Defender. It was a penalty against my team. My spirit had suddenly been brought down by the Nigerian system of officiating. The useless attitude of ‘home team must win’ had not left our footballing system.
I walked down the stands towards the exit gate as Emeka Nwanna stood behind the ball to shoot down his old club.
”woooooo” the shout from the crowd indicated that he had missed the penalty. The Rangers goalkeeper had tipped the ball over the bar.
The Rangers trumpet was booming with Joy. I had watched enough anyway, therefore I walked outside the gate and saw some three young men sitting on my bonnet smoking weed.
My first instinct was to shout at them to get down but knowing how weeds can change people’s mentality, I decided to wait until people came out in large quantity. The game had already finished anyway.
The major gate had been opened. The match had ended in a draw. Rangers supporters were the happier.
As soon as the crowd enveloped the car pack, I walked to my car and opened the boot. I connected my battery head and opened the door.
I didn’t give any warning to the smokers as I started the engine. They jumped down quickly and cursed at me. I ignored them and followed the walking crowd out to the Ngwa road.
I busted out at the Port Harcourt road and drove down towards Umuahia. The time was already past 5pm, since I was alone, I decided to sleep in Aba and leave the following morning.
Hotels were scarce or maybe I didn’t know where to look.
Down along the road, I found a fast food center and packed my car in front of it.
The inside of the restaurant was booming with young students of Abia State Polytechnic. The restaurant was located directly opposite BATA junction.
I walked inside and demanded for fried rice and chicken leg. I sat down in a table and started eating. Two other girls were seated on the table. I waved my hand and continued my munching.
Half way into the food, I asked them a question.
”Hello Ladies, where can I find a good hotel here” I had said. They looked at each other and continued what they were eating.
”I am from Enugu and knows nobody here. Can you please show me where a good hotel is located, God will bless you” I said. I had decided to borrow the name of God because that was the only language every Nigerian hear very fast.
One of them said there were many hotels but cost different prices. She asked how much hotel I was looking for.
”Anything from 5 to 10 thousand Naira” I had said.
They looked at each other again and said they would show me when we finished eating.
As I ate, I considered the possibility of hooking up with one of them or even both of them. I had rested my mind on the darker one but I knew it was going to be difficult to pull the job.
The vibrating cell phone on the table got my attention. It was Rose from Port Harcourt. She wanted to know if I had reached Enugu safely.
”I am still in Aba, I watched a football match between Rangers and Enyimba. I will go to Enugu tomorrow” I had told her.
She wanted to continue with love stories and how much she cared about me but I cut off the line and switched the phone off.
Ten minutes later, we finished our food and walked outside. They said since I was willing to pay up to N7000, we should go to a hotel called Cape Ville. We entered my car and drove down to the hotel.
”But you were history in the slamming of the door, and I made myself so strong again somehow……..but when you touch me like this” that beautiful lyrics from Celine Dion was slowly filtering into the car through four speakers scattered inside the BMW 325i. The air conditioner was humming in rhythm with the song. I have carefully selected disc 11 from the loader at the boot of the care knowing that the Ogene music from Shidodo which I had played from the stadium to the restaurant won’t endear those chics to me.
Cape Ville was a nice hotel, built to the European standard. The only downside was the huge noise coming from the power generator.
We all walked to the reception and asked for the price list.
Standard room – N5500.
Super Standard room – N7000.
Presidential room – N11000.
Presidential Suit – N20000.
I asked one of the girls to go check the Super standard room for me while I get my bag from the car. As soon as she left, I asked the other one to help me get the bag. She followed me to the car.
”What is your name” I asked.
”I am Ella”
She said she was from Calabar and was a student at the Polytecnic. I switched on my phone and asked her to give me her number, she did that quickly. I told her that I would call her when she part with her friend.
”She is my cousin and we live in the same hostel’ she said.
Damn! What a hard luck.
”IF you want to take us out, its ok. Two of us will come back to the hotel” she said again.
”Alright” I said as we carried my bag back into the recaption hall.
The room inspector had returned to the reception and was waiting for us.
”The room is very nice” she had said.
I brought out a bundle of N20000 from the bag and counted N7000, out of it.
I handed the money to the lady receptionist and signed my receipt.
”Do you mind helping me up to the room” I said as I pointed to the smaller bag.
Ella carried it and followed me to the first floor where the room was located. Her cousin followed us too.
I opened the door and dropped my bag. Ella dropped hers as well.
”Thanks for being my friends, Do you girls want to catch fun tonight” I said.
Ella looked at her cousin and they nodded in affirmative.
I gave them N1000 for transport and asked them to return when they wanted.
They left with Smiles on their faces. Welcome to Aba, the Enyimba city.