The day after I encountered Zainab and her sisters at the beach, I drove out again to Festac town.
There was a joint where people who returned from Europe assembled in the evening and drink. The place was opposite One Nation Hotel. I got there and packed my car across the road.
I had heard of the place from a restaurant where I was eating inside Aspamda market. I had listened to a man talked about it with his friend. He said he was there the previous night and had seen so many exotic cars belonging to people from Europe especially Holland.
I got there and sat in a corner with a bottle of malt. I had decided to leave my JW inside the car since I didn’t want people to know that I was from Europe as well.
The place started to fill up as the day got older and older. By 5pm, it was filled with numerous people who returned from Europe.
I paid attention as people bragged about their adventures in Europe.
Some said they had been in prisons, some said they disappeared when the cops started looking for them.
When I decided that I had heard enough, I sneaked out quietly. It was too risky to sit there. The place was a potential scouting ground for armed robbers.
I crossed the road and entered my car. As I was about to start the engine, someone tapped on my glass. I moved the glass down enough to hear what he wanted to say.
”Are you going out to the Badagry express” he asked.
I looked at him very well. He was what you could qualify as a thief. His beards were not shaven. His clothes were stained with either weed or cigarette smoke.
”Yes, I am going there. What is it?” I said.
”Oh thank god. Let me follow you out please” he said.
My central door locks had been activated. I motioned him to go arround to the passenger side of the car. I had started the engine while talking to him.
As soon as he rounded up the car to the passenger side, I zoomed off. His hand was already grabbing the door handle. I watched him through the mirror as he stood there.
I drove out to the Badagry expresses and headed home to my house. I turned the car in front of the barracks bus stop and headed back to go home through Abule Oshun, then I saw her.
Mrs James, the wife of Mr James Eze and the woman who had tongue lashed me out of their cybercafe. She was standing on the bus stop with two bags of rice. It was already getting dark. The bike boys had refused to carry the two bags with her at once. The one who had agreed, had mentioned enough price to purchase another bag of rice.
Darkness was encroaching and so was rain. I saw her through the headlamp and drove past her.
My conscience had asked me to return and find out what she was doing there.
I stopped the car and reversed up to where she was standing. She saw the car stopped and returned back. She thought it was one of the people who knew her and her family and had wanted to give her a lift. But when she looked inside tee car, she was shocked to see her enemy numero uno on the steering wheel.
I killed the car engine and came down.
”Are you Ok Mama Emeka” I asked.
She said she was fine and looked away.
”I believe you need some help home, why not allow me get you home first, then you can continue your anger and hatred over me” I said as I opened the boot of the car and lifted a bag of rice inside. I lifted the second bag inside and closed the boot.
I took her by the hand and opened the passenger door for her to enter, closed the door and we drove towards home.
”Mrs James, what I am about to tell you is not to beg you or anything close to that. I wanted to say it the other day but you were very angry and wouldn’t listen to me. I have nothing to do with Amaka. I regard her as my younger sister and so was all your children. Amaka followed Emeka to my house last week. Emeka who had visited a day before, said you sent him to find out where I lived. I don’t know if it was true or not but Amaka followed him to my house the next day. Two days ago she came alone. I asked what she came to do but she said you had beaten her. I advised her to go back home but she said you would beat her again, therefore I allowed her to watch film until I finished what I was doing so that I could bring her back to you. Emeka came before I could finish and wanted to go with her but I decided to follow them to your place. You did not allow me to say anything before you fired me from your cybercafe” I said and kept quiet.
Some police men had stopped us and asked for the vehicle documentss.
They checked it and checked the driver’s licence too. It all corresponded.
”Is this your car” the silly police officer had asked.
I wanted to shout at him. He had just checked and saw that the same names where on the documents and the driver’s licence.
Instead, I nodded knowing how dangerous and trigger happy they could become if they get annoyed.
He asked me to find them something, I gave them N50 and left.
”Like I was saying, it is true that most of this teenage girls are very difficult to control when it comes to having a boyfriend but I have no intention of dating Amaka. She is still too young for me. I even paid attention to all the insults you showered me with simply because I had taken your family as mine. If not, I would not have even come to your house to listen to all that. But as you can see, I have forgotten all the insults and I have learnt enough computer from your family. I will forever remember it was them who lectured me but I have also decided to stay away from your place and your family.” I concluded and kept quiet.
She said nothing until we got to the front of their house. I packed my car and came down.
Emeka and Amaka came outside as soon as they saw their mother alighted from the car.
”Uncle Azubuike, so you are the owner of the BMW I have been seeing in your compound, I didn’t know ooh” Emeka said.
Amaka had taken her Mother’s bag and stood there staring at me as I brought out the bags of rice from the boot.
When I finished, I closed the boot and entered the car to go, Mrs James called me.
I got down and went inside the cafe where she was. She started by thanking me for rescuing her. She told me what had happened with the bike people who had refused to carry her.
She said she would like to talk with her husband first before discussing the issue of Amaka’s visit to my house again.
I left them and drove home.