”You called very late” I said as soon as I picked Rose’s call. It was already past 10 pm. I had waited for her to call since 8 pm but she didn’t. The mistake I had made was that I didn’t ask for her own phone number. I had believed that she would call.
I had decided that I would avoid such amateur mistake in the future.
”I am sorry, I was caught up in a hold up on my way back” she had said.
”Where are you now Rose” I asked hoping for the worst.
”I am waiting for a taxi to bring me to Olu Obasanjo road”
I told her to call me as soon as she got there. I walked down to my car and picked up a half bottle of Johnny Walker (JW) whiskey I had left under the dashboard in the front passenger seat.
I gulped a mouthful and swallowed it with hope and anticipation.
I had waited for Rose’s call for hours and had lost hope of getting it. I had resigned to fate and was about to retire for the night when she called.
She got to Olu Obasanjo road and called me. I walked to the road and picked her up.
She asked where I had come from and what I was doing in Port Harcourt.
”I came from Enugu and I was just here to look around. I don’t know anywhere around here” I had answered her.
”There are many places to have fun in Port Harcourt in the night but we will need a taxi” she said.
”I came with a car Rose” I told her.
She was surprised and asked why I had not been driving it.
”I would have driven past you if I was in a car” I joked.
She followed me back to the hotel and we picked my car up.
Port Harcourt was the second worst city to drive in Nigeria after Lagos. Despite the fact that it was late, people were still driving on top speed as if the city was being drowned like New Orleans.
She directed me as we drove to an area that was apparently unknown to me. We busted out in a major road and diverted left through a round about. We followed a bumpy road which she said led to Eagle Cement. The area was called Wempy. I had heard about eagle Cement football club before I traveled to Europe.
We stopped at a large newly built hotel which she claimed was built by a militant who had turned Politician. It was a nice hotel with two massive separate buildings. It had a swimming pool at the right side of it which also served as a reception center for for weddings and other parties.
Down the south end of the pool was a large grill with some Hausa workers smoking fresh fish.
We settled in a corner and rested before I asked what she wanted to eat.
”I want a smoked fish and a bottle of Baron De Valls” she had answered.
”what is baron de vans” I asked.
”it is not baron De vans, its baron De Valls. So you are the only person who don’t know what baron De valls is. Its a wine” she finished rambling.
I excused myself and walked down to the Grill.
All the Hausa fish workers were calling me to buy from them at the same time.
I wondered when that ‘survival of the fittest’ business attitude will cease in Nigeria.
I walked to the one in the middle, sensing that the others at the both entrances must be making sales more than him.
”how much is this” I said as I pointed at a fish with a head as large as mine.
”siree souzan sir” he said.
”Three thousand is expensive aboki, how much last” I had said.
We eventually settled for N2500. I ordered for two knowing that Rose would want to take one home but that would be if we didn’t finish it there.
I walked back to the bar and bought a bottle of redwine. Baron De Valls was written on the wine bottle. Rose had specifically mentioned it.
We opened the wine and poured half glasses each in front of us.
I sipped a little and disproved it instantly. It was tasting like something that was manufactured a day before.
My experience with red wine in Europe had thought me that wine tasted better as it gets older.
I excused myself and walked to the car to get my JW whiskey. I wasn’t going to complicate my body system with that crap called wine.
We drank and waited for our fish which arrived over 30 minutes after ordering for it. It looked delicious and tasted the same.
We finished there and decided to swim, unfortunately Rose had no swimming trunks with her. I had none too but I was ready to jump into the pool with my boxers.
We drove back to the hotel at around 1 am. Rose had agreed to sleep in the hotel with me. It was going to be a good night.