Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.
Amaka walked out to the sitting room reluctantly and greeted me.
“Good evening uncle Zuby” She had said.
She called me uncle in the presence of her parents. That was a girl who had been calling me all the pet names in the book through the phone.
I didn’t care anyway, i was never going to marry her. I knew that long ago.
I hated women who would got angry if they didn’t get what they wanted from a man, but then she was a kid.
To entice the parents, i had a long look at Amaka with a crooked smile.
“She has grown big now. I hope nobody will blame me if i ask her out this time” I said between jokes and reality.
“Ah, she is a graduate now. She can go out to have fun” The Mother said while the father said something inaudible.
They offered me Garri and Egusi soup which i swallowed without hesitation. I was at a potential In-Law’s house and it would be inappropriate to reject their food.
After the food, i announced my leave.
“I am going back to the East Tomorrow but i will return to Lagos in a week” I said.
I knew i wasn’t coming back to lagos anytime soon but i had to tell them something they wished to hear.
The mother saw us off to the gate and while we walked down, she had said that Amaka wasn’t happy.
“I think she is not happy to see you” She had said.
“Yea, i figured that out too, she is not excited. I guess it was because i stopped calling her when i lost my phone” I said.
I wanted the woman to know that we had been talking to each other. I wanted to create an atmosphere of faith and believe in them. It would keep them to their toes and they would be waiting to hear that i had proposed to her, only if they knew how slimy i had become in Europe.
The mother watched as we entered the car and drove away.
Nwanyi Owerri, i was sure she came to check if i came with a car or not. Every woman wanted an in-law who had a car.
Back at Andy’s place, i called my Cousin Kizito and told him that i was in Lagos. I told him where i was and he said he would come there in thirty minutes.
I ordered a point-and-Kill fish and drank as we waited for Kizito.
I also asked for weed which was bought for me from outside.
I smoked inside the large bar and ordered drinks fro everyone in the house.
When Kizito showed up, we drank more.
It was past 1am when we left Tedi to the Abule Osun area where Kizito lived.
I went straight to bed as soon as we returned since i was traveling to the East the following day.
I knew i was going to drive with hangover but it wasn’t going to matter. All i could do was to take it easy with the gas pedal. The Mitsubishi Sport Car was responding pretty well.
By 5:30am, i got up and washed my face. It was time to leave Lagos back to the East.
During the night sleep, i had a dream about Queen. In that dream, she had arrived safely at the Heathrow airport but had forgotten her bag in Germany where she changed flight. She was looking for a pay phone to call me and ask me what to do when i suddenly woke up.
The Alarm system in my phone had suddenly interrupted the dream and as i washed my face in the bathroom, i prayed that she didn’t actually forget anything.
Frankfurt to Heathrow was an hour air journey. Her flight would get to Frankfurt before 6am, then a smaller flight taking her to London would leave by 6:40am. I had carefully shown her the routine on her boarding pass but i also knew that even if she missed the Frankfurt-Heathrow flight, another one would leave in an hour. Heathrow was the busiest airport in Europe and received flights from almost all over the world.
After taking my bath, i woke Kizito up and told him it was time to go. He asked if i would visit the village and when i told him it was likely, he gave me some money to give his mother.
I left Abule Osun area around 6am and headed towards Maza Maza where i had hoped to pick up a passenger as a second person in the car. I had felt that it would be scary driving home alone from Lagos to Enugu. Not that i was scared of anything happening to my person but the vehicle was a machine and machines could break down due to unknown issues. If there was a flat tire in the middle of nowhere, it would be good to have someone looking out for me while i changed it.
As a result, i had decided to pick up a man at the Famous Maza Maza area.
I drove with headlamps towards the Maza Maza area since it wasn’t yet clearly day.
Opposite Young Shall Grow Park in Maza Maza, i parked the car and walked out of it. As i looked around for a passenger, i called an Agbero who worked there and asked him to find me one passenger. He said i would give him 500 from what the passenger would pay me.
“No problem, just get me a young man” I said.
He left me and started scouting for the passenger. The first person he met said he won’t go with me since i was alone. I tried to convince him there was no problem and that i just needed a second person on the road but the fearful man refused. I didn’t blame him, Nigeria and Lagos in Particular was a dangerous place to be careless.
While i waited, i bought a bottle of water and drank.
My eyes were following the Agbero to see how he was doing. I watched as he found another man and told him what was up. The new man had a large bale of cloth which he had bought from Cotonou.
When they came to me, i told the man that the bale of cloth can’t enter into the car boot. He stood there and asked that we tried first but i refused.
We were still discussing it when i looked back at my car and saw some uniformed men around it. They were asking for the owner of the car.
“Excuse me” I said to the passenger and walked towards my car.
“I am the owner of the car, what is it?” I said to the uniformed men.
One of them looked up at me and said “You are not allowed to pack here, this place is for buses only. We are from the LASTMA. We are taking the car to our office”.
“Look i m off to Enugu, i am just looking for a second person” I said.
He asked one of his colleagues to take my key.
Written For http://www.globalruns.com