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Wednesday, 16 March 2016


(Image source: africanstockshots.com)

It’s few minutes after six in the evening and I’m taking an evening walk along the traffic-jammed road of Okporo in Port Harcourt, observing the environment and searching for something captivating. I walk, hands in pocket, fingering my phone but then, I remember I’m in PH so I put my hands out before some bad boys think I’m a threat. The road is quite busy with activities; road side traders, pedestrians, cars blaring horns, flying helicopters, power bikers—all sum up to escalate the restlessness of the oil and gas city. I stopped by to watch some young males play football in a school field but I get quickly bored because I’m a ‘super’ football fan. I tell myself, well, maybe today’s gonna end like this, without anything to put on paper so I turn around and start to walk back home. I branch the last street leading home and then, I stop by a kiosk to get items for dinner. While waiting for the lady to package the items, I see a young girl running out to embrace her mother who’s just returning from work. Though it reminds me of what I did during childhood, I overlook it but as I go, the scene comes up again and I laugh to myself, not because anything about it was funny but because I paint another picture on the canvas.

This is the stupid picture:

Bosco was returning from a football viewing center where he just enjoyed a match that gave victory to the team he fanned. His friend, Pepper was not too happy. He lost some money in betting so he was not really vibrant in the dialogue as his friend was. On a very normal day, Pepper was a very energetic and vivacious fellow. He could talk for minutes without quenching but the loss really cut him deep. "So because of 1K wey you lose for game, na him you de carry face like fowl nyash. Baba, calm down, today no be your turn,” Bosco mockingly advised. "You no understand man, na only one game cut, I for don collect 15grand come shine dis night. See wetin dis stupid club do me.” Pepper complained. He usually missed the bet narrowly, maybe the thing was not for him but he kept hope alive. “No worry, Champions League never finish, you still get chance to chop money,” Bosco said. As they walked down the local street, Bosco saw a lady few meters ahead of them, walking graciously. From the back view, she looked so perfect; the height, the hips, the long braids, the legs beneath her short gown, all was just too seductive for somebody like Bosco to ignore. Her chubbiness was an advantage as it enhanced the back side and made the hips more pronounced. Bosco tapped Pepper. “Guy, see!” He tried to point discretely at the girl. “You blind, you no de see that tornado wey de go so?” Pepper finally noticed the hot beauty. She was holding a polythene bag, probably returning from petty shopping. “I don see am o. Nna mehn! Ukwu odi nsobu! Choi! See food!” Pepper expressed his awe over the beauty. There was no way he was going to let the girl go without making a move. It was like Bosco read his mind. “Guy no even think that tin wey dey your mind. Na me first see am. Na me get am.” Pepper was also very interested too. “You sef no de pity person. You don see say I de grief unto the money wey I lose. You no fit carry dis one do mek I get small joy? You be my guy now, abeg free this one give me.” Bosco gave up without anymore argument. “Oya go try your luck na, I go dey mama aboy shop de wait you. No fall my hands o.” Pepper brightened up and patted Bosco on the shoulder. “Trust me now. No shele.”

Pepper hastened up and caught up with the lady. It was early evening hours and so, he could get a good look at her face. “Hello angel, abeg excuse me.” The young lady turned to his direction. Pepper was not a novice in the game so he didn’t have any concern over nervousness. She was good looking. Pepper did not use the cut-the-corner approach but went straight to the point. “Babe, as I watched you from behind, my mind no fit rest so I say mek I come hola you. Girl you fine die!” at first, the lady pretended she heard nothing and kept walking. But Pepper didn’t give up easily so he pressed on and after walking her some distance and feeding her with more complements, the lady smiled shyly and said, “Thank you.” Pepper was glad. It was working. He kept on following the lady. “So wetin be your name? My own name na Pepper.” The lady looked at him in amusement in a way that said what a name! “Alicia,” the lady gave him her name. “Chai! See sexy name! mek god bless your papa and mama as dem take give you dat sweet name!”

Alicia found him funny and was loosening up to him. Then when Pepper saw the time was ripe, he asked her for the phone number. She hesitated but Pepper said he would send her recharge card that same evening then she gave out the number. He started to boast to impress Alicia. “You see as you dey so, if me and you start parols, hmm, this your fine body go turn gold. The way I go take money paint you, no body go sabi you again. Your name go change to Alimony.” She looked at him and laughed. “Okay, you sound like a nice guy. I’d like to buy some extra items in this shop. Can you help me? I’m short of cash.” Pepper knew this kind of test. He wouldn’t back out now. “No wahala, mek we enter the shop. You dey with Pepper.” Even as he said that, he was scared. He lost money today and barely had something in his pocket. Somehow, he got lucky because she picked just few items that totaled a thousand and some fractions. He pulled out his last two thousand and paid at the counter. He told Alicia to keep the change, pretending he was okay with that. She was very happy and he was sure he had reached a guarantee level, like in Who Wants To Be A Millionaire show.

They left and she continued her walk home while Pepper followed. He really wanted to know where she stayed in case he had to visit. Finally, she took the last bend and they branched a narrow street. “No worry, mek the mechanic just finish my car, you no go de waka like this again. Na to just wire me call, I go show any place you dey come carry you home.” He lied. She patted him on the back sweetly. “You’re very nice dear. Thanks a lot for a wonderful evening. I want to say that….” Before she landed, three small creatures running like bullets dashed forward and slammed into Alicia in an embrace. “Mummy! Mummy! Mummy! Mummy! Welcome! Mummy did you buy chin chin for us? Daddy said when you come back you wash his socks. He has gone to buy fuel for generator. Mummy welcome!”

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