It was a hot night and I was dead beat from a hectic day at work. Driving in traffic without air-conditioning didn’t make it any better too. I made a mental note to call my AC guy the following day to come check out what the problem was with the air-conditioning.
As we crawled in traffic, my mind drifted to other things. The clients I needed to call, the television and radio scripts I had to write, what I would have for dinner, blogs I was yet to read and so on.
The raspy voice broke into my thoughts and returned me to the present.
“Aunty find us something…”
I looked up to stare into the face of this rough looking young man, obviously a ‘Lagos area boy’. I quickly took in my environment and realised I was on top of Oshodi bridge(a place notorious for its area boys and thieves). When did we reach Oshodi? I thought.
My windows were wound down because of the bad air-conditioning and the tout was leaning against it almost breathing into my face.
“Äunty I say find us something…”
He wasn’t pleading. He was commanding me. I understood the situation perfectly. I had come in contact with his kind before and have also heard the experiences of others who have too. I knew it was only a matter of moments before he became even more aggressive. It was their style-obtaining by force!
Naturally, the first thought that came to mind was…girl, wound up the window quickly!
But then the young man was already leaning against the half open window and It wouldn’t be hard for him to stop the upward movement of the glass if I tried. I also remembered the gist Osi gave me about how during a similar encounter with these touts, she had succeeded in wounding up her windows only for them to smash the windows with a huge stone and finally make away with her bags and all the jewellery she had on while other road users looked on. Who would butt in ke? Everyone was scared for their own life!
I thought fast…what do I do now?
Just then another even rougher looking guy joined our mini- party. The both of them were obviously part of the same gang of ‘obtaining by force’ thieves.
“Mama…drop something for boys” Who be ur mama, devil punish you!
He even sounded less persuasive than the first guy.
“Calm down princesa”, I told myself. I couldn’t let them know how scared I was. That was the first rule- never show the enemy you are afraid- So, turning to the them with a fake smile plastered on, I said. “Ha...una come for wrong time o…no money dey now…next time abeg…”
Area boy 1 quickly retorted.
“Aunty find us something…abi you want make we show ourselves”
He moved his hands towards his waist.
Show ourselves?? Whatever did he mean by that? I didn’t want to find out o. I looked ahead, the damned traffic was not moving! I had to give them something but that would mean bringing up my bag and wont that be like the biggest mistake I could make? They were so close, all they would need to do would be to reach into my car and grab the bag with all its contents. Why wait for mere crumbs when they could have the whole loaf? That’s usually the way they reasoned. My bag was better left on the floor where it was safely hidden from their view.
My hands went to my pigeon-hole. I always kept spare change for the beggars in there.
I brought out the first note I felt in there, not even looking to see how much it was and handed it to the first guy.
He quickly grabbed it and peered at it.
“10 naira?!! This woman think say we dey play for here o” he said to his partner.
"Na 10 naira you dey give us enh?" He flung the N10 note at my face.
I picked up the money still smiling my fake smile.
Abeg manage am na…na wetin I get be dat”
From the corner of my eye, i could see the traffic had started moving, the car in front of me was moving ahead. Should I move the car, I thought. It would only be for a few metres and then they would catch up with me again, what then?
I was still holding my miserable looking N10 note and the area boys had this angry looks on their faces. This was the time when they are supposed to bring out the gun hidden under their belt or the knife in their pocket. Wasn’t it?
The bus driver behind me was blaring his horn. He shouted something. It sounded like “Move now!!”
The boys looked startled. Exchanging a brief look, they moved. They moved away!
I couldn’t believe my luck. Quickly I put the car in gear, glancing in the side mirrors to see if they were gone for real. They were. I drove on murmuring thanks to my God and the driver behind me.
The windows were wound up now, I was hot yes but relieved. Tomorrow the A.C had to be fixed!
Someone sent this in my face book inbox today.
"Love,please watsup love, i found you, you are my love i wish to have you as soon as possible, am dying in e call me (insert phone number) then you il make my dream come tru ;lol.but if you dont..........il'l break ya bone"
He probably thought it was funny...that last part about breaking my bone. i didn't find it funny at all. Which kain toasting be dat one??
Another thing o
Visiting my facebook today, i was surprised to see so many strange things like...
princesa has added so and so as friends or princesa has joined so and so group.
My people, shock catch me o. Some of these people added as friends,i didnt even know!
I checked the time i was supposed to have done those things-9am.
9am i wasnt even online!
na wa o...does anyone understand this?
Pls i need some sort of explanation! I hope someone is not assessing my account o!
Nothing wey no fit happen for internet.