- 1.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (III)
- 2.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (XVI)
“Why, why, why? Why, why, why talk?” Saka sang at the top of his voice as he dismantled the dashboard of the Ford SUV he was working on. He was louder; way louder than Rihanna and Bryson Tiller doing the actual singing from the Toyota Highlander I was working on, which was the source of the music thrilling my boys and the few customers waiting to get their cars fixed.
“Which one be why, why, why talk again, Saka? You no go kill person for this Kalakala Street sha,” Broderick said handing him a screwdriver in exchange for the breaker bar he was working with.
“If no be why, why talk, wetin dem come dey sing?” Saka asked, as he dropped more screws on Broderick’s open palm.
“Wild, wild, wild talk. Abi your ear block?”
“Wetin that one come mean?”
“Wild talk – Like when man and woman dey talk dirty, dirty talk for bed.”
“You when dey correct person, e be like say na your own ear block pass sef. What they are saying is ‘wild thoughts.’ Wild thoughts like crazy thoughts. Person suffer sing song finish, na so una go dey this Yenagoa dey spoil the music,” Ebinimi paused briefly.
“Look, look, look BRD, e be like say you no get work to do. Just leave Saka to concentrate on that dashboard while you help Biodun jack that car he’s working on. I promised the owner it will be ready by 2pm.”
“Oga Ebinimi, this car won’t be ready by 2pm oh. You know we still need to fix the back shock. I would suggest you switch off your phone so that when him call, e no go fit reach you.”
“What if he decides to come by himself?” Biodun asked.
“Then he won’t meet me here.” My response was muffled so no one else heard me.
I had plans to meet up with my girl, Adinna, by 1pm. We had arranged to drive to Amassoma together in the afternoon for tutorials with some of our course mates on campus. It was the only way I could prepare for my final exams starting in a week’s time. But if the truth must be told, going to Amassoma wasn’t all about studying for our MBA 687 and 631. Adinna and I would have the opportunity for a getaway, some “us” time far away from the suspicious glare of our respective jealous partners. Blessing, in my case, and the honourable commissioner for employment, rehabilitation and social welfare, Justus Woyinpereowe for her.
Our rendezvous would be in the usual place. The well-furnished two-bedroom bungalow that Aguero, my bosom friend and course mate, rented in Amassoma for days we needed a secluded place to read and for nights it was too late to return to Yenagoa after lectures. Renting an apartment close to the university campus made sense for someone who really didn’t know what to do with all the money he made from his oil bunkering business, when in actual fact, that was the story he sold to his young and gullible wife Preye. The place in reality was the slaughter house for his side chicks and one night stands. That was why it was code-named the “altar.” However, being his best friend, he lets me have the keys whenever I had need of it, and this afternoon, I really did.
Adinna said she wanted to be with me. It had been so long since we – hmmmmmm – three weeks and four days because her commissioner boyfriend was beginning to suspect her and he had some boys following her like she was under surveillance by the EFCC for some financial crime. She also said something came up I needed to know and she didn’t feel comfortable or secure discussing it over the phone.
I also had something to tell her as well. Blessing, my other girl, changed her mind about the abortion. She was keeping the baby and so I had a major decision to make and someone’s heart might get broken when the time came to make my big announcement.
I was crazy about Adinna – I really was. For someone four years younger than me, I was 31 and she was 27, it felt appropriate calling her my sugar mummy because of all the money and gifts she lavished on me. She could afford to, because whatever she gave to me – shoes, shirts, phones, cartoons of expensive wines and alcoholic beverages was less than a tenth of what her main squeeze spent on her. Adinna said he had asked her to marry him but she had serious misgivings about becoming the second wife of a 63-year-old diabetic who was also her boss.
Yes, Adinna Lakemefa was his confidential secretary. She was supposed to type his letters and memos, and manage his official correspondence, but instead she walked her way into managing his bank accounts and his epileptic libido, her words not mine.
But break-up sex wasn’t the only thing on my mind this afternoon. Perhaps even more urgent than attending to primordial needs was my need for safety. My decision to succumb to the pressure from Blessing and the guys at the shop over the mysterious N500k Saka found in the shop had come back to hunt me. I knew I should have gone to the police; it was the sensible thing to do. However, both Broderick and Biodun’s mothers picked the same morning to be rushed to the hospital for sicknesses that couldn’t quite be described while Saka’s younger sister was going the kicked out of school on the first day of exam if I didn’t help him pay fifty per cent of her school fees in the University of Port Harcourt. As for Blessing Bassey, you already know the deal with her.
So, instead of reporting at Ovom police station in the morning, I found myself heading to GTBank to withdraw the money I had paid into my account for safekeeping. Blessing got N100k to take care of the baby situation, while Saka, Biodun and BRD shared N100k to deal with whatever concocted family issues they needed money urgently for. As for the remaining N300k, let’s just say my birthday party last weekend at Stop Over Night Club wasn’t shabby at all. I mean the turn-up was lit!
And now, from out of the blue, the owner has returned for his money and I am very afraid for my life. Tiekuro, the Judge’s son that abandoned his car weeks ago in my shop, as if it was a wrecking yard, had suddenly remembered where he kept his money and now he wanted it back. Where was I supposed to get that kind of money?
I met with Adinna in front of Kilimanjaro by 1:30pm. For discretion, we thought it best not to ride in either of our cars so I opted to use a Toyota Prado dropped off for routine maintenance by one of my more pliable customers. It was black, had tinted windows and was just what we needed to travel to Amassoma in style and incognito. I had made up some story to the owner about a fuel pump malfunction just so I could have it for a day or two.
“Ebinimi, you’ve been awfully quiet,” Adinna said turning down the volume of the car radio so we could hear each other better. “I hope all is well.” I could see the worry in her eyes.
“Maybe I’m just worried about you.”
She didn’t know about Tiekuro and his threats and it wasn’t something I wanted to discuss with her. I didn’t also want to bring up the fact that I was certain we were being tailed. It couldn’t be mere coincidence that the black Ford Explorer behind me made the exact same turns I did, slowed when I slowed and accelerated when I tried speeding up the car. Adinna and I could be in a precarious situation. We were being followed.