- 1.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (I)
- 2.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (II)
- 3.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (III)
- 4.Mechanics of Yenagoa (IV)
- 5.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (V)
- 6.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (VI)
- 7.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (VII)
- 8.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (VIII)
- 9.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (IX)
- 10.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (X)
- 11.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (XI)
- 12.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (XII)
- 13.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (XIII)
- 14.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (XIV)
- 15.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (XV)
- 16.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (XVI)
- 17.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (XVII)
- 18.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (XVIII)
- 19.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (XIX)
- 20.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (XX)
- 21.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – I
- 22.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – II
- 23.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – III
- 24.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – IV
- 25.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – V
- 26.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – VI
- 27.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – VII
- 28.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – VIII
- 29.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – IX
- 30.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – X
- 31.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – XI
- 32.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – XII
- 33.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – XIII
- 34.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – XIV
- 35.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – XV
- 36.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – XVI
- 37.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – XVII
- 38.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – XVIII
- 39.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – XIX
- 40.The Mechanics of Yenagoa (Season 2) – XX
I got the alert at exactly 4:48 pm. I was at the mechanic village along Imiringi Road negotiating the cost of a tokunbo gearbox required urgently by the driver to the chairman of Sagbama local government council, who needed to have his boss’ Honda Pilot fixed. He had towed the vehicle to my workshop from somewhere around Mbiama junction this morning. This driver had gone out on a frolic of his own when the car started acting up. Seeing how afraid and desperate he was for the car to be repaired before the owner found out, I had to abandon everything else I was working on in the workshop to assist him put the car back on the road.
The amount stated on the GTBank notification I received was ₦750k as expected, and the transaction narration read from BusBode Limited. I wasn’t familiar with that name or company, but there was no prize for guessing whom the money was from and what it was meant for.
Because it was exactly the amount of the second instalment promised by Honourable Barnabas-Treatment when the job I was contracted to execute for him was completed, it could only mean one thing – mission accomplished. The deed was done and I had been paid fully. Even if I had wanted to, there was no turning back now.
In that instant, my heart sank. I should have been over the moon with joy and excitement, but what I felt was far from it. What had I done? Instead of the relief of accomplishing a challenging task, what I felt was the shame of betrayal. I tried to tell myself that it wasn’t betrayal, but just me taking my pound of flesh from someone that had wronged me, but it wasn’t working.
The owner of the shop I was buying from, a stoutly, neatly-dressed man in his early thirties, was boasting to me, in an unusually loud and heavy Igbo accent, that as far as gearboxes went, other spare parts dealers in Yenagoa came to him to “learn work.” In other words, there was nowhere else I could go to for what I wanted, short of ordering from Ladipo in Lagos. He was telling me about the dangers of that option, but what I heard him say was “Judas, why?”
I tried stifling my guilt by stepping out of his dingy store for air, but the voices in my head and all around me became even louder. The chant of “Judas! Judas!” seemed to be coming from every buyer and seller in the spare parts market. The intensity of these imaginary voices and the apprehension they created in me must have upset the enzymes in my innards, because all of a sudden I heard an audible growl from my stomach.
“Oga Chinedu, abeg where una toilet dey?”
“Na piss you wan piss, abi na toilet you wan toilet?”
“I wan toilet.”
“Ah, that one go hard oh, de person wen de hold de toilet key no open shop today, so if de thing dey catch you well well e be like say na dat bush for yonder you go do am oh.”
“Ah, inside bush? Wetin I go take clean–”
“You go buy pure water from that woman for junction,” he said, pointing at a young lady wearing a clingy spaghetti-strap dress that drew admirers to her pointy nipples.
When I got back to Ovom, my boys were busy at work, which was a big relief because I still couldn’t bring myself to look them, especially Saka, in the eye. I noticed how quiet he had been all day and he hadn’t even broken out into a song.
Every time we came in contact with each other in the house or in the workshop, or if I needed to give him instructions, I noticed the discomfiture in his demeanour. I suspected he saw the same thing when he looked at me, and nothing could be truer. In a weird way, I was certain the voice of Agnes saying “My father” would hunt me for months to come.
After work, I called Mr. Freedom. I thought I could get details about Aguero’s arrest and how it all played out from him but he was tight-lipped. He turned down my offer for drinks at 64 Lifestyle and hurried off the phone. Just then, Biodun came in with a plate of jollof rice and fried plantain he said he cooked himself for me. It was my first real meal in two days, but I couldn’t eat it. It tasted like horseshit! There was too much pepper and very little salt in it. The awful taste of Biodun’s concoction made me miss Blessing and her cooking.
I reached for my phone and transferred ₦30k to Blessing. When she called to ask what the money was for, as I knew she would, I told her it was for fresh fish pepper soup and unripe plantain. I expected the insults and hesitation, and I was prepared for both. I told her I was sorry for my outburst the last time – and all the other sweet things she loved to hear me say to her.
“Ebinimi, Ebinimi, why you dey treat me like this?”
“You know say if person when you no love do you something, e no dey pepper body? I love you, that na why every small thing when you do dey burst my brain.”
“Ebinimi, Ebinimi, make I no call you three times oh.”
“Na beg I dey beg. I’ve been through so much lately, I just need pepper soup with something soft, you know na?”
“Hmmmmm…” she paused for a bit. “Where I want to get fresh fish from this night now? Okay, I go try Kpansia night market.”
Blessing didn’t disappoint; the food was like heaven. After eating the sumptuous fish and plantain, we got down to some hard tackle and a full yoga session, if you know what I mean.
When we finished, I felt emboldened to call Tiekuro. I had put off calling him even after I got the first installment from Aaron some days ago because I wanted to be sure of how the job went before spending the money. Now that I knew, there was no point avoiding him any longer. His number wasn’t on my phone, so I asked Biodun to get to him with word that I’d like to meet with him in the morning.
When I heard the knock on my room door at five-thirty in the morning, I was certain it was Tiekuro and his all-female squad. I was half-expecting them after all, but I didn’t think they’d show up that early. Blessing stirred from underneath the duvet. She wanted to know who it was, but I ignored her.
I had steeled myself to pay him off and then give him a piece of my mind afterwards about why I thought he should never threaten me or any member of my family again. But when I opened the door, it wasn’t Tiekuro or Sucking Blood standing there.
It was Adinna!