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The Mechanics Of Yenagoa (Season 2) – XIV
Post Series: Mechanics of Yenagoa

“Oga Ebinimi, please think this thing through. You have to be very careful so you don’t end up disappointing this man that has so much faith in you.” It was Biodun. I had asked him and BRD over to my room at the close of work to pick their brains on how best to go about mobilising the crowd for Honourable Aaron’s welcome party next week.

I didn’t have much time, and if I were to execute the task satisfactorily and make the minister happy, the earlier I started with the planning and mobilisation, the better for me.

I knew I should have invited Saka to the meeting as well, so he didn’t feel left out. But I didn’t trust him not to go and regurgitate everything we discuss and agree to his girlfriend and manager, Agnes.

It was bad enough that Blessing was already making demands when she didn’t even know what was on ground and how much money was involved. So, the last thing I wanted was another person coming into the frame with a direct or indirect demand for me to fund a lifestyle I wasn’t a beneficiary of, with money that was meant for something else.

“Oga, there’s nothing to think about. I dey tell you say we no need any mechanic association anything. Me and my guys go plot the whole maserati, las las, you no go even spend half of the robs when Honourable give you and we go still pull crowd. Believe me Oga, this one na God when just wan bless you before the year end.”

BRD made a compelling argument with that last point, after all they say God works in mysterious ways and this just might be one of those ways. Come to think of it, I had paid my dues and my occasional tithes to Fire for Fire, so what if this was God actually rewarding all my sacrifices with an unexpected breakthrough.

“A blessing that requires lies, deception, cheating and cover up to manifest can’t be from God,” Biodun Pontificated.

“Biodun, leave that thing. You when no dey go church sef, yet na you like to dey form holy pass. Make I tell you, God can bless anybody any which way. The same God when turn water to wine can turn pant to Benz.”

“BRD, please stay on the subject.”

“Oga Ebinimi, that is what I’m trying to do, but Biodun just dey yan nonsense. Just tell me how many guys you want and where you want them to stand and consider it done. I will even talk to some of the correct guys that come to church here to join us. Abi no be to wear t-shirt and carry placard again?”

“But if they wear t-shirt then it will look too planned. I think they should come in their normal clothes.”

“Yes, Biodun, I think you have a point there. No t-shirts, just regular clothes.”

“My boss of life, I dey think of another thing oh.” BRD’s eyes glistened with excitement as if he had just discovered oil beneath the earth in Kalakala street.

“What are you thinking of?”

“What if we involve Blessing, carry her along? You know say this kain runs when dey ground so go make sense well well make some correct babes like Blessing and her friends sef join us. And as per say Blessing na makeup artist, I dey see the fine fine kpalas when they follow her come church sometimes.”

“That’s a brilliant idea, BRD.”

“Yes oh, Oga, you know na, politicians dey quick release money when fine chicks dey involved. In fact I dey even think another thing,” I noticed Biodun shift uncomfortably where he sat, but I wasn’t paying him any attention.

“Go ahead BRD, I’m listening.”

“Oputi.”

“Oputi? What has she got to do with the welcome party?”

“Oga, that girl bad with gadgets, we need to bring her in too. As we dey sing and dance for your boss ehn, she go dey post am for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram from our Mechanics of Yenagoa handle.”

Even though we had lived in the same house for some time now, I was surprised at Broderick’s newfound confidence and the boldness with which he tackled the problem at hand. I didn’t realise he was that good at organising things.

On another day, I would have asked him if he was high or something, but not today. Today, I needed ideas and I must give it to BRD on this one; he had demonstrated nothing but brilliance all evening. I liked the way his mind was working and the way he marshalled out his points.

“So, like how much you think say you go need for your side to take arrange your guys?”

“Oga, just give me N200k. You know say those my people no get wahala. Once we buy them drink and cigar and small something to shine their eye, plus transport money, dem go dey okay.”

“Ha! N200k for those rough looking guys that come here to look for BRD?” Biodun sounded perplexed. “Oga Ebinimi, if those guys drink and smoke, they will not show up on that day oh!”

“Biodun, why you dey shout na? Body just dey pepper you like say na your money.”

“Oya guys, e don do. The two of you can go to your room now. I need to think.”

Immediately they left my room, I locked the door, disconnected my phone from the charger and called Blessing.

“BleBle, Blessing my love – ”

“This one when you dey call my name, l know wetin dey hungry you. But me, I no fit come back to your house again this night. I tell you say I dey go Lagos for morning.”

“Why your mind dey always go that side?”

“Sex makes the world go round, abi no be so una guys dey talk am?”

“Love makes the world go round, not sex. And, if you must know, I just wanted to hear your voice. Is that a crime?”

“Ebinimi, I know say na something you want, so just go ahead and ask me because I know say you no be the romance type.”

“Okay, I need your help for something. Blessing, I need like 100 fine babes to attend a political rally next week. Honourable Aaron give me the contract and I no want to disappoint am.”

“Ebinimi, but why you no tell me since for house say na that kind of job you get? You come dey do like say na secret something.”

“No vex. So you go fit arrange am for me?”

“That one be small thing na. I just need to make one phone call and them go appear when and where you want them to show. But it will cost you plenty sha.”

“How much is plenty?”

“I go need like N700k.”

“Ha, that one too much na, Blessing.”

“Oya make am N500k, abi no be fine girls you want again? Because if you want all those worwor babes, we fit even do like N100k or N200k.”

I thought about what Blessing said for a bit and made a counter offer. “In that case make I give you N300k so you go fit mix them up. Some fine girls and some ugly ones too. The fine girls go dey for front, then the ugly ones go dey for back.”

“Because na you, I go accept am like that. But abeg, make you transfer the money to me today plus another N200k for my shop rent and the shopping when I go do for Lagos. Make you no forget to greet Sister Ebiakpo and Anda for me oh.”

“Bles – ”

She hung up the phone before I could get a word in, but I didn’t bother calling her back. Instead I opened the calculator on my phone and did some arithmetics. If I gave BRD N200k and I gave Blessing N300k, plus maybe another N100k as my contribution to her rent, I would still be left with N1.4m plus the N250k ABT promised me at the end of the Job. I couldn’t believe my good fortune. With that money I could buy a scanner and some computers for the workshop.

Oputi had been pressuring me to go digital for some time now, and if I seized the opportunity of this largesse I could upgrade my business once and for all.

With that sorted out, my happiness knew no bounds and it prompted me to do something I had been running away from all day. I called Oputi up.

It was almost 8pm and I knew she would be home.

The phone rang twice, she picked and I said – “What is the position with the commercial Saka is supposed to be shooting with the guys from Axel?”

“Really, Ebinimi, is that why you called, to ask about Saka and his Axel Auto Oil Commercial?” Oputi sounded crossed.

“I – ”

“So I spent the whole night wondering why you didn’t show up and if something bad had happened to you and the best you can do is ask about Saka?”

“Oputi, I’m truly sorry about last night. I wanted to apologise when I saw you earlier today, but you were obviously avoiding me, and I didn’t want to do it over the phone. I also noticed that you and Blessing and Ebiakpo have become chummy, and it freaked me out because I don’t know what you could have told them about us.”

“We didn’t even discuss you. Your sister asked me to help her in the kitchen and Blessing stopped by to see your sister. Apparently she hadn’t visited since your brother-in-law’s death.”

“Please, can I come to your house? Let’s go out for drinks. Let me make it up to you.”

“No. Ebinimi, no. Not until you tell me why you stood me up in such a humiliating manner. You know what I was dealing with and how I was feeling because of my sister, yet you decided to act like you didn’t care. I thought you were different.”

“Oputi, I am different, believe me. That was why I chickened out and decided to stay away. I was afraid of the hash tag MeToo movement – ”

“What has the MeToo movement got to do with us?”

“You work for me. I don’t want it to look like sexual harassment or something.”

“Did I tell you about my last boyfriend?”

“No, you didn’t.”

“He died. Two years ago. We were both posted to Warri for our National Youth Service. That was when we met and started dating. One day I invited him over to my apartment for dinner, but he never showed up. His power bike was involved in an accident around Effurun roundabout. It was crushed by a fuel tanker, and Babajide was killed on the spot. That should tell you how I felt last night when you told me you were coming and you didn’t show up.”

“You should have called Saka or Biodun.”

“And hear them say what, that you were not at home? I was too scared to make any such call. I didn’t want to hear any bad news or relive the pain I felt when I learnt of Jide’s death. It would have crushed me.”

“Oputari, I’m sorry, very, very sorry. Please let me come and pick you up. I promise I will not chicken out this time.”

We drove to De Brass Suites Hotel along Sanni Abacha Road. I didn’t want to take her home because I wasn’t so sure how Ebiakpo would react to seeing her with me at that time of the night. Plus, I didn’t trust this new friendship brewing between my sister and Blessing. I didn’t want her running her mouth to Blessing and unintentionally spoiling everything. Ebiakpo was that kind of person.

Oputi and I kissed and then…wait a minute; do I have to go into the details of what happened in room 216? I don’t think so. A gentleman doesn’t kiss and tell when he really, really likes the woman so let me just say that I have disappointing news for those of you that have been praying for my downfall.

This time my phone didn’t ring and no one showed up at the door. On the same day I made N1.4m, we did it.

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