Can you remember the last time you were so embarrassed you swore to be a reverend sister if the good Lord helped you out?
Well, me neither. I mean stories like the one yours truly is about to narrate can only be fictitious…or Not. Anywhoo…here it goes.
It was a Friday and as per the norm, I had gotten a permit to leave school for the day.
You see, I had just gotten into a talent hunt of some sort that was happening in Port Harcourt and since I did not have family to stay with, I opted to leave from school on the days of rehearsal and return back to school at the end of the rehearsals.
I swear those were trying times but for the first time ever, I felt free. Nwa Ifepe had started something and by Jove, I intended to see it through.
Three weeks before, I had met someone at the rehearsal ground – a media person cum entertainer. He was tall, dark and had a comely visage. But best of all, he was interested in me.
At the time eh, I was not entirely into guys. I mean it was quite okay to crush on them, only from a distance, mana to have one express interest blatantly like that? *shakes head vigorously*
Barely minutes after we were introduced, we got talking. From talking we exchanged numbers and somehow after that he became my chauffeur.
He would drop me off at a point and put me in a cab, school bound, after practice every time and of course he would pay the cabbie.
It became a ritual…our ritual and I was very comfortable with this development.
Well, I used to be, until that Friday when I got into PH.
That day happened to be month end and I knew my allowance was chilling for me at UBA. So yes, girls were gonna be treating themselves to correct food a la Javenik.
My day was planned or so I thought. But my dear country people as the saying goes, ‘Man proposes but God disposes’.
All the UBA banks I went to had server problems. Server problem meant no cash for me and no cash meant I had to manage the N1000 I had on me till I could leave school on another bank exit.
The die was cast. I had to quickly think up a plan B to avoid being stranded.
My first thought was to ask my new friend for money. Unfortunately, the gold digger gist he’d given me chose that very second to prance through my mind. So, No! that was no option.
If you know me now, it will be quite hard to imagine me then. I was SHY. Very much so and the thought of a scandal no matter how miniscule was nerve wracking.
But a girl had to do what a girl had to.
After the practice session: Jimmy drove me to our drop off point, hailed a cab, gave me N3000 to pay the taxi guy and drove off because he had an appointment to meet.
And that moment right there was my cue. I never thought it was going to be this easy, but somewhere, somehow, the gods were smiling down on me as my plan took form.
As nwa Nnewi, immediately I noticed his headlights had vanished, I flew out of the taxi, tipped the taxi man for his efforts and stood on the curb waiting for an okada.
Adrenaline was the only reason I was still standing on that curb. My knees were trembling and my heart was doing a dangerous 198bpm.
I swear I must have said over 40 Jesus I love you prayers in quick succession because the falling hand situation I had just escaped was of epic proportions.
Barely three minutes after waving the taxi guy off, I felt goose pimples the size of boils cover my neck and my arms as a very familiar car drove past me.
I really should not worry I consoled myself, after all almost everyone in PH drove a car like that. I tell you eh, the flesh was willing to chop that line, but my spirit knew that trouble was close.
Before my brain could finish processing a plan C, I saw the car reverse and my hopes of getting out of this mess unscathed crumbled before me.
But as the plan crumbled, a dim light shone in my mind’s eye.
‘I am a Spartan soldier’, I muttered to myself. I was not going down without a fight. Famous last words before a reign of shame.
My bright plan was to run into a mallam’s kiosk and wait till the car drove past where I stood.
Can somebody say whoooooosh? Shame on shame on shame!
Homeboy just packed in front of the store, came out of his car and called me by name.
See eh, before that day I had known slight forms of mortification but the size of what I was faced with that day had no equal. His face was stony as he demanded an explanation.
To explain myself, I hurriedly stumbled through the bad server story I had encountered as I got into town.
Since I had already fallen face down, I figured there was not much to gain in telling lies. As soon as he asked what exactly I had planned to do, my quickly thought up plan B came tumbling out.
A bike to the park was N200 and RTC to Elele was N350, making it N750 in addition to the N200 I had given the cabbie. This meant an extra N2000 was going back to school with me, until I could sort myself out.
Man! I never knew I stuttered until that day.
Long and short of the gist, Jimmy asked me to jump in the car and he drove me to school. My very first albeit short walk of shame was recorded that day. Throughout the journey, he uttered not a word.
As soon as we got to the school gate, he gave me N5,000 and drove away.