So I finally fell asleep by 5 am and my alarm jolted me up by 6:30 am. Feeling already grumpy, I tapped Jumoke to wake up as promised to take me home. You will not believe that Jumoke had the cheek to tell me I will have to find my way because (in her words) “my eyes don dirty”. I was so freaking pissed! How will I get home to pick up Queen B’s flash drive and then get to the studio for the photo-shoot? I hurriedly showered and changed into a chiffon blouse I saw in Jumoke’s box. The night before I had asked her nicely to give me the blouse but this time I didn’t even care what she will say. E sweet you, e sweet me, na who e go pain?
I finally got home, picked up the flash drive and headed to Barracks. I boarded the bus to Ikeja and sat next to an Alhaji. My people, thanks be to the heavens that I sat next to the window because this man’s perfume had claws, slowly strangling me to death. Do these people pour in a mixture of Indian spices or boil their perfumes? While I concentrated on moving cars and the cloudy sky, I contemplated what to do with Jake’s money, the bus came to a halt before the traffic light in Marylan and I noticed LASTMA officials, appear before the bus. They were like a colony of ants over a lump of sugar.
“ Na today I don catch you!” One of the officials said with a grin.
“ Oga na wetin I do na-“ the driver retorted, with guilt ridden face.
“ Shattappp dia!” Another official shouted from the passenger’s side. He was already trying to yank off the car key from within.
The passengers started grumbling and amidst the chaos, Nkechi’s call came through.
“Abigail where are you? You are very late and Zara is in huge mess here! I think she will be fired today. The photo-shoot is just…where are you?”
“Nkechi I can’t really talk now please.” I used my eyes to locate the conductor. Grumbling passengers alighted from the bus and I joined them, trying to collect my money from the conductor.
“Babe better appear here ‘cause Mr. Vincent is so upset that you aint there to take charge. Later.”
She hung up. The conductor was almost in a fight with another passenger. Gosh! I didn’t even know what to do or who to call. I was tempted to call Jake to send his driver but I knew that wouldn’t even make sense. I just felt like crying. This was another chance I had to prove I was better than that Queen B but here I was, struggling to get N150 from a conductor.
“Aunty see your leg. Sorry o.” The young lady who spoke to me looked at my leg pitifully. I didn’t understand until I saw blood on my leg from a cut. How did that one just happen like that? I moved away from the crowd and tried using my handkerchief to stop the blood.
“Hey! Need a ride?”
I didn’t bother looking up because I wasn’t in the mood for anybody’s stupidity. My phone was ringing, my head was aching and the darned stranger in his panel beaten Toyota Corolla was still honking. I felt a little embarrassed as people started staring. Of all cars in the world, it’s that one that will honk for Abigail Idemudia! I don suffer.
“I am still waiting dearie.”
The guy was obviously high on something. Dearie kor, dearie ni! Nonsense! I moved back to the crowd. “ Oga gimme my money!” I shouted.
“ Wia you de where I de give people dem money. Ma bi mi ni jamb question!”
“No just try me o.” I lashed out. Imagine conductor waxing lyrics on top of my money! Before I could say another word, it started drizzling and the drizzle turned into large drops of rain. Kai, my N150. The conductor threw my money at me and rushed into the Fuel Station for shade. I stood in the rain, hugging myself. This had to be a dream.Damned August!
All of a sudden, Mr. Panel Beaten Toyota Corolla appeared again and I said nothing else but rush to the passenger’s side and hopped in. His bicycle was better than my Leggedeez Benz
We didn’t say a word to each other and he drove in silence.
After about ten minutes, Mr. Toyota Corolla spoke up. “Does it hurt?”
“Your leg, I mean.”
“I’d be fine. I am going to Allen. You can stop in front of Sweet Sensation. Thank you.”
He sighed. “I can take you to the exact place you are going to. So will you tell me where we are heading?”
“Sule Abuka street.”
“Sule Abuka, here we come” he said with a chuckle. I was in no mood to smile.
I got to the studio and thanked Mr Toyota Corolla. He told me his name but to be honest, I forgot it the minute he said it.
I got to the studio to see our irate client- Mrs Babayaro and an irritated photgrapher. I went over to her to our client first to calm her down, called Ogama to come over with her make up box because Queen B had sent away the make-up artist we had already booked. By the way, I heard (from Nkechi) that Queen B had exchanged words with Mrs Babayaro because of some flimsy comment Mrs Babayaro made about how ‘yellow’ Queen B’s skin was getting. Mrs. Babayaro was just one of those women with no filter and she totally disliked Queen B. Whatever. Good riddance.
A few minutes later, after I had thrown in my special Abby charm (wink) the shoot was in smooth sail. But then something happened…something miraculous happened…
Dinner tonight? Four Points by Sheraton. 8pm. I miss you amore.
My heart did the moon walk and suddenly, I was walking on sunshine… big yellow sunshine!