Short Story Sunday "One of those Days'
He heard the alarm, but that only made him want to smash the damn thing and sleep some more. He had actually done things like that in the past which was why his last girlfriend had bought him three different alarm clocks, and placed them all around his room; there was no way he could get at them, put them off, and still go back to bed. Damn pretty women with brains.
He got up reluctantly and put them all off and then sat at the edge of the bed for a bit trying hard to will himself to take the shower. Last night’s activities must have been really been something because for some reason, he dozed off again! This time, with no alarms at the ready to wake him up, the next time he woke up was with a sinking feeling- he was late.
Jide looked at the time. 7.30am. That wasn’t good because in Lagos, the difference between 6a.m and 7a.m was like... well let's just say he was in shit creek with no paddle.
Someone stirred and he looked at the reason he was late. Well, even if he got a warning, it would be well worth it, for if Jide Omisade had one weakness, it was pretty girls with beautiful bodies, and wit.
The shower didn’t take him that long, and neither did dressing up.Today was easy, he was going to work, meeting with a client, then having drinks with another one of his friend’s that was betraying bachelorhood; so, his light blue shirt with chinos, black belt, tie and shoes, and some ‘Old Spice’ to charm the client. It was now 8a.m but he was sure with some creative thinking (he’d blame a flat tyre), and some creative driving (he was known as the king of 360 degrees turns right from secondary school), he could still get away with it.
As for the vision in satin on her bed, he knew she would let herself out and not call him till the next time her dead-beat boyfriend went out of town and she needed ‘to talk’ And talking was one thing he was great at.
So wrapped up was he in his plans that he forgot not to count his chicks till they were hatched. There, right in front of him was karma punishing him for even thinking of lying to his boss. Not only did he have TWO flat-tyres with no jack in his car, but he now remembered his happy and alcoholic self letting his brother ‘borrow’ his spare tyre the night before. “Shit!” What to do? He had to think fast. He made a few calls, but he was just too late and his colleagues living in that area had left already. Well at least, he was sure of a ride back. He checked his physical cash, paltry. No cab driver carried a pos machine around that’s for sure. He quickly legged it to the nearest bank and tried the A.T.M. Damn! What was up today? The damn machine was faulty! What was he going to do?
He stood there thinking. He could try to get to another bank, or, he could…
…He could get into that bus. Okay, the last time he got into a bus was when he was in his first year at university and he now worked in a company where you were judged based on what car you drove and whether your shoes where by some designer with an unpronounceable name so really, bus-hopping was frowned upon. Sometimes you’re desperate though. And sometimes, you look into the bus and you see a pretty girl with long hair sitting by the window, with the seat beside her vacant and suddenly, your choice is made. He’d just get down and walk the rest of the way to work; no one would ever know.
He got in and headed straight where his brain, well the other one anyway, led him to, right beside her. He only hoped to God that her voice would match her face, and wow, see that cleavage. Maybe it was divine that he had a flat. “Don’t you just hate Monday mornings?” He prayed she would give a half-decent reply. Even if she wasn’t witty, charming or funny, all he needed was some indication that she wasn’t all bad. “Personally, I think Sunday evenings suck. It’s like Mondays become the anti-climax, and every girl loves a climax”.
That’s it, he was getting married.
She was not only funny, but also a good listener, rare for girls. He told her about how late he was for work and why he was on that bus, and she told him nothing, but listened and smiled a lot. And the journey would have been perfect had it not been for that one little snag.
He wasn’t sure where they were exactly, but he was sure that he hated the next words he heard. “Eyin te mi, oya, ibon re o”. He heard the words, and could see like five guys suddenly standing up and brandishing weapons, but it didn’t sink in properly until the slaps began.
“I don’t believe this, are they for real?” He asked her stupidly. Wasn’t it girls that asked stupid questions?
“It would seem, they look serious” She replied needlessly.
He felt the need to protect her, impress her. He leaned over and whispered, “I have a tazer you know, and we will be fine”
“And lucky me, I know some judo”
“You seem pretty calm for someone who is about to get robbed, or even worse.”
“Well, I have been known to work well under pressure. Besides, you haven’t noticed, have you?
She leaned into him and whispered right back. “I’m with them”.
And then the lights went off.
“Oga, get up! Get up!”
He could hear voices. Some were directed at him, but others were just all around. He had a splitting headache but struggled to open his eyes. He was on the ground somewhere, and people were staring at him; he also seemed to have, at some point, been drenched with water. At least he hoped it was water.
“E don open im eyes oh”, he heard as some people left, while others gathered still. “Oga. You well?” a young boy asked him. Then he remembered everything. “Wetin happen?” He asked. This was not the time for his Prep School English; some good ol’ pidgin was needed. “Na one chance oh! E be like say you enter one chance”
Ah yes, of course. The bus, the thugs, and the beautiful wench with the uppercut, or whatever that was she had done to him. He looked around, nothing. Checked his pockets. Nothing. They had taken everything; his watch, wallet, shoes…everything.
“Make you try stand oga, make you go see Doctor”
“Thank you” He mumbled as he got on his feet, his head still throbbing. A policeman came towards him. “Your lucky shine o, na only you dem drop, dem come drive off again.” The police-man seemed more interested in the gist than in say, maybe asking questions like how many they were and where the bus was headed. Whatever, he wasn’t surprised, and he was kinda grateful; I could be worse, they could hold him for questioning.
“Abi you go come give statement? You remember anyone of dem?”. Tall, white shirt and grey pants, red lipstick and a killer smile. “I no see dem well o, make I go hospital, e be like say my back dey pain me, as dem trow me…” There was no way he was going to a police station in Nigeria. No one was asking yet, but what if there was the lone smart officer who would wonder, “How come you were the only one they let off the bus?”. He could hazard a guess and he foolishly thought to himself about how he might not have minded if she had held on to him for a few hours and ‘tortured’ him. But wait, what if her other friends, them with the biceps and guns, wanted in on the action as well? So, no statements, all he lost was money and shoes; oh but those shoes!
He had to call his brother. Funny, the policeman actually lent him his phone, so he called his brother. Thirty minutes and several pure waters later, he was in a car, being driven to the clinic, and then, he would go to work. Yeah, he might have just faced an ordeal but where he worked, unless you were dead or buried alive, you showed up at work and recuperated there.
The nurse at the hospital was actually really pretty. Dare he hope..?
“O what a pitied, they ‘ave ‘urt you”, she said. If they were pretty, they didn’t speak well. If they were pretty and spoke well, they were armed robbers.
“Wetin be dis?” She asked as she helped him take his shirt off. He had not felt it before but there it was, his sim wrapped in a small piece of paper, taped to his shirt. He took it and out it in his pocket, and then he noticed there was a note on the note.
“Get a new line, maybe I’ll give you a call. I have your card after all”.
He didn’t know if that was good or bad, but somehow, that just made his brain tingle.
the other brain.
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