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Yawa don gas Part 2

“Johnny, abeg nor vex. Di story long but I nor go fit meet you today. We fit arrange for weekend?”

“Weekend ke? Di girl dey here wit me now, you dey talk weekend. Abeg nor fall my hand o!”

“Ah, you for tell me na. I tink say na just me and you go yarn today, then arrange to meet am. I no get money for trans.”

“See dis guy o! You be learner? You no get Oyster card?”

“Oh boy, nor vex na. I get, di ting just mess me up big time. How we go do with di babe? I fit talk to am for phone?”

“No o. You know as dis oyinbo people be.” Johnny come quiet small, e be like e dey tink. “Ok, drop, make I talk to am, explain the situation, see wetin she go talk. I go call you back.”

“Ok, no yawa. Thank you.”

As I drop phone, I begin waka go back house. E bin don tay when I pray but if you see di way I begin beg God say make e just help me for dis matter ehn, you go tink say na me be pastor. I begin quote Bible. Then my phone ring, na Johnny again.

“My guy, e be like say your juju strong well-well. Di babe talk say she nor even need to meet you sef, say make we arrange everything, tell am date, she go meet us for court.”

I nearly drop for phone, I nor fit believe say e go easy reach like dis. I come tell God thank you for my mind.

“Talk true.” Small-small doubt come dey enter my mind. “You sure say di girl no be 419?”

“You nor trust me? No worry, she dey ok. I go arrange everything for you. I go text you di girl bank details. She say she go take 1k upfront, then di balance after everything don complete.”

“Ah, Johnny, God go bless you well-well. Thank you o.”

“No worry na, you be my main man.”

***

Johnny send me di babe bank details. E tell me say di babe don dey rake, wan vex nor do again. E talk say di babe say unless I pay di full amount, she go waka. Me sef I begin vex, I tell Johnny say make she go, we go find anoda pesin. Johnny beg me say make I cool down. E advise me to pay the whole £1,500. Me sef, I come tink am. I don dey dis matter of kpali almost three years now. I dey live like rat. Every time I hear siren I go dey wonder whether na me dem dey find. I nor fit find better work, na only boy-boy work wey I fit do. I don dey save all dis time for opportunity like dis. Now when e don come make I no take vex spoil am. Na im I come gree for di babe tell Johnny say I go pay all di money.

Fear no gree me do online transfer before somebodi go tell me say di money nor reach di account. £1.5k nor be beans. I waka go bank wit di money wey I withdraw from my branch, pay am to teller, collect receipt. After that last time wit di Oyster card, I keep di receipt for inside my wallet. I no wan hear story. I call Johnny to ask am to confirm wit di babe say she don get di payment. E say e go call am then get back to me.

Na so I wait taya, no call from Johnny. I come begin panic. When I call am, di number dey unavailable. See me, see trouble. Our people talk say, “siddon look na dog name.” Me I no be dog, na im I come decide to go Johnny house go wait am, after all agaracha must to return. When I reach di house where Johnny dey share with like eight other people, na big house sha, dem tell me say Johnny don pack comot. Cold begin catch me even though sun bin dey shine well-well.

I confuse. Dat money na all my savings since three years from all di yeye work wey I do, dey chop insult on top. I nor even know how to reach di babe as I nor get her number. I dey tink wetin I go do, I nor look as I dey cross road. Na im I hear motor as e try to brake, come feel myself dey fly for air like bird. After dat, I nor remember anything till I wake up for inside hospital bed.

As I try open eye, I hear one voice, “Oh good, you’re awake now. Are you in pain?”

Na di nurse. I try to answer am but my throat dry like sahara desert.

“Don’t try to talk. Here, drink this, the doctor will be in to see you soon.” She help me siddon for di bed, come give me tablet and water wit for inside plastic cup. Na dat time I come notice say my left leg dey inside POP.

As di nurse comot di room go call doctor, I begin look around. Four bed dey inside di ward but na only me dey occupy bed. I begin wonder how I go take pay the hospital bill on top of the money wey I don already loss.

E nor too tay when di doctor come. But no be only am follow. Two police follow, one man and one woman. Two other men wey wear suit follow too. Their suit be like something wey carpenter sew. Even if pesin dash me sef I nor go wear. Before I fit wonder wetin all of dem dey find, doctor begin explain my condition. E tell me say I dey very lucky say I nor injure pass dis. E say I break my leg and e go dey inside di POP for six weeks. Apart from that, e say na just small-small wound where my skin scratch comot as I land for di coal tar. E talk say e go discharge me the next day. E tell me say as na pesin jam me, I get to make statement to di police and say di two other men na lawyer before im waka comot leave us.

Fear dey catch me to talk to police but I understand di reason why dem come but di lawyer nko? Wetin be their own for here? Na so I begin wonder which kain trouble I don enta wey lawyer find me. Whether na di arrangee wey Johnny plan for me? Abi na Johnny nor pay di babe na im she send lawyer to find me? Na so headache begin worry me from all di question inside my head.

As I bin dey give police dem my statement, na so my voice just dey shake.

“Take your time, Mr Johnson. Tell us everything you can remember.” Dem bin dey reassure me, dem nor know di ting wey dey do me. “Whatever information you can provide will help us track down the hit-and-run driver.” Anyway I tell dem di one wey I remember. Dem give me card, ask me to call dem if I remember any other ting before dem comot.

“Mr Johnson, I’m Chris Hudson and this is my colleague, Michael Price. We’re from Injury Lawyers 4 ‘U’. We help victims of accidents get compensation on a no-win no-fee basis.”

Excitement begin bubble for my chest but I just calm make I dey sure wetin dem dey talk. “Ok?”

“If you’re happy for us to represent you, we can guarantee compensation of up to £17,000.”

As I hear that one, I nearly jump comot for di bed begin dance Azonto. I tell them say I gree make dem represent me na im dem give me form make I sign. I sign dem quick-quick. E be like say God don butter my bread back and front.

***

Two months don pass since I comot hospital. Doctor don comot di POP. Di leg dey heal small. My lawyers dem help me take my case go court. Dem warn me say insurance companies dem no like to pay out money, say dem go look for every excuse not to pay. Dem ask me whether I don commit any crime or whether police don arrest me before as that one go disqualify me. I lick my finger, point to the sky, swear to God say I never commit any crime.

Anyway, I win di case but the judge say im go give im ruling in two weeks’ time. Every day, I dey wait make the lawyers dem send me letter to tell me how much the judge award me for my compensation. Na so, this morning, letter land.

I read di letter again. I don already read am many times but I no fit believe wetin I dey see. £20,000! Na im be how much the court talk say dem go pay me for di accident. Di lawyers go collect 25% for their fees but I go still get £15k.

Come and join me sing halleluyah, Jehovah Jireh has done me well.” Na so I dey sing, dey dance for inside my flat. I begin tink of all di tings wey I go fit take di money do. I don dey plan how I go go shopping buy myself beta cloth. I don dey calculate how much I go send to my mama and brodas for Naija. My belle just dey sweet. Finally, after all di suffer wey I don suffer for dis Jand, my own dey better.

When pesin begin bang for door, I nor answer, I tink say na my panla neighbour. I continue to do dey sing and dance. Na when I hear, “Mr Johnson, open the door, it’s the police,” na im I know say wind don blow, fowl yansh don open.

I open door. I nor even fit count how many police dem dey there. All of dem wear bullet-proof.

“Mr Johnson?”

“Yes, that’s me.” Before I fit say ‘Jack Robinson’, dem jack me up, turn me around, put handcuffs for my hand, anoda one chain me for leg.

“Mr Johnson, I am arresting you for overstaying your visa and remaining in the country illegally. You do not have to say anything but it may harm your defense…” I no fit listen again. Blood rush go my head, e be like say my heart dey beat inside my ear. As dem push me go di van, I begin cry. Chei! My £15k don go be dat. Na im I know say true true, oturu beke, yawa don gas.

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Yawa don gas Part 1

One early mor-mor like dis, when I don enter gear 5 for inside sleep, I begin dey dream beta dream. For di dream, I win lottery. As I dey smile, dey pose with my big 3 million pounds sterling cheque for di paparazzi dem, their camera just dey flash kpa, kpa, kpa, na im my phone come begin ring, grin-grin, grin-grin! I wake up, come realise say na dream. I vex ehn. As I look di phone, na my friend, Johnny number. Mscheew!

Na wetin make Johnny dey call me dis early morning na? I nor pick up di phone. I close eye again, whether I go fit dream di dream again. Whossai? Na so phone ring again. I pick di phone begin shout.

“Johnny, you no see di time?”

” Ah, you dey sleep?”

“Bishop burn, you dey ask whether im bia bia burn too. You no dey sleep? Wetin make you dey call me dis early mor-mor? Pesin die?”

“Na wa for you o. If no be say I like you, I for don drop since. Mscheew.”

“Na you sabi.”

“No be your fault sha. Anyway, you dey near your computer?”

“Shay na from sleep you wake me, which one you dey ask me whether I dey near computer?

“Pipe down abeg, na beta ting I wan share. I don find one babe wey ready to take only one-five for dat ting.”

As I hear “one-five”, sleep comot my eye quick-quick. “You say wetin?”

“I say dis babe go collect only one-five for dat ting. E nor go too tey for you to collect kpali. I go send you email wit all di details dem.”

As Johnny dey talk, na so all my hope begin rise. Excitement catch me sotay I tell am say make we hook up later so we go fit yarn di matter well. E don too tay when I dey try to sort out dis my matter.

As I dey baff make I go meet Johnny, na so I begin sing all di praise and worship song dem wey I remember from di time when I dey go church wit my mama when I small.

“Jesus na bigi man, Jesus na bigi man, who no know am call small boy, Jesus na bigi man, who no know am call am small boy.”

“He’s a miracle-working God, He’s a miracle-working God, He’s the Alpha and Omega, He’s a miracle-working God.”

“When Jesus say yes, nobody can say no. So I say, Up, up Jesus, up, up, Jesus.”

“People dey ask me say, wetin dey me shine, I just dey tell dem say, na Jesus dey make me shine.”

Na so I sing sotay my oyinbo neighbour, dat one wey lepa like panla, wey trouser no gree stay for waist as no yansh to hold am, begin knack hand for wall dey shout, “Shut the fuck up!” I bin no even realise say my voice loud like that. Na so di happiness bin dey do me. I no answer am, which one consign agbero wit overload? I just wear my cloth waka comot house.

I reach bus stop dey wait bus 472 to meet Johnny for Woolich. Other people too dey wait for bus but me, I no look anybody face. One woman get small pikin for inside pram. I look di pikin, then I smile. Na im di pikin begin cry, dey scream. Kai, na so my face wor-wor reach? Di mama eye me well-well. E give am toy, pikin troway di toy. E give am feeding bottle, pikin no gree suck. I pity di woman but I no talk anything. I just comot face, dey mind my business jejely. Na so oyinbo people dey do for Jand. Nobody dey look anybody for face, nobody dey greet. Me sef I no send, I no kukuma like wahala. Before I go enter trouble when I dey try help person.

As we dey wait bus, na im police car come stop in front of di bus stop. I no know wetin make dem stop for there but na so my heart come begin beat fast like drum, even Ekpo Calabar for nor fit dance to di beat. Di kain fear wey catch me ehn, I nearly piss for pant. As di police dem come dey approach di bus stop, I begin call Blood of Jesus! for inside my mind, outside I dey form cool. I wan begin tear race, before one guy wey bin dey stand near me begin run, di police dem begin chase am. Kai! No be me dem bin dey find. I nearly begin dance Kukere, I just hold myself, I nor wan do crase man for bus stop. E no too tay before di bus come arrive.

As I enter bus, I wave my Oyster card for the machine. Di machine nor beep. I wave am again. No way. I try am again, whossai, nothing happen. Na im di passenger dem wey dey for my back begin complain. I shift make dem pass. When everybodi don climb enter finish, I try di Oyster again. No show. Na im driver tell me say either I pay di fare wit cash or I come down from di bus. I never see dis kain embarrassment before. I no hold any cash so I get to drop from di bus. Di other passengers just dey look me, some dey pity me, others just dey laugh. Kai, I don suffer.

I stand for di bus stop dey tink how manage di card nor gree work. Something wen I top up with £10 just two days before and I never use am since then. I tink am o but I no fit imagine how di money don finish. Di only way to find out na to go back to di corner shop for where I do di top up.

As I begin waka, na im rain begin fall. I nor hold umbrella. Rain wey never fall for London since sotay gofment declare hose pipe ban, na today e decide to fall. Di rain sef, nor be even dat one wey dem dey call ‘light showers’. Dis one na original thunder storm with lightning and heavy breeze. By the time I reach di corner shop, I be like someting wey cat reject.

I enter di shop come tell di shop assistant say my Oyster card wey I top up for here two days ago nor gree work. E ask me whether I get receipt. I tell am say I nor get di receipt but na here I dey always top up. E say nothing e fit do unless I bring receipt as proof say na here I buy am. We come begin dey argue. Na so our two dey shout before e talk say if I nor comot di shop e go call police. As soon as e talk dat one, e be like say pesin pour me cold water for bodi. Di vex wey I bin dey vex just evaporate. I run comot, nor be sake of £10 I go enter police trouble. Nor be di shop keeper fault, na condition na im make crayfish bend.

By dis time, rain don stop. Sun dey shine sef. Dis London ehn, e be like say di weather get schizophrenia. One minute, rain go dey fall like no tomorrow, di next minute, sun go begin shine. Na wa. As no way for me to take trans go meet Johnny, I call am to try arrange anoda day.

“My guy, I dey here dey wait you. Wetin happen na?”

Today was a good day. It could have been worse.

I have to say, today was a good day. It could have been worse.

Even though I whacked my golf ball so hard it flew right off the green hitting that little boy between the eyes causing him to pass out. He did come round once the ambulance arrived. Thankfully the paramedics pronounced him well enough to carry on playing his game reassuring his parents that the golf ball-sized swelling (no pun intended)  on his head would eventually go down and he wouldn’t suffer any lasting effects. It could have been worse.

Even when the spikes of my 4-inch high heels dug into the 12-foot bouncy castle, puncturing and causing it to deflate and trapping all the screaming and hysterical children in it for a few minutes. That is, until the attendants managed to untangle us all from the huge tarpaulin mess releasing the children to their frantic parents and guardians unharmed while sending me looks that could have shrunk the genitalia of an elephant.

It is not my fault that I did not notice the huge, almost billboard-sized sign right next to where we queued, which asked that people take off their shoes before getting on the bouncy castle. Nor did I realise that at the grand old age of twenty-five I should clearly not have been on the contraption meant for children 15 years and under. I can’t help it if I look fourteen! Besides I just wanted to have some fun. Anyway, it was a good day. It could have been worse.

Even when my car suddenly stalled at the traffic lights, and hard as I tried, I couldn’t restart it till the lights turned green. And the drivers behind me created a cacophony of horns that gave the BBC Symphony Orchestra a run for their money until a few kindly pedestrians took pity on me and helped push my car out of the way.

When the roadside rescue service arrived, he didn’t even pop the bonnet open but took one look at the dashboard, shook his head in exasperation while muttering under his breath then promptly informed me that there was nothing wrong with the car, I was simply out of fuel. Is it my fault that I didn’t know that the bright orange light on the dashboard indicated that the fuel gauge was nearing empty? It was a good day. It could have been worse.

Even when I walked to the nearest petrol station, which happened to be two miles away, in my 4-inch high heels of bouncy-castle-puncturing fame; my feet, a bloodied, blistered mess. I proceeded to fill a jerrycan which I had found at the entrance of the station as I was in too much agony to go into the shop to buy one. And no sooner had the fuel hit the bottom of the can than I heard a loud whoosh and felt my eyebrows and nostril singe from the heat of the flames.

I quickly flung the jerrycan to the ground. How was I to know that this was no ordinary jerrycan but a cigarette disposal bin? How was I to know that some foolish smoker had not extinguished their cigarette but before tossing it in the can? Am I a smoke detector? Thankfully the fire died out as the jerrycan hit the floor. It was a good day. It could have been worse.

I’m home now. Finally. Well, I’m not really at home but I’m in the vicinity.

I got home after the very long day I’ve had. I threw two packets of Indomie noodles into a pan of water and set it to cook while I sat and soaked my blistered feet.

I can’t tell you what happened for sure but I can swear I didn’t fall asleep. Anyway, the next thing I know there’s this loud banging and smoke everywhere. I was disoriented for a few seconds. I stood, wondering why my feet were in a bowl of tepid water. Then something or someone crashed through my front door, knocking it off its hinges and sending splintered wood flying across my front room.

I realised it was a fireman, dressed in full protective gear. I was rooted to the spot for what seemed like ages but in actual fact could only have been a few seconds. He looked around and then lurched forward as he spotted me. Faster than I could say ‘Jack’, he flung me over his right shoulder and carried me out of the apartment like a sack of potatoes.

So I’m sitting just outside the cordoned-off area near my block of flats now. Thankfully the fire which was caused by my over-cooked Indomie noodles has now been put out and it would appear it didn’t spread beyond my now rather charred and sorry-looking kitchen. I’m just waiting for the firemen to give me and my neighbours, who are now looking at me with a mixture of pity and disgust, the all-clear to return to our flats.

I do feel sorry for them, my neighbours I mean. It is, after all, 3am on a week night and they probably all have to go to work in a few hours. Also it can’t be any fun milling around in one’s nightwear in below freezing temperatures. However it’s not my fault that the manufacturers of Indomie noodles did not put a warning stating that their product is an incendiary device. Nor is it my fault that I am a deep sleeper and didn’t hear the smoke alarm go off leaving the fire to gather momentum, not that I’m admitting to being asleep when said fire started!

Though ‘today’ is now yesterday,it was a good day. It could have been so much worse!

PS This character needs her head examined! How much worse could the day have been to not qualify as a ‘good day’? I’m quivering in my boots just imagining what a bad day would be for her.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the story. I’d love to hear what you think.

Thanks for stopping by

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