The Agbero Blog
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Sikira beg me tire, I no gree o. Imagine now, after all I’ve done for this babe, she still go punish me for that yeye church. I don vow say, lailai, me and dat girl no go get anything again. But as you know now, every guy na maga and every girl na yahoo-yahoo; we must fall for their scams.
It was easy anyway. She went for the physical. Sikira showed up at my door one cold evening, looking like she just dropped out of a music video. Kai! This girl was wearing one sinfully short mini-skirt and a top with a low neckline. Maybe na wondebra or something, but the way those things on her chest stood out…
“Hi TJ." Em… em… can I come in?”
Before nko? I don’t forget say I dey vex with am sef. She entered and went straight to sit on the bed. There was this shy smile on her face. Ah, woman! Woman!
She went on her knees, further exposing those juicy mounds in her top. “TJ, no vex now. You know say I love you.”
I no even hear wetin she dey talk. My eyes were glued to where they should be. Finally, I found my voice.
“But, Sikky, you know say you mess up now. Ehn?”
“I know. No vex now.” She stood up and came towards me. Kai!
[Okay, okay, e don do sef! Wetin una wan hear again? We danced galala. We danced enough galala! Abi, no be wetin you dey wait for? Oya, bye, bye!]
Never underestimate the power of a woman o. Sounds clichéd abi? Well, that’s because it’s true! With all the madness wey I get for head, it took just Sikira to make me agree, like a boy, to things I’d never have agreed to. After the romp of yesterday, when I was lying on my bed with Sikira in my arms and my thing doing my thinking for me, Sikira rubbed my chest and said I would take her to Silverbird.
See, she didn’t ask o. She said. She stated. And I nodded. I didn’t argue.
But wait. Take my hard-earned money -- money that I earned with curses and fights – and go use it to watch a movie at the cinema? Lailai! Imagine now: 1500! 1500 to watch one movie! When them dey sell the VCD for under bridge at 100 bucks pere! How now?
But here was I agreeing to Sikira’s commands. 1500 X 2. Plus transport.
It was too late by the time my brain took over affairs from my thing. Na dat time the yeye brain come dey wok. I was determined to cut all costs by all means necessary. So, I went to Slow Motion. Slow Motion plies the CMS route. From CMS, the guy dey enter Eko Hotel/Bar Beach and na in front of the cinema dem go pass. So, for his evening trip around , I booked the two front seats. At least, we go ride 1st class!
Sikira was wearing another brain-stealer, and truly, functional activities transferred from up in my head to down in my groin. My smile was as wide as a pumpkin. Jack O’ lantern style. This time, it was a butt-hugging black mini with a top that screamed come-get-me. She even had a perfume on. Na wa o! Only me? Chei!
Slow Motion was waiting for us at the garage. When he saw Sikira, his eyes bulged.
“Shiki baby. Shiki Shiki!” He had this thick Yoruba accent. And tiger-claw tribeless marks.
Sikira gave him her shy smile. “How now, SM?”
“Ah, baby! I dey fine o. You and TJ—”
“Slow Mo, e don do! Thank you. Oya, make we go.”
“Ahn-ahn, TJ, cool down na!”
“Cool down ke? You dey craze? I go break your head o!” And I was ready to! Slow Motion saw the murder in my eyes and quickly gave himself some brain. To be sure, I let Sikira sit by the window while I placed myself between Slow Motion on the driver’s seat and Sikira.
Sikira looked a little uncomfortable.
“But, TJ… why we no fit enter taxi now?”
“Ehn, taxi ke! Dat one na gbese now! Besides, Slow Motion will get there faster than any taxi.”
And that was true. Slow Motion wasn’t called slow motion because he was slow. He got that name by always referring to other drivers as driving in slow motion. The guy could floor the accelerator between bus stops. It was always fun riding with him sha. Dangerous fun, though. Two conductors had in the past fell off his bus due to his speed. Several passengers had terminated their tips halfway to leave his demented bus. But Slow Motion always gets his job done. He knew how to outwit the police and LASTMA people. He knew how to bully other drivers in go-slows.
Na so the journey start o. And small time, one man dey scream say I-wan-get-down-o, I-wan-get-down-o! One thing, one thing sha.
“But oga, no bus stop for here o,” Aja Dudu, Slow Motion’s conductor, bellowed.
“See as your driver dey speed. Me, I no wan die. Abeg, park let me get down!”
Slow Motion applied the breaks suddenly. People shrieked in their seats. The man alighted.
“Oga, you never pay na,” Aja Dudu challenged.
“Pay for wetin? From where to where?”
“Ahhhhh!!! Ogbeni, ma se wree o! Fun mi lowo jo!”
I turned in my seat to watch the unfolding drama. The man was one Ibo Chap with a coconut head and dubious eyes. He wore a 419 suit with a crooked tie.
“I no go pay o! Lailai.”
Slow Motion was getting impatient. “AJ, make we go now.”
Aja Dudu wasn’t going to back off without a fight.
“You no go pay abi?” Before the man could say yes or no, Aja Dudu pulled sharply at the tie, dragging the screaming chap around. With a vicious force, Aja Dudu kicked the legs from under the fellow. He fell to the ground with a thud. Slow Motion gunned the vehicle; Aja Dudu leapt on and we zoomed off.
“Anybody else wan get down?” Aja Dudu asked. No one spoke.
Slow Motion dropped us off at Solomon Bus Stop, right beside the cinema. Sikira stepped out gingerly. I jumped off like a Chairman. Slow Motion winked at me and zoomed off with a squeal of tyres.
Sikira held my arm and I saw that other girls dey hold their guys like that. Hmm, dis girl sabi something small o. Eyes turned as we passed, most lingering on Sikira. No yawa now. Dem fit look. If dem papa born dem well, make dem come near!
“You sabi the way?” I asked Sikira. She nodded.
Na so dis girl carry me go escalator o. What? I never ride on this kain thing before o, and as the metal dey fold into metal, I dey fear to step on am.
“Dem no get stairs?”
“Come on, TJ, no embarrass me for here o.”
Sikira stepped on the moving stairs and I was forced to make my move too. Gripping the rails was no good. Even the rails were moving! Kai! Without thinking, I jumped on the thing and landed between two stairs. The metal separated and I staggered, holding on to the rails for dear life. Sikira laughed. I didn’t find it funny o.
So, we got to the ticket counter and the lady no even smile as she said “One-five.” I look the money well well before parting with it. We decided to watch Hancock. Now, that name was suggestive. Han-cock ke? Well, na Sikira sabi wetin she wan see for Han-COCK!
The ticket said Screen 5. I quickly made mental calculations. Five screens, with say 200 people each. Dat’s like 1000 people for each movie time. 1k times 1500 = 1.5million! For one! And dem dey show each movie like 3 to 4 times everyday! Kai! Over 4 to 5 million everyday! I must open Cinema!
As I dey head towards Screen 5, with my pupils turned to dollar signs, Sikira tugged at my elbow.
“Baby, we no go buy popcorn?”
“Pop-what?” Kai! 3k already and dis gal dey talk popcorn again? Why we no just buy guguru from Iya Elepa inside garage before we come.
Anyway sha, I follow am go the “Concession Stand” (see name!).
“Sugar or salt?”
“Do you want your popcorn in sugar or salt?” The concession lady dey sound like Britico. O n form. Ode!
Sikira talk say na sugar she want.
“How many packs?”
“One now!” I snapped; I don dey vex.
The concession Britico do say I no even talk to am. “Your drinks?”
“Water,” I said, thinking it would be cheaper.
“Fanta!” Sikira exclaimed, smiling. Ah, dis girl. I go comot all my money for her body, I swear!
“Eight hundred and fifty naira.”
“850! For what? For guguru and fanta?”
She kept a straight face, like she dealt with me everyday. “Popcorn” – she accented the popcorn – “300; Pet fanta 350; water 200.”
I shook my head. Fanta wey na 50 bucks. Pure Water, na five naira! Iya Elepa’s 20 naira guguru na ten times dis one. Yet, I dey pay 850.
I rummaged in my pockets and fished out crumpled notes; money wey I suppose deliver to Agbowo. No yawa sha.
I hissed as I left the place. My eyes don red, as per dem don cheat me. Upon all d millions wey dem dey make, dem still dey cheat me for guguru. God dey now!
Hancock started at 8pm. The movie lifted my spirits. From beginning to end, I laughed. Then I remembered that Hancock was Will Smith and Will Smith was Fresh Prince of old! Men! Dat guy don hammer o. Now, I had two career paths after my agbero stint: cinema owner or actor.
Since we no see Slow Motion again, we decide say we go enter bus. Night don nack sef by the time we leave; almost .
We enter bus and dis shayo conductor dey talk say make me I bring money. For where? I claim staff, abi him mama dey craze? The guy shout shout, I no just mind am. After all the money wey I don give dem for cinema, I go come pay transport again? Lailai!
We get down for bus stop begin waka go house. The thing we dey my mind na how to collect my money back from Sikira tonight. The kain galala wey we go do, ehn, she no go forget am. Abi na lasan to spend all dat money?
Next thing wey I hear na: “Hey you! Stop there!”
Three policemen dey our front. One carry gun, one hold baton, one hold torch.
The one with the baton approached. The other two stood back.
“Officer, how now?” I tried to be friendly.
“Ah, I be Taju and dis na my girlfriend, Sikira.”
“So? Where your ID Card? Where you dey come from at dis time of d night?”
“Oga, dis na just past ten o. And me I no get any ID Card.”
“Then you must be a criminal! See as the girl sef look like ashawo!”
“Ehn? Wetin you talk? I no mind say u call me criminal o, but don’t call my girl an ashawo again! Lailai!”
The other two police men moved close.
“Ehn-ehn? If I call am nko?”
I remembered Hancock. Call me a jerk one more time.
I lowered my face and narrowed my eyes. “Call her ashawo one more time.”
The police man laughed. He lowered his face to meet mine and said: “A-SHA-WO!”
With the strength of Hancock, I grabbed his baton and “gbosa!!” on his gorimapa head.
Sikira screamed, “Taju!!!!!”
The policemen pounced on me, even the one with his head streaming blood. Before I could say “Hancock”, more of them appeared from out of the darkness. I fight dem o. But dem too plenty. With my eyes swollen, they bundled me into their pick-up. Straight to station.
Sikira na sharp girl now. While all the wahala dey happen, she don move. At least, somebody go know where dem carry me and come bail me.
Me wey never enter cell before, see as I dey now. At least, dis one go boost my street credibility: TJ don beat olopa before. TJ don sleep cell before. I smiled in spite of myself. Nothing dey happen jo. Na me and dem today….
To Be Continued in Prison Chronicles.