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C*ckblocking re-defined.

Hey people, hope we all had a great weekend. Yeah, I also wish it was longer and despite all the fun I had eating a “hugemongous” vodka injected watermelon and playing concentration with seven gorgeous women, I still wish I had more – greedy much.

Anyways today I want to talk to the ladies – yes (sue me)… Ok, ok, you guys can chip in too. But I’m just more interested in female opinions as it directly affects them. Cockblocking. Yes, it’s defined by the urban dictionary as: one guy ruining another guy’s chance to score some booty. How apt (you gotta love the urban dic)…

Scenario:

Your gurl invites you to a thing some guy from her office is throwing, she gives you no clue as regards happenings between her and the dude. You just play along with the hope that he’ll probably have cute friends and you could get lucky. You get there and the host begins to put the moves on you, brother is laughing at everything you say even when it isn’t funny. He’s done well for himself, nice apartment and he doesn’t look bad too – you’re definitely feeling him. You catch the eye of your gurl who invited you and she doesn’t seem to be having a good time. Infact, just as the alcohol starts to flow and you begin to loosen up, she calls you aside and says its time to leave. Leave? The party was just getting started but she gives you little or no choice as she ushers you to the door and before brother man can get your PIN, you’re out. She’s your gurl and you love her, she must have some good reason for doing that right? HELL NO.

To make matters worse, weeks after you and the dude hookup (thank God for twitter and social networks), you find out he tried to get your details from your “gurl” but she mentioned to the dude that you were “sorta” in a relationship.

Someone once said Cockblocking should be redefined as: when a brother/sister can’t accept defeat. Do we agree? Speak your mind.

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My name is A-Zed: Episode 11

The Doctors didn’t seem to be able to explain the change in Mama. It was as if the Lagos atmosphere had some positive effect on her system. She would still require her surgery but there was a huge difference when compared with how she looked in Ibadan. Uncle Mufu had given me the best Christmas gift I didn’t even wish for just because I didn’t think it was possible. The man had surprised me too much during the year. His niceness to Mama and I was jus not explainable. Not killing me for losing my cab, I thought that was the height of it but bringing Mama to Lagos, I was beyond grateful.

Uncle Mufu asked a doctor at the hospital to check out my “accident wounds” and he still didn’t ask any questions. I spent most of Wednesday and Thursday with Uncle Mufu; He was leaving for Abuja on Boxing Day and he wanted to ensure his family had enough supplies to last them while he was away. Uncle Mufu was a strong member of the ruling political party. A lot of the drivers at the park talk about how he controls most of the happenings in the rough parts of Lagos and have countless stories of how he amassed so much wealth from the last elections. Uncle Mufu was a strong family man. Despite tales and mentions of countless girlfriends and concubines outside his home, he always ensured he took good care of his family.

I spoke to Fadeke – a lot too. I had made up my mind to get her a gift but I wasn’t exactly sure what to get. I thought about asking Princess for help but I decided against it. There was really no other person to ask, well, so I thought till I got talking with Debola one of the days I was at Uncle Mufus house and out of nowhere, I asked her, more out of confusion than nothing else. Her reaction was surprising. She seemed so eager to help. She advised on budgets, locations where I could shop and places we could go on dates. She even offered to help get the cards. She seemed like a natural and I was beyond grateful. I had never ever done this before. Closest I had been to liking anyone this much was after I left secondary school, back in Ibadan. There wasn’t this much pressure then. Not like Fadeke was demanding or anything but this was more or less like an opportunity to present my case. A show of interest and I wasn’t going to let it slip.

Debola did everything. It was like a little project for her and I didn’t get in the way. On Christmas day, I was in Uncle Mufus house. He threw what was supposed to be a little party for close friends and his “boys” as he fondly referred to some of the older drivers in the park. The little party turned out to be a big deal. By the end of the day, one cow and another huge ram had gone down. Guests kept trooping in. it seemed some people had heard about Uncle Mufus trip to Abuja, which I later found out was for his party’s convention and primaries that was holding the following week. That explained all the uninvited guests that came for the party.

As we cleaned up in the evening, Debola handed me the bracelet she got for Fadeke. It was beautiful and a bargain for the amount it was. I wondered if it was real, I knew nothing about these things and even though Debola took her time to try to explain what kind of jewelry it was and why how she had managed to get it ft that price, I still didn’t understand. I was just happy I finally had a gift for Fadeke. I slept over at Uncle Mufus house because I stayed back to help with the cleaning and he had asked me to take him to the airport the next morning.

The next morning, Uncle Mufu woke me early, it always amazed me how disciplined the man was even at his age. I made sure I called Fadeke to wish her a happy birthday and also to set up our meeting before I got ready to leave. As we drove out, he asked me to stop by at the hospital to check on Mama. She seemed even better when we saw her. She was up in bed and though she couldn’t talk much, she acknowledged our presence and I couldn’t hide my emotions when she held out her hand to hold mine. I loved the woman so so much and I vowed to make sure she got better. I promised to come see her the next day since I’d be with Fadeke that evening. I drove to the airport, a short peaceful drive – Lagos is always so bearable during Christmas. Uncle Mufu packed just one bag so I didn’t have to wait with him, before he got out of the car, he told me to make sure I visit Mama as often as possible and to also take care of my “aburos” (younger ones) by that I he probably meant Debola.

I dropped off his car and went back to my room carrying Fadeke’s cake and gifts. I had made arrangements for her to come over to my room and then we could go out from there. All Debola’s idea. The sparkle in her eyes as she gave me the cake and wished me looked made me wonder why she didn’t exert all her energy into doing this instead if running around with older men but everyone had reasons for making their choices. I promised myself that I would talk to her about it later on. After all, she’s family.

I got to my room and cleaned it up. I took a bath and as I dressed, I looked at myself in the mirror. My face had healed well but you could still see signs of the injury. I also had some other scars on my body but I wasn’t really bothered about those. I told Fadeke to come around by 4pm so I still had enough time. I decided to get some reading done and I almost got carried away with it. Fadeke’s call a few minutes before 4 brought me back to earth. She was already on campus and was walking towards my hostel.

I hopped off the bed and cleared my books away; I had to go bring her in. The things one could do once school is empty – I didn’t even know I could bring her into the room till Debola told me what I had to do. A little holiday generosity to the Porters and that was it. Minutes later we both walked in to sounds of cheer and greetings from both of the Porters. They made me a bit shy but Fadeke seemed very comfortable with it. We got to the room and we both sat on the bed. It felt very strange. I doubt if any of my other roommates had ever had a girl over but then again, I was probably wrong. I tried to end the deafening silence; I wished her a happy birthday again and then gave her the cake and her cards.

She was very surprised; she hugged me and then opened her cards – both of them. She read out my short message and looked at me with a very shy look on her face. I was pleased – very pleased and I had Debola to thank. I still had her bracelet to go but I was going to save that for later. We talked after that, I always enjoyed talking to Fadeke, she made it very easy and even though we were alone in my room, it wasn’t different. She told me how her day had been and the gifts she got from her parents. The idea was to stay in and chat for a while and then head out for a meal later but we seemed to be having so much fun. The awkward silence came again and this time I knew what I had to do. I liked Fadeke so much and I could tell she did too. I looked into her eyes and she looked away smiling and near blushing. I moved closer to her and guided her face to look at mine. She closed her eyes and I moved closer. This was really happening, I thought to myself as I closed in to kiss her……

*Ring *Ring *Ring

The loud noise of my new phone ringing and vibrating on the bed as not enough to destroy the moment. Fadeke and I kissed. It was short but absolutely amazing. I didn’t want it to end but the sound coming from my phone kept getting to me and I was so annoyed I didn’t even want to check who was calling. I eventually did and was I surprised? No, it was Princess, I didn’t want to pick but it was all too awkward in the room, I needed a break. I stood up from the bed and picked Princess’ call.

Hello..

Where are you Azeez? It’s almost 7.

Ehn.. but Princess, we didn’t have any discussion about…

So Senior didn’t tell.. Nevermind, please, this is very very urgent. I’m in Ikoyi and we are very late. Please come.

Princess, Im sorry… (I turned to look at Fadeke)… I can’t…

She was quiet for a while and then..

If I could do this without you I would. I’ll be waiting. Thank you.

With that, she dropped the phone leaving me disoriented and not really knowing what to do. Princess had never begged for anything in my presence and she did use the word please. Maybe it was genuinely important this time, but this was also important. I debated with myself forgetting Fadeke was still there. She punched me gently to get my attention..

Is everything ok?

Erm.. well..

You have to go don’t you.

I noticed as the look on her face changed. Did I really have to go? Just this time, I thought to myself…

If it wasn’t very important, I wont…

(She shook her head) And that was so not expected, was it? Mr. Azeez, you have some explaining to do and I’d suggest you do it fast if this.. thing here really does mean anything to you.

She was right; I had hidden too much from her. Where would I begin and when?

Look, Fadeke, you’re right and I promise I’ll explain everything to you once I get back. But please let me drop you off.

Drop me? You now have a car too?

No, I mean, yes…

No, it’s fine, I’ll walk.

She began walking towards the door and I walked behind her mot knowing what to say or do. I realized she didn’t take her cake – how could she, if only, she’d let me drop her off…

It’s fine, you don’t have to walk me, I found my way here didn’t I? Please go and do what you have to do.. I’ll wait for your ..erm….EXPLANATION.. (she said with some sarcasm in her voice).. but I won’t wait for too long.

I couldn’t come back from that, I watched as she stormed away after that and I knew it was now up to me. I walked back to the room and packed up the cake. I had to get back in good time. Whatever happened, I was going to be waiting to see Fadeke the next morning.

I got to Ikoyi in a matter of minutes. I was angry but not at Princess, this was all my fault. Yes, she was paying me well enough and yes, I needed the money, especially for Mama but was it worth losing something that seemed so special for? Princess got into the car and I turned to look at her. Short black dress – again. Was it some kind of uniform. She seemed very ok. What was so urgent then? I felt like handing her the keys and returning to go find Fadeke but that was too late now.

Where to?

Lekki. Three.

I got on the road and from the way I drove, I’m sure Princess knew something wasn’t right. I nearly ran into a car just after Lekki phase 1 and she turned to look at me but instead of asking what was wrong, she told me we had to pick up someone at the next junction. I almost sped past the junction but she managed to stop me. It was just about 8pm and I noticed a figure walking towards the car through my rearview mirror. As she got closer, I realized who it was but I didn’t believe it.

Kassy opened the door and got into the back seat. Also dressed in black. I tried not to give away any reaction. I focused on the road and continued driving. Princess directed me to a house hidden deep somewhere around Lekki phase 3. Like most of the others, it was spectacular from outside and inside. I paid little attention to the details, I just wanted to get the night over and done with. I had already madeup my mind I wasn’t leaving the car. I didn’t want any part of their world. I just wanted to do what I was paid to do – drive.

I parked the car and they got out. Princess turned to ask me to come in with them but I told her I’d be ok in the car. She looked surprised; she paused for a while as if waiting to say something and then began walking away with Kassy. I leaned back in my seat trying to make myself comfortable. If I knew Princess, they were probably going to be in there for a while. It was a few minutes past eight, Princess didn’t say anything about how long she would be but I figured we’d probably be leaving the next morning since she wanted me to come in. I tried to think; my thoughts couldn’t make it past Fadeke. I thought about the moments we spent together before Princess’ call. I really liked her and maybe I should have told her about Princess and everything. Maybe.

I fell asleep and had a dream – more like, a nightmare. I was struggling to wake up when I heard someone call out my name. A-Zed! It was Princess; she was standing by the door about to come into the car. I cleared my eyes and adjusted my seat. I didn’t believe I had slept for that long. I check the time on the dashboard. 10:30pm. That was fast – very fast. Princess and Kassy got into the car and I drove out. After only going past a few buildings, I noticed a car with it’s headlights flashing ahead of us. Princess asked me to park along side the road. I did and they both got out.

Princess handed me a two brown envelopes. The first one, she told me to please keep for her, while the second was mine. Then she said she’d be in touch. They crossed to the other side of the road and got into the other car. The car drove towards me and as the driver made a u-turn, I noticed it was Senior driving. He even smiled as he drove past me. I felt my envelope and knew it was probably money. I didn’t bother to check. I wondered what had just happened. Did Princess and Kassy cut their visit short so they could join Senior for another job or was I just over-thinking?

It was really none of my business. I was still very angry about leaving Fadeke and heading back so soon even got me angrier. I went past the second roundabout and I realized just how empty the road was. It was not yet 11pm and everywhere was deserted. Then out of nowhere literally, I swathe bright headlights from another car come on behind me. It was an SUV, a big one. I felt a little bit of respite knowing I wasn’t alone on the road. The jeep raced very fast towards me and I tried to keep up so I could at least stick with it till I got back to V.I. but it was moving so fast – too fast and it seemed like it was heading straight for me. I swerved to the other lane so it could go past, but it moved behind me with its full headlights on.

Something was not right, I tried to move faster, I was doing almost 140 and the jeep seemed stuck behind me. I wanted to maneuver and maybe force it to stop but I was scared of damaging the car so I did the one thing I could do. I swerved several times and eventually pulled over to the side of the road. The jeep double-crossed me immediately, two hefty men got out of the back seat – both heavily armed. They were robbers; I thought to myself, they wanted the car. I opened the door and raised my hands and bowed my head.

You can take it – please take the car.

Shut up. Where is she?

Where is she?

I…I…I don’t know.. I don’t know..

One of the men got into the car and pulled me out; he shoved me to the other man and then began searching the car. He came out with both envelopes Princess had given me and then spoke to the one holding me:

He’s coming with us. Lets go.

 

It’s not you, it’s the nose.

Hey people, hope we all had a great weekend – I did. It’s the start of another week and I’m quite excited about this week cause I’ll be putting up the first of the last 3 episodes of My Name is A-Zed and I just cant wait. Also, I’m working on some new content that’ll fill the gap the A-Zed series will leave behind, so for those who have been asking, I’ve got you covered.

For today though, I got into some interesting convos over the weekend and I wanted to put up a lil experiment here. A while back, I put up a post on The Marcus School and from talking to some friends, I realized this school I spoke about is still very much active and more surprisingly, it’s not just for guys. In simple english, what I’m saying is, when have you broken up with someone or chucked them out of your prospects list for the silliest reason. By silly, I mean, so ridiculous, you had to lie to your own friends/family about it.
Her feet are too big.
His nose is bent.
She talks funny.
He’s too hairy.
She eats too much.
He sleeps too much.
She doesn’t like football.
He likes football too much.

I could go on really but thats the point of this post. Don’t be shy, use a nickname if you have to, but please share with the rest of us, some of the silliest reasons why you’ve chucked a guy or gurl. Let’s have fun.

Men Don’t Know How to Be Single? Bullsh*t!

Hey guys, it’s been a while since I put up posts in other categories here but I got into a convo with a colleague that got me to go dig up something I’d read online sometime back. It’s either that or something to pacify the A-Zed fans for the news I’m about to give. lol. Well, for those who follow me on twitter, I informed them that A-Zed will be on break this week as I still have quite a bit of transcribing to do before the final 3 episodes. (yes, one episode is so long, it might be in two parts). *Now weaving and ducking eggs and tomatoes* I promise the wait will be well worth it.

Ok, so on to todays post:

…………………………………………………….

This past Friday was like any other Friday. I was sitting at my desk doing work and counting down the minutes until the weekend. The iPod Touch was going strong and I think I may have been singing some Stylistics track as if nobody else was in my section of the office. Unfortunately for me, one of my lady co-workers heard me and laughed. It was honestly a little embarrassing to hear my co-worker chuckling at me, but at the same time it was better she caught me singing that type of music and not “Hey Ho!” by Ludacris or “My Gun Go Off” by 50 Cent. The ensuing discussion went from music to relationships. Being in the field of Human Resources, I wondered if I should have even been discussing my thoughts on relationships in the office. Then again, I think people expect HR folk to be all warm, cuddly, and excellent bakers. I don’t think they ever expect HR folk to be big black men like myself. **Shrugs** Oh well…

Much like many of the other women I’ve worked with in my professional life, she asked about my personal relationship status. She inquired about the longest time I had been with one woman, how many women I had serious relationships with, how my faith affected my relationships, if I preferred missionary vs. being rode off into the sunset and a variety of other questions that would normally be annoying. Luckily it was Friday and the music had me in a good mood so I obliged. And once I answered, she sat back for a second and didn’t say anything. Then came the utterance that provided today’s post:

Hmm. I’m surprised by the amount of time you were single between girlfriends. Most men don’t know how to be single.

I was facing my desk doing a whole lot of nothing before she said this. But upon hearing what she said, I had no choice but to do the following:

With as much talk as there is about players, friends with benefits, cut buddies, and an overall shortage of men that allows them to play the field nowadays, I couldn’t believe she was saying men don’t know how to be single. The conversation got interesting at this point. I went for the jugular and told her that men aren’t the emotional creatures. We may be territorial, but we’re typically not the emotional ones that often look for a connection in the form of a relationship or through coitus. I would have probably been reported and written up under normal circumstances, but since I’m the person that does the writing up and documentation…yeah. I was cool.lol.

Now I’ll be honest. I do know some a lot of sucka ass dudes men that always have a girl. I don’t think it’s because they’re emotionally needy. I just think they like consistency of bunz. Sometimes it sucks to have to go out and put in work just to pacify the carnal urge to submerge in warm lady oasis. It’s nice to come home, get it poppin’, and have a false sense of security that she’s yours. Now had my co-worker said some men don’t know how to go without s*x for extended amounts of time, I would have cosigned and there would be no post today. Well, there would have been a post. The backup topic involved me, a cowboy hat, a woman, and d-cups. Anyways…

I don’t buy the whole “men don’t know how to be single” thing. This wasn’t the first time I heard it, but I was surprised by who I was hearing it from. I know that we, both genders included, all have needs. It doesn’t matter if they’re physical or emotional. A man who has to always have a boo-type chick around is no worse than a woman that needs to be the center of attention and have multiple dudes courting her for her to feel validated. I don’t condone either circumstance, but honestly if it’s not my life it isn’t my problem until I pick up the phone and have to listen.

What do you think of this particular battle of the sexes? Do men have more difficulty being single compared to women? Are women more so the ones that struggle in this area? Do you have friends who always have to have a boo?How do you handle long bouts of singleness?

So, thats it. Are there other guy’s out there who often stay single for long spells and agree with the writer? Have your say…

Jacked from SBM

My name is A-Zed: Episode 10

The feeling of sitting at the back seat of a cab while another person drove was very strange. I could barely look away from the road as it felt like I was the one driving. It took mild distractions, well, not so mild, from Kassy to get me to look her way. She moved in closer to me and laid her head on my thighs. She looked up smiling at me and I looked down at her with the thought of a new life ahead of us floating in my mind. Kassy tried to sieze the moment like she always did, she moved up and closed in to kiss me. As our lips met, I thought to myself, something here isn’t right. Everything really. Kassy and I cozy in the backseat of a cab with 9 million Naira stashed in a box in the boot of the car – no.

I shook my head and woke up from my thoughts. Kassy was standing right next to me. So close I could feel her breathing – heavily.

I’m sorry Kassy, I can’t.

As I said those words, I noticed the shock that took over Kassy. It’s almost as if she was absolutely sure I was going to say yes. She didn’t say a word in response. She walked back to seat on one of the chairs, almost falling in the process. I stood where I was and waited.. for what, I wasn’t sure. I really wouldn’t have been bothered if she decided not to pay me. Being around her was trouble enough, I really just needed to leave. I took one more look at her and as I turned to leave, she called out to me – A-Zed…

I turned back to look at her and then she threw two bundles of the 500 Naira notes to me. Both bundles didn’t make it to me. Kassy just seemed so weak and disappointed, she could barely look at me when she said..

Your money. Please take it and leave.

100 thousand naira. I looked at the scattered packets on the floor and before I could think far, Mama’s image came to my mind and I instantly picked up the money. Without taking another look at Kassy, I turned around and left. I stashed the money in the pigeonhole of the car, I couldn’t help but take another look at Princess’ test result. It was just then I noticed the name of the hospital. It was one of the best, if not the best in the country. I knew this because the doctors at Mama’s clinic had recommended it as a possible location for Mama’s surgery. It made sense for someone like Princess to only use that kind of hospital. I replaced the result and got on my way, it was still just about 2am. I figured I could make it back to school by 3 and see if I could still get some reading done before morning.

I went through Agege and as I approached Ikeja, I saw a police check point ahead. There was a car ahead of me. They didn’t stop it. Good. I was glad they weren’t stopping all cars. As I got closer, I noticed one of the policemen waving me down. How unlucky I thought, maybe I should just give them what they want before they ask – I thought to myself. I got to the checkpoint, cleared to the side and parked.

Officers, well done o

Yes, where are you coming from at this time

Officer, I just go drop my sister for her house oh I say make I quick run back go school

Sister? At this time?

I tried to laugh and make a joke out of it) Ehn.. na one small emergency dey…

The policeman looked away and spoke to the one on the other side, I knew he was calling him to come over. Two to one, I was out numbered. I had to give up something. I immediately took out my key and dropped it at the side of my seat and then got out some money from my pocket. When the other officer turned to look at me, he asked me to come out of the car:

Officer, abeg, all this one no necessary. Just take this one use manage this night. ( I held out the money I had taken out to him – it was a N550 note)

The police officer looked at him and I felt as his countenance changed.

Are you trying to bribe a police officer of the federal republic of Nigeria?

Err… Officer…

Will you get out of that car, you this bloody thief (he said yelling even as he reached for the handle of my door)

By then, the other officer had gotten there. They were both armed and I couldn’t risk putting back my key in the ignition and driving off. I opened my door and the moment I got out, the second officer dragged me aside while the first officer began to search the car. He looked everywhere, almost as if he was looking for something in particular. He then tried to open the pigeonhole and he noticed it was locked.

Where is the key? (He shouted)

I don’t have the key.. it’s my madam

WHAM!!!! I felt a heavy slap on my face from the second police officer.

I say where is the key to that place. (this time, he yelled louder despite the fact that he stood inches away from me and almost bathed me in saliva. It was then I perceived the heavy smell of alcohol in his breath) Fear took hold of me instantly. I had heard several stories of how people got shot and even got killed by drunk policemen and now I was standing face to face with two of them. What was I going to do. Tell them where the key was and risk losing Mamas money as well as getting killed or stick to my decision.

Growing up, I had my stubborn moments, but largely, I was never one of those ridiculously stubborn children who always frustrated their parents. Infact, Mama often said I needed to be more manly about certain things. Was thing one of those things. The odds certainly didn’t favour me but for some reason I still cant explain, I decided to stick to my initial position.

Oga, I don’t know where the key is. I left the key in the car before I got out.

…………………..

I felt the cold rush of water dripping on my face.

Arrggggghhhh.. cough…cough…

It hurt. Everything everywhere was hurting. I tried hard to flick open my eyes and I could only manage to open one. My vision was blurry but I could make out two towering figures standing on either side of me. Just then, I felt the cold harsh pain of my bare back on the concrete floor. I tried to move again but I couldn’t. The cold water began to drop on my face again..

I heard laughter in the background even as my eye finally stabilized. I looked up to see two men standing beside me; one on each side. The one on my left side was remarkably dark. He was about five feet six inches tall and very dark. His brown teeth, which glared down at me from his grin were the brightest thing on him. And he was stark naked. His member standing erect pointed at the man on my right side who was almost like a complete opposite of the first man. Tall, light-skinned but also not fully closed. He had on a pair or trousers made out of guinea material. The waist rope was long and untied, dangling just above me. I noticed a sachet of pure water in the hands of the taller man.

He squeezed the pure water sachet again and cold water began dripping on my face again. I still couldn’t open my right eye. I tried to get up again and this time, I was able to turn my body sideways. Excruciating spasms of pain ran through my body even as I stopped to hold in the pain.

Omo ghetto …. ounje ti set…

Sere, abo ri nkan. Bolorun oba ma se ‘n pese fun awon ti e niyen o.. jeje la kuku jo sibi, tati ro pe, a ma gbe gbogbo wahala yen wo new year

(Sere, can’t you see, we only just sat here peacefully thinking we’ll take all our troubles into the new year)

Ghetto, bawo lose ma ro be. Wo freeeeesh fish ti Olorun pese fun wa… ko nip e jina

(Ghetto, how will you think like that. Look at the fresh fish God has provided for us. It will soon be done cooking)

Minutes later, I felt hands pulling me up. It was then I looked down and realized I was only wearing my boxers. I couldn’t make out where I was but it looked dark, poorly lit and hollow with a strong smell of something like urine. I looked on the walls and saw several inscriptions…

Ajala waz ere ’07………

Fashla, obo tinubu……

To God be tha glory……

The list was endless. There was one section that had so many writings, it almost looked like a mural. The thoughts began to come back, the policemen, the checkpoint, my car, the money. I managed to open my right eye then and it was then I saw the metal bars. We were in what looked like the courtyard of a cell. There were doors all around that led to this open space. Two gutters ran across the yard stinking seriously. I turned my attention back to the hands that were moving me. They belonged to the tall light man. The other man lingered behind, still beaming heavily.

I was in so much pain, I just couldn’t move any more and even my Smaritan noticed and proceeded to heave me onto his shoulder. As he walked towards one of the seemingly dark rooms, I heard a voice call out:

Sere!!!

Sere!!!

Mathew kilode… kilode now. Sere’s voice was a huge contrast to his figure. If anything at all, he sounded like a mouse and somewhere in my thoughts, I managed a laugh.

Mathew, we don warn you make you no dey chook your mouth for our business oh, the other man said. His voice sounded like that of a veteran Agbero.

I heard locks being opened and as Sere dropped me, I realized Mathew was a police officer and he had come into the cell with two others.

Eyin boys, ema binu, eleyi ti lo. Oga ni kin gbe wa. (Boys, don’t be angry, this one has gone. Oga said I should bring him)

Amidst shouts and murmurs of displeasure, the other two policemen dragged me out of the cell with Mathew trailing behind.

We moved from the cell into an office area. It was poorly lit, the walls looked like they had been painted by the inmates – green glossy paint. On the wall were portraits of the president, state governor and current I.G of police. I didn’t recognize his voice immediately but it didn’t take long for me to. Standing by the counter was Senior. He was having a word with one other police officer was looked well dressed in the blue and black ceremonial uniform. They shook hands and then Mathew dropped some clothes in front of me. They were mine. I felt some strength return to me out of nowhere. Maybe it was the thought of almost being free. I managed to were my clothes with help from Mathew and a few minutes later, I, Senior and Mathew were in a car with one other police man.

It was bright outside, I check Seniors watch and noticed it was almost 1pm. I had been knocked out and in this mess for over 6 hours I thought to myself. Incredible. The policeman drove us to the checkpoint I had stopped at earlier. Senior and I got off and then he drove off.

Where is the key, Senior asked.

I hobbled to the car, I opened the door and stretched my hand to the side of the drivers seat. I felt the key almost immediately. I pulled it out and Senior came to me and took it.

Go and sit.

I went round to the passengers side of the front seat and got into the car. Without a word, Senior started the engine and began to drive. I wanted to ask where we were heading, how knew about where I was and a lot of questions but I was too weak to ask anything. My eyes fluttered and then shut again. I woke up to sounds of my name.

Azeez…Azeez…

It was Senior – how did he know my name? I looked round and noticed we were infront of my hostel. How did he……… I couldn’t think.

I”ll drop the car off at Princess’ house. You can get the key from her help.

I got out of the car and Senior zoomed off. I hobbled into my room and all I wanted to do was take something for the ragging pain I had in my head. I got into my room and as I shut the door, I caught a reflection of my face in the mirror behind it. WOW. I noticed a huge black patch on the right side of my face. That explained the pain. I took off my clothes then and looked round my body for other cuts or bruises, I didn’t see any. I needed rest. I ravaged through my locker looking for a painkiller. I noticed my watch then and I saw it read the day as TUE instead of MON.. I was hallucinating. I needed sleep. I found a sachet of panadol extra, got some pure water, took it and somehow found my way to the bed.

I woke up the next morning to sounds coming from my stomach – hunger. I managed to get out of bed. The pain had subsided in some parts of my body and I could open both of my eyes even though it still hurt a lot. I had barely began wondering where to start my haunt for food when I saw a nylon bag right beside my bed. It was from an eatery. I opened it and found a pack of food, fruits, a brand new phone and some drugs. The sane part of me would have questioned this but I was too hungry to think. I assumed Senior had come back to drop it and so I began eating the food. I finished it all in a matter of minutes and proceeded to take the drugs in the bag.

I knew I had to get out of my room and move around if I wanted to heal quickly enough. I managed to fetch a bucket of water. The hostel as almost completely empty. Two days to Christmas, everyone had left school except some serious efikos. I brought my bucket to the room and heated it with Dares boiling ring. I then went and took my bath. I returned to the room feeling much better. I tried to move around and though I felt pain, I was able to.

I got dressed then and it wasn’t until I wore my clothes that I thought about the phone. I picked it up realized my old sim card was placed in it. I had all my numbers stored in it and I had a couple of messages from Fadeke. She was just checking up on me and wondering what I had been up to except reading. I had a missed call from Uncle Mufu and that was it. I had too many questions on my mind but even thinking hurt at that point. I thought about Uncle Mufu and how I had promised to spend time with him and his family during the break. I decided to go there. Uncle Mufus house wasn’t far. He lived in Abule Oja even though he had several other houses in highbrow areas of Lagos. I walked out of my room after checking to make sure I had a decent enough lie to cover for my eyes. I got out of school and bought shades for my eyes before stopping a bike. I got to Uncle Mufus house in minutes and met him in outside getting ready to leave.

Ekaro Sir..

Ahh… Azeez… Ibo lo ma n so phone e si now … mo de call call call (where do you always throw your phone, and I called and called)

E ma binu Sir, mo ni accident die ni (don’t be angry Sir, I had a little accident)

Accident?

I took off my shades and showed him my eye.. He moved closer and tilted my face with his hand. He gave me a look that said “accident indeed” and said..

Pele, sha ma rora (Sorry, just take it easy)

Ese sir (Thank you Sir).

Oya wole sinu motor, mo fe ka jo de ibi kan (get into the car, I want you to come somewhere with me)

I was surprised. He acted as if he was expecting me. I had no choice, I got into the passenger side of the front seat and thought about offering to drive but I knew I was not exactly in the right condition. That aside, Uncle Mufu hardly allowed any other person to drive him. I hope we weren’t going far because I didn’t even know what to say to my uncle. Luckily, the journey was short. We drove into LUTH a few minutes after and I imagined he was stopping by to visit a friend.

Uncle Mufu said little, he just asked about school and that was it. We went into the hospital and after talking to a few people, he came back to get me from where I sat. A nurse walked ahead of us and we followed. I wondered what we had come to do, who we had come to see and my mind was still wondering when the nurse opened the door to one of the admission rooms and there she was – Mama.

Mama, I almost shouted.

I looked at Uncle Mufu and then and the nurse and back to Mama. Was she ok? What was she doing here? How did she get here? Why?

Easy. Easy. Don’t wake her oh. Don’t worry, everything is well. Iyabo is better treated here. I know you need her close so I moved her.

I couldnt explain how happy I was, I was ecstatic. This was indeed a Christmas miracle. I held onto Uncle Mufus hands and thanked him profusely.

No no no… no need to thank me, he said as he held my shoulder. Azeez, you know you are like son to me. I want you to be happy all the time.

I didn’t know what to say or how to respond to him, I looked at Mama then and out of nowhere, a smile appeared on her face.

 

My name is A-Zed: Episode 9

The drive back to Lekki was surreal. A lot of thoughts kept popping in and out of my mind. It all seemed to make sense now but it was just so sad. I’d read about this and I’d even seen commercials on TV but I have never known anyone infected with the disease but now it seems I’m working for one. Its was just so sad for me to take in at once, Princess seemed too good a person to be the one; why her and not someone else. It just goes to show how unfair the world can be atimes. I joined all the lose ends together even as I drove. But if this was why she was doing this, it wasn’t just right. I was going to talk to her and try to get her to stop but maybe not just tonight. I felt so bad thinking about the things I had said to her when I dropped her off. She was right, I really didn’t know anything about her. This alone changes so much – it changes everything.

I made it back to Lekki long before 11pm. She wasn’t going to be expecting me so I had to wait. I parked the car, took a stroll around, got credit and a drink and then went back to the car. I tried to think through the past weeks and just how much drama I seemed to have gotten myself into. So much seemed to have changed since that day I picked up Kassy and Debola. Hmmm.. Debola. My thoughts briefly swayed to Uncle Mufu, I still had the keys to the new taxi he gave me. Few hours ago, I had more or less made up my mind to take him up in his offer but with this new development, maybe this was my own way of helping Princess; I couldn’t possible leave her to herself after this. And if I hoped to convince her to change, I needed to stay close enough to her. I needed to see Uncle Mufu. His level of generosity was still strange to me but I needed to try to make him understand why I can’t accept his offer. It was obvious I couldn’t head back to Ibadan for Christmas. With Mama in the hospital, I really had no business there. I had to check on Mama with the Doctor later on. I decided to stay back in school and catch up on my courses all through the holiday. However, I decided to visit Uncle Mufu sometime during the coming week so we could talk.

I looked at the time just then, it was a few minutes to 11. I got out of the car and walked to the gate. I pressed the little button by the pedestrian gate and that familiar voice answered asking who I was and what I wanted. I simply answered, “A-Zed here to pick Miss Princess”. With that, I stepped back, keeping a good distance between the gate and I. I had made up my mind not to go inside – no matter what. I wasn’t ready for surprises. While I stood there reminiscing the terrible events of the night Princess and I were captured, the gate opened and Princess walked out with Zino closely following behind. I felt some relief when I saw Zino, I didn’t get to thank him for helping us escape the other time but as I looked at him I knew this wasn’t the place or time. The look on his face was blank and expressionless. With no questions asked, Princess looked at me and said:

Let’s go.

We walked to the car even as Zino stood by the gate watching us. I started the car and drove off half thanking God nothing dramatic happened. As I drove, I tried looking for some sort of expression on Princesses’ face but there was nothing. She sat in the back seat again and every time I thought I saw her smiling when I looked through the rearview mirror, I realized I was wrong. All my attempts at making little conversation failed. I then decided to let it go. I made it back to High Rise before midnight and even as I parked I knew I couldn’t just end the night like that. I had to ease the tension somehow. But before I could think of what next to say, she spoke..

I’ll be moving out of school for the holiday tomorrow. Are you going to be in Lagos for Christmas?

I turned a bit to look at her and then answered – Yes. I will be in Lagos…. but ( I knew I needed to study … how would I explain this to her?) …

What is it?

I’ll be around Princess.

Fine, then you can keep the car with you. I’ll call ahead whenever I need you. Don’t bother about coming for me tomorrow.

She then reached into her purse and brought out a little piece of paper, which she handed to me. I took it from her and noticed it was a cheque. It had no name written on it but the amount was written in – hundred thousand naira.

What is this?

Your Salary. I didn’t know what name to write in. You do have something to identify yourself with do you?

I sat there quiet … One hundred thousand Naira. Me. Salary.

Do you?

I came back to reality and answered ….Yes. Still shocked, I didn’t immediately notice Princess getting out of the car, not until she was almost at the door. I called out to her then…

Princess…. she turned to look at me..

I am … I am very sorry and Thank you.

Without a word, she turned around and walked away.

 

I held the cheque for a long time thinking to myself. One hundred thousand Naira. Azeez. Never in my life. I’ve only heard of these kinds of figures – even when I was much younger and my father was still with us, I never came across this kind of money in cash or cheque. I must have sat there for about half an hour… thinking…just thinking about how I’d gotten to that spot, what I’d done to earn this much. I just didn’t seem to be able to justify it and the only way I could accept it was if I believed it was a miracle from God, for Mama. I was still a long way off what was needed for her surgery but it was a significant start. I still had more than enough saved away from my trips with Kassy and the other girls so I was more than comfortable. I folded the cheque neatly into my pocket, took out all I needed from the car and left for my room. It was definitely too late to get a cab so I took the long walk through access road to my hostel.

I got to my room and I met Dare packing his things. The room looked pretty empty. I knew most, if not all my other roommates would have left school. I was surprised to see Dare packing though. I could have bet he was going to stick around in school till Christmas eve.

Mr. A-Zed.

Ehn…

Shebi that’s your new name. Big boy A-Zed.

I ignored Dare and walked to my locker.

E ki wa now (Greet us now). Abi because we don’t drive Corollas like you, we can no longer talk to you?

I turned around in surprise – what corolla.

You think I don’t know? Correction, we don’t know?

Know what Dare? What do you know.

Hmm… Azeez ( He stopped packing and walked towards me). So this is what you’ve been up to all this while. This is what has been keeping you away from lectures, from school, from your friends…… I am still your friend am I?

I stood there not knowing what to say…

It has gotten that bad. I don’t even think I know you anymore. If not for all the gossip around here, I probably wouldn’t have known anything was going on. But has it really gotten this bad Azeez… Ko i ti baje to yen now (it hasn’t gotten this bad). ….. Everyone in school knows…

Knows what! Knows what exactly Dare… What do you all know… ( I said, half-yelling and Dare flinched)

We all know that… that spoilt and snobbish daughter of Chief Adetokunbo George has cast some sort of spell on you. She literarily has you driving her up and down campus, running errands for her and God knows what else…..

I stood there not knowing how to react…..

You leave her house at odd hours and…. is that where you’re even coming from?

I looked away from Dare, I wanted to ignore him. I was angry. No – irritated. Even if every other person in the world was quick to jump into conclusions, I expected more from him. Not after knowing me almost all my life. Least he could have done was come to ask me. I was irritated because he had ruined the pleasant thoughts I had about saving up the hundred thousand for Mama’s surgery. I wished I hadn’t come to the room. I was so irritated I missed the fact that he had just told me Princess was the daughter of Chief Tokunbo George, the renounced political godfather of most politicians in this part of the country.

So you’re not going to answer me. Azeez. Azeez oo ni dami loun. (Azeez you wont answer me)

And so what. So what , if its you Dare. You’ve completely disappointed me. How could you just conclude like that. No single benefit of doubt…

No. None. Azeez. You’ve left me no choice. Do you even remember the last time we had a serious conversation. All we do when we meet nowadays is say hi and bye… I come back to the room and see new clothes in your locker.. and then I hear all these stories.. ki lo fe kin ro (what do you expect me to think)

He was right. Dare could pass as my exact opposite in that we had almost completely different lifestyles but he was the one person I was so comfortable talking to. He always seemed to help set me right but lately I’d been so far away from him. I just felt he would never be able to understand any of the things that had been happening let alone be able to advice on what or what not to do. And I knew I was too harsh with my response. This was Dares way of asking; this was him giving me benefit of doubt.

Hmm… ( I sighed heavily) Dare. Oro po. Oro po gaaan. (Dare, there’s a lot to say. A lot)

Dare, walked to my bunk and sat … Mo ‘n gbo e (I’m listening to you)…

I sat on the lower bunk opposite mine and thought about where to begin. Picking up Kassy and Debby that faithful day or meeting Princess.. Getting thrown into the crazy world of high class prostitutes… Almost getting killed….losing my taxi …

Dare and I spoke till almost 4am. He felt like he was watching a movie. The expressions on his face as I told him some of my experiences were classic. I wish I had a camera to capture them. He did surprise me though. For a geek, he seemed to know a lot about YNot and the seemingly symbiotic relationship between taxi drivers and prostitutes. Dare disliked Kassy instantly. He begged me to try as much as I could to stay away from her as she had trouble written all over her. He was very drawn to Princess – very sad when I told him about the test result I found. He also felt I had to help her realize she was better than what she was doing. Dare advised me to continue working for Princess as long as it would help raise the Money Mama needed faster but he also said I should try not to get drawn into “their world”.

It was definitely fun talking to Dare again. I felt so much relief when I finally went to bed. He woke me early in the morning. He had taken his bath and was dressed. He was heading home to his family in Dugbe, Ibadan for the holiday. He reminded me to make sure I saw Uncle Mufu before the end of the holiday and then he left.

I went back to bed and slept so pleasantly. I think I even dreamt about Fadeke. I must have because I woke up thinking about her. It was almost as if she was haunting me in my sleep about going to church. I hadn’t been to church in a while and I had alot to be thankful for and also alot of repenting to do. It was just about 10am, I was almost late for service. I jumped off my bed, took a quick bath, got dressed and ran out of my room to church.

The service was interesting. The sermon was about divine surprises. It made me feel as if I was living in the future as I was already experiencing a testimony from the sermon. I left church before noon and on my way back to my room I got a call from Fadeke.

Hello

So, is it a yes or a no.

Are you proposing to me?

Who? What? Please don’t flatter yourself. Did you go to church or not.

This is a tough question seeing as you marrying me is hinged on my answer.

(she laughed) Who is marrying you?

I’m just heading back to my room. I went to church.

Ehn hen, we thank God.

We chatted for a while about how she still had nothing planned for her birthday. She was so unexcited about it; it got me thinking. Maybe the right gift would do the trick. Maybe. I had never given a girl a birthday gift. I didn’t have a clue. I got off the phone and went to get food. I returned to my room and began sorting out my notes. Dare had filled me in on all I’d missed and surprisingly enough, it wasn’t so much.

I went out later in the evening. I needed to move the car somewhere closer just to be safe. I parked outside my hostel and drew a few comments from people who knew me. I got enough food to last me through the night and the next morning. I didn’t plan on going out till I was done with all my reading. At about 11pm, I had covered quite a lot and I decided to get some rest. I hadn’t gotten a call from Princess all day and it seemed strange. I’d call her in the morning just to check on her. I was still concerned about her and that test result I saw, I just didn’t know how exactly to go about bringing up the topic. As I lay in bed trying to fall asleep, my phone rang. This late? I wondered who it was… I checked my phone and Kassy’s name flashed on the screen. I wondered just what she could want at this time of the night on a Sunday.

Hello

A-Zed (she was whispering).. can you hear me

… Yes I can

Please I need you to come and get me. Please

Kassy…I ….I..

I’m stranded, it’s an emergency please.. I’m in Obalende.. I will text you the address now. Please hurry .. thank you..

I couldn’t understand how she managed to do it to me over and over again but as I got into my car and drove out of school, I promised myself it would be the last time especially since Dare had begged me to stay away. I received Kassy’s text. She was in a hotel somewhere in Obalende. Her directions seemed straight forward enough. I wondered why she was whispering though. I just wanted to get done with her and get back to studying.

I was parked outside the hotel in about 20 minutes. I tried to call Kassy but she kept cutting my call. She finally sent me a text message begging me to come up to help her carry some of her luggage. I couldn’t believe her. Even though I was working for my money, it was going to be the last time. I went into the hotel. It was more like a motel. It looked shabby and nothing remotely comparable to the guesthouse we went to in Ogun State. The man or boy at the counter was half asleep and it took him three attempts before he could finally point me in the right direction to the room Kassy was. I made my way up and as I was about knocking on the door, Kassy opened it and pulled me in. She put her hand across my mouth and asked me to speak in hushed tones. It felt wrong as if something was wrong but I wasn’t in the mood to ask questions. Kassy pointed to a ghana-must-go bag in the corner of the room and asked that I help her carry it down.

The bag was medium sized and looked very heavy but surprisingly, it wasn’t as heavy as I thought it was. It seemed like it was stuffed with paper. I carried the bag and went down ahead of Kassy, she soon joined me in the car, in the front passenger seat after she asked me to put the bag in the boot and as I drove away she said we were going to a place called Obawole somewhere close to Akute. That was far and totally in the opposite direction of where she stayed in Badore. It was hard but I put my frustration aside and I didn’t complain. I drove as far as I knew and then Kassy described the rest of the journey.

For some strange reason, we met just one police checkpoint on the way – even on the mainland. At that stop, the policemen simply looked into the car and then asked us to go on. We made it to our destination before 1am. The street was quiet and remote, the house was also a bungalow, unpainted just like Kassy’s house in Badore but much smaller. I parked outside and I had to help her carry the bag inside. I hesitated initially but this was unlike the last time, she had a genuine reason for me to go inside with her. She opened the gate and then the door even as I carried the bag behind her. We walked into the house and I noticed it was poorly furnished. Two chairs were arranged in the living room. There was no television or any other form of electronic. I dropped the bag and waited for her to pay me before leaving. I had already made up my mind to leave if she asked me to go get it from a room or anywhere else. Kassy sat on one of the chairs and pulled the bag towards her. She had a smile on her face and kept staring at me even as she opened the bag. Curious about the content, I watched as she unzipped it and I couldn’t help but gasp in surprise.

 

The bag was full of money. Fresh bundles of 500 Naira notes. Kassy laughed, as she must have seen the expression on my face.

A-Zed A-Zed… she said as she stood and walked towards me….

In that bag, I have 9 million Naira. Yes, 9 million. A gift from one of my customers and that gift can be for you and I. You see, I like you. Yes, I like you a lot (she said as she touched my face) and I want you to be my man. Legally.

I stood there speechless.

I plan on leaving this your damned country and going back home. Me I be Cameroonian. Yes. With this money, we will live like king and Queen in Yaoundé. We can leave first thing in the morning through Calabar if you want. So what do you say?

I stood there still speechless thinking, wondering how she’d really come about all this money and how she trusted me enough to think I couldn’t steal the money from her.

A-Zed. Look at me. We don’t have time. Look me in the eye and give me an answer.

 

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