Source: Qed.ng

Source: Qed.ng

I am running late so I do the feasible thing I can think of: strike a deal – negotiate my way through. I ask the driver of a bus with four passengers if he doesn’t mind moving and I’ll pay for the vacant seats: N1,500. On the ground that he picks no passenger henceforth and saves me time by driving to Onitsha directly.

He agrees but then… two passengers joins us and I re-negotiate to N1,250. He mutters and frowns. I pay no heed to his ugly frown and stutters – I am thinking of Lagos, ugly and beautiful Lagos. A love-hate relationship I have with the city.

5 minutes later, he picks a passenger. Then another. And another. And another.

In my mind, I’m like, “What’s this? What are you doing?” I assume no deal because he breached the oral contract but when I reach the last bus stop and pay him for two seats, he gets all mad-like. He comes down (as I write this, I remember he’s 5′ 7″), swears on his rickety engine and say he’ll die [by accident] if we didn’t have an agreement.

“On what ground?”

Silence.

He keeps ranting. I keep checking the minute hand on my wristwatch. About ten to fifteen minutes goes to waste. This isn’t a discussion. This is a man deeply immersed in the bad blood of Onitsha to trick people, trying to drag me into an argument.

I refuse to be dragged in. Into the pit of argument. Possibly, fisticuffs. I remember I can’t fight too.

I ask him his standard turnover from Awka to Onitsha. N2,600, he says. I ask how much he made. N1,400, he says and, “Guo the money yourself.”

“No, you count it yourself. I don’t have time for this.”

He counts hurriedly. I watch him. I’ve lost all my trust in him. He’s all sorts of shady and I can’t afford not to watch him. I ask again, “So, it’s N1,200 left, right?”

“Yes, N1,200.”

“If N1,200 is your problem, here,” I hand N1,200 over to him, “You’re wrong but I have important things to do else we’ll stay here all day.”

He curses at me. I tell him to be careful with the engine he swore on because it could turn to karma; you know, karma always lives close-by.

He scoffs at me. I walk away and signal to an okada rider.

Some minutes later, I’m at the park and I’ve missed the 9am bus. We proceed to another park and I catch a bus just about leaving the park – that is right after the okada rider says he wants to take me to Mikel bus, “Mikel [of Chelsea] nwe very fine bus.”

“Mikel?”

“Yes, Mikel.”

“No, I don’t want Mikel bus. Take me to GUO.”

At GUO, my ticket number is 23. When I travelled down from Lagos 4 days ago, my ticket number was 23. Coincidence! I go back and change it but I didn’t change it because I think the witches and wizards in my village are counting for me and monitoring me; I changed it because it’s not close to the window and I can’t look out when I’m bored with faces in the bus.

I run into the bus, a ticket number 13 held loosely in my left hand.

I take a seat and thank God for not making me stupid because of N1,200 then I slap myself upside the head for negotiating with a man that doesn’t stick to his words.

The driver gets into the bus. I’m on my way to Lagos.

It’s 9:28am.

Written by Okwukwe
Writer + Entrepreneur + Designer + Creative Artist + Tech Lover + Firework Lover + Travel Freak + Retired Economist ('08-'12) = Okwukwe

    6 Comments

  1. Chucho January 29, 2016 at 7:18 pm Reply

    Wuz ere

    • Okwukwe January 29, 2016 at 7:22 pm Reply

      Thanks, man. Hehe 😀

  2. Chidimma January 29, 2016 at 12:52 pm Reply

    Chidimma chidolue was here..loozz

    • Okwukwe January 29, 2016 at 2:21 pm Reply

      Lol. I see you. Thanks for stopping by to read and say hi. 🙂

  3. Joy January 29, 2016 at 2:40 am Reply

    Finish d story…was settled for a fun and deep read..den u stopped…
    Wer is….

    • Okwukwe January 29, 2016 at 2:20 pm Reply

      Ah! Joy. My bad. This was how the story ended ooo.

      Catch you on Danfo Tales 5. 😀

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