9JA STORY: T.A.O.T (EP 09)




“Please! Please! Please! Don’t kill me! Don’t kill me! Don’t kill me!…”

I opened my eyes and I met myself in the bus, I had slept and had been dreaming all the while. “What kind of dream is this?” I thought to myself. Well, I was so happy that it was just a dream. Aunty Rebecca would have shown no mercy if it were to be real.

journey continued as I paid no attention to the places we passed or did not pass. The only thing on my mind is to get to ‘Oshodi’ in Lagos. The traffic was quite much, so it took us almost four hours to reach Lagos. On reaching Lagos, I alighted from the bus. I had no load. It was just me, my short, my round-neck top, my pair of slippers and Two Thousand Naira.

“Now I’m free from the witch of a wife that my father has. I started my journey by buying a bottle of ‘Coca Cola’ as the fuel in my ‘car’. I was very hungry. So after walking for a while, I entered a restaurant. I was just a 17 years old boy who was just becoming a ‘nigga’ wandering the streets of lagos. I have not had my bath, neither have I brushed. I just comported myself well and entered the restaurant. “For one last time, I’m going to eat like the rich man’s son that I am”. I said to myself. I entered the restaurant, ordered a plate of fried rice which was 750 Naira, a piece of chicken lap for 400 Naira, and a bottle of ‘Maltina’ for 100 Naira.

A girl came into the restaurant who appeared to be my age mate. She looked stunning, beautiful, spotless, fair-complexioned and totally flawless. There were three chairs that were free at my table, because I was the only one there. She went to the customers stand to place her orders. As she walked down to pick a sit. I just prayed in my mind that she should just come and sit at the same table with me. I wasn’t looking towards her direction because I just didn’t want to appear like I was ‘overlooking’. I just heard in an angels voice “Good afternoon.” accompanied with the sound of a plate touching my table. I turned to look and it was this angel that I’d been starring at. “Good afternoon”. I replied. I watched everything about her, she looks quite tush. She had ordered rice and chicken too. I wanted to start a conversation, but I don’t know how how to start. Fortunes smiled at me when she took her phone and checked it “Dem! The network here is so bad!” She said, leaving the phone and concentrating on her food. We were almost done eating, it wasn’t like she was referring to me, but I would be a fool not to leverage on that to start a conversation…

Me: It’s like that in some areas in Lagos. What network are you using
The Girl: Glo
Me: Glo is actually good, maybe it’s just like that today.
The Girl: What network do you browse with
Me: Etisalat, though they can act funny sometimes too.
The Girl: Nigeria and poor networks
Me: it’s just like the king and the crown. Or let’s say bride and wedding gown. They go hand in hand…
The Girl: (Laughed) I kind of like your spoken English. I’m ‘Desola’ (Stretching her hands to shake me)
Me: (I was so excited, I almost lost control, but i just had to keep calm and keep everything under control) My name’s Tolu. It’s too bad that poor networks don’t care about how cute someone is, they wouldn’t have had a chance with you. Your beauty is literally going to push them away and draw the strong network.
Desola: (Laughs) Seriously, you are a very funny person, I will take that as a complement. Thanks!
Me: You are ever so welcome. So tell me…

We were interrupted by the two guys wearing uniform. One came to pack the plates since we were done eating while the other came to take money. Desola, paid her bills, I would have paid for her but what exactly was the point, knowing fully well that I had just 1900 Naira with me. As I reached for my pocket to pay for my meal, I discovered that there was no money there…



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