They say it’s always better to learn from people’s experience. I never really understood what that meant. I found out the hard way that we were supposed to put ourselves in other people’s shoes and imagine the pressure that comes with it, only then will we really understand why people make mistakes and only then can we truly learn because in the end we’re only humans and all human beings do make mistakes. I also found that whatever you judge your fellow man of is usually something you are very capable of doing. It’s only a matter of time and circumstance.
Its 9:30 pm and I’m driving an expensive car on top speed to the nearest lagoon. Nothing makes sense to me anymore, I had very carefully thrown away every good opportunity that came my way and by the way the car was collateral for a bad debt and as expensive as It was, the value was far less than one-tenth the value of the debt. However, it was a fine piece of a machine and I regret not taking it out for a spin all these months. But then again who would have thought it will get to this.
I and my wife had just moved into the northern part of the country to escape the pressure from my investors. I didn’t know the town too well so I was just driving in circles I knew there was a lagoon somewhere, I had seen it before. I can only trust my instincts to take me to the right direction. A valley, a lake a stream, anything will work for me at this moment, even a track I could just run into. I thought about my two daughters, the fact that I will never see them again, but then I know they will turn out fine as their mother was from a privileged family that only looked after its own kind. My wife on the other hand would have just been a perfect wife. As a matter of fact, she is. Except for the fact that she is not anything close to a friend or a Companion. She takes her marriage exactly the same way she takes her job. Very official. And so we have what I call a corporate relationship. She does all her duties diligently and on time (all except for romance off course, which she has never agreed to be part of her duties.) She expects me to also preform my duties as such and when l don’t, she scolds me like an employer does to his employee.
Its 10:30pm and still haven’t found what I’m looking for. Feeling a whole lot more depressed I step on it a little harder, almost knocking down a police motor bike moving on the opposite side of the road. He immediately turned back and began chasing me. Excellent! I could picture the headlines reading “Police chases business man to his death”. I smiled and watched him radio other officers through my rear view mirror. We must have raced for a kilometer or two. The road was wide and free then all of a sudden I start seeing cars parked on both sides of the road like there was a very big event happening. The police bike suddenly disappeared from sight and some armed officials politely directed me on where to park. They took me to a section labelled “Reserved Parking” and escorted me out of the car. I couldn’t place my head on what was happening. It must be the car I taught to myself. They must have mistaken me for some rich person. There was certainly something happening because there were lots of nicely dressed people walking up and down. It was as if the whole city was there, no wonder the streets were so empty. The armed parking officials took me to a large waiting room that was opposite a huge mansion. Something quite unusual about the mansion was that it had no fence. It was a wonderful sight to behold. Abdul will be with you in a minute sir said one of the officers. He has been expecting you all day. In the meantime will you have something to drink? Oh, there he comes already. He pointed towards his left and everyone around me stood up as Abdul entered the room. Everyone but me. I knew I had been mistaken for someone important. I also knew Abdul will throw me out as soon as he had a closer look at me.
Abdul, to my greatest surprise gave me a worm smile and bent over to embrace me. I immediately stood up and hugged him back he seemed very happy to see me. He held my hands and escorted me into the mansion. He then said “my best man, how was your flight? Sorry to have disrupted your very busy schedule, Baba is very busy at the moment, he has some foreign delegates he has to attend to. I’m certain he will be most delighted to see you”. As soon as he mentioned those words, it clicked in my head. The feelings I experienced as a result of the alcohol I took earlier immediately left me. I felt a swift rush of blood to my head and my nose began to run. I realized I was in the house of a very influential man and I have been mistaken for someone else.
The man in question was the Chief of Staff to one of our previous military rulers. I will not mention his name in this story for the sake of my personal security. He had a reputation of getting the job done with any means necessary. He was a highly respected and feared man. The young man who led me inside the mansion (for it was a long walk) was his only son who was rumoured to be having a secret wedding the next day. My nose kept running and my head began to hurt as we got closer. But then I remembered the lesson I learnt from my cousin Jeffrey who always finds a way to remain happy regardless of any situation he finds himself in. He will always say ‘whenever the shit hits the fan, always flow with the wind because you got it in you’ (total nonsense if you ask me) but surprisingly it always seemed to work for him. He got out of any and every problem he found himself in with flying colours. Probably why he was nicknamed Lucky Jojo.
As we got closer I began to see several luxury cars with distinct custom number plates. Cars that I have only seen on video games. I remember seeing one particular car, it was a Dutch Viper. The unique thing about it was that it had a Nigerian custom plate number that was written in Arabic. I didn’t even think that was possible. The whole environment was so exotic my brain had problems processing what my eyes was seeing. For a moment there, I had temporarily forgotten the mess I was literally walking into. Abdul noticed my divided attention, smiled, took me by my hand and showed me his exotic car gallery of 25 luxury vehicles 7 of which were antiques & 14 custom made cars specially for him and his dad. ’Do not worry my friend, we will take one of these babies for a ride when we are done seeing Baba’ said Abdul with his calm and sweet northern accent. It was then I got back in touch with reality. Wait a minute what was I doing, how can I just be walking into my own casket.
…to be continued.
Written by Timba as fondly called, he is a descriptive writer and has a way of pulling a reader into the story. This is one of his many talents.