WHAT LIES BENEATH
By AMAH’S HEART.
It was indeed a very long drive, I speed pas-s other travelers who were either inside a bus or pri-vate cars going to different destination.
I wish to arrive Abuja atleast 8pm so that I can be able to prepare for tomorrow’s work.
Missing work for days and referring my clients to other agents is not a good thing for my kind of business.
Going back now is to focus on building myself and finding a way in getting more reliable clients.
Real estate work is very competitive and if you leave out space, my competitors will gr-ab the opportunity without looking back.
This few days have been the toughest. the way my journey turned out I never expected it.
My peace of mind, my sanity and life was threatened.
I was traumatized and still haven’t gotten over from all that took place.
I thought Oby was going to plead, I thought she will find a way to see if she can right her wrongs, maybe her father will even help in pleading on his daughter’s behalf, I wouldn’t have been moved to have her back but atleast I will know that she was remorseful and for that fact alone I will continue catering for the family. I will also continue paying Oby’s fee and s£nding a token ones in a while to her parents whenever I have enough.
But instead Oby shocked life out of me. She turned the table and called me the evil one.
Her father supported her which left me more speechless.
Only her mother was on my side [email protected] She was afraid of the husband and couldn’t say much.
I appreciate her for speaking in my defense but her husband and daughter’s wicked act is too much to overlook.
I can’t think straight, I haven’t had much to eat or had a good night sleep.
I wonder why bad things happen to good people.
I ones loved Oby sincerely, with all my heart. I saw her as a decent well brou-ght up girl.
I was re-ady to do anything for her.
after she visited and I found out what she did back in school, I couldn’t think right because I was de-eply hurt.
I was hurt by her betrayal but I still chose to forgive, I did so gradually by first of all treating her of be-dwe-tting and caring for her like I should.
I never knew she and Jerome alre-ady had a thing.
After finding out and confronting her with the truth she [email protected]£ hostile and wanted to [email protected] victim on me.
Demanding for money again instead of being remorseful.
“Oh Oby, lying against me wasn’t enough you still s£nd men after me. You forgot so soon, everything I did for you… to make sure you lack nothing. For three years plus i know how much I s£nd every month but yet you claimed is only ten thousand… wow! She actually said that. Oby… Oby….I have never felt so hurt and broken in my life like this….I…I…
I hit ha-rd on my steering wheel while shaking my head pathetically.
I noticed I was struggling with tears and heavy anger that settled on my che-st.
Suddenly a speeding van brushed my car as it speed pas-s, the driver threw in insult at me for my careless driving which they have been horning but my mind was too occu-pied to hear anything.
My fuel tank was down, i nee-d to st©p at a fuel station and refill.
I’m not even in the right frame of mind to travel this long distance
I wish I have something distracting my attention.
It would have been lots easier than talking and fighting unseen enemies alone.
My stomach made a sound, I nee-d to eat something too.
I checked the time and it was alre-ady 1pm.
Yesterday, I ate breakfast of bre-ad with egg sauce and tea in the h0tel before leaving for Oby’s place.
Coming back, after I was accosted and hosted the boys I took two bottles of drink and that was the only thing I took until now.
I nee-d to eat, try to clear my head abit before entering the road again.
Maybe I will turned on the music station and keep my mind occu-pied while driving before I loose it.
I just hope that the long van that speed pas-s me after brushing my car did not do much damage to it’s b©dy.
I was looking out for where to eat and also refill my car tank when I saw a fuel filling station parked with different company transport buses carrying pas-s£ngers.
In the fillin station was an eatery and roadside vendors where there too.
Hawkers were seen at every corner trying to sell their wares which was mostly eatables.
The pas-s£ngers from the transport company bus where going all about the place, buying and eating while some of the women went about looking for a discreet place to urinate.
The whole place was filled with different activities.
I drove in, I was able to find a place to park which was at my own risk.
I [email protected]£ down and the first thing I did was to check the level of damage on my car caused by the crazy van driver.
There was a de-ep scratch. I ru-bbe-d my hands on it before turning to leave.
I won’t add it to my worries.
The buses and cars where on queue, waiting for their turn to buy fuel.
I decided to go and eat first, the queue will reduce by the time I’m done.
I try to wave off the hawkers that [email protected]£ showing off their wares to my face.
Maybe when I’m done eating I will look at the fresh looking bananas and groundnuts that I was seeing around.
I went into the eatery and asked them what they have. I Saw freshly made food from the showglas-s.
I asked for jellof rice with plantain and fish.
I was served right away.
I sat quietly in a lone table of three and started eating.
There where a whole lot of other people eating and some where done eating and got busy talking while waiting for their buses to get fuel. I guess.
Two ladies [email protected]£ to sit on the same table with me.
One was carrying a tray of yam porridge with beef while the other had a fried rice with moi moi and turkey. Each had a bottle of coke instead of water.
The porridge looked good, i saw it earlier but I was not re-ady to try it out to avoid stomach rumbling on the way.
I have learned to stick to the food I know better.
If is not made at home, I’m very skeptical trying it out.
I learnt a big lesson during the first time I visited Oby’s home.
When I thought I had seen the one for me.
I [email protected] and drank de-eply from my bottle water.
I can’t let Oby’s issue ruin my appetite today.
The lady with the porridge yam greeted while smiling at me.
“…my name is Amanda and this is Kachi my friend. Which of the buses are you in, we boarded Chike and sons transport bus. Is it the same bus with yours?
I don’t nee-d this right now. That was why I looked for a lone table. I want to eat without all this unnecessary interruption and leave here quietly.
Her friend was smiling with her mouth full while focusing on me.
That was the only reply I could give her which was the answer to the question she asked.
“Which of the bus are you in? We paid six thousand Naira for Lagos… can you imagine that? This buses are really ma-king money. How much did you pay?You’re also traveling to Lagos right…
Her fried rice friend asked as she looked me all over before looking at my ring f!nger.
I replied again. If they are s-en-sitive enough they will see that I’m not interested in their conversation and the best thing to do is to eat their food, converse within thereselves and leave me alone.
“…This one you’re just replying us with “no” hope we’re not disturbing you? You didn’t even tell us your name or the bus you borded. Are you married… even if you’re married it takes nothin to be friendly. We saw you sitting alone and thought you will be nee-ding company. Where do you stay in Lagos… you are yet to tell us your name…
The fried rice lady continued talking. I just have to say something because even the “no” I was forcing myself to reply them seem not enough.
“Listen ladies, i appreciate your offer of friendsh!pbut sincerely, I’m not interested. I really want to be left alone if you don’t mind. Thanks…
The porridge lady said to her friend.
“Babe let’s leave this boring guy. Maybe he is even a ghost… the spirit world must have warned him to keep off from our zone because we’re daughters of the living God…holy ghost fire….
She lifted her food tray and walked away with her friend.
I went back eating quietly ignoring them and other people looking over my table.
After I was done, I bought one more bottle water before leaving.
I paid no attention to them as they try to get me to look at their corner.
Women are the last thing on mind. I haven’t come out at all from the one I got myself into.
I’m not re-ady or in the mood to act friendly with anyone… definitely not ladies.
I’m scared and very careful of women now than before.
I walked outside and bought banana and few other things.
As I was walking back to my car so that I can join the queue, get fuel and enter the road again a lady bu-mped into me.
“Hey …watch where you’re going?
I shouted at her.
She turned and looked at me
Her name left my mouth immediately I recognized her
“Ezi… Ezinne… right?
I said surprise while looking at her.
“Is Eziaku. You’re the same man that your car entered hole? What are you doing here…?
” I’m traveling, I decided to st©p here to eat.
I replied, she looked tired and troubled. She used a scarf to wra-p her hair, she was wearing a long Sk-irt with brown t©p. A sweater was tied round her [email protected]!st. A mini handbag hunged on one side of her shoulder. She was holding a roasted corn wra-pped in a paper.
She kept looking around like she was searching for someb©dy.
“See me see wahala. I bought corn and pear from one boy…i gave him one thousand naira he said that he doesn’t have change. That I should wait he will go and look for change and bring. I wait and wait but I didn’t see him…I have been searching everywhere for this boy I can’t find….see maka chukwu (swearing) if not that my bus is about to leave I will never have left without my balance. I would have Make sure I find that boy. See the small corn and pear he sold for two hundred naira and still disappeared with my eight hundred Naira Change. I know how much work I did both day and night for weeks just to save thirteen thousand that I’m using to travel. They said Abuja is 7000 I paid happily because I had enough money now wayo people (scammers) have minus eight hundred from the money…
She was seriously lamenting
“Oh, you’re traveling to Abuja? I’m based there. Where exactly are you going to in Abuja…?
She opened her bag and brou-ght out piece of paper where the address was written.
I know the area and is very far from my house.
She will have to take another bus when she gets to Abuja to the said area.
“Is one aunty from my village that asked me to come. She said anytime I’m re-ady that I should come because she has job waiting for me. Is over five months since she told me. I later made up my mind, i started working different job to save money before finally traveling. I called the Aunty last week and early this week that I will be coming today. I don’t have phone again, so I used my friend phone to call her. Why this whole thing is paining me is because of this boy that ran with my change. He just disorganized me…the thing is vexing me too much. Even looking at this corn and pear i feel like throwing them to the bush but I will eat it. My whole one thousand can’t go like that…I will make sure I eat this corn and pear and leave no single seed on it. I’m going…see my bus there… people are alre-ady entering. Let me go before they leave me…bye.
She began to walk in a haste towards the bus while still looking around.
I called her back and asked her if she will like to continue her journey with me since we are both going to Abuja.
She was indecisive.
“I have alre-ady paid seven thousand for this bus. What will now happen to my money when we have not even gone half of the journey. The man will just find another pas-s£nger and put on my sit…he will pocket the money…
She looked at me and looked at the bus.
“Okay… you can go ahead and join the bus. I only suggested but if you are not ok with the idea is fine. Alright then… go on…”
I said. I wasn’t re-ady to beg her because women can be unpredictable and cunning.
If I convince her to join me for the rest of the journey and something goes wrong along the line they will point their dirty f!ngerson me.
I saw the two porridge and fried rice ladies coming out.
The fried rice eater saw me first and tapped her friend.
They looked at me, said something before snapping their f!ngersin the air.
They may spiritually be rebuking me still.
Women, hmm… they are filled with drama.
I started walking away after speaking to Ezi
She turned and started going to her bus too..
I later heard someb©dy shouting, I turned and it was Ezi.
She ran up to me and said
“Wait for me sir let me carry all my bags out from the bus. plea-se, I will join you.. don’t leave me oo. Because if you leave and this bus leave is village I will be returning back to.
I waited as she went ahead, spoke to the driver who helped her carried out her bags.
She carried both garri and palm oil with plantain and another smaller bag which I guess contains her personal things
She asked me where I parked, I pointed at a little far end. She began struggling with the bags.
I called two wheelbarrow boys to help her carry the bags.
“No… leave them. I don’t have money to pay them and this boys are not even trust worthy. I can Carry them…I will go twice. Don’t worry…
I ignored her, and asked the boys to Carry the bags.
They carried the bag to my car.
Ezi was running after them while I followed far behind.
I guess the corn boy that went away with her balance made her have a little more trust issue.
They waited until I arrived, I opened the boot of the car they packed in her things.
I gave them one thousand .
They initially said is one hundred naira each person.
Giving them one thousand naira and asked them to leave made them so happy that they keep falling to the ground and thanking me.
Ezi did not know how much I gave the boys, all she was concerned is that her load is properly kept.
I asked her to enter the car she went to the back seat instead of the front to sit.
“You don’t want to sit in the front?
I asked her as I sat and held the steering.
“, Not so sir, I don’t want you to feel like I don’t have respect. Sitting in the front will make it seem we’re equal. And I want to stay where I can be seeing the boot of your car to avoid something falling off without us knowing….”
I told her that her luggage was very safe and sitting at the back makes it look like I’m her driver while she is the boss.
She immediately [email protected]£ down and ran to sit in the front.
Just within the time I was with Ezi I have had reason to smile with her words and attitude.
I was happy I had [email protected] to travel the rest of the journey with.
Unexpected [email protected] like Ezi.
I fueled my car and entered the road again.
The rest of the journey was easy with Ezi.
It was as if I have Known her for far too long than just two days.
She felt relaxed with me just like i was with her.
“You’re a nice man, I told my friend Uche and Nonso and they believed me because I don’t talk anyhow… But you don’t look happy…
I looked at her and returned my look to the road.
It was her word that save my as-s from being whooped by spanner and his boys.
Maybe I will get to properly say thank you to her on a good day.
What lies beneath Episode 17
WHAT LIES BENEATH