An Unusual Christmas In Ibadan – Episode 4
© Kayode Odusanya
After trying to get in touch with Gloria for the last 5 minutes with no success, she decided to try and reach Mr. Ade’s son she had spoken with earlier in the day. Her right hand shook as she scrolled through her phonebook and she switched the Samsung to her left hand. She kept her eyes steady on her phone screen and on where Wole slept under the electronic billboard.
Ngozi thought it was best to make a video call to get her point across faster. When the line connected, a bottle with Johnnie Walker was all she saw on the screen. And then the whisky bottle was slowly withdrawn, till a smiley face appeared. “Hello pretty woman.” He said with a little laugh and sat back in a chair. Ngozi sighed when she realized he was drunk. “Have you found my brother?” He said and took a swig from the bottle in his hand.
“Yes, I have.” She reluctantly answered.
“So…pretty woman found prince charming?” He said with a little disdain in his voice.
“I thought you could help…”
“Can you give me your Dad’s number?” Ngozi said after a prolonged silence.
“Sorry pretty woman…I have to go now.” He said and winked at her. His gaze left the phone screen to focus on something else in front of him. After a while, the line got disconnected. It was difficult for her to believe he was the same person he had spoken with earlier. She had even been looking forward to see him in person. But now he was just an as***ole to her.
She looked back at the people in the bus terminus, wondering if they were thinking she had gone crazy. She sighed and put her phone back into her laptop bag. She looked back again before she proceeded to move closer, and was surprised at how happy and peaceful he looked in his sleep. For some reason, she thought of the kind of dreams insane people have when they slept. Since sane people sometimes have insane dreams, does it mean insane people would have sane dreams? She thought to herself.
She looked back one more time, and noticed two men from the bus terminus looking at her and saying some things between themselves. They probably thought she wanted to use one of the homeless men for blood money or sleep with one of them, or some other absurd thing. When she turned back around, a man sleeping next to Wole was staring straight at her. Her heart started to beat fast as she took a few steps back. The man got up all over a sudden and she moved backwards a bit quicker. From the corner of her eyes, she saw bright lights and froze; standing there in the middle of the expressway as a car approached her, top speed.
Ngozi stood there, with her eyes closed, waiting for the hit. When it finally came, her body was lifted off the ground as screams filled the air. She heard the car driver scream abusive words as he sped off. She waited for the pain, but she felt nothing.
She felt deep breaths on her face, and as she opened her eyes, she saw him looking down at her, with his body arched over hers on the ground. Then she realized it was him that saved her from getting hit by the car. His facial expression went from concern to surprise, then he said, “Pretty woman?”
She looked into his eyes, and pulled strands of dread from his face to help her get a better vision of him. And then he became conscious of himself, and looked at his clothing as he hurriedly got to his feet. He looked at her one last time before running off along the pedestrian walkway by the express way.
“Wait!!!” Ngozi shouted out as she got up and ran after him. She was almost catching up with him when she realized she had forgotten her bag. She quickly ran back, picked it up and continued the pursuit. “Wole! Wait!” She shouted out when she realized she was going to lose him. He stopped but didn’t turn around. Heavy duty trucks drove by on high-speed and almost blew her petite body off the road as she hurried towards him. “Why did you call me that?” She said as she walked up behind him. When it seemed he didn’t understand what she was saying, she added, “why did you call me pretty woman?”
He studied her for a few seconds before saying, “I don’t know.”
“Are you…” She was saying, and stopped herself, trying to be sure of the right choice of words to use as not to trigger anything in him.
“Who are you? And how do you know my name?”
“I was meant to interview your Dad today, but then I…” She was saying and then noticed a crowd was approaching them. “Wole, we need to call your people to come get us.”
“No!” He said sharply and grabbed her hand as she reached into her bag. He looked down like he was thinking of what next to do.
The crowd was almost by their side now, and Ngozi looked towards the opposite side of the spot where they were standing at and saw a white building with A 1 Hotels written on it.
To be continued