He called me repeatedly through the night. And I didn’t take his calls. My phone was on silent, so I didn’t hear it ringing.
When I woke up, I saw the missed calls, all thirteen of them. Concern crept on me. Why would he have been calling so incessantly, this friend whom I hadn’t spoken to in the last year.
Still on my bed, I called him back.
He picked it on the first ring. “Idada man, how far na?”
“I dey o. Sorry I miss your calls.”
“You be heavy fuckoyo na. You don dey form celebrity for your man na.”
“Nothing like that o. My phone dey silent.”
“E dey silent for Naija too?”
“Yes na, I call you for there but you no pick phone.”
“Ah, I no see your number o.”
“Na Naija number I use call you.”
“You enter Naija?”
“Yes na. Two weeks. For December.”
“Men, too many calls o. If I know say na you, I for pick am o. Men, people just dey call me left right and centre. People when I no even know. So na caller ID I dey use.”
“I understand but e for gbam if I see you sha.”
“I know. Wetin bring you come Naija?”
“Oh boy, my eye see something o.”
“You don start.”
“No o. I serious. Na rescue mission I enter o.”
“Yes o. You know the last time I enter Naija before this last trip na for December last year. Oh boy, I meet this babe for The Palms o. She dey cut me eye. Fine like sin. See skin. See curves. See wetin she carry for back. Steppings. O boy I mara. And as per say, Toronto guy suppose represent, I enter her mata. She dey enter Shoprite, I follow am o. I dey flow. Full accent onslaught. She dey laugh as I dey yarn. Carry her hand cover mouth. I see the ring o when she wear for finger. I bone am. I dey form like say I no know say she done marry. And as she no talk am with her mouth, then I take am say she game. Aisle to aisle she dey waka dey nearly buy the whole Shoprite. Two trolley fill to the brim. I gum am. The green light she give me too dey shine. We reach cashier. I say make I pay. She say no. I insist o. She laugh kon talk say – Don’t think I will be obliged to hang with you cos you paid my bills – I laugh back kon say – If God is not vexed with you for not saying thank you every time he blesses you, then who am I to hold you to showing some form of gratitude – She look me with this kain sweet smile o, my belly worry, my head wan scatta, she kon lick her lips, slowly before she laugh – Okay, pay it if you must. I remove wallet. Oh boy wen dem hammer me bill, I bow but I no shake. 219k. I escort am reach car dey form full gentleman. Load car finish, she give me number, I call am dia to confirm as per say no me dem go use do mugu for Lagos. The thing enter. I find am for Whatsapp, send am – Hi Babe – right there for her front. E enter. Two strokes. She waka. O boy as I reach hotel, na so I send am message again – My message is lonely, it needs the company of your response – she no respond o. Me sef I no send anything again. Waiting game, you know how we dey do am na. You go wait to test if the babe get interest. As I carry babe for the night e no too worry me. For morning wen I wake up, I check phone, Halleluyah Hosanna, two strokes don turn blue. She don respond – Hi Papi, you want my boo to kick me out? – I laugh, she don use style tell me say she don marry, but still call me Papi to tell me say she dey game. My belle sweet me no be small o. Na so we start o. Whatsapp all day everyday, for three days. Then we hook up. For afternoon. She say she no fit go do lunch with me for restaurant as per say her husband or person wen know am fit see am, so she agree to come my hotel. I ready for am. I do press up dey wait. She land. Say she get only one hour cos she suppose go pick up dem pikin from school. Lekki living. I rush am. My body dey do jigbim jigbim. She tell me to relax. Say make I lie down for bed. I lie down. She first remove the scarf when she wrap around her head like Fulani babe, then she remove the jallabiya she dey wear, o boy remaining small my heart for stop. She no wear pant o. Fully naked. Smooth. My bura stand up. Straight. Attention! She laugh. Then she kon say something for Hausa as she dey waka to me. Then she climb bed, hold bura for hand, I think say I go baraje as she dey stroke am. Then she give me eye, come lean closer but bura for mouth. She suck am one, two. Na so bura fall o. Gbam. Lifeless. She ask me why bura fall? Say I no like am again or wetin? I panic. Which kain wickedness be dat. She leave the bura, sit up. I hold am. Stroke am. The thing no gree o. See how shame start to catch me. She just sit there dey smile dey look me. Time dey go. E no reach one hour, she stand up start to wear cloth, say she need to go pick her pikins for school. I no even get mouth to beg am to stay small wait for bura to raise again. I never useless like that before. I quickly wear cloth escort am reach door as per say she say she no even want anybody to see me with am for the hotel. Na so so sorry I dey talk, I kon give am 200 dollar say for transport. She vex say I think say she be runs girl. I beg am say I no mean am like that. She no collect the money as she waka comot o. I lock door. See shame. I send am whatsapp again. So so sorry. She no respond. I lie down for bed for hours dey think about my life. Evening rish I rise one of my regulars. The kain vex I wan use straff am eh. She rish o. O boy, bura mess up again. The thing no raise. I try o. Nothing. The babe say make I relax sleep say for morning e go raise. Say e dey do like that. I send another whatsapp to that babe o. She still no respond. Morning rish, I wan straff. Bura no gree. I start to panic. My regular waka as per say she need to resume for the bank wen she dey work. I give am 50k for nothing. E vex me. That day I waka do all my runs as per say wifey dey land with the family that week for Christmas. Evening rish. I send whatsapp again. No response. Next morning. No response. I look my life. Shame still dey catch me. I rise another babe. I try straff. Bura still dey mess up. I enter road, rish that pharmacy wen near The Place for Admiralty. I buy Viavia. I take am enter hotel again where the babe dey naked dey wait. Bura no rise o. All night. Morning. E no rise. Babe waka as per say im too dey vex. As I lie down for bed dey think say wetin happen to me, na im my phone ring. I look am. Na the Shoprite babe. I pick the call one time. She start to dey cry o as soon as I say hello. I panic ask am wetin dey worry am. She say na her husband o. Say the man put one thing for her body say any man bura wey enter any hole for her body, dat bura no go work again. My heart cut.”
I began to laugh.
“Why you dey laugh?”
“Nothing. E just dey funny, continue.”
“Na you get your mouth. I serious o. All this thing I dey yarn you na true.”
“Yarn the tori.”
“She kon tell me say she remember how my bura fall na im e start to cry for her busband. Dey beg am. The husband say e no do am to punish and disgrace her like how man wen dey do magun dey do, but to protect am from men wen dey chase other people life. Say those men bura no go work again, so dem no go chase any other person wife. Oh boy na so I start to cry o. Wetin I go tell my wife?”
“I wail. If na you, you no go cry?”
It was more serious than I thought. “Wait, so wetin happen?”
“I start to call God o. Jesus! Jesus! Jesus! Your son is calling you. Save me! Save me! Save me! Na im the babe kon talk say make I no dey shout, say she don beg her husband sotay e don gree to remove the Juju and if I fit do wetin e wan me to do, my bura go raise again.”
“Wetin e say make you do?”
“E say the juju cost N2 million naira to do and e go cost N2 million naira to remove and I go pay extra N2 million for punishment and N1 million if I want the bura to strong pass as e be before.”
“You give them?”
“Wetin I for do na.”
“You for call me na.”
“Why you think say I call you tire? Oh boy I panic o. I rise two of my friend when dey Egba with me. Onkologbo boys. Na dem tell me say juju like that dey true true. Say make I pay up.”
“Oh boy, I carry the money alone go one junction for Okoko for 2 am for morning as dem order. Dem send me the location for Whatsapp. Dem tell me say when I rish dia make I just drop the money for one broken down bus when dem pack for there and waka comot immediately go rish house wait for that whole morning and the whole afternoon until dem call me again for evening. Dem send me address say make I go there immediately, see wan Baba. One place for Akute. One junction. Say when I rish there make I call dem and them go tell the Baba to come out meet me. Oh boy I waka rish dia for like 9 p.m for evening I call dem. Dem say make I go the small of tire when dem load for the bush near the junction, say behind the tire na one bottle of small gin with something inside. Dem say make I carry am go house, naked myself, rub palm oil all over my body and once e rish 3 a. m, make I say this Hausa word and then drink the whole bottle without stopping. I race reach house. I arrange myself. 12 midnight I drink am. E bitter pass Devil piss. Kai! I don suffer…’
My interest was piqued. “Wetin happen?’
“Oh boy e no rish 5 minutes, my bura rise. Rise sotay e hard pass rock. I call one of my regulars. As she dey come I enter shower wash the oil comot body. Dey look bura as e stay there like proud soldier, dey beg am make e no fall until I test am. Babe arrive. I destroy am. 3 rounds before bura sleep. I dey happy like person wen win lottery. We sleep. Morning rish I wake up with hard bura again. Kpam I hammer the babe. 2 more rounds. She bow for me. I quickly send text to the Shoprite babe to tell am to help me thank her husband. Until I leave lag, she no respond, even when I call am to tell am to thank her husband. The line say switched off. Na so I see am o. Quick one I gather my wife and kids, we enter church do thanksgiving. I tell Pastor say na for business deal when I do when dey successful but God know the real reason, so e no bad say person lie for church.”
“Hmmmmm. So e dey work since then?”
“I tell you. Like say I be 16 again o. Even my wife bow. E dey ask me whether I dey use viavia.”
“So you believe say na the babe freeze your Sergeant Rogers?”
“You no hear the tori wen I talk? I say na the wife do am unknowingly, but na im husband actually put the thing for her body and na im remove am too. But my friend for Egba tell me say na the new guy job e be o.”
“Yes na. The Shoprite babe and her husband dey the mata together. Dem dey trap awon guys, use your bura do hostage, babe go call dey form say caught cheating, tell you say husband don forgive you and go release you if you pay ransom. You pay dem vanish go put another pesin for work. So my brother, hold your bura o. No hammer babe wen carry ring o. In fact just go marry, dey hammer your wife.”
I was quiet for a moment as I thought of the incredulity of it all, and yet, the chance of it happening was so high. I had learnt during my eight-month stay in Lagos not to judge anything as inexistent, exaggerated or fake, because in Lagos, it is always the more you look, the less you see.
There are things, mysterious things.
“Jude, you still dey dia?”
“Yes, I just dey think the thing wen you talk.”
“Oh boy, na God o. The whole thing cold me. I don arrange myself, file my name under international association of former bad boys and new good boys.
“So you don retire from your kurukere waka?”
“Oh boy as you see me so, I dey think Pastor work as my destiny o. I don retire the bura from active service. God no create me call me dog.”
Written by Jude Idada