THORNS IN MY BOOT 32

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32

I went to the state marriage registry with our passport photographs and necessary documents to start the process of legally registering our marriage.

I paid one hundred thousand naira into Amaka’s account then I went to NITEL phone booth to call her Office in Abuja, she was not on seat so I told the receiver that I would call back by 4.00PM and when I did, she answered the call. I then told her about my visit to Abakaliki and the latest development with Baba Dayo and his wife, mama. She was just screaming out her joy on the phone while I was laughing at my own end to the chagrin of other intending phone users queued behind me, when I laughed and looked at their faces I saw anger, as if my laughter was bad for their health. But I ignored them, it was my turn to phone and it was my money burning.

I told her to use the money paid into her account to buy Baby things, she knew what she would need as she is the woman. Though she will be due in October, I did not want to risk keeping the money till then so that I do not spend it on frivolities. She was happy and when Amaka is happy, my world seemed to be complete. I told her to contact her father and tell him that we would be coming for her hand in a month’s time. That would be July. She screamed and I laughed louder at my end. One of the guys queued behind me lost his patience and started complaining that I was wasting their time. Another guy told him to be patient that when it gets to his turn he can afford to use the whole day on the phone. By the time I hung back the phone, the two men were at each other’s throat. I left them and went my way.

I was enjoying School; I instantly became popular in my department. I had some factors to my credit though. I had a bike that I ride to School, so I was mobile and I could give anyone a lift free of charge even though my course mates knew I was an Okada man in the evenings. I had some change to throw around and this endeared some students to me, some are parasitic and others saprophytic. They also thought I was a Soldier and as such some wanted my friendship because of protection from the School Man ‘o’ war boys, these Guys were in charge of school internal security and were feared by Students but the Man ‘o’ War Boys had respect for me especially when I declined to join them. The Man ‘o’ war presidents were always serving military men in school.

Another very important factor was my academic prowess, all we were being taught in year one I had already done as a prelim student in I.M.T so I was naturally ahead of the students and I was being booked by different groups for extra lessons. And finally because I was older than most of the other students I got the highest number of votes when we were told to nominate candidates into the position of Course representative. I had accepted the position before I knew what I got myself into.
I was the conduit between the Lecturers and Students, I had to be present at school daily and early because I ensured that lecturers are called in for their lectures in case they forget, I sold text books for lecturers and collect cash from students.

Some Students that missed some assignments and quizzes come to me to help them beg the lecturers for a reset of the assignment or quiz. After examination the students also come to me to help settle lecturers. After a very tiresome day at school, I still engaged myself in my Okada business at night, I retire home early in the morning only to wake up at 5.30AM and prepare for School again.

The best nights for Okada business were at weekend when many people flock into town for social functions. They lodge in several hotels and the night girls knows which hotel had the most guests so they migrate to such hotel to ply their trade at night so it was important that the Okada riders know which hotel has the most crowd or which hotel is hosting a show at night. On nights when any of the campuses in the City is organizing any show in a hotel, I carry two girls or a couple at once instead of one person per ride to the venue. On such nights I do not sleep, because students at I.M.T or U.N.E.C hostels troop out continuously all night to such show and as early as 4.00AM,they begin to disperse in their numbers back to their hostels so I have got to be there to make my money.

I cannot forget the night a girl hired me for the whole night from 8.00PM till dawn. I carried her to five different hotels to meet five different Clients with whom she spent at least two hours each. I simply waited at the Bar drinking my Gulder on her bill. At the end of the day, around 5.30AM she came out from her last Clients room and met me down stairs at the Bar then she went into the Ladies and spent about ten minutes. When she re emerged I did not recognize her again, it was when she beckoned at me that I recognized her, she had changed her clothing into a casual long skirt and lose blouse and wore a scarf on her head, she then held a Bible in her hand, it was a Saturday morning and she naturally looked like someone who had gone for a night vigil on Friday night.
I followed her outside to my Bike after she paid for my beer and paid me our agreed fare and I drove her to the home of an innocent gentle man that was her fiancé, she got down and knocked at the gate of the house, the Owner, a handsome gentleman opened the gate and welcomed her, she told the man that she was yet to settle me, he asked her the amount and she told him, they went inside together while she told me to wait and she winked at me while I smiled; the man came out and gave me the extra fare and I went home to ponder over the night.

I did this transaction a couple of times afterwards with the same lady until I heard from my fellow Night riders that she had married the man and they have both relocated to Abuja.

To Be Continued

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