From Danfo With Love

I woke up early as usual, one thing living and working in Lagos taught me was, no matter how early you woke and hit the road, you would always meet people earlier than you, but chances were you would get to work in time or on time or some minutes after time- you know these things.

I said my prayers, thought about working out a bit, but waved the thought aside, yeah! That's what living in Lagos does to you, it messes up your work-life balance, by eliminating the life in the equation. The thing is some of us are so used to the life that we think it's normal. A quick shower, and as usual, by 5:05am I was ready to hit the roads, I decided to use the RX350 today, my beautiful baby, the love of my life, my sweetheart, but she wouldn't start. I wasn't even ready to bother about that. Plan B was the Taurus, it started alright, but what the fuel gauge was indicating was not encouraging. I had always warned Boye about borrowing my car and not topping it up with fuel after use. Now there I was with two cars, and none was serviceable. 30 minutes later, I was looking for a spanner to substitute batteries to no avail. You see, some events just happen, and you start asking questions like "who did I offend?", "why me?", "why today?", after wasting so much time, I thought about using one of the ride-sharing apps, but the Igbo blood in me said "nna cam dan, if you use Uber, e fit be 2k like that, if you use danfo, you know say na straight to national 150 naira, from there you stroll go MMA2 or, enter shuttle 100 naira, guy shine ya eye" I listened to the Igbo voice, even the Yoruba voice said "ori e pe jare, omo nna". 
Without further ado, I hit the streets on a mission to uber-danfo my way to work, but with the intention to call my mechanic later. As I approached the busstop, my Lord & my God! See the crowd from a distance!!! then a danfo just passed me shouting "Oshodi oke", I asked "National?"
"200, e wole pelu change yin ooo(enter with your change)" I hopped in and was seated with the driver, then others rushed in, and one fine lady sat beside me in front. She was so fine, I forgot how to behave, like I kept turning my head here and there.

About 5 minutes into the journey, the vehicle began to jerk "a lo a lo (it'll go, it'll go)" the conductor kept telling the driver, at that point, on a normal day, I would have alighted and looked for a plan B, but this day didn't begin as a normal day, and the fine lady beside me even made it a more abnormal day for me, because damn it! I wasn't even thinking straight, and I didn't even know what to say to start up a conversation, which was in itself an anomaly, as I always knew what to say. An abnormal day indeed! The bus jerked till it came to a halt, and all hell broke loose! "Una go dey charge person, una bus no dey ever well" passenger 1 
"the people wey dey drive am well?" passenger 2 
"arrant nonsense, please give me my money" passenger 3 
"bibanke b'omi ba n san fi mi sile..." passenger 4 with an earpiece and oblivious of what was going on
"this country is finished, during the time of Shagari, this kain nonsense no fit happen" another passenger 
"Shagari? Even when Abacha dey there, things no be like this" yet another passenger, I wondered the correlation between the present situation and what the men were saying. 
"mi o ri ki kini yin da, gbogbo igba ni kini yin ma n daku l'ori titi (I have never seen your thing in good condition, your thing is always stopping on the way)" a woman 
"e wo l'epe gan, kini mi n sise gan, s'e fe dan wo? (why curse? my thing is functioning well, you want to test it?)" the driver
"Egbon, e jo, e ba mi f'ese yin s'ori brake (Bros, please step on the brake)" the driver told me, I looked at him and looked away like I wasn't the one he was talking to. 
"ewo l'ako gan?" the driver added "ti n ba f'ese l'ori e, mi o ni sanwo mo" I replied.
"Mr. Man just put your leg there, let him fix what he wants to fix, so we can get to our destination, not all of us can afford to be late" the fine lady beside me said. Suddenly she wasn't even fine in my eyes again, but I did as the driver requested, and in no time, we were on our way, but you see that lady beside me, she suddenly ceased to exist as far as I was concerned. The effrontery, the audacity! She dared talk that way to me! When the conductor began requesting fares "e e gbo igba ti n mo n pariwo pe ke wole pelu change abi? (you didn't hear when I was screaming to get in with your change?)"
I took my wallet out, and all I had in it were 1000 naira bills- damn! With the way the conductor was lamenting, he was going to curse me if I gave him 1000 naira for only one person, It was my intention to pay for the lady, well, she was no longer fine as far as I was concerned. The conductor called out to us in front. 
"owo iwaju (money in front)" The conductor asked. I took out a 1000 naira note with the "if I perish I perish" shrug. The lady stretched her hand backward "eni melo? (How many people?)" the conductor asked. "2, me and him" she said
I was shocked to discover the "him" was me. If you watched "Agbara Nla (Ultimate Power)" on OGTv in the early '90s, you remember the animation of an angel & demon fighting? Yes! That's how male ego and common sense began to fight in my head. Common sense won and I thanked her. Suddenly, the lady was fine in my eyes again, & out of curiosity I asked 
"Why though?" 
"Why?" She asked 
"Yeah, Why?" I repeated "Why? Why?" "Why did you pay for me?" I asked 
"Oh that? You saved our time by stepping on the brake, & you needed help with all those 1000 naira notes"
She was even finer in my eyes than before. "Egbon, se e ni gba number ni? (Bros won't you collect her number?)" The driver asked with a grin 
"ki lo kan e?" a market woman asked him from behind 
"What did he say?" The lady asked me
"Don't mind him, can you imagine him asking me if I won't collect your number" I said, secretly hoping she would smile and drop her number. She smiled alright, but said. "He's silly" 
That smile had me lovestruck! Now she was finer than when I said she was finer. "National!"
the Conductor shouted. I heard, but I was so carried away by one fine lady's beauty "Nationa!!! Egbon ee lo Nationa mo ni? (National! Bro, aren't you going to National again?)" The conductor asked me "fi egbon le oo, obinrin ti ko si won l'ori" the driver said.
I just hissed at the driver. It turned out we were both alighting at National- good for me yeah! Just when I was preparing to drop general market, pick 2, pick 2, suspension, pick 2, last card, checkup and win her number, her colleague pulled over to pick only her up.

I remembered how the day had started, it was going to be one of those long days. Feeling dejected, I just strolled down to the office, rather than use the shuttle. At the office, I got a memo that the MD wanted to see me in his office, and my heart did several back flips. Why on earth did the MD want to see me? I started racking my head- had I sleepily sent a terrible email? Did I get involved in a fight with any colleague? Had I fallen into a set up without knowing it? Had I been reported? Did I sign something I shouldn't have?

I got to the MD's office, silently saying all the prayers I knew. "Good morning Sir" "Please sit" The MD said without looking up and acknowledging my greeting. My heart began to race, normally, he would say 
"hey my man, good morning, tea or coffee?" but he didn't say that.
I was already thinking about how I was going to email my CV to some companies. "So, HR has sent reports about you to me quite a number of times..." he said without looking up. I was shocked at what I was hearing, I had never had any trouble with any department. "But Sir..."
"I'm not done talking, the company is letting you go as we cannot condone your...what the hell? What are you doing here?" He finally looked up. 
"You sent me a mail, Sir and copied HR" I answered 
"No No I didn't, let me check" The MD said. I didn't even need him to check, I was
a million shades of relieved. 
"oh, sorry man, I sent the mail to you in error, it wasn't for you, so sorry" 
"Thank you Sir, Thank you Sir!" I said, as I hurriedly left his office, before the error would become something else. As I left the MD's office, my CUG phone rang "Hello"
"Sir, a lady from Sahara oil is here to see you" 
"Send her up" I said, I sat behind my desk, ready to begin the business of the day and hoping the day would be good. 
"Good morning Sir" The lady said. The familiarity of the voice made me look up quickly, and right there was my danfo seat partner- the pretty lady! she was even prettier than all the times I looked at her on the bus. 
"oh my God!" She exclaimed 
"We meet again!" I answered with a smile. "Small world!" She replied. 
"Thank you again for saving me from the wrath of an angry conductor" She laughed, and cupid shot a dozen arrows through my heart. 
"To think I was rushing to the office to prepare documents I was supposed to bring to you" She rolled her pretty eyes, then laughed again, this time Cupid shot a missile. We discussed business for a while, then as she turned to leave, she said something that I didn't expect.
"At first I thought you were pompous on the bus, I made that move to pay because I realized I judged you erroneously, and I'm sorry for that" She apologized with a wink, and was gone. This time, cupid didn't shoot a missile, cupid was like "abeg I don try, you're on your own"
I just sat down beaming with smiles, and for the rest of the day, nothing anyone did bothered me. In fact, to celebrate my happiness, I ordered lunch for my enemies- the HR department. You're probably thinking I missed out the part where I collected her number- well, I didn't collect the number, as she was supposed to come everyday for the next 5 days, and I didn't want to rush things. Then cupid asked me with that baby cherubic voice "Will you really wait for 5 days?" Good question, there could be other guys in my position too.

In all my happiness, I forgot to call the mechanic till it was time to go home, and I remembered I had used danfo. A colleague was kind enough to drop me off somewhere close to my house, so all I did was stroll down. I could have sent someone to get me fuel to fill the Taurus's tank, but no, I forgot that too, till it was the next day. I took my time, worked out, and left home at about the same time I left the previous day, yeah! That was my plan, I was hoping to see the pretty lady again. I suffered!

There was a mammoth crowd of commuters waiting at the bus-stop. After a lot of struggling with elbows and shoves, I got lucky & got on a bus, this one did not die on the road, but in order to avoid traffic, the driver took several detours that could make a pregnant woman lose the pregnancy.

After all the backbreaking detours, voila! We made it on to the highway, bang into the traffic we thought we had escaped. I was perspiring profusely, and we were between a molue blasting us with black smoke, and a truck killing us with blue smoke.
I took my phone out and called the mechanic, only for him to say he would be unavailable for two days. I looked at how free the other side of the road was, and thought to just call in sick, go back home and rest. I was about to call the office when the bus moved a bit, I looked
out the window, and saw a beautiful LR3. No, it was not the vehicle that got my attention, it was the person controlling the whip! Lo & behold, my danfo crush! Again male ego wanted to step in & make me hide my face in shame, but common sense saved me, I didn't remember her name
in fact, truth is I didn't even know her name, so I waved frantically till she saw me, I didn't need to go to Harvard to understand the look of bewilderment on her face, she beckoned me to join her. I don't know how I got off the bus while it was moving, & with all the passengers, but I did, and hurriedly got in. The sigh of relief when I got in was a relief on its own. 
"Good morning, thank you for saving my ass again" I said 
"Superwoman saves the day again, yay!" She answered. 
"Eric Benet" I said referring to the jazz music. 
"Oh yeah, jazz fan?" She asked
"hell yeah" I answered 
"Just how jazzy are you?" She asked. "Smooth Jazz Cafe volumes 1 - 18 jazzy, with a 10GB collection of various jazz songs" I felt proud of myself. 
"My kind of man" She said. I watched her drive, & imagined we were an item and she was driving while I chilled. 
"So after saving you twice, I deserve to know why with your position, you would rather use a danfo?" She asked. At this point the angel and demon in my head were having a bet "I'll wager he'll lie his way out of this one" "he's a good person and will not lie" "bet his soul then"

"Oh well, yesterday, one car refused to start, then I discovered the other car that was borrowed by a friend was returned with an empty tank." I answered 
"Oh I understand, I had car problems yesterday too, it really frustrated me... So why haven't you sorted them out?"
"My mechanic's out of town for two days, and in all honesty, I was hoping I would see you again at the bus-stop" 
"Oh wow! Alright, by stroke of luck, you have seen me or are seeing me, so what's next?" She asked. I wasn't prepared for that question.
"Lunch? As appreciation for saving my ass twice" 
"yay free food! How 'bout we do it this way, free food for every time I save you?" She asked. "Perfecto!" I said, without thinking about the proposal. 
"Beautiful, so since your mechanic is absent, I'm saving you to and fro x2"
I laughed at the realization that I had just committed myself to feeding her four more times, but I loved, as it gave me the opportunity to get closer to her. Cupid winked at me
"Deal or no deal?" She asked. 
"Deal!" 
"Yippee! It'll be a pleasure doing business with you" she added

She was an extremely funny, intelligent, and interesting lady. We exchanged numbers, and for the next two days she would pick me from home to work, and from work, back home. It felt so good, that I totally ignored my mechanic's call. The last day of our deal was a Friday, I asked
to take her out to dinner, at any restaurant of her choice. 
"Oh-la-la Sir, please when are we renewing the deal, I've not had anyone feed me like this in a while, sebi it's to drive you!" She said in a comical way that had me rolling "We'll discuss more at dinner" I replied

She handed me the keys to drive, and I asked why? Her response- "I understand the male ego and stuff, I know you've been wanting to ask to drive instead, but are too modest to ask, so I'm making it easy for you". Male ego wanted to raise its ugly head and say "I told you so" so I shut the male ego up by saying "It's therapeutic to watch you drive, so no, you drive". That was the first time she didn't have a reply to what I said. Dinner with her was fun, and I had not had that type of fun in a very long while, truth is we both had been without fun.

After Dinner, the drive back home was fun too. 
"Thank you for an awesome week" She said. 
"I should be the one thanking you for being my superwoman" 
"err... about that, have you fixed your cars or are we renewing the deal? I need more free food in my life dear" She said
"I haven't oo, but I don't need you stressing yours..." 
"Bros, leave story, I know you love my company, we both know there's no stress" With each day that passed, I knew her better, & liked her more, the problem was I didn't know how to tell her- because I didn't want to jeopardize our budding friendship.

Weeks passed, the bond was getting stronger, one day she came to my house, and while we were discussing relationships she asked what type of lady I wanted. "You" I replied, expecting to see a surprised look on her face
"If I were you, after spending all this time together, damn! I would want me too" She said. 
"Can I hold your hands?" I asked. 
"Oh! Sure" She replied as she stretched her hands to me. 
"I have fallen..." I stopped, as I noticed the wedding band on her finger, I was perplexed
"go on" she said 
"Are you... You are.. Ermm" 
"The ring? Oh you mean you've just seen it? Yeah I'm married, I thought you knew" She said. I stepped back a bit. 
"I'm sorry, I-I didn't know" 
"It's okay, He's dead though, it's been 6 years since he died" 
"I'm so sorry, I had no idea"
"I thought you knew I was married, that was why you didn't make a move, now I see you were just being a classic man. I'm really impressed" She said. I was still uncomfortable. 
"I uhmm I'm so sorry" I said again 
"It's enough already, say what you wanted to say at... " 
"I love you"

I said it. She couldn't hold back the tears. 
"I have to go" She said, as she hurriedly made for the door, I just stood there, not knowing what to do. She stopped at the door for a while, whimpering, she turned & said.

"I'm too old for games, you're either in or you're out, what's it gonna be?" She held my hand, and looked into my eyes, searching. 
"I'm all in, been in from that first danfo date" I said 
"I have a fragile heart, are you certain about this?" 
"Absolu..." And the kiss came!

Two weeks later, I was married to my danfo crush, and we are living happily ever after in the land of fiction. The End!

Comments

  1. 😂😂😂😂😂 Thoroughly enjoyed the humour. Well done

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