Wednesday, 8 February 2017

The Dirty,Red-Eyed,Igbo-Smoking Keke Driver 2(Short Story By Royver)

I whirled around to look for
him and his signature smashed
windscreen but he was gone.
The other passengers
immediately began to sympathize with my plight but
the Onitsha bus driver was a
more hands-on fellow.
"Oga, enter the bus make we
pursue am!" He shouted, and I
jumped in. The bus conductor barely had time to shut the
door before the driver zoomed
off, blaring his horn and
weaving deftly and dangerously
through traffic. I was having
my second bat-mobile experience and it wasn't even
8 o'clock.
I told the bus driver about the
shattered windscreen and both
of us kept a sharp lookout for
the signature mark on each Keke-na-pep we hurtled past.
As fate would have it, each
keke we passed on the way
had seamless, unbroken
windscreens. As we got closer
to the Onitsha expressway I had begun to lose hope. What I
was really going to miss in the
phone was my photos and
contacts and very important
information that I had
forgotten to back-up. There were items dating back as far
as five years, all saved in my
memory card. I had been
planning on backing them up
but had never quite gotten
round to doing it. I sighed deeply and began to accept my
loss.


[]"Oga, why not call the
phone?" Someone at the back
seat suggested.

I scoffed at the idea. The guy I had seen driving that Keke
didn't look like someone who
would return my phone.

He was
more likely to pocket it or sell
it off as soon as he got the
chance. I also didn't want to call because I had actually been
hoping that the Keke driver
would not have noticed the
phone in the back seat before
we caught up to him and I
didn't want to draw his attention to it. Unfortunately it
seemed I was running out of
options and the passenger at
the back persisted in his
suggestion that I call.
Eventually I heeded his advice and used my other phone to
put a call through.


It rang the first time but no
one picked. I tried again the
second time, same response. I
waited for a bit then tried again the third time. To my
amazement a voice came
through from the other side:
"Yes?"
The way he said 'Yes' was so
calm, as if he was the owner of the phone! Any way I was glad
he had picked and was hoping
he wouldn't cut the line. I
tumbled out my words in a
hurry

"Bros mi, abeg, abeg…" "Where you dey?" He asked,
again calmly, cutting me short.

"Near the Express! And you?"

"I dey Infant Jesus side."
I gasped, along with all the
other passengers who were listening in. Infant Jesus was
on the other side of town! How
had he gotten there so fast? So
we had actually been chasing
in the wrong direction?
That is, if he was telling the truth.

"Wait for me at Ibusa junction,
make I turn back." He said,
cutting though my thoughts.

And then he hung up.
The bus driver cleared at the side of the road and I jumped
down, eager to get my phone
back. The bus conductor
wanted to get some sort of
transport fare from me but the
bus driver allowed me to go. I sprinted across to the other
side of the road and boarded
another Keke heading back
into town. I waited for a few
minutes then called the Keke
driver again but he did not pick. Deep down I was still
worried he wouldn't give the
phone to me. The calm way in
which he had responded
seemed quite unnatural. But I
kept going. Finally I got to Ibusa junction. I
paid my fare and tried calling
him again. At the second dial
he picked the call.


"I'm at Ibusa junction" I
announced. His voice was once again calm.
"Okay, you are at Ibusa
junction right? Stay there. Stay
there o. Don't move from that
place."
"Where are you now?" But he immediately cut the
phone.
Once again I became very
apprehensive though I wasn't
quite sure why. I looked around
me, there were people everywhere. The bus stop was
busy as usual, with people
selling their wares, buses
looking for passengers, and the
destitute begging for alms. I
looked at the time, it was 7.49am. At least he should
have been half way here by
now. I decided to wait.
Twenty minutes later and I was
still standing there.

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