GO GETTER #2 (Go-Get-Her)
Read Previous Episode HERE
God can sometimes be so ignorant of our plight, he totally snobs us and shuts us out of his mind for a reason totally unknown to us that we end up thinking he brought the plight on us.
This, has made Wunmi to subscribe to the saying, “live your life like God doesn’t exist.”
NOTE: … like God doesn’t exist. One just couldn’t doubt his existence so the best one can do is wear a frame of mind that is totally ignorant of his existence.
Wunmi sat silently in the BRT bus that was headed for the Express, waiting for it to get filled. Meanwhile she occupied her mind with thoughts of switching shoes with God.
If she were God and God were her, she didn’t see reason for not blessing God (her). She had believed in him from a very early time of her life. She was the most devoted of the children in block rosary while she was still a little girl, she made sure to always stay in the state of grace so as to avoid occasions of sins that could deprive her of receiving him through the holy communion. On growing up, she joined the legion of Mary and never joked with her once-in-a-week apostolate, neither did she intentionally neglect any of her norms, she also always gave mightily to him during offerings.
Well, that was because he had blessed her mightily with wealth sha.
What else did he want from her? To become a Nun for him?
She is twenty nine and is getting no younger, she has started to noticed the small, almost invisible lines that appeared at the corners of her eyes whenever she smiled, so she hardly ever smiles again and her beauty has started to deplete plus she was adding weight and losing shape.
When she was still very young and fresh for God, she was the every boys’ distraction – dark skinned, full body with enticing curves, moderately tall and charming smiles – but she was very conscious of the single fact that every boy was a potential distraction from her way to success and her service to God.
She had never for once ever doubted the concept of God’s time which was undoubtedly the best, so she never thought twice about saying No to any approach from the opposite sex.
Now she wondered if she had said no to every potential spouse. She had been in a very few relationship, a handful you can say, got deflowered in one and a broken arm from another. It thus became evident to her that her desperation to get hooked up had taken away the good eyes she once possessed. For goats and wolves even without having to put on the sheep’s clothing looked like sheep to her.
Modupe her immediate younger sister got married three years ago at the age of twenty three and has given birth to son already and is currently heavy with pregnancy. Dupe was the bad egg in the family, always going places she was advised against and doing things that were unpleasant to the ears. She always got herself into one mess or the other and the regularity at which she entered into these mess was the most alarming of all. Wunmi was the direct opposite of her younger sister yet they had been best of friends then and still are good friends now. She was going to visit her and probably would pass the night in her place.
Her two elder sisters and brother, all married, never failed to make visible their disgust in her whenever she came around. She had stopped visiting these ones and even canceled their existence from her knowledge. So far, Modupe was the only sibling she had…
“Please can i sit by the window?”
She was dumb for some seconds, incapable of words or action. Standing beside her was was a man on expensive black suit of style, not the plain suit almost all businessmen in the suburb wore. One word cried repeatedly in her head: HANDSOME!
His eyes were small but very alive and seemed to hold amusement at all time, with gray iris that looked somehow off on his dark skin, cute nonetheless; his brows were full and wasn’t sandy and rough like those of most men she had come in contact with, they looked well carved and combed upwards.
His moustache was joined to his side beards and neatly carved at that. His hair was lowly cut, black and parted at the side. This particular detail attracted her to him the most.
As an adolescent, the first boy she had a crush on had this same side parting that looked so cool and made him standout from other boys. Sad enough, he never looked her way. Also, the rich baritone of the voice that had asked the question…
“Never mind, i’d just perch here.” He said.
Her mind was already a whirlpool of emotion. She was not looking at all attractive, she knew. She was in fact tattered. She was just returning from work after all and not any kind, poultry. It was a stinking work but she loved it with passion and moreover she owned the poultry farm though she was also a worker on the farm and received monthly pay like every other worker – how much she loved the work that to allow the daily joy of the operations elude her was more than punishment. She was on a neat dress, not the one she had worn while at work but one of her work clothes still.
How we never get to know when we would meet Prince charming.
She had just plugged an earpiece into her ears but was yet to turn the music on. She finally found a way to cover up for her speechless moments in the guise that she hadn’t clearly made out what he said. She plucked off one ear of the earpiece from her ear.
“Were you trying to say Hi or something?” She smiled at him, one of her brightest.
“Oh no. Not that.” He smiled back. “I was asking if you wouldn’t mind me sitting beside the window.”
She loved sitting next to the window, looking out through it while the bus was on motion, lost in Kenny G’s jazz music and soaked in her thought as well. She was already getting ready for this relished sacrifice but who was she to decline a Prince Charming’s request?
“That would not be impossible for me to grant.” She shifted position, letting him move over to where she had been sitting. The seat would be warm and she wished his senses caught the warmth, her warmth, one she would gladly offer if only he asked. His legs, though in his pants lightly brushed her bare ones and she felt a light tremor course through her.
Lord Jesus! I’m totally gone. She thought.
She pushed the earpiece back into her ears and tried to sit still amidst her warring emotions – lust and love; calmness and the desire to be an extrovert just for this one time. Her beef with God had been clearly forgotten, if not totally, then temporarily tucked into a hidden corner. Out of the corners of her eyes, she watched Prince Charming. He looked a little troubled, she wished to know what troubled him. It probably would not be money or money related matters, he looked affluent enough. Maybe it was women- related, she hoped. She could make up for every woman he needed in his life without causing him trouble for even a second – she was God fearing and rich too. She can’t be that woman if she let him slip through, someone need to talk to the other. Well, he had talked to her first, though not in the way she had wanted, he still had played a part. She had her own part to play, to get Sugarplum (the name she already gave him) to get off the turbulent rivers of his troubled mind and come to the safe shore of her friendship and love.
There was this tactic that never failed to earn her attention, used by those male in her teenage years who wanted to make advances toward her. The “make her angry till she cries out her distaste” tactic. It worked perfectly on her and she mostly ended up getting fonder of the guys who came with such approach than those who tried coming through the “Romeo & Juliet” way – she never gave these type a chance. She wasn’t sure it worked on men but it was the only way she could think of that would get them to talk and even secure her female pride.
It seemed to work well with sugarplum. Also using the earpiece as an advantage, applying the tactic was a lot easier. Talking to him directly in an annoying manner might have been dangerous, he could be the type who took pride and pleasure in beating the female folks. Statistic has proven that a majority of the wife-beaters were extremely charming men, Right?
She was no wife of his yet but that was no ground enough to stop a potential wife-beater from unleashing hell on her.
She started with Fela’s Gentleman, seeing the way he was sweating but wouldn’t take off his suit. She felt him grow from apparent uneasiness to peevishness as she altered the tracks to suit his present state. She watched him intently but discreetly and by the time she began singing African China’s If You Love Somebody, he couldn’t take it. He was red to the neck and hot with anger that she could almost feel the heat of it. She could tell he was embarrassed and he was not the type who frequently got insulted. Something else had been certified – he was a perfect gentleman and no wife-beater at all.
“Are you the listener or the singer?” He poked her on the arm.
It hurt, but she had hurt him too. She was not happy with the way he stared at the other lady sitting beside her but on the other row. The lady was beautiful alright but she did not give a shit about him. Then the longing she had seen in those gray eyes. It hurt her more than the song she sang to hurt him; he was so lost in his thoughts that he hadn’t realized when she went way out of cover and looked at him pointedly. He never brushed her one of those glances at least and she was the one who really cared for them, was really dying to have them.
The wicked irony of life.
She tried for an answer but nothing seemed to come, instead hot tears burned her sockets. It didn’t feel right to cry for someone that wasn’t hers and probably might never get to know her. She pushed that thought aside with the exact immediacy with which it had come.
“What a question?” She answered finally without sparing him a single glance. The tears might roll down the instant she looked his way and that was something she never wanted to happen.
The reply shocked her, combined with the level of comportment with which she had shown, for she was still banging her head sideways to the non existent beat when instead she felt like screaming at him with tears running down her cheeks, while she disclosed how much she hungered for the stares he was wasting on the other lady, how much she wanted him in her life, how devoted and loving she would be to him. Somehow it was a good thing that she didn’t say all these things, it would have drawn the attention of every passenger in the bus including the lady he was staring at, whom she wished never understood the true message in those stares. She would have created a scene.
Wunmi’s bus stop was two stops from College bus stop but there was almost a certainty that she wouldn’t be stopping there. It didn’t matter to her whether Sugarplum’s bus stop was the very last, which might many kilometres away from hers. Moreover, she never called Modupe to to inform her was visiting and so, not turning up at the end would draw no agitation.
Thank God for surprise visits, they just make room enough for contingencies.
What she feared instead was that Sugarplum’s journey home might only start from where the bus dropped him. Whatever way, she would follow him anywhere to the end, there was no giving up on him, it might be God’s final consolation gift to her.
* * *
“The way the moon follows us tonight, it seems to have a secret story to tell and is leading us to the secret venue where all secrets are made.” He whispered into her ears.
“Haba!” She laughed heartily, “the moon to me is still, just that the shape looks like a smile. Maybe it is smiling at us.” She playfully pushed his face away from her ears with her hand, intentionally tracing her index finger along his lips as she did so. “Why did you bring me to this bush?”
“Errrrrhhmm!” He appeared to be thinking hard. “This place is always cool by this time. Someone once told me that the night dies in the big city and becomes alive in places like this.”
“This guy!” She smiled.”you didn’t really answer the question i asked. You know?”
“Yeah. You didn’t really tell me your true intention. And i’d advice you say so now that the gates of heaven are still wide open for you.” She drew him closer to her.
That was it, he was finally hooked. It always ended up in situations like this where he forever remained dumb. It was very clear that he had brought her here for nothing other than to satisfy his sexual urge. But that word ‘SEX’ was the hardest of all words for him. It had never sounded right in his ears nor from his mouth. The word and other words that were similar to it or associated to it were all all heavy words. However, the light word ‘ABSTINENCE’ was a serious impossibility. He could live with the worst of discomforts but never with abstinence. Why then had God created a woman if not for…. that thing.
“You know now.” He shook her hand lightly.
“No i don’t. Better say something before i begin to get bored.”
“Get bored na! Who told you i can’t still get on with the act even in your boredom? Yeye pikin.” This were the words that formed in his mind to say but he couldn’t let them out, a glance at her was enough to cause a change of mind. She was exceptionally charming. The oval face, big eyes that shone like the stars, the…
She was fading and he was falling. The ground had opened and he was falling. Her hand has left his, he tried to grope back for her hand but she was already turning into mist.
Oh God please, i’m already in the mood na.
She had completely disappeared and he was not sure of what was happening to him. He seemed to have been falling into a hot nothingness but now he could feel cool breeze washing over his face and people occupied this new place he was falling into. He could hear their noises.
“Driver! College bus stop owa oh.”
Reality washed over him suddenly and it brought along with it panic. His bus stop was the next after College and it was not so far, just a few metres apart. He had been dreaming during the day and worst of all was that it was the type of dream that was only meant for night rest.
“My village people no go like rest?” He cursed under his breath. “Which kyn beta wet dream be this one for inside bus wen people full?”
He looked at his pants and saw a bulge in the right place. Nonsense!
Bob, popularly called Bobo tried to recollect his last action and thought before he fell asleep and into dreamland. He remembered thinking of the girl at work who almost got him sacked today.
The chic had entered into the soap factory where he worked, looking like a rogue and an angel at the same time. His kind of girl. She noticed him looking at her so she confidently cat walked all the way to meet him.
He had been chatting earlier on with his phone when the boys on the line had bawled for his attention.
“Operator! Fast the machine!!” One small idiot screamed at the top of his lungs.
He looked at the brat for sometime, thinking of the best punishment to tender to him but dismissed it as he had no such authority to punish any worker on the line, they were not his direct subordinate.
He had been on his way to perform his duty when his eyes happened on the chic. He was not aware that he had totally stopped on his track and was already wearing a welcome smile. He watched her approach like he had known her all along.
“Operator! Operator!! O-P Man eh!!!” The boys screamed. One even had guts enough to throw a soap their direction.
Bobo did not notice any of this. He was in his own world, carved to his specification which was totally in line with hers and he saw her for what she totally was – Beyouncé. How much he had dreamt of jumping her bones. Who ever said dreams never came to pass?
Baba Agba, the soap production line supervisor, his direct super ordinate suddenly appeared in front of him, batted away his outstretched hand, set for handshake and pinched him hard. He gave him a stare that said “YOU DON DIE TODAY” before turning to face the lady. Now finally close enough, he realized that the lady was a typical yoruba black cat- lines that seemed to have been acquired through a tough struggle with a lion, designed the whole of her cheeks in an unidentified pattern- and not Beyouncé.
He scratched his head as he returned to the machine, his face searching the floor as he went.
“Omo Odé! Woman go kill you!” The same small idiot.
Bobo smiled at the recollection.
“Yeye! So it was that baboon chic that made me have a… whatever day dream. Eh?” He sighed and traced his hand to his pocket.
His phone was not there. He tried to think of any possible place he must have dropped it. The last he could remember was slipping the phone into his pocket as he hopped into the bus. He had no seat partner whom he would have quickly suspected for theft. It thus had to be around, somewhere.
He then remembered trying to check livescores web page to see if his bet had clicked, before sleep had stolen over him.
The bus finally came to rest at college bus stop and people were disembarking from the vehicle. BRT bus drivers were always impatient to get to their final destination that they had formed the habit of putting the bus in motion again before the very last of the passengers were off the bus. Bobo knew this perfectly well. He calculated the time the driver would use to wait for his passengers to come down, short; then the time it would take him(the driver) to drive to the next stop, shorter.
He had to start searching for his phone and immediately.
Bobo bent down and used his hands to roam the floor of the bus – beneath the next seat in front of him. The space between seats was inadequate and tight. He stretched his legs in order to better position his hands for the search.
The moment he stretched his leg, spreading them apart, Sandy was rushing to come down from the bus, her mind still far away. She didn’t see Bobo’s leg that perfectly blocked her way and she stumbled over it.
“Jesus!” She screamed. All around, passengers gasped. Bobo froze in his position dreading to look up to see the pain, anger and embarrassment his victim would have on her face. Good Lord, it was a female. His hand had happened on the phone already.
The driver pushed the bus into motion, totally feigning ignorance, thus forcing a chorused, DRIVER!!! from his passengers. He stopped.
Bobo finally lifted his bent upper body from under the seat and positioned well on his seat thinking of the best way to communicate his apology, as a man on fine black suit helped the fallen lady to her feet.
The moment she got to her feet, she landed a full, five-finger slap on his face, hard enough to make his head turn in the socket of his neck.
It seemed like all the passengers who had gasped earlier finally agreed it was time to catch back their breath, they let out a sigh of relief in unison.
Bobo who hardly took shit from anybody, especially from some woman quickly let his hand do what it was itching to do. He gave her back a retaliatory slap, she gasped in surprise, totally not expecting it, then she longed at him. The man on black suit caught her in time and carried her out of the bus.
Bobo sat where he was for some time more, listening to the sound of the bus as it left rest and into velocity, letting the sound wash away the tension that had soaked him. He imagined what the lady would have done to him or what he himself would have done to her, had that man on fine black suit not intervened. She looked wild, dangerous but beautiful. As beautiful as the lady in his dream. The oval face, big eyes, small mouth…
“DRIVER STOP ABEG! EJÓ STOP!!” Bobo screamed, getting up from his seat and heading towards the driver’s compartment. He was filled with deep regret for his action.
If only he had recognized her in time.
The driver seeing the urgency and accompanying menace in Bobo’s eyes decided to pull the bus out of the road albeit he was not supposed to on a normal day. It was against their rule but at times like this, rules are ditched.
Bobo muttered his thanks to the driver and stepped out of the bus ignorant of the curses the passengers were raining on him.