There is a thin line between giving up and letting go….
Ade had driven through the labyrinth of Marina, Lagos Island for 2 straight hours, amidst the continuous chatter and cajole from traders. He brought his car to a halt when he approached a zebra crossing –a traffic warden stood at the crossroads. As his tires screeched, an old man yelled at him “Ki lode! ta lo n le bayi — who’s chasing you?!”
Rubbing his sweaty palm on the steering Ade peeped at his side mirror, to his utmost surprise the red car was still there.
They had trailed him since he left the UNION BANK building. He had barely taken ten steps out of the building when he heard the voice shouting “that’s him!” another screamed “get him!!” to his dismay he saw three hefty men running towards him.
“oh, shit!” Ade thought “this must be Richard” He turned sharply and sprinted towards his car a few yards away and with no iota of caution he slid atop the bonnet of a moving “Lagos Taxi”-the driver honked and yelled some Yoruba curse words. If those curses were birds, they’d do well to chase Ade for a long time. He ran into a group of old men playing “baba ijebu” and of course, they gave him a share of their verbal blessings…
All that happened a few hrs ago. Ade snapped out of his thoughts and he saw the traffic warden staring at him with disgust as he beckoned “Young man move!!!!” He shot a glance at his side mirror again and this time he saw one of the men step out of the red car with a penknife, walking towards him. Ade stepped on the gas and heaved the car forward but to his utmost surprise, the traffic warden seemed to be yelling at another unseen vehicle.
Ade looked again at the mirror and he observed the vehicle coming in from behind had stopped in its track, notwithstanding he accelerated even faster, but as he looked back at the road, a simple thought crossed his mind…… “oh no!”
The traffic warden had been yelling at a trailer that swerved into the road from a distant corner which turned, approaching the crossroad with speed. His attempt to caution the trailer driver had been a fluke. Hence, when he turned to stop Ade, he figured death was ready to breeze past, but on whom? He wasn’t sure. However, he was certain it was never going to be him. He took three strides off the road, jumped on Ade’s car before, and leaped onto the light pole adjacent to the road.
Ade was dazed by the impact of the hit; his car was overturned and his sideburns kept bleeding out. He faintly heard the voice of bystanders “ehhhh!, ahhh!” but the echoes faded as his head spiraled as though in a dream and he blacked out.
Ade jolted from his sleep, “had it been a dream?” he thought.
Having slept in the car following the intermittent naps his doctor had instructed him to take, he dabbed his face with a little water and wiped it off with a clean handkerchief. His hands dabbed the horn of his vehicle and the resounding honk from his car was conspicuous than mistaken.
The clouds had enveloped the sun and the clattering rain drops commenced intermittently. “not again” he mumbled as he switched on the wipers over his windshield.
“knock knock!!” A young boy hit the glass of his car again. Ade looked at him and gestured “shoo go away!” The boy stood, looked at him, and pointed towards the entrance of the bank, then left.
“This rain pffft” he muttered as he squinted through the windshield.
“Is that? Are those?” He whispered as he recognized a figure- actually, two figures. The men who stood at the entrance of the bank had fixed a gaze on Ade. One of them brought out a penknife and gestured a kill sign towards.
At that moment, it was clear they recognized him. Immediately, he ignited his car.
“oh, this cannot be happening, it’s a dream!” he shuddered as he revved the vehicle forward.