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Ade's Journal Part 6

Ade's Journal Part 6
My Valentine & The Elegance Of A Clean Breakup

Ade's Journal Part 5

Ade's Journal Part 5
My Scrumptious Valentine Kiss

Ade's Journal Part 4

Ade's Journal Part 4
A Scorpion is not a Lobster

Ade's Journal Part 3

Ade's Journal Part 3
My Insane Week Before Valentine

Ade's Journal Part 2

Ade's Journal Part 2
He Had The Guts To Come Back

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Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Twin Yellow Houses On True Loves Road Trip


 Cuddling up and tucking myself into the plump chlorophyll heaven, I munch on the natural succulent green leaf core. I need to stretch and grow and move up towards the warmth of the orange glow of the sun. Vitamins swirl in a vast mineral deposit deep inside warm water and green juice. Font blame me, I am drunk on goodness and as I stretch some more... I escape the clutches of sleep. Who dreams she's a caterpillar l?
    As I look around the room, trying to remember the question I wanted to ask. It hit me.
'Eh Hehn, before I forget. You said you had a surprise for me'
 I love flowers but I don't expect or think they count as a surprise.
'How would you like to go on a road trip?'
'Eh, with you driving? To where?'
'With you driving?'
'What, are you afraid?'
'Kidnapping is on the rise ooo'
'So you won't go because you are afraid'
'It's twelve hours if our vehicle has problems '
'And eight if it doesn't'
'You think the risk is higher because I am white?'
'Nigerians don't care about skin colour, they care about money and your car is bulletproof and latest model's
'We will travel like everyone else'
'And be back when?'
'The next day'
 I smile and kiss him.
'Let's hi'
'And if we get kidnapped'
'They can't even get one million from me, so I'm safe'
'What about your husband?'
'Oyinbo wey travel by public transport, no get shin shin's
 He laughed because of how I sliced the air with my flat palm facing the ground.
'Shin shin'
'When you say one shin, you slice's
'Like this'
 I grabbed his flat palm and laughed.
'Stop, abeg'
  His surprise was the road trip and I was looking forward to traveling first thing tomorrow.

  Henrik's lilac eyes stared at me and I blinked and smiled. It was a good dream and I touched his face and shut my eyes.
'We have ten minutes before the vehicle is here'
  I realized I was not dreaming, twice now I have woken and gone back to sleep. Only this time, it's way past dawn and I have to get up or I won't be able to go with Henrik to Abuja. I hurry and get ready and Henrik has news.
 It seems that we are going to hitch a ride with an old friend of his, Raman. He had hired a Sienna to take some clothes up to Abuja for an IDP camp. And the only way we could join is if we wanted to go as volunteers.
'Are you asking me now?'
'He called last night, his friends bailed on him and...'
'If I say no?'
'We will go by public transport say around seven?'
'If I go with Raman and you, what will we do there?'
'Help distribute the clothes to the internally displaced persons'
'And Raman...'
'He is new at this but needs our help'
'You trust him?'
'He is Mike's late wife's second cousin, a little of a Jack of all trades kind of person. Means well and proudly a one man business kind of person'
'So we are expecting drama'
'Times two'
 I giggled and wrapped my hair and inner it down. The door bell rings and I freeze.
'Our ride is here'
 I crosschecked that I have all I need and smiled at my cozy home.
'Shall we?'
   I follow Henrik.

 Outside, the Sienna is packed full and the driver has a copilot.
Raman looks nervous and it scares me a bit and I hold on to Henrik.
'Good morning Henrik, Ade... This is the manager of the park I hired the vehicle'
'Good morning Raman, why is he here?'
'Just protocol'
 I did not like the answer one bit, so I type the plate number and send it to my brother's and my sister I  America. My own little way of making sure I am found if ever I get lost. The manager frown at me and I ignored him.
'Ready?' Raman asked as calmly as he could.
 I look at Raman and then forward the text to Nnoye, Celine and Ajoke.
As I sit in the vehicle, Raman gives me a look.
'Is she coming? I thought you said it was too impromptu'
 What is this Raman's problem? If his motives are pure, he should not be worried.
'You want my husband to travel without me?'
 I unconsciously flashed my engagement ring and regretted it instantly. I hid it in my bag pack and pretended to remove it in there. And then checked that my blue jeans pockets had no holes in them and put it in there. Henrik watched me and laughed, drawing attention to me. I quickly removed my hands from my pocket and cover his mouth. He laughs and I watch the three other men watch us.
'My wife, goes, wherever I go'
 The ride was quiet until we got to Onipanu bus stop, the Sienna parked and the driver, manager and Raman stepped out. They walked far behind the car.
 I open the door and walk towards them but they stop talking and wave at me to not join them. I step back into the car and I turned to Henrik.
'Something is not right'
'Think of it as an adventure'
'No, not three months to our wedding...'
'Then three months after', Henrik laughed.
'Its not funny, they are probably negotiating how much they will sell us'
'Ade, you have a very imaginative mind, I've bag packed round Europe and America'
'With more than three hundred serial killers active in each continent'
'Ade calm down'
 Henrik held my trembling hands in his warm hands and I hold my breath.
'Okay, at least find out what they are talking, no arguing About'
 Henrik reluctantly joins them and I watch them all gesture and point at Raman.
My phone rings and I pick it up.
'Ade hi, miss you loads'
'Celine me too, you and Ajoke need to come and sleep over'
'Where, in Abuja?'
'I'm back tomorrow'
'Why didn't you fly?'
'Henrik wants a road trip'
'Come over on Saturday night, I've told my parents and we are having a family introduction that day...'
'So enough Gist'
'How is Ajoke?'
'Sleeping more than usual'
'Her dress fitting for her October wedding?'
'Still adjusting it'
 I laughed and then stopped laughing.
'My own engagement outfit, I have not even...'
'I thought you were giving it to someone else's
'So that they will ruin it, layelaye'
'So you two get to get custom fitted clothes'
'Celine. You are the best'
'Thank dear, errr....'
   I could tell she wanted to talk about Mr. H, but there was no need.
'Let's BBM or WhatsApp the rest of the way'
'Alright, where are you right now?'
'Onipanu bus stop'
'Ki lon se le?'
'My dear, we are going with Henrik's in law, Raman. He's Nigerian and wants us to volunteer to work at an IDP'
'He's scattered jare, i think he and the driver are arguing'
'About money?'
'Maybe, Henrik is talking to them right now. 'Wait he's coming back into the car, I'd talk later'
  I drop the phone and open the door, but Henrik signals I stay.
'What's up?'
'Everything, they want five thousand above the agreed price and...'
'Isn't it a hired vehicle?'
 Henrik shakes his head.
'Is he broke? Short on cash? I have money...'
 I start to open my bag pack and he stops me.
'He got a hundred thousand naira from Daniel yesterday...'
'So what's wrong?'
'Too many expenses'
'Is it sorted out?'
   The driver and Raman join us and I plug my mp3 to his radio and listen to Kendrick Lamar. This our journey was going to be an epic one.

   Twin Yellow Houses On True Loves Road Trip made me smile. Until
, the driver picked a call and I looked at Henrik who didn't notice because he was sending a document on his phone.
'Two, no three spare parts, check behind... Yes'
 The driver was sending cryptic messages on the phone, while driving.
'If you don't want trouble, drop that phone'
'Madam I'
 I screamed so loud that Henrik almost dropped his tablet.
'You have been picking up phone calls all day. .'
 Henrik squeezed my hands.
'You cannot drive and take a call, you better choose'
'Madam no vex ooo, na my mechanic forget to collect the spare parts'
  As if I was born yesterday, he was describing three of us as spare parts. Call me paranoid but I don't trust this driver one bit. Two minutes passed and the driver parked the car.
'What now?'
'The tire is bad'
 As he stepped out I stepped out and looked
'Henrik there is nothing wrong with the tire's
 Henrik checks and looks at the driver
'If the Car is bad, I can call back up'
 The driver waved his hand a d got back into the car.
'What the hell is going on here?'
 Inside the car, I am boiling. We are in some market in Ondo state, the driver deliberately passed inside the state to delay us. The men think I am paranoid but even Raman admits this route is not the right route. The drivers phone is ringing and I give him a side eye. He speeds at the bump and grumbles that the car is bad and reduces the speed to twenty kilometers per hour.
'Driver, wetin dey happen?'
Even Raman is pissed.
'Oga the car no good', the driver tries to cover up. I am really losing my cool over here. The driver picked up his phone and I screamed and he dropped it. Henrik laughed and I gave him the side eye.
 The nine hour journey was almost twelve now, I am cranky. A truck carrying a large cargo container driving at ten kilometers is in front of us and the driver follows it.
'Do you know we are not yet at Lokoja'
 Henrik looks out the window and shakes his head.
'My friend move this car', Raman screamed at the driver. His phone is ringing and he picks it up. Raman grabs it and they struggle, Henrik and I restrain the guy and the car starts to rev towards the truck.
 I freaked.
'My friend stop this car'
 He speeds and swerves away from the truck and shouts.
'Madam, it's your fault'
 Henrik freaked.
'Don't talk to my woman like that'
'Oga no vex'
 He drives the car at sixty kilometers per hour and we got to Lokoja' in ten minutes.
We start to off load and the driver pleads with us.
'Forget it', I snapped at the driver.
 Raman looks sad.
'If we don't go with him, we'd miss their graduation and opportunity to get clothing tomorrow'
 Raman grumbled, he wants us to go with the psycho driver. I'm not keen.
'We can give them tomorrow...'
'The camp is far and if we can, let's settle today's
 Henrik says we have approximately two more hours to Abuja. And with the hour nearing nine, it would be difficult to get a safe vehicle that would take us into Abuja at this hour.
We approach the vehicle a d a shaky driver joins us.
'Madam, the car is fine now'
 Who asked the stupid driver? But Henrik side hugs and massages my upper arm.
'Please, let's do this today. The worse has happened'
His cool and calm voice soothes me and I lean on his shoulders.
 At eighty kilometers an hour, we made it by eleven thirty. And finished off Loading the clothes to the suites storage.
Raman apologized so much it irritated me and I fought hard not to be rude. He helped us check into our room and continued to explain himself.
'It's because I didn't get a receipt'
'What do you mean?'
   I was confused, what was he trying to say.
'Wait, are you telling us you did not get him from the park?'
'Not really'
 Henrik flipped and turned to him.
'What? But Raman, you told me...'
'He said fifty thousand and I owed eighty, I didn't have enough. So the park manager said he could organize a driver for half'
 I clapped both hands.
'And you believed him'
  My phone rang and I picked it up.
'I had no choice'
  I realized that it was clear from the beginning, it was runs. A high risk trip they expected him to travel alone, his decision to take us along saved him but also put us at risk.
 Raman asked as if, in his own way he was apologizing. Henrik too gave me a look.
I tell Ajoke to hold and wave at both men.
'I'm great and thankful we are safe, no qualms'

 This was just day one, I wonder what tomorrow will be like?


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Adebusola Ukayat Elegbede is a Playwright and Content creator with a passion for real life challenges. Born in Kaduna state and lives in Lagos Nigeria, she has a passion for story telling from the perspectives of characters in conflicting situations. I started out on the New Writing Project in Nigeria with the British Council Lagos Nigeria and The Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square U.K. My passion for creating stories led to comic books, television drama's and an online journal on my website (busolaelegbede.com). As part of the WPIC in Stockholm Sweden 2012, the experience has forged life long friends and ignited my passion as a volunteer and advocate for human rights and the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

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