It started like any other day Yinka goes for CDS, since the local government wasn’t too far off from his house, he took the liberty to wake up late as he wasn’t going to work that day. The normal waking up time for him was 4am every morning if he was to escape the third mainland to Island traffic. Driving in Lagos wasn’t an easy task as it was one of the busiest cities in the world and Nigeria.
He yawned, rolled over and looked at the wall clock it was 8am already, by this time he would have been at work already, so saying his prayers and arranging his bed, he set for the kitchen within minutes. When he was home he did the cooking and so he began to prepare his special meal which he was a known pro for ‘Beans pottage’. He still hadn’t met anyone who could make bean pottage better than himself. He sang sweetly to himself in the kitchen as he chopped, diced, blended and peeled, in his house no task was segregated to a certain gender and he was glad about that. It had made him a stronger man as their father had taught them to be self-reliant.
His parents the Omojolas’, had been based in the United Kingdom and as such the ’do-it-yourself ‘attitude was a part of their three children. He and his sisters could fix sockets, join wires and do a whole lot more of unexpected things. Many ladies were endeared to him because of this especially in school and always wanted him around them even to the extent of fighting for attention. He was jogged back to reality as he heard footsteps approaching.
“hmm, it’s gonna be oohlalacious” he said smiling to himself.
“Which language is that again, you just know how to coin new words to your long listed personal dictionary” his sister laughed.
“Mum, your son has coined a new word ‘oohlalacious’, just finish up your cooking and let me eat abeg. I am hungry”
“I am almost done madam, stop dancing around the kitchen, set the table darling. Fork, knife, spoon, teaspoon, water, garri….
“I know oh, I am off to do your bidding ‘Master Chef’, laughing as she left the kitchen to the dining room area.
Tope set the table with amazing speed as she was apt to when hungry, forgetting their first born wasn’t around she set the table for her too.
Their father walked in and both he and his sister said “good morning Daddy.
“Catering practical!” Their father addressed him as he was accustomed to doing so whenever someone was cooking something with a lovely aroma in the kitchen. It was a way of acknowledging the food with the hope that it would taste nice also.
Finally, the food was served as Yinka dished out breakfast and Tope put the plates on each person’s sit. Yinka ate quickly as everyone was busy gisting and taking their precious time, he knew he had to get to the local government before 10am and it was already 9am. He still had to take a bath and wash the car or he could beg Tope to do it for him.
“Tope darling, can you help me with one little task?” he cut into the conversation he wasn’t listening to.
“Yinka”, their mother chipped in before Tope could respond. “Where were you just now? I hope you are coming back early because I need you to pick up some Shoes and bags from the shop to drop off at that my customers place in Ikoyi, Mrs. Peters”
“But mum, I am going out afterwards, I told you before. Ok are they packed already so maybe I would just pick them up before going for CDS” standing up from the dining table, he looked from his mother to Tope.
“Tope, their mother said, help your brother clean the car quickly” smiling at Tope as she cleared the plates.
“Yinka, just ask the sales girl for the nylon bags we put together yesterday evening, everything going is in there”
Yinka quickly dashed into the bathroom and was dressed long. He wore his jean trousers under his khaki and put on his white shirt while packing the shirt he was going to change into, he slipped into his snickers and packed some Tims, he was ‘good to go’ . The slogan was used by the NYSC members in show of preparedness, something they learnt from camp.
Armed with his bags, he stepped out of the house as Tope was drying up the little water remaining on the rearview mirror.
“Are you good to go?” she smiled at him
“Yup, good to go”
“I, hope you took your wallet so you have no excuse when I ask what you brought back”
“Oh shoot, thanks you are a dear, what would I do without you?” as he rushed back into the house to get his wallet.
As he drove out of the house, he winked at his sister holding the gate open. “see ya later munchkin”
She laughed and stuck out her tongue at him, she was just twenty years old in her third year in one of the best private universities in the country and would soon be through from school as they didn’t go on strike. Unlike him and his elder sister who hadn’t had that luxury, they went through multiple school strikes and problems just to graduate from school, It was a tough time but they scaled through.
He went to the shop, picked the bags and started towards the local government. He wasn’t one to love driving at top speed but this situation warranted some stepping on the accelerator. With a few insults from some fellow road drivers, he made it to the Eti-Osa local government on Victoria Island five minutes late. He parked the car quickly, and walked briskly into the local government. He didn’t enjoy getting anywhere late and as such was usually on time to places. He had been seeing his fellow corpers (as they the National Youth Service Corps members were called) around but none from the regulars he spoke to so, he joined them in the hall for the general meeting. There was still a little room left in the cramped space for a few people to sit so he joined some people on a bench, pulled out his earphones and listened to some music from his iPod while chatting with some friends on his blackberry. He wasn’t listening to anything being said by the Zonal coordinator and hardly heard anything except occasional exclamations.
He was waiting patiently for them to be broken up into their groups as he looked up from his phone to see if anything interesting was going on, he was about to look down when she caught his eye. She was pretty, sitting on her own quietly on a bench in front and reading from a palmtop; she occasionally glanced up and went back to her reading. He was sure he had never seen her before in their local government so he looked at her a few more times and focused on his business as he wasn’t one to really go out of his way especially with the pretty ones like that.
After about two more hours of long talks, the meeting broke up to their groups; there were about five groups in number the socials, education, road safety, and Christian association. He belonged to the road safety and they were they had told them they were going to go on an outing real soon to direct traffic, talk to the National Union of Road Transport Workers about safe driving and rules and regulations of the road.
As they broke up into their various groups and people were sharing pleasantries, he saw some people he knew and said hello to them. The group came together under an almond tree and lo and behold who did he see standing right next to him, her perfume wafted to his nose. He loved when ladies wore nice perfumes and looked good too, he just hoped she was also smart even though she looked it.
He didn’t talk to her as she looked like the snobbish type to him and besides he didn’t have anything to say to her. As the group meeting wore on, the group head asked for those who would like to speak at their next outing and for people to contribute to the topic for discussion, but when most people kept smiling and no one responded.
The group head turned to Yinka and said “well he is a graduate of Mechanical Engineering so I am sure he can shed more light on the problems drivers will face when they drive vehicles that aren’t alright and madam Jolade there beside him is a graduate of Transport science so I am sure you have a lot you can help us with” as both he and the previously unknown lady turned to themselves and blushed.
She smiled and said to the group head “well maybe I can help a little, give me your email address and I will forward materials to you”
He responded by saying “you will be the one to speak first then, I will go over the notes next CDS before we head out. Ok then so I guess we are all in agreement, so you can all sign the attendance”
As Yinka was going to sign the attendance, he saw a female friend of his whom he hadn’t seen since they left orientation camp. She came closer and gave him a hug “how have you been Yinka, so we are even in the same group, wow this my first time of coming to the group since I registered” Shade said as she turned to Jolade “so we are in the same local government and CDS group. WOW! Yinka, do you know we were in the same room in camp? Nice to see you again dear” she smiled.
Jolade smiled in response “nice to see you too”
“Cool now, I have some friends in this boring local government” Yinka added.
“Alright then, have a wonderful weekend guys, I’m off” said Jolade as she hugged Shade and waved at Yinka.
Yinka stayed a while to gist with Shade before heading to his car. “Shade, let me drop you off”
“Aww… thanks sweets”
With a big grin he responded “don’t let my head grow bigger with the ‘sweets’ thingy. Besides, it would ensure I’m not too bored on my way to town” as they walked out of the compound and to his car. Across the road, he saw Jolade hailing a cab going in the opposite direction; he could only try to imagine where she was headed.
………………………………TO Be Continued……………………………..