The gate-man only hears his name when you attach, ‘come and take’ to it. Other than that, a permanent growl is plastered over his face, and when visitors honk too loud, he stomps out grumbling and swearing to the gods of his motherland.
He is a little hesitant whenever I ask for favours, especially the ones that involve me sneaking out through the backgate after midnight. But of course, there are special exceptions on the days when I promise him ‘something to eat’. So last night, I slipped a clean N1000 note out of my bag and into his palm and told him I’d be back before 5.
True to my words, at 4:37am, I was standing in front of the towering brown gates and calling his line. Finally, he picked and what I heard was…
“Hello, abeg! Who be you wey dey call by this time?” a familiar thin girlish voice snapped. “Abi you dey fly for night? See ehn, Rasheed dey very busy right now… ”
“Ngozi, who be that?” a sluggish response from Rasheed followed from somewhere in the background.
“Na one of these your useless friends oh. Or maybe those useless small small girls wey dey follow you around”, she continued ranting “See na, the name na O. P, who go even fit bear that kind… ”
“You say wetin?”
“O.P na— ”
The drama escalated further when I heard him scream in panic.
“Chei! This Ngozi, you don kill both of us. Who tell you say make you answer my call?”
A confused Ngozi replied. I couldn’t pick what she said, but I could swear she would’ve been confused as to how and why Rasheed would save my number as O.P as an abbreviation for ‘Oga Pikin’, meaning the Boss’ child.
A lot of rustling went on in the background until finally, Rasheed and his concubine dashed out and dived to the floor begging me not to inform Oga. I was too exhausted from the activities of the party.
Today, I watch both of them fumble over simple tasks; and answer every time my mother shouts a name, regardless of whose it is.
‘The gate-man and the housemaid,’ I giggle at the hilarious idea of it. Later, I will settle on good bargains with each of them. A sinister smile is formed on my lips as I play with several ideas…
Mercy Williams is currently rounding up her studies as a student of Petroleum Engineering in Covenant University. Besides this however, she likes to immerse herself in the art of writing, listening to good music, making doodles and mandalas and having conversations that explore the dynamism of human behaviour and life in general. She is an advocate of creative intelligence and has a drive to use this as a tool to drive positive change and progress in Nigeria in collaboration with like-minded visionary youth like herself.
facebook: Mercy Williams Adedokun