The Taxi Driver
It was a Sunday morning and Ejike had looked forward to testing his brand new car, a Toyota Camry which he got as a gift two weeks ago during his wedding. His friend, Ajunwa gave it to him.
Ejike and Ajunwa have known each other for more than twenty years. When they were in school, Ejike’s late parents were the ones who helped Ajunwa to register for his WAEC. Ejike could not proceed to the university because of the death of his parents who died in ghastly road acceded just before he finished his last WAEC paper. But Ajunwa was lucky to get a scholarship that enabled him to study medicine. When he heard that Ejike was getting married, he decided to buy him a car in appreciation of what his parents did for him.
Since the death of his parents, Ejike has been trying hard to survive. He ate hand to mouth and many days, he went to bed hungry. He became a taxi driver and saved money gradually until he was able to marry his wife, Uju.
Uju, a very beautiful girl married Ejike out of love, not because of money since he had none of it. She is a graduate of nursing and midwifery and she works in the same hospital as Ajunwa. Uju met Ejike one day when he had come to visit Ajunwa in the hospital and they fell in love instantly.
Their wedding was very successful and even Ejike was surprised that he could do it. Initially, the thought of the wedding expenses weighed him down, but when people started making donations to them, he and Uju were overwhelmed. They had more money than expected. After their wedding, they decided that Ejike would be using the brand new car they got for taxi business.
“Finally, you will drop that old, rickety car that you have been using for years. That car that only the driver can open the door. Anytime I enter the car, it is usually very hot like oven. I’m happy you won’t be using it again.” Uju said as they woke up that Sunday morning.
“Stop mocking my old car jari! It was that car that I drove until I got the money I used to pay your bride price. So, you always have to respect it. That car is agadi ekwe nka.” Ejike said to his wife as both of them laughed and kissed.
That day was the last day of their honeymoon. They have so far spent fourteen days in hotel, a 5-star posh hotel in Lagos. They have had such a nice time during their honeymoon.
“I wish we could stay here forever. Just eat, sleep, make love and repeat the whole thing again without having to go anywhere.” Uju said. She was in the arms of her husband. Their things were already packed as they got ready to leave the hotel room to their house, a three-bedroom apartment which Ejike had paid for a week before the wedding.
“Life is not like that my dear. If you stay here for another week, you will soon get bored. You have to work and do other things apart from eating and resting, and making love. That is how life is designed to run. That kind of life you are looking for is only in heaven, not here on earth.” Ejike said. They kissed again. They grabbed their bags and soon, they were driving out of the hotel and they were driving along Ozumba Mbadiwa and heading for Ajah where their house is located.
Just before they got to the Lekki Toll Gate, a man waved at them to stop. He looked like someone who needed a lift. He also looked desperately in need of help because there was blood on his left lap. He was bleeding profusely. The time was around 9am in the morning and the road was already busy with people hurrying to church.
“Let us stop and know if he needs our help.” Ejike said to his wife.
“My love, this is Lagos. Please let us go o! I’m scared!” Uju replied. But Ejike insisted. He applied the brakes and the car stopped by the road side.
“What’s the matter bro? Do you need help? We are headed for Ajah. Are you going our way?” Ejike asked the man.
“Please, I’m going to Ajah too. I had an accident on my way to church. Please, help me let me get home.” The man said. A lot of blood was dropping on the ground where he was standing. Ejike and Uju were touched by his story. So they had no issues asking the man to enter and ride with them.
When they got to the Lekki Toll Gate, they stopped at a police checkpoint. There was traffic gridlock because the police was checking each car very thoroughly. Passengers were asked to come down and their pockets and bags were frisked and turned upside down.
“Ah! This kind of tight security! What happened in the city?” Ejike asked no one in particular. He turned on the radio in the car. A news flash came in that armed robbers had attacked the home of a popular business man and that the police were on the trail of the rubbers. Just then, a police man came to check Ejike’s car.
“Come down from the car all of you! Put your hands up and don’t move!” The policeman shouted. He had seen the bleeding man. He searched the car and found a gun under the back seat.
“The three of you are under arrest for suspected armed robbery and unlawful possession of firearm.” The police man said.
“Oga, I’m just a taxi driver o! I don’t know the man. This is my wife and we are only giving the man a lift.” Ejike said.
“Shut up!” The policeman yelled as he pushed them into a Hilux van. They were taken to the station within minutes.
Watch out for Episode 2.
© Israel Usulor