This is the concluding part of last week’s story. Incase you missed it, you can read it here.
I looked at both of them quickly, they had nothing to be worried about in their hands, but I still looked at them. One was wearing a once white – now dirty brown tshirt and torn jeans, the other was wearing orange mechanic coveralls. I glanced quickly at the man with my suitcase. I looked back, and then looked to my handbag and clutched it the more.
Surprisingly, they walked past me. They even said hello in Yoruba language – I mumbled a quick reply. I ensured I didn’t speak up. These must be the kind of men I have heard gist about in Lagos. The ones that talk to you, so you can talk back, and they can jazz you with a handkerchief. My heart was racing, I started to plead the Blood of Jesus very fast, like it would hasten His intervention, but they kept walking, they kept walking farther away. I was just there, thinking the worst, and suddenly I heard oya e wo le (get in already). I shuffled my feet, they had been stuck to the ground for a few seconds, I didn’t even realise. E je ka ma lo (lets get going), the man continued.
At this point, as I got in the car, I thought about many things. I thought about the cab man being a kidnapper. I thought about him knowing the other two men and making evil plans with them, I thought about changing my mind and telling him I just got a text from my soldier uncle who said he was coming to pick me. I thought the word soldier would throw him off balance at least. With so many thoughts, I just knew I wanted to be in a place that looked a lot safer, that had lots of people, just incase there was the need to scream.
During the ride, my tension eased. I figured I had not been hypnotised, my hand bag was still with me, and I touched my pocket to feel my small Nokia phone. We had stopped to buy fuel, and I was now joyfully on the highway to Lekki. In mild traffic, I began to feel bad for suspecting the three men. Such honest, poor Nigerians, working hard to make ends meet. I tell myself that Lagos is not such a horrible place to live in anymore, that Fashola has been working on employment since 2007, and so robbery and such vices have reduced to the barest minimum. Anyone stealing now is doing so out of greed, and not out of poverty. Lagos is working, lagosians are smiling. The air is not so tense, and there is order everywhere.
Getting to Lekki, my friends are waiting. I haven’t seen them in a while. The usual girl frenzy occurs. Noise, hugs, squeals, chit-chat, and the usual question; So what did you bring? I search in my hand bag for the key to unlock the padlock so I can bear gifts, then I noticed a razor cut that spread through the width of my suitcase. I am in a state of shock and bewilderment. I unlock the padlock non the less, and my suitcase is nearly empty. Two new shoes are missing, my never been launched Jimmy Choo bag, and there are no chocolates. In my hand bag, my money is gone, except for a few loose change, my blackberry too. My small Nokia is still in my pocket.
I cannot tell you if I was hypnotised, neither can I tell you at what point I think all the drama happened. Perhaps I was robbed twice. In the airport, when I saw the two men, at the fuel station, or in traffic (you can decide for me if you like). All I know is that the paranoia continues. Every beggar that comes close in traffic, every car, every mechanic looking man, every cabbie that tells me my car is down there, will get the suspicious look from me, because in Lagos, you never, never know.