Word length: 300 – 400
We were rolling along Ahmadu Bello. I sat in the middle, between the driver and the other passenger. So I had a good view.
Up ahead, two men were filling a car with petrol – a hustling black marketer and his better dressed car-owner client. The 20-litre gallon sat on the ground with one end of a black fuel pipe stuck in it, the other end disappeared into the fuel tank.
Just as we drew nearer, the pipe slipped out, spilling ambre-colored petrol on the tarred road. Quick as a flash, the car-owner dove after it, he fumbled a bit and eventually quenched the spilling with his thumb. He slipped the pipe back in his tank and more careful this time, held it firmly in place. It was over in a second.
As we zipped by them, the pungent smell of petrol filled the air all around me. I inhaled deeply, discreetly, savouring the aroma of delicious adulterated petrol. It was a near-sexual feeling. I caught myself in time though, and rearranged my composure the best I could; hopefully no one saw.
That was when it happened.
The driver dragged his reluctant eyes away from the spilled fuel; his Adam’s apple bobbed sharply and the tip of his tongue slipped out, licked his lips and disappeared inside just as fast. He turned back to the road with THE look –
This look is better imagined than described; no words can do it justice. So imagine …
Imagine a child who always says ‘No, thanks’ the first time he is offered food outside his home; his parents taught him very well: “if they offer a second time, then you can eat.”
Imagine this child at a neighbour’s house where lunch has just been served: jollof rice, fried turkey, salad and chilled zobo.
Imagine that in this neighbour’s house, visitors are only offered food once.
By Chisom Ojukwu
Words Are Work … and fun too!