Yesterday morning when I finished my shift, I had to arrange for an Uber cab online to get back home to the staff house. I normally trek ’cause the house is like 15-20 minutes from the office, but it was dripping and the thunders were raging. My cab arrived and I hopped in.
“Why do you look like my daughter? Are you my daughter?”went the driver.
I was amused; of course I knew he was joking. I replied I was not his daughter. Simultaneously he told his wife who he was on phone with that he had a passenger in his car that looks like Nwakaego. I could hear the woman’s voice from the loudspeaker. The name, Nwakaego, confirmed my suspicion that he was Nigerian. When I saw his name on the cab request page, I couldn’t be sure he was Nigerian because he bears Livinus, but when I entered his car and he spoke the first sentence, I knew he was my Naija broda and on mentioning Nwakaego, every doubt flew off. He asked if I was on night shift to which I replied yes. He asked which part of Nigeria I am from, I told him I’m Yoruba. He asked another question which was ambiguous. I could make from it that he wanted to know what I work as in my company or what I studied. I told him I studied Geology. Dazed, he looked back from the steering wheel.
“You, you don finish Geology?”
I smiled. “Sure. Since 2008, so I am not even a recent graduate.”
“Yeeh, and here I am thinking you’re like 21.” I smiled again. It’s so sweet to get people deceived with this cute baby look. At this point he had missed the turning to the staff house. I let him know and he blamed it on his garrulousness. He promised not to talk again when he drives. Anyway, it wasn’t too late as we found a way to connect back to the house through a parking a lot.
“Ngozi, wonders will never end. See the girl I told you look like Nwakaego, she was just telling me that she is a Geology graduate and I was thinking she is about 21….” Well, I couldn’t hear the rest of the conversation as it was time for me to drop. I bade him farewell and entered the compound. I did enjoy his petty talks, especially his surprised look when he learnt I am not a fresh graduate.
Moments later in the house, I started looking for my second phone. I recalled I dropped it in my bag when I entered the cab. I knew I entered the cab with it and didn’t drop it. I rummaged through my backpack, brought out everything in there, even searched through the wrong places. I went back to the kitchen where I was cooking, searched and searched, searched through the closet, through the bathroom, everywhere, every unlikely place. No phone.
“What happened to my phone? I dropped it in my bag now.” I whimpered.
I searched through all the places I already searched through again. No phone. It’s just like my people will say, ‘Iwakuwa la n wa nnkan to sonu’. It means you look for lost things in the most unlikely places e.g. looking for a full bag under a mattress.
I tried calling it twice from my other phone. It rang. But then I remembered I had it set to silent. The only place I could trace it to was Mr. Livinus’ car, maybe it dropped on the car’s floor when I thought I was putting it in the bag. So, I contacted Uber’s customer care and they supplied me his number. I called him. He oohed and aahed that he had picked a few passengers since he dropped me and hoped no one picked it. He asked the passengers in the car at the time to check the seat and the floor if the there was any phone there. No phone. He promised to get across to me if he found it later. I thanked him and hung up.
I was distraught but kept telling myself it was not lost and I would find it, for even though this phone does skon skon occasionally, it is still good, and then I had important stuff on it. I decided to switch to worship, as if I was not looking for any phone. As I worshipped, I’d stir out of bed once in a while and go back to the places I had searched. Then it occurred to me it might have dropped at the door when I was entering the house. I was by this time in my pajamas, but I couldn’t bother to change. I just criss-crossed my sleep-cover-cloth over it and went to the door. No phone still. I took a step farther to check the gate area. No phone. Then I decided to open the gate and look towards the direction where the car dropped me as the car didn’t enter the compound, I told Mr Livinus it was okay to drop me at the gate. All this while I was wondering how much of a sight I was in my sleeping clothes and cover cloth.
So I glanced towards the direction where I stepped out of the cab, and lo, there was my phone lying faceup. I quickly went over to pick it. It was there, no one had stepped on it, no car had crushed it, it only had drops of rain on it.
“Thank you sweet Holy Spirit. Thank you so much.” I chorused repeatedly. To say I was glad was an understatement. I was (and I am still) grateful.
©2015, Ayobami Temitope Kehinde
Also featured on my blog, Clips From MY LIFE, on http://preciousay.blogspot.com/2015/05/yesterday-morning.html