Weekend Chronicles: I saw Jonathan Eze
About last week. …
Monday was full of official activities
Tuesday was challenging..one of those learned brothers had nearly made me look incompetent. But I still got vindicated…in a big way. I got home. Got disappointed over something i was expecting in my mail. Went to bed indifferent. Woke up happy nonetheless.
Saw a text I didn’t bother to read. And when I finally did, it was from Jonathan Eze.
Yes, I was seeing Jonathan Eze again!!!!
I tried his line many times but it was unreachable. I reasoned that he was probably airborne.
I hurried out of the house. My day was already made.
I got to the office and it looked like the day was going to be very busy. My Lord was sitting when I dashed out and stopped one of the office’s kia picanto(that very small portable size)which we have nicknamed keke napep.
Keke Picanto was kind enough to drop me in front of Biobak where I was meeting Jonathan Eze for breakfast. But not before the eager eyes of some staff in the picanto trailed me as I walked inside. They had been shocked when I stopped at biobak.
“You want to eat here?” They had asked incredulously
No..I want to come and count ceiling.
But I didn’t say that. I just shrugged off a reply and ran off.
It was normal for them to react that way. The typical place for staff to eat was “car wash, under the bridge” etc but I was no longer typical. In fact, I did “ntorr” and tongue out to OBF2 when I was leaving. He was just shaking his head.
Well, as the saying goes in Chinua Achebe’s Things fall Apart,” A toad does not run in the daylight for nothing. It is either it is chasing something or something is chasing it”.
I was the one chasing something. I entered Biobak, J.E wasn’t there yet. I sat down and put a call through. He was getting close.
About 15 minutes later, he sauntered in like a colossus, larger than life, buxom, decked in white buba and sokoto with a northern cap. He looked every inch like a political chieftain. But he is the Deputy News Editor of a widely read newspaper in Nigeria. My Boss in Lagos, the one I started my journalism career with. The one who made me love human angle stories when we were working together on the Features desk in Lagos.
After a big bear hug, he apologised to me.
” I have not been always available. I was too faraway. Please forgive me”
But can I ever fight J.E? Not in this life. Because he won’t make it very easy for you to stay offended with him. He has a good heart hiding under his big chest.
So, we ordered.
Me…fried rice, jollof rice, shaki, ponmo, meatpie, sausage, puff puff, chapman….lol. I had combined breakfast and lunch. It was takeaway.
Him……he ate sparingly and drank Chapman as well.
There was no time to take pictures this time around because when I got to the office, I hid the bag of food under one of the chairs in the court. I needed to avoid stories that touch the heart and tickle the bum. Experience they say is the best teacher.
We had little time to catch up as I had errands to run in Mabushi. I jumped into a cab to Mabushi and the cab waited for me to finish before he carried me back to Garki.
I had not spent up to two hours in Garki before he sent me a text describing the interview venue.
We had an interview with a northern governorship aspirant somewhere around Aminu Kano Crescent in Wuse 2. My favourite place in abuja.. Just because its where Dominos Pizza is located(one of the outlets). The last time I visited that outlet was when my doctor friend was visiting from the US. It was my treat so we ate pizza and ice cream.
I rushed out and flagged down a cab. It was past 2 pm. I eventually got to Wuse 2. I called him. He picked me from the door. We walked in. Interview conducted. We took our leave. He was rushing to the airport on his way back to gidi.
Then, he paid for my book. I really didn’t know how much it was until i got home and checked. And I smiled. I didn’t eat anything that day. Even my rice, I brought it home. I was too tired to eat it with relish.
I took spoon after spoon and laid sprawled out on the rug. I continued to stare at the sausage and meatpie yet uneaten. I had managed to stuff the puff puff in my mouth during court sitting.
On Thursday, I had to dress appropriately because I was going to sit close to My Lord.
What I thought would not take so long eventually ended up taking the whole day past my working hour. The court didn’t rise until past 4pm since 9am. There was no recess at all. I found myself calling cases and administering oath on witnesses. Even though it was fun, hunger would have dealt with me but for the fried rice and jollof of the previous night. I ate the sausage under the desk when the worms in my tummy started screaming at me.
I didn’t get home until half past 7 that day. It was a really long day. I had gone with my registrar who had to branch at Wuse market before we headed home.
Friday….I slept in.
Saturday….I headed to Zaria. At the park, the boys greeted me profusely
“Aunty, how far now. E don tey o. Wetin you carry come?”
The car was nearly full. I was the second to last passenger. We soon set off. I was too tired. I had not slept well the previous night. I slept around 1am and woke up very early.
I got to Samaru safely. The second gate of the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University looked just the same except that some of their strict laws had been relaxed. I had worn my longest print african dress while I saw girls with short skirt entering through the gate. They didn’t demand for my ID card too. I had lost it the last time I was there.
I boarded a keke napep.
” inna unni, meggida…Social science, How much?”
#20naira, he said
Toor. I had some 20naira notes tucked deeply inside my backpack. I gave him one.
He dropped me in front of the faculty and zoomed off.
I later had a nagging headache. Thank God I was able to get panadol. Then I saw Jonathan Eze’s text expressing goodwill on my birthday. I laughed. He had mistaken the date.
By the time I left Zaria, it was almost getting late. I entered abuja around 9pm yesterday.
Here I am today….anticipating tomorrow. But this week should be stress free. My Lord won’t resume soon. Easter beckons.
So I called Jonathan Eze on Sunday.
“Yesterday wasn’t my birthday. Its next Saturday”
“Oh…and I had to call a friend of mine to deliver a specially baked cake to you but he told me he was in Zaria or so. Don’t worry, I will personally be in town by weekend.”
Well, thank God he couldn’t make it. That’s how I would have eaten my birthday cake a week ahead.
I wrote this since Sunday night but internet wouldn’t let me be great.