(A Story By Jude Idada)
The Uber driver who took me home last night was garrulous. He talked and talked and talked until his other phone rang and gave me some respite. He excused himself and picked it up.
"Hey babe… Relax na… I don tell you, I get passenger. I go call you back when I drop am... I know... Yes, I know say I don talk am before, but I no call you back as I promise? Ehn, ehn... Na hustle for dough I dey na... Come house kon do wetin? Abeg no dey hala for my head, you no dey chop the money with me? Which kain embarrassment be dis na? I go hang up phone on top for your mouth o... Dis woman I say na passenger I carry no be geyfren... Oya wait."
He looked over at me as I rode shotgun with him.
"Please sir, can you help me tell my wife that you are my passenger and not my girlfriend? Please."
His face was stress-filled, contrite and pitiable.
"God bless you." He handed the phone over to me.
I steeled myself and collected it.
As I raised it to my ear, I could hear her heated voice.
"... I no wan talk to anybody. You think say I never hear wetin you dey do outside on top Uber head? I dey drive Uber, I dey drive Uber, you go reach house for six in the morning, waka again for 10 for the same morning, one minute your prick no go raise. You think say you marry firewood put for house? In fact eh, na God go punish that yah useless prick..."
"Good evening, Madam."
There was silence, and then some heavy breathing.
"My name is Jude. I am your husband's Uber passenger."
She kissed her teeth loudly. "I don hear o. Oya gi dat he-goat back di phone, shebi e think say I be mugu."
"No madam, he is saying the truth. He just picked me from –”
"Abegi! Hole na hole! Wetin toto dey collect, nyash dey collect am too. If no be truth, them for no gi 14 years for Abuja. Gi di bastard di phone make I hia word!"
"Madam, I –”
"Nyashman, I say gi di crazeman di phone!"
I froze, my mouth agape.
This is Lagos.