The first time I saw Donald was in my office.
I was running late to work on that particular day which is unusual for me as I try to keep up with time, not just at the office but in every area of my life.
But as unscripted as life can be, my car tire went flat barely 20 minutes after I drove out of my house. Whether the tire had been flat the night before, I do not know, but as I wheeled down the streets of Gbagada, an okada man who was riding past flagged me down pointing down at my car, I was forced to swerve to the side of the road, pack and inspect what it was that he was pointing at.
It turned out to be a flat. “Oh God!” I exclaimed, lifting my hand to my forehead. “Not right now”
I glanced down at my wrist watch, it was almost 8am, I was supposed to be at work by 8.am. Refusing to think of the work load waiting for me as well as lined up clients I had fixed appointments with, I walked around to my car, hunched inside and withdrew my cellphone from my purse.
I dialed my mechanic Chidi and placed the handset to my ear. He picked up on the second ring, as a correct business man that he is. “Good morning ma” he greeted. I still did not like it when people addressed me as ‘ma’, it reminded me that I was a 34 year old woman with no husband or child. “Good morning’ I responded. “I have a flat tire o, and I was on my way to work.” “Eiya, na for where you dey?” “I dey Bale street, for this Gtbank side, this side wey Crunches eatery dey, the new Crunches, you fit come?” “Na now I just dey come shop….” “Abeg just try for me, ehn?”? “Oya, I dey come”
I ended the call and leaned against the car in wait for him, tapping my left foot against the sandy ground impatiently.
He arrived about 25 minutes later and got straight to work.
Poor me, I didn’t know how to change a tire.
He retrieved the spare from my boot and in less than 10 minutes, he was done replacing the punctured one with the new. “Thank you” I said gratefully, pulling two mints of one thousand naira from my wallet and handing it to him. “God go bless you” I said. “Thank you madam” ‘madam again’
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