‘Jesus!!’ Okon screamed as he slammed his feet hard on the brakes of the ash-grey Honda Accord.
The car screeched violently to an abrupt halt, skewing a bit to the side on the empty service lane of the expressway.
Standing in the middle of the road and in the glare of his headlamps was a police officer with a hand stretched out, beckoning him to stop.
‘What the hell…where did he spring from?’ Jeff, his colleague who was seated beside him retorted in shock. The sudden act had scared him so hard he’d almost crapped his pants. Imbalance and loss of composure always had this funny effect on his bowels.
The policeman walked over to the driver’s side and motioned Okon to wind down the window.
Okon was reluctant.
A policeman suddenly springing up in the middle of an expressway out of the blues was way too suspicious.
Then he saw the second cop, then the checkpoint barricade and the police pick-up. They seemed to appear as if they had been overshadowed by some strange and unobvious night fog.
How come he hadn’t seen them when he was coming? He blinked hard trying to clear his head of the slightest effect of the alcohol he’d had at the event he and Jeff had attended.
The LAIF Awards, an event that celebrated the best of the best in the Advertising Industry, had ran late into the night. It was already 11.30pm by the time the event was beginning to wrap up. Okon, Jeff and a number of their office colleagues had attended to represent their agency as they were billed to receive three of the awards.
Okon and Jeff had decided to leave early. And as Okon would recall, he had decided not to take too much of alcohol. He had opted for just a bottle. He also took four canned beers as take-away. Phil and Yoju from Account management had ridiculed him, accusing him of hoarding party beer for his fridge at home because he was too stingy to buy some. Okon had ignored them. Though he was no stranger to heavy consumption of alcohol, he was careful not to take too much before getting behind the wheel. Now he wasn’t sure if the one bottle he had taken was messing with his head and making an apparition out of the stark reality that was instructing him to wind down.
The tapping on his window re-alerted his attention.
He wound down the glass just a little bit. He didn’t want to give the cop full access just in case he wasn’t who he seemed to be.
The cop leaned forward. His black uniform seemed to blend with the night. He had a thin moustache and friendly eyes which to Okon was unsettling. The man didn’t seem the least bit threatening.
‘Hello sir. You should watch your speed. You almost hit me.’
‘Sorry officer. I didn’t see you. We were hurrying to get home…you know how dangerous this area is at night.’
‘Well you’ve got nothing to worry about…’cause we’re here to ensure your protection.’
Jeff scoffed. He was your typical average social critic who had no faith in the police and strongly believed the force was doomed.
Okon noticed the officer’s name tag read ‘Mike’ and that he wore three stripes on his shoulder to depict his ranking.
‘So what do you want Sergeant Mike? My driver’s license and vehicle particulars?’ he said putting the name tag and rank to use. Someone once told him Policemen, especially corrupt ones, avoided extorting or harassing motorists who took note of their name tags or regimen numbers.
The officer smiled.
Okon felt awkward. For some reason he felt strongly that he was making an error in judgment of the cop.
‘Yes sir, I’d like to see them.’ The cop answered, in between smiles.
Okon handed him the papers.
The cop perused them leaf by leaf and then handed the bunch back.
‘You may go sir…and please don’t pick anybody you see on the road…’ he leaned a bit closer as if to further emphasize, ‘…especially if it’s a lady.’
Jeff laughed scornfully.
The officer looked at him, then back at Okon.
‘Even if your friend here persuades you to…don’t.’
Jeff stopped laughing. There was something weird about the way the cop spoke that made the laughter die harshly in his throat; it was like the statement had sent a shockwave that deflected his vocal cords and suffocated the desire to laugh. And rather than feel offended, Jeff felt like he had been caught pants down at some mischief. An unexplainable guilt sliced through his conscience like hot knife through butter.
‘Okay…umm thank you officer.’ Okon responded.
The officer nodded him to proceed. Okon wound up and drove off.
As the car disappeared in the distance, the second cop walked up to where Sergeant Mike stood.
‘So? Do you think he took your warning seriously?’ he asked.
The Sergeant looked at his fellow officer and shrugged.
‘Let’s wait and see.’ He replied and they both walked back to the pick-up.
Okon watched his speed this time and strained his eyes to stay alert. He didn’t want any more surprises. He concentrated on the road intensely, his hands firmly on the wheel as if ready for the unexpected. They soon reached a part of the expressway which had lit up streetlights. Seeing street lights was somewhat relieving.
‘Who the hell does that dude think he is instructing us on what to do?’ Jeff exploded eventually breaking out of his shell. In the usual cowardly way of after getting out of harm’s way, he’d gotten his confidence and composure back. Never in his life had he been that much unnerved to such an extreme by a mere statement.
‘He must have known you’re a notorious womanizer.’
‘Dem dey write am for face?’
‘No…but your reputation precedes you.’
‘Biko! I no be popular jingo like tha…’ Jeff began but suddenly trailed off as Okon hit the brakes again and he bumped his head slightly against the windscreen. He had forgotten to belt up.
He cursed, rubbing the part of his head where the impact had sprung a pain and a small bruise. He turned to see his friend gazing at something ahead.
He followed Okon’s gaze and saw what had provoked the abrupt halt.
It was a woman standing by the side of the road.
She stood about 5’8 on a pair of red intimidating high heels. She sported a silky white diaphanous spaghetti top that struggled to cover her chest area; the exposed top of her ample bosoms glistened under the streetlight as if they had been polished and prepared for the night. She had well toned legs that stretched proportionately from her curvy body; and she wore a pair of naughtily designed red tight fitting bum shorts that clung scandalously to her well chiseled hips.
The two men looked at each other as if to acknowledge that they were both seeing the same thing and then looked back at the sexy spectacle ahead of them.
‘Man…that is one hot bushmeat!’ Jeff drawled, fighting hard to contain the rancid lust that was going out of control in him.
‘Confirm! See curves…’Okon couldn’t resist joining the adrenalin chorus.
Jeff tapped the window button and the glass went down. The whirring sound of winding glass snapped Okon back to his senses.
‘What are you doing?’
‘Getting me some bushmeat!’
‘You heard what that policeman said…’
‘Okon! Haba…don’t tell me you took that guy serious.’
‘But what if she…’
‘What if she what? One woman against two full bodied men? Just take a good look at her and tell me how dangerous she looks. Does it look like she’s concealing a weapon? Come on!’
Okon turned to look at the lady again. The nature of her clothing was too skin-tight to conceal anything and the purse in her hand was small enough to carry nothing but cash and condoms. Jeff was particularly right; she looked obviously clean.
‘I don’t know sha …’
‘Look, I don’t know about you but I can’t sit here and be suffering and smiling…I must do something about it before another sharp guy picks that girl.’
‘But…how you sure say she be ashi?’
Jeff gave him a nasty disappointed look.
‘Why you dey fall my hand like this?…Which kain stupendous intete of a question is that?’
‘I was just asking!’
‘Na so so question you go ask till the girl enter voicemail abi?’
‘Take am easy now…’
‘Look if you’re not interested, you can drop me…’ he gave Okon a wry look, ‘I’ll gist you the luscious details tomorrow at work.’
Okon didn’t like that.
More so, he didn’t like the idea of Jeff alone having a nice time in the arms of the delectable damsel. After all he too was ‘human’ and was very capable of ‘responding’ to feminine stimuli.
‘Ehn…but you selfish oh…are you the only man here?’
But before Jeff could reply, someone taped on the window on his side. He turned and held his breath, more out of excitement than out of surprise.
The lady stood there smiling and waving. Oblivious to both of them, she had walked up to the car while they had been arguing.
‘Hi! You guys looking for some good time?’ She had a girlish voice that was sweet, sassy and playful.
Okon was impressed. He had been expecting her to blurt out in pidgin or some corrupted form of English but her accent put her in the place of being enlightened. Maybe she was a campus chick doing this as part-time.
‘Are you the only one around here? Don’t you have a friend that can join us?’ Jeff managed to say after forcing himself to stop looking at her breasts.
In response she leaned further into the car till her mind-blowing frontals where just a few inches from Jeff’s livid face. He could smell a mixture of perfume and hormones. He could also smell his own racing breath as it bounced on her chest and back in his face.
She then looked at Okon, pouted her lips and blew him a kiss. The gesture hit Okon so hard that he felt a sudden strange desire irrigate his entire body and quickly build into a wild sensation that fought madly beneath his trousers.
‘Don’t worry’, she cooed, ‘I can handle the two of you.’
For some reason which they themselves could not explain, the two men believed her and agreed; none of them questioned her any further. She had this unearthly sex appeal that had robbed them of their senses and put them on some remote control.
She opened the door and climbed into the back seat of the car. She sat there looking at the dazed men with a taunting smile.
‘Well? What are we waiting for? Let’s go!’
Her retort snapped them out of their lustful dream states into reality.
‘Uh…yeah….but we haven’t even discussed how much you…’ Jeff began but she cut him off.
‘Screw the money. Leave it for later. I just wanna…’ her voice dropped and became breathy ‘… have fun!’
To be concluded…