Efe was on his way back to Lagos, he had just finished a job at Anambra state for chief Obi, a very wealthy customer who preferred Efe’s expertise to the charlatans in his home town and could afford to bring him all the way from Lagos to Obosi to oversee the wiring of his new house.This is the third project Efe has done for him not counting the numerous referals he had given to his wealthy friends to hire Efe. Meeting chief Obi was the breakthrough Efe had always prayed for, since their first meeting Efe’s standard of living improved tremendously, and he held the chief in high esteem refering to him as his miracle.
He had spent three weeks at Obosi, he enjoyed every bit of staying there, he was very well taken care of but he missed home, he missed his young wife of two months who had told him of her pregnancy a day to his trip, he wanted to celebrate with her so much and take care of her in her pregnant state as he had always fantasized, he then thought about his mother who was home with his wife, she was the reason he didn’t turn down the job to Obosi and stay back with his pregnant wife to attend the first doctor’s appointment together, she gave him the assurance that she would take very good care of his wife, he loved her very much, these were the two people who meant the world to him and he’d sacrifice the entire world to make them happy.
His thoughts then moved to his shop and how he has been told of his boys idleness by Pa Rozay, his neighbour at the shop and a very good friend, his name is a tribute to his very protuding stomach coupled with his bald head attributed to his been in his mid sixties as he would always lightly reply those that made gest of his appearance, his calmness amongst other qualities made Efe like him when they first met, with time like turned to respect, which in more time blossomed to trust.
His apprentice Lekan was mostly the subject for updates pa rozay gave him in the daily happenings at the shop, his unruliness was a major cause for concern, he thought of ways to discipline him but couldn’t come up with a creative punishment and then decided to wait till he got home. His sweet thoughts were interrupted by wails from the women in the bus, he sleepingly opened his eyes ready to curse any woman he first laid eyes on, who he felt couldn’t handle a common Nigerian-road-bump, but was treated to a live movie of their mini bus crashing into an incoming luxurious bus while both where trying to avoid a swerving trailer filled with bags of cement.
His eyes fluttered and opened quitely, this drew the attention of passersby who were helping clear the debris to be able to get to trapped survivors and retrieval of trapped dead bodies to quickly relieve the traffic and make way for those still heading to Lagos. Efe was carried to the make shift clinic that was set up by the road side, were a paramedic was, an examination of his body showed no physical trauma,the confused paramedic gave him an adrenaline shot which made him give out bouts of cough and jump up, attempts to calm him down were met with mild hostility from him as wasn’t aware of his surrounding at first, on calming down he was briefed his present situation and location been Delta state and was asked rlevant questions for documentation, he became unsettled and asked to be let to continue his journey to Lagos as his wife and mother would become worried if he isn’t home before nightfall, hopeful that if he leaves now been roughly noon he’ll arrive Lagos latest by 7pm.
The paramedic refused to sign him out stating that he needed to be moved to a hospital for thorough check up for signs of concussion or internal bleedings that his appearing fine doesn’t necessarily mean he is until medically certified ok. He seemingly agreed to the paramedic’s suggestion, waited for him to leave and immediately sprang up from the stretcher on which he had layed for the past two hours the moment the paramedic was out of sight and succeded in leaving the premise without difficulty.
Elizabeth was unsettled, she had taken permit from the fast food joint to work half day on the guise of needing to go to the clinic for her antenatal, but really was to come back and make a special meal for her husband. She hasn’t been able to reach him, even after thirteen missed calls to his line, the same man who couldn’t bear to miss a single call from her, she knew something was wrong. She knew best not to tell her mother in-law of her worries and was glad that she hadn’t yet returned from the popular yaba railway market, today is a bell day and she wasn’t expected home for a few more hours giving her a little more time to figure why Efe wasn’t answering his call.
By now Efe was disturbed, it was late into the afternoon, judging by the time a passerby told him, he was bare, no wrist watch, phone or money on him as all were taken by first arrivals to the accident scene using the guise of helping the accident victims to cart away with their valuables, he needed to get to Lagos, he knew his wife would be worried by now, he hasn’t called in hours. He kept moving along the expressway until he came across a garage with a scrap-truck heading to Benin city, he then remembered his aunty who sells bread at the ‘Benin by pass’ and was very sure she would be assist him in his quest to get to Lagos, he was family. He explained his ordeal to the scrap-men who had pity on him and encouraged him to tag along with them promising to go through the ‘Benin by pass’ for easy access to his aunt.
Mama Isoken was attending to customers when she sighted Efe with dirty cloth on, she rushed to him to confirm if he was the one, ‘Efe cannot come to Benin without telling me ahead of time’, she said aloud to herself to remind herself that she was still sane and not headed to acute-dementia as people were already suggesting. Her fears escalated when she was certain that it was her nephew who was looking so dirty, he explained all that had happened to her and his desire to return to Lagos with help from her concerning his transport fare. Mama Isoken had reservations about him continuing to Lagos immediately and urged him to stay the night at her place to which he declined with reasons and he then asked for her phone to call his wife and mother to explain to them what had happened.
Elizabeth hurriedly dressed and went to the shop to see pa rozay and seek his counsel on what had happened to her husband, he was one of the few people Efe trusts in this world and he needed to know all that was happening, he was practically family. She was figthing so hard to keep back the tears that was trying to fall freely as she narrated everything her husband had told her about his predicament,”I can’t lose him especially with the baby coming”, she said with more tears rolling down her cheeks.