Another story from another wonderful writer – NKY Otike-ODIBI, you know I always bring you the best. So drive along crazy with me every Tuesday on this one. Enjoy!
Operation Get To The Airport
Five months ago, Taye proposed to Nenadi, one of my best friends in the most romantic way possible. Well, to some it was really romantic. You see Nenadi and Taye were intellectuals or ‘I-too-know’s, whichever you like. They attributed their chemistry to this ‘I-too-knowism’; and so when Taye had proposed by spelling out the words ‘Will you marry me?’ in their scrabble game while they were on holiday in Dubai, it was romantic by Taye standards.
Anyway, five minutes later, Nenadi was on the phone with me and we were screaming our earlobes to dysfunction. Finally! There would be a wedding, and at the right time too. I was beginning to feel like I hadn’t had any owambes in a while. So what better way to get out of my rut than with my best friend’s wedding?
Before I go on, I realize I haven’t introduced myself, this kind of thing happens often when I’m giving gist. My name is Aisha Usman. I’ve been friends with Nenadi for as long as I can remember. We’ve convinced some people that we are cousins because we both come from Southern Kaduna, Nigeria.
So back to my gist; after months of running around, the wedding had finally come and we were to leave in a couple of hours for the airport to leave Lagos for Kaduna. Nenadi’s parents had refused to compromise on the location. They insisted it would be back home, or they wouldn’t attend, hence the cross country journey.
Most of the guests had already arrived Kaduna, most had flown down the day before, because everyone knew the hassle involved in going from Lagos to Kaduna especially during the holidays. It was the busiest weekend of the year – the weekend before the New Year – and Taye, the prompt one of the two love birds, had drummed it into everyone’s ears that we had to get to the airport on time so we wouldn’t miss our flight. But as they say, opposites attract. Nena, as I called her, couldn’t be on time or organized to save her life. I’d come to accept that lateness was in her DNA. So as usual, she managed to delay everyone, and we ended up leaving the house an hour twenty minutes to the scheduled time for the flight.
We eventually made our way through the forest of thorns that was Lagos traffic, and got to the airport with all of thirty minutes before the flight was scheduled to take off. We checked in and found our way to the waiting lounge. Just as we got settled in the lounge, we heard the announcement that our flight would be delayed due to bad weather. The woman’s voice must have triggered something in Nenadi’s head because she jumped suddenly. We all turned to look at her as she shrieked, “Aisha! I forgot the shoes!”
Before I go on, there is a story behind these shoes. Nena was a shoe lover. When she passed her exams, she treated herself with shoes. When she lost weight, she treated herself with shoes.
But this particular pair was special. For the past six years, we had both put away some money every month so we could comfortably afford a pair of Louboutins for our wedding days, which would set us back more than a hundred thousand. Before Taye proposed we had saved about eighty thousand each, but when the marriage became imminent Nena bought hers. So you see why these shoes couldn’t be left behind… Now back to the story. I knew Nena had to wear those shoes or she would remember it whenever she looked at her wedding pictures, so I volunteered to go back and get them as fast as I could. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Within seconds, I was in a cab headed home. Lagos traffic was proving to be the enemy of my progress. I screamed at the driver to drive faster so much that he must have wondered at various points during the drive: “Kilonse eleyi…”
After what felt like two hours, I got to the house and just as I got to the door, Nena called me. “Aisha! They just announced boarding. Where are you?”
My jaw dropped. What happened to the bad weather that was delaying the plane now? I told her I had just gotten to the house and would be on my way in a minute. It took me almost ten to find the bag with the pair of shoes. I learned that day that running down the road with a bag containing a box of Louboutins in one hand and trying not to draw too much attention to oneself are two immiscible issues. When I got to the road, it was like I had a serious case of chicken pox. No cab would stop for me to get in. In all my years of staying in Lagos, I’d never waited that long for a taxi. Finally I got one and I almost fought the driver to let me drive. He must have seen that my desperation was not ordinary, because he got to the airport in about twenty minutes. A new record!
I was so happy to have made it. Nena and Taye had already boarded but the plane had not taken off yet. I made my way to the desk of the gate agent, and she asked for my boarding pass. I felt like I’d just survived the war; I probably looked like it too because some people were staring at me. I began to search the bag for my boarding pass to handover. I searched the first time, nothing. Brought out the box and searched again, nothing. Then it hit me.
I’d left my boarding pass in the room!
Written by Nky Otike-Odibi – @nky_otk
She blogs at – www.legalwatchmen.wordpress.com