The Officer went on to ask me what I do for a living and I told him that I was a student. He ordered that we step out of the car; collected my phones and started invading my privacy. I was somewhat not a picture fan. Most of the pictures on my phone where people I don’t even know. After he was done with me, he turned to Lami, asked her how many of my phones she was hiding, he attempted searching her but Lami warned him not to touch her else he will spend the night in jail – is a general’s daughter there!… Tough statement but that was way too disrespectful don’t you think?
Two other police officers (one in uniform) that were obviously smarter came to join the tribal marks young man who went ‘Even if your Dad is Buhari, I will slap you. Ashawo’ ballistic on Lami, I prayed that they would be professional enough, and I prayed hard that the ‘tribal marks’ guy does not make the mistake of slapping Lami. I have seen cruel generals at work.
“Where do you stay?” One of the officers that had ‘Dauda’ on his name tag asked. See, Lami was acting on the basics of what she was told that Police men around school would rather chase young boys and blackmail them into giving them a large amount of money than chase armed robbers. I had also read about it online and I thought it was a joke, but I was right there being accused of being a fraudster because I had pictures of Swizz Beats and Kelechi Iheanacho on my phone which was by the way an iPhone6 plus.
I didn’t want to answer but I swear the officer looked like someone that liked slapping human beings. I had to use my senses. “I stay in 19th street BDPA…”
“Oya enter, let’s go to your house.”
Lami didn’t look like someone that wanted to go to BDPA, she looked at me with disapproval.
“Won’t you finish the procedure for a stop and search? At least to get a warrant to search his room? Trust me, you don’t want to break the high way patrol code with me.” I had no idea what Lami meant, but Officer Dauda looked startled. He looked at the ‘tribal mark’ Oficer and said “Where is your car receipt and driver’s license?” Lami looked at my direction and smiled.
After 2minutes, Dauda said; “The Car was even purchased last week!”
The third officer collected it from him, scaled through it and voila, he was startled. “JANG? Are you related to the business tycoon that died in a plane crash some years back?” I couldn’t deny it you know, I wouldn’t deny my grandpa no matter what.
“My Dad worked for him, and my elder brother still works in his company. He was a major arms dealer with the Nigeria Force, especially the Police Force… I am so sorry about the inconveniences Mr. Jang.” He called on the other officers and whispered something into their ears, few minutes later; we exchanged numbers and asked that I call him anytime I had issues with his boys. Then he asked that I caution my ‘sister’ when it comes to talking to people.
That was how my name saved me, but I was shocked. Lami didn’t look shocked, I thought she demanded the ‘stop and search’ process be done with because of her Dad’s name but it was all adding up.
How deep have she gone into searching for who I am?
“You knew my Grandpa’s name would bail us out How?”
“Bala, Mo n iwako.” Yoruba was one of the few languages I could boast of, in case you didn’t get that, it translates “Bala, I am driving.”
“OH! Mo ro i je Alexander” I thought I was Alexander… She always laughed at my Yoruba accent, but she didn’t find it funny this time.
Sha! She didn’t have to drive that long because three minutes after, we were at the gate and Umoru opened the gate. Lami killed the engine of the Car but she locked the doors from the master controller.
“Ummm… So Joker tonight huh?” I said, knowing that she wanted to talk.
“Bala, don’t start… I am tired already”
“Oh! I am no longer Alexander? Na Bala I com be? Tired of what though? Driving or hugging -“ she didn’t let me finish.
“Tired of not knowing who you really are. One minute you are a sick cool kid and the next you are a complex stranger. See, you know I have lots of questions, but I have always wanted you to tell me on your own without asking. And I am not asking right now, I just need you to give me a reason to keep waiting.”
“Ummm… You know you have not made a single sense sha?“
“Your drugs were in the Car, I couldn’t simply go out with my friends and flex leaving my supposed best friend at the mercy of time, but then I waited about an hour for him outside because he had a visitor in the class. And by waiting I mean, I could see them. Then after waiting, the only person I tell everything lied to me… You know what? It doesn’t matter.“ She unlocked the door, a feel of guilt overwhelmed me.
“Lami, was that why you ummm… called the Timi guy?”
“Forget it Bala, please?” she stepped out of the Car and straight into the house, I knew she was going to leave immediately. Umoru greeted me and tried telling me something but I was not interested in whatever he had to say. “Abeg help me rinse the tyres,” I said to him.
“Will you still be coming to BDPA this week?” She asked on her way out. I had plans to go get some trousers at my apartment in BDPA the following day but just maybe I needed to go on this faithful day. This was somewhat an attempt to keep a close eye on her because it was clear that she was angry that I didn’t seem concerned about she and Timi.
“I will just freshen up, read and head out. Hopefully I will see you before you go to JOKER.” I said, with all intention of mocking her. She didn’t think it was funny sha.
After she left, I spent hours composing a text message to apologize for lying. How about a small bite of the struggle?
‘Hello again… Sorrrrryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy’ – delete
‘I wanted to text only ‘SORRY’ but what is the difference? It will cost exactly same with this crap am writing.’ – delete
‘Lami, I am SOWiieeeeee’ – delete
And the struggle went on and on… Well, not until Miriam ringed my phone and everything about Lami went flying.
“Have you opened the package?” Miriam asked.