Speeding above 120km/hr, she didn’t see the police checkpoint ahead and the policemen waving her down. It was already too late when she realised she was being chased by a police van. She slowed down a little and skidded to a halt by the road side and waited for the police men to alight and get to her. she winded her window down when she finally saw them approaching.
Morenikeji: “Good morning officers” she greeted with a nervous smile creasing the corner of her mouth.
1st Officer: “Madam please come down from your car” he growled, scowling.
Morenikeji: “I am sorry officers. I was too engrossed in my own thoughts that I did not notice your checkpoint. It was when I saw your car that I decided to stop. Please do not be angry” she explained.
1st Officer: “Madam I said step out of this car right now!” he barked even harder hitting the roof of the car with his palm.
Morenikeji: “Okay okay. I am stepping out now” she opened the door slowly and stepped out.
2nd Officer: “Now come and open your booth”
Morenikeji: “But there is nothing in the booth” she eyed the second officer whose pot belly and black fat lips repulsed her to the bones. He was busy picking his teeth with a tooth pick indicating he had just had a meal on his already heavy duty belly.
2nd Officer: “There is nothing in there and yet you were trying to erode us?”
Morenikeji: “Erode? You mean elude or evade?” she corrected.
2nd Officer: “Whichever one. Just open your booth before I lose my temper. Look at the way you made us waste our petrol and energy” he whined.
She walked over to the back of the car and opened the booth. Nothing was found in it except a pair of old shoes belonging to one of her girls.
1st Officer: “Whose shoes are those?”
Morenikeji: “My daughter’s”
1st Officer: “You are lying. Are you a child trafficker? Where is this daughter of yours? We want to see her”
Morenikeji: “Officer what do you mean by that?” she was beginning to lose her patience. “Those are for my daughter who just died from a road accident. If you have found nothing to indict me with, can you let me go? I am in a hurry just like you have earlier seen”
2nd Officer: “Okay you are under arrest for over speeding since you are trying to play smart. Infact I can bet a million dollars that you don’t have your particulars and driving licence with you” he sneered triumphantly.
Morenikeji: “I have all that” she went over and fished them out.
1st Officer: “You are still under arrest for over speeding”
Morenikeji: “But that will make me miss my sister”
1st Officer: “Then you know what to do” a crooked smile crossed his lips again.
Watching his students as they went about their daily routine made him wonder if they actually knew what was in store for them after all the studying. Left to him, he would have just advised them to forget about school and learn a trade or not to place al their hope on the almighty certificate. In Nigeria, it was nothing but a piece of paper which got only the lucky few a means of livelihood leaving the majority at the mercy of their sheer will to survive. He had seen graduates pushing wheel barrows at market places and many at shopping malls taking care of sales and earning what a secondary school dropout would earn. To him, he felt it was a waste of time, if he had the power to turn back the hand of time, he would choose learning a trade over all those years he spent in a classroom.
He bit his lips regretfully as thoughts of his love life clouded his mind, overshadowing his career compunctions. “How am I to win her back? I guess becoming someone bigger than Mr Ogedengbe is going to b the only way right? How do I go about that? I don’t even have a common plan on how to go about that. This life is unfair. Will does it have to be this difficult for some people yet so hard for others? Why am I among those it is hard for? Why can’t I just find rolls of bank notes in a sack someday like some lucky people do?” he sighed loudly, attracting the attentions of the teacher sitting close to him.
Gabriel: “I keep wondering why you have suddenly become this absent minded. Sometimes you won’t even hear when someone talk to you. What is the problem?” he asked, adjusting his crooked tie with its knot which seemed to be bigger than the collar of his shirt.
Andre: “Hmmmmm its nothing. I am just tired of this life. How difficult is it for a man to succeed in this life? Don’t you find it difficult as a teacher?”
Gabriel: “I find it difficult but what can I do? I do everything to augment my little earning here. My girlfriend abandoned me for another man two weeks ago so now, I am more focused on my life”
Andre: “I am in the same shoes o. I wonder how I’d be able to compete with the man she is with now he is quite a big man” he confessed sadly.
Gabriel: “You can if you are proactive enough. I am setting up a company and I need a partner. If you are interested, we can do it together”
Andre: “Really? What is it about?” he asked excitedly.
Gabriel: “It will be a corporate house help outlet. I will be giving out house helps to those in need of them and using them to make money. I am tired of being used, now I am going to use others too” he said with a dark look crossing his facial expression.
Andre: “But is that legal?”
Morenike: “Please at least let my children come to me” she pleaded, weeping silently as her children called for her as their step mum held on to them.
Abiodun: “Mummy please come and take us away from here. I don’t want to live here anymore. Mummy please” he wept even louder.
Joseph who had been in the shower finally stepped out and gave each of his children slaps on their faces. This calmed them down a little.
Joseph: “Now go to school!”
He held his sister by the hand and without making any other sound, walked away, casting his mother a sad look as they walked pass her.
Joseph: “If I hear you went close to my children in school, I will surely have you arrested. I don’t know who you are anymore neither do they. Leave us alone and never come back”
Morenike: “I just want to hold them for a minute. Just one minute”
Joseph: “What part of you can’t do that do you not understand woman? Am I speaking inaudibly or gibberish?”
Mary: “Honey just leave her to go there so we can finally have a reason to arrest her”
Joseph: “You are so brilliant sweetie” he bent low and planted a kiss on her lips while she giggled sheepishly at him.
With a heavy heart, she left the two lovers thinking of what to do. “Should I go after my children and risk getting arrested or just leave?” she thought sadly with tears streaming down her face.
Question: Is the business Gabriel suggested legal? Should Andre partner with him? should Morenike risk getting arrested by going after her children?
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