I was sure the DJ was on something. I felt like every song had a new meaning, and my body was in agreement. The girls were all looking pretty, like they came to club 45 with a plan: leave with the dude who buys the highest number of champagne. After making my usual rounds of dancing with almost every girl present, I decided to call it a night. The problem was, every time I made to leave, another jam came up, like the dj had a mind watch on me. I made my first decision to leave at 9pm, but by past 12 I was still out. I am not the late-night clubbing kind of guy, so being out at 12am was a big deal.
“Park! I say park! You bastard! You wan hit me? Paarrrrrk there you criminal.”
A man wearing a blue and black head warmer, dressed up in a black vest and a blue jean was screaming at the taxi driver with a gun in his hand, I leaned forward to make out an image of his face, but I jerked bark when the angry looking man’s gun went off. I almost died in the cab. No, I think I died and came back. The only thought on my mind was that my taxi driver had been shot.
“Oga na wetin I do na?” The taxi driver questioned the policeman in a very shaky voice.
“Why you dey speed like say you be thief? Na wetin you carry?” The police officer bent to see who was at the back seat. “Identify yaself,” he asked me, his gun pointed at me.
I didn’t know what to reply. I looked at the taxi driver’s face like his face was a search engine, and had the answer I was looking for.
“I say who you be and where you dey come from?” The officer asked again, this time raising his voice while corking his gun, like he was about to shoot me in the chest if I answered wrongly.
At this point it was one of two things. Either cry like a baby and tell him I was sorry for leaving the club this late and that I was a civil servant, or tell him I was a student, and I was just coming back from church. Using any of these options would have probably saved us a lot of stress but I chose the third unstated option..
“Mr man please stop pointing that gun at me, I am a military officer, and I am heading back to the barracks,” I said.
I could see the shock and doubt in his face as he removed the gun slowly. “Can i see your ID card sir,” he asked. I had no idea where the courage came from, I reached into my wallet and brought out an id, The officer took a close look at the id card and then seconds later he apologized to me and asked the taxi driver to move on.
I had saved the day, but if the officer had looked closely at the id card he would have found out that I was a bloody fraud, Aderopo, the owner of the card I presented was just a bloody intern at the military hospital and I was just a civil servant at the college of medicine. Ade had called me earlier to help him retrieve his id from my bag. He had dropped it there the last time we went to the football pitch in Idiaraba, and I was going to give it to him when I saw him in the morning.
The drive home was quiet. I couldn’t believe where the courage came from, but I guess it was a smart move to tell a lie to get out of that kind of situation. A smart move I would never repeat.
the cab man broke the silence. ”Oga you for slap am. Naso dem dey do, stupid police officers.”
Ten minutes ago he was shaking like a leaf, now my action had given him confidence. But why not? He was driving a military officer back to the barracks.
”No mind dem,” I replied him.
“But oga I bin think say na Luth for ishaga road you bin talk say you dey go wen I carry you. Abi dem don build another new military barracks for there?”