Part 1 [The Rider]
The ride app on his phone beeped. It was a new request; the rider was going to Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja. He wanted to decline, but for some reason he tapped the ‘accept’ button. The person was at Foreshore Estate on Osborne road, just 3 minutes away.
When he got there, he saw it was a ‘she’, a white woman. He was already counting dollar bills in his mind.
“Julius?” She asked, to be sure.
“Yes madam,” he affirmed, opening the doors. She opted to sit in front- which was quite unusual. Most female riders preferred to sit at the back. It was more of a defensive decision than a status one.
The car was immediately filled with the scent of an intoxicating perfume. He felt dizzy. She was attractive; her hair was blonde and she wore a garish-red lipstick with a tank top and a denim skirt well above her knees. She had no luggage, which was odd for someone going to the airport. Perhaps she was going to meet someone.
“I’m starting the trip ma?” he announced. It was part of their drivers’ training. Every customer needed to know this in case they wanted to sync their trip.
“Sure, Julius,” she replied. And he started off.
He drove carefully at 60mph. He had often heard from other drivers how oyinbo customers preferred slow and steady rides. He wanted to maintain his stellar ratings. However, when they got to the ramp just before Third Mainland Bridge (3MB), she touched his thigh lightly.
“Julius, could you go a bit faster? I’m in quite a hurry.” She smiled.
“Yes, ma,” he complied, increasing the speed a bit.
He zoomed past the Christmas billboards and lamp-posts, adroitly dodging the usual potholes that dotted 3MB.
He took his eyes briefly off the road to look at her. She had lowered the window by her seat. The wind was blowing her hair wild; she had an excited expression on her face.
“Faster…let’s go beyond 100mph,” she said. “I like the speed.” Her tone was soft, almost sexual.
To Julius, the confession was not odd. He knew people who liked the thrill of speed- most especially while on the bridge. There was something alluring about racing along the highway, suspended few meters above the Lagos lagoon. It was invigorating and he was beginning to feel it too. He stepped harder on the pedal and the car shot forward.
“Yes, Julius…faster. I love it fast.” She crooned longingly. Her voice had become guttural.
She set the seat back a bit and began to caress her neck. Her other hand was on her left breast, massaging it gently as her long blonde hair flailed in the breeze. She was writhing gently in the seat.
Julius was turned on. He drove faster, zipping past a bus and a blue Prado jeep with a family in it. The car’s tyres bumped against the metal rods that held the bridge together. After a while, they barely seemed to make contact with the ground. His heart raced and his pulse quickened; he hadn’t felt this way in a long time.
“Faster, you can do this Julius,” she urged.
He was doing almost 140mph now and other cars were a blur at their side. Somehow, he managed to maintain the speed and avoid the potholes at the same time.
“Yes, yes…yeeeeeeees!” She screamed.
He turned momentarily to look at her. She shook vehemently and squeezed her legs tightly as they descended the bridge. Her eyes were shut tight. He knew what was happening but couldn’t believe it. Was she… Did she just…?
He slowed down as they approached Gbagada road. She had adjusted her hair and set the seat back in position. The rest of the trip was silent- like nothing had happened. When they got to the airport she paid him $100 – ten times more than the usual fare.
“Thanks for the amazing ride, Julius.” She winked. “I have your number, I’ll call again.”
She slammed the door and disappeared into MMA. He didn’t hear from her again until a week later on Christmas day.
Part 2 [The Race]
He just had a heavy lunch and was about to take a nap when his work phone rang. He had decided not to work today but answered it anyway.
“Hello, Julius.” The voice was soft. He recognized it immediately.
“Yes madam,” he sat up quickly.
“Where are you? I need a ride to the airport.”
“I’m close to Osborne road,” he lied. “I’ll meet you soon.”
His house was 30 minutes away, but he made it to her in 10. The empty roads helped, but his fast driving helped more.
She was wearing a short floral dress and her perfume was much stronger than before. He felt an automatic stirring in his pants. She looked more beautiful than the last time. Julius was smitten with lust.
“Starting the ride now,” he told her. She smiled and waved her hand with careless accord.
He didn’t need to be told; as soon as they approached 3MB, he threw the car into third gear and began to accelerate faster. As usual, she lowered her window and lay back in the seat, her thighs opened wide enough for Julius to see that she wasn’t wearing any panties.
“Yes, Julius,” she cooed. “That’s how I like it.”
There was something in the way she called his name. She was like a drug and he embraced her aura like an addicted submissive. He was ready to do anything she asked. Before long, he was zooming past cars and buses, some of the drivers rained abuses at his reckless driving.
Julius didn’t care. He overtook an ambulance, a Camry and a company bus. The car was on the fast lane and it was whizzing along 3MB like a Formula 1 hopeful gunning for the finish line. His passenger now had her hand between her thighs and her exposed breasts were heaving to the up-down motion of the bouncing car.
“Yes, Julius, faster… give it to me hard and fast,” she compelled in her usual guttural fashion.
Julius could barely see ahead of him, but he was more interested in the vision beside him. The smell of heated rubber tyres filled the car, mixing with her perfume and stimulating his lust even more. He had adrenaline in his veins and testosterone in his loins- a dangerous combination.
“Faster…FASTEEEER!” her voice had suddenly taken a commanding tone.
He obliged. As this point, if she had told him to drive into the lagoon, he would have done so without a moment’s hesitation. Her desire fueled his lust and he wanted more. Her body was moving faster; rhythmically in motion with the car- she was close.
If Julius had looked at the speedometer, he would have seen they were nearing 200mph but that was the last thing on his mind. They were now descending the bridge at break-neck speed and she began to tremble.
“Yes, yes, YEEEEEE…” She began.
Overcome by desire, he took one hand off the wheel to assist her. Reaching for her open skirt, he discovered that she was wet! He made to insert a finger. The split-second distraction was enough. He didn’t see the large pothole before them.
Studies have shown that if a car enters a pothole at 150mph, it was bound to somersault, especially if it’s the front tyre.
Julius’ left front tyre entered a deep Lagos pothole at 200mph and flipped into mid-air, somersaulting ten times and dragging part of 3MB’s lower railings before coming to a crushing halt at the foot of the bridge.
It was a compressed mess of metal and bloody mush, far beyond recognition by the time it came to rest. As usual, Lagos passersby gathered around in wonder. When the LASEMA response unit arrived, there was nothing they could salvage, not even poor Julius, whose mangled body was stuck beneath the smoking wreck- far beyond redemption.
“What’s the status?” A plain clothes policeman asked a paramedic on the scene.
“DOA,” he replied, shaking his head sadly.
“This is the third one on the bridge this month,” said the detective. “How many casualties?”
“Just one; the driver. Witnesses say he was flying way past the speed limit.”
“Probably had too much to drink. It’s not uncommon during the festive period,” concluded the detective. “Well, good thing he was alone.”
One Week Later
A driver responds a ride request. It’s a blonde, white woman in a short dress.
“Hello, Ade,” she smiled as she sat in the front seat. “I’m going to the airport.”
She wore a strange, intoxicating perfume.
He nodded. “I’m starting the trip now.”
“Can you drive fast, Ade?”
“Yes ma, very fast.”
“Good. I like fast,” she answered, lowering the seat a bit.