Sharon (you really should be reading her blog(s), is the commenter who spurs me to write more. And more. Immanuel does the same as well but Sharon is interestingly persistent. When this new year came I thought about this blog. I started this blog because I wanted something different, because I wanted to experiment with themes and because I was bored with my social experiment (I created and used to write on Inbetweenpeople anonymously before. Hush. Don’t tell anyone! I still do write on it but I ceded the blog to be a mostly anonymous platform for whoever else needs it. Just send an email to email@example.com if you’ve got a story you’d like to tell, anonymously or not. Or if you’d like to rant about something. All posts will have to be edited before appearing on the blog. But your chances are good. So start writing!).
Then I started Tendrils.
I love this blog most though when I write posts and get lots of comments. That’s when it sparkles for me. But I refuse to commit to a post schedule because of a plethora of reasons- Laziness. Writer’s block. Busyness. What to write.
But this year I’ve planned to do a couple of things I haven’t done before. Does this mean I’m committing myself to a more regular posting schedule? Not really. But I value all my subscribers; old and new. So I’d like to propose a compromise: if you’d like me to post on any topic or subject specifically please comment on a post or email me and let me know. I might even name the post for you. Like this one.
Let me tell you the story:
Sharon (for whom this post is named and to whom it is dedicated) asked me on my last post to write about drunk deliverymen and on my second last post to tell the story of my mom’s former driver. I promised to do both in a single post. So here I am. And here’s the story. (It was a full story, longer than this, but when I reread it, my bias and my anger stood out clearly. I thought it extremely pitiful of me to dislike someone so much and very un -Christian too. So I edited it and excised most of the provocative parts.)
While you read this please say a prayer for his family, would you? Please. News filtered to us recently that he is dead. Thank you!
My mom’s former driver might have been classified as an interesting character (a nicer way to say he was odd) if he wasn’t so determinedly two dimensional in his personality and way of thinking (sounds mean right? I know. But it’s true).
From the first day he came to the house to be interviewed I sensed that I would have problems with him. Maybe it was the way his eyes followed me across the room or the way his face kept sliding to my chest. Maybe.
Maybe it was the angry expression on his face. Maybe.
Maybe I woke up on the wrong side of the bed that day and my emotions were topsy turvy and I was determined to dislike him. Maybe it was me.
Maybe. Maybe not.
My mom has learnt to drive about 7 times. But an accident with a tree ensured that she never put that knowledge to use. Her former driver was with us for 9 years. He was nice, I could talk freely with him and once in a while he’d pay for my Bofrot (Ghana buns. I love them). When I learnt to drive, he’d sometimes allow me drive on the expressway or to our house. But he had to go back to Ghana and didn’t come to the house for about 6 months before that. Hence the need for a new driver.
He was hired. He knew how to drive well and he lived reasonably close by.
The first couple of weeks he acted all nice in front of my parents and to a degree, towards me. I wasn’t fooled but then again, it didn’t matter because I didn’t see very much of him. I was coming home from Unilag once every 2, sometimes 3 weeks. Still I remember telling my mom to be careful around him because he definitely was not the nice person he was pretending to be.
One time after he dropped my mom at her office and was taking me back to school, I fell asleep and jerked awake when I felt someone holding my hand. I was in the front seat. There was no one else in the car. I calmly extricated my hand and put it on my lap. He called me baby and asked me to be his girlfriend. I refused and told him my name was Obianuju. He didn’t say much else. When we got to Unilag, I had a Jurisprudence test slated for 9AM. It was already 8:51 or thereabouts. I told him to please wait as I had quite a lot of things in the boot (trunk) of the car. He refused, sneering that I would not leave him outside in the heat while I went into my room to sleep. I repeated that I was going to write a test. He ignored me and entered the car. I smiled, rescued my bag and went to board a campus shuttle. I saw him drive off. In the shuttle, I called my mom and told her to call her driver and tell him to return. Then I went to write my test. The lecturer did not show up. Still I waited till the end of the class to be sure he wouldn’t show up and conduct the test in my absence.
When I had a break from lectures, around 11:30AM, I went back to my hostel to find him sitting in the car waiting for me. I rescued my bags, my supplies and my friends and I carried them into the hostel. I thanked him and told him he could leave.
Soon, my parents noticed that he was addicted to alcohol. And that was when the good guy facade crumbled for them, I guess. Who drinks alcohol by 5AM? Why do you do it? My dad asked him to stop various times. And he would for a day or two. Once my dad held my mom and I and told him never to drink while he was driving us. Rather when he left the house and closed from work he could drink as much as he liked. He stopped for about 3 days then went back to his old ways.
In my final year I had an accident three weeks into my last semester. It wasn’t very serious but as I had to go for tests and my diet needed to be monitored, my parents insisted I should move back home. However, preparatory to the end of university, I had to complete my project and write my final examinations so I went to work with my mother and came home with her. In between meeting my project supervisor, writing my project, tests and classes I was sufficiently busy. But apparently he didn’t think so. He would argue with me, scream at me and once or twice he actually left me in school. Each time I’d call my mom and she’d yell at him and send him right back. I tried to be considerate. I really did. I’d leave school earlier. I’d forsake the library and my friends and let him take me to my mom’s office. A friend of mine said my heart is mush. It was. I agree. But here’s the funny part. Whether or not I got to my mom’s office by 2PM or 7PM, he still waited and we still left at exactly the same time. Eventually I stopped being considerate, ignoring him when he started ranting and raving. It wasn’t my business and I truly did not care. But that brought character trait number 2 to the fore. He was very cantankerous.
He fought with absolutely everybody; my mom, my dad, myself when I let him, my mom’s colleagues, my mom’s bosses, their drivers. No, it’s not an exaggeration. A couple of times when my mother would be ready to leave for home, he’d be nowhere to be found and he’d refuse to answer his phone. Paying us back for leaving him in the drivers’ lounge with a TV and air conditioner I supposed.
I finished University and I got a break from him. Then Law school started. Once again parental wishes saw me coming home every week. I elongated it in second term to every 2 or 3 weeks and I noticed that he had perfected a new trick. He wouldn’t drink when he came to work. But every morning when I was going back to school he’d guzzle alcohol before he dropped me off. Once again not my business. I’d simply call my mom to ensure the car was in her office after my first class.
Sometime in the middle of the year I told my parents it would be better if they began to look for a new driver. They agreed. But nothing was done. The need wasn’t pressing at that point. Rudeness, cantankerousness, general unfriendliness, the capacity to be a bully, a hair- trigger temper, absolute lack of manners were obviously not enough. Until August 2014 around exam period. I fell sick, if you remember and I had to go to the hospital. I stayed home for almost exactly a week. On one of my visits to the hospital my dad received a phone call. I could hear him advising my mom in Igbo but I was reading my textbook. Later he told me that the driver had cracked a man’s head with a stone. The man had to be rushed to the hospital and of course he fled. The man is alive, praise God. I went to school on Sunday. On Tuesday, my mom came to school in the early morning to give me breakfast over my protests. When she came I entered the car. I screamed at him, I’m sure and I told him that should anything like that happen again I’d fire him myself. You see, I detest violent cowards. I do. Being a person who has been hit by a speeding okada man who ran away and a bus who also ran away, I hate violent cowards with a passion. And being a law student I could think of various causes of action a lawyer could bring against my parents because of this man’s profound silliness. He apologized. My mom told me to calm down. I apologized and got out of the car. But I began to seriously campaign that my parents needed to look for a new driver. I sent a family wide text. I stopped after pleading myself hoarse. Then I stopped talking and I started praying. Some months later, after countless fights and arguments he asked my mom for something, she refused – he threatened to commit a murder- suicide. Prayer works wonders! Apparently that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. He was fired. I gave a testimony in church. Whatever else, I’m happy he no longer works for us. I’m sorry for his family though.
The new driver drives well, doesn’t drink, smoke, argue or fight. He’s super nice and almost always smiling. Everybody likes him. For our shame, we got sevenfold.
That’s beautiful to me.
Also in 2014, at a class beach party, they were serving alcohol, Chapman and chicken and fries. It was getting late and a roommate was having a birthday party that day. I was waiting for a suitable time to start leaving. There was this man in his late thirties or forties at the party. I knew him quite well. Although he wasn’t in my sub – group, he’d sometimes cajole me into helping them draft and prepare the group assignments even when I wasn’t supposed to. I worked with him sometimes and I thought I knew him quite well. But that day, he guzzled red plastic cup after red plastic cup of alcohol. I think it was beer but there was also some liquor. And he began to freak me out. He was dancing a dance that resembled atilogwu and singing and jumping up and down. Several people went to hold him but they were called away. I was sitting, watching him when he pulled me. He wanted me to dance with him, I think. His breath was sour with alcohol and 3 minutes of trying to pry my hand away from his grip helped me know that in some cases, alcohol makes people stronger. The people came back and I scurried off fast, stretching my hand till the blood returned.
Since then I’ve been wary of alcoholic people. Don’t take it the wrong way, I can drink alcohol myself, I just prefer to dilute it beforehand. I don’t really care if people drink around me, just as long as they don’t intend to drive me or anyone anywhere until it wears off.
DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE.
OR DRINK AND OPERATE ANY MACHINERY!
(This message was brought to you by a girl who has been in a lot of accidents as a result). Thank you!
Isaiah 61:7 – Instead of your [former] shame you shall have a twofold recompense; instead of dishonor and reproach [your people] shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double [what they had forfeited]; everlasting joy shall be theirs.(Amplified Bible)
P.s- Reader Discretion is advised. Please do not threaten your staff. If they deserve to be fired, just do it. I cringe to know I did. And I’m sorry about it.
I hope you check out my blog recommendations? It’s not a must. It’s not further reading. I’m simply showing you some more posts I think you’d like. Today’s blog recommendation is *drumroll*- chynanu.wordpress.com.
Go read about her visit to the bonesetter. It’s super informative and you just might find your views of what constitutes real medicine changing.