Yesterday Lives – Chapter 5

Tutu got home tired at 6:00a.m the next morning. As she entered into the house, Madam was seated in the living room waiting.

‘Welcome Tutu.’ Madam said as she stretched her hand.

Tutu opened her bag and gave Madam a pack of five hundred naira notes. Madam collected it and placed it on the stool beside her.

‘The others?’ Madam asked.

Tutu looked at Madam confused. ‘Ma?’

‘I said bring out the others from where you kept them.’ Madam replied; looking at Tutu straight in the face.

‘That is everything ma.’

‘Remove everything you are wearing.’ Madam said snapping her fingers.


‘When did you start having hearing problems? Or you want me to strip you myself?’

Tutu sighed as she dropped her bag on the floor and began to undress. As she removed her dress, Madam signaled to her to remove her undies. Tutu removed her bra and some one thousand naira notes fell out. Madam pointed to her panties and Tutu looked down with shame. She removed her panties and some more notes in a pack fell out.

‘Pick them up and drop them here.’ Madam patted the stool where she had placed the money she collected earlier.

Tutu did her bidding, picked up her clothes and bra from the floor and walked into her room with her head bowed. Kevwe was lying down on her bed when Tutu walked in. She sat up immediately she saw Tutu in her panties only.

‘Tutu, wetin happen?’

Tutu refused to respond to her as she lay on her bed sobbing.

Kevwe stood up from her bed and walked towards Tutu. ‘Wetin happen nau?’ She asked her roommate. When she realized Tutu was not going to respond to her, she sat beside her and patted her back. When Tutu’s body stopped heaving from her sobs, Kevwe asked again; ‘Something happen for the party wey you go?’

Tutu sat up and looked at Kevwe. ‘I don tire for this job. See the way Madam made me strip because of money.’ She said shaking her head.

‘But you sef, you know say….’ Kevwe was saying; then stopped all of a sudden. She stood up, opened the door and looked left and right before closing it. She sat down again beside Tutu. ‘You know say Madam get thing wey dey chop for her head most times. Why you come dey cry because of ordinary remove cloth?’ She continued.

Tutu looked at Kevwe with disdain. ‘I don’t blame you Kevwe. Do you realize I went to school and that what she did is belittling? Is it because I came to hustle with low-lifers like you in Lagos?’

‘Wetin I talk nau wey make you dey insult me?’ Kevwe asked in confusion.

‘Don’t even talk to me. I will work my way out of this place very soon.’

‘Okay. No vex. Na my fault say I dey tell you sorry.’

‘Keep your sorry.’ Tutu said as she lay down to face the wall. ‘By the way.’ She said turning back to look at Kevwe. ‘I saw your boyfriend at the party yesterday. Do you know he is a driver?’

Kevwe who had stood up from Tutu’s bed, walked back. ‘Driver?’

‘Oh, so he did not tell you he is a driver. A common driver.’ Tutu said hissing. ‘He was even trying to play a fast one sef. Your bobo dey look for osho free. I tell am say nothing nothing if he no drop. I gave him my number sha when he dey disturb me. He wants us to hook up later.’

Kevwe was astonished as she stood still looking at Tutu.

‘E no possible. Ayo no be driver.’

Tutu burst out laughing. ‘Ayo no be driver.’ She imitated Kevwe. ‘Siddon there, you hear.’ She took out her phone from her bag and scrolled to her missed calls. She showed the phone to Kevwe. ‘No be your Ayo number be this?’ She asked.

Kevwe was about to collect the phone from her but Tutu snatched her hand away. Kevwe unable to utter a word went to lie down on her bed. She wondered why Ayo never told her he was a driver. And to think he wanted to sleep with Tutu. How many times had she offered herself to Ayo and he bluntly refused? After the first incident when she had forced herself on him, she noticed he had been more careful around her. So he also patronized prostitutes. Why was he then trying to get her out of the business? She felt worthless thinking about it. She knew she was never going to be up to par with Ayo’s expectations but maybe she just imagined something would happen between them.

She turned her back on Tutu as she lay on her bed. Deep down, she was hurt. Many men had hurt her in the past but it was nothing compared to the pain she felt right now.


Later that evening, Madam sent Kevwe to one of her clients. Kevwe got dressed and was walking out of her house towards the bus-stop when her phone rang. She took out her phone from her bag, looked at the caller ID and hissed. She allowed her phone to ring out. It rang again and she reduced the volume of the ringtone; letting it ring out again. A minute later, she received a text message.

Hi Kevwe, how are you doing? I have been thinking about you all day. I even spoke about you to my Uncle last night. Let me know when you are free to talk.

Kevwe read the text message and hissed. ‘Uncle ko, Aunty ni.’ On second thoughts, she scrolled through the contact list and placed a call to Ayo.

‘Hey darling.’ Ayo said as he picked up the call.

‘Abeg, no darling me. Who be your darling?’ Kevwe spat.


‘Ehen? Wetin? Abi na my friend wey you wan do osho free with yesterday night you think dey talk to you?’

‘Kevwe, hold on. Are you okay?’ Ayo asked confused.

‘No, I no dey okay. You hear. I don dey mad.’

‘I don’t understand all what you are saying. Who is your friend?’

‘Sebi, she see you yesterday night for party. Ayo, you no fit even tell me say you be driver. Which kain game you dey play with me. My body go dey burn, you no go allow me touch you but you wan chop my friend. Make I comot business I dey do, meanwhile, you too dey patronize ashewo.’ Kevwe ranted continuously.

Ayo sighed. ‘Kevwe, I am sure there is a misunderstanding somewhere. Please let us see this night.’

‘I no dey see you for anything. Just forget about me, abeg. Go look for babes wey fit you. We no be the same level.’

‘Kevwe, don’t say this, please. I want to see you.’

Kevwe hissed. ‘Abeg, abeg, abeg, na by force. I get job jare. Make I go make money.’ She shouted as she dropped the call.

Ayo looked at his phone confused. What is she talking about? He sighed. He knew he should have told her what he did for a living but he felt he would at the right time. Two years after graduation from the university, he was yet to get a job. He couldn’t continue living off his parents, so he decided to come to Lagos. His parents had thought his decision was crazy as he knew no one in Lagos but he was ashamed that they were still giving him stipends at his age. He would rather struggle in Lagos than be a burden to them.

He arrived Lagos at 5:30a.m on one of the cheap night buses with only a knapsack. He felt it was better to travel light so that his movement around would not be hindered. He slept in the park till it became bright enough for him to move around. He had printed copies of his CV before coming to Lagos and they were all neatly arranged in a transparent jacket in his knapsack.

The first day, he walked the length and breadth of Victoria Island dropping his CV in various banks and organizations. By 4:00p.m, he was tired and he retired back to the park and pleaded with one of the ticket boys to allow him sleep on a bench in the ticketing office. His second and third day were not different from the first. The week went quickly and Ayo knew he had to get a job on time; if he wasn’t going to beg.

On his second week in Lagos, he walked into Royalty Dry cleaners. As he dropped his CV, he spoke to the customer service lady behind the counter.

‘Please is there any vacancy here?’

‘No.’ She replied.

‘I need a job. Any job, please.’

‘There are no vacancies for now; I have told you. The only thing I know is that my oga is looking for a driver.’ She said as she put the CV into a drawer beside her.

‘A driver?’ Ayo sighed as he thought about it. He didn’t want to go back to his parents. He had no one in Lagos. He was desperate. ‘Can I apply for the job now?’

The lady took out the CV from the drawer and scanned through it. She looked up at Ayo and there was shock written on her face.

Ayo understood her shock. ‘Please don’t look at that. I can drive. Can I see your boss to apply for the job? Please, I need a job badly.’ He pleaded.

The lady took a deep breath. ‘Okay. Take this piece of paper.’ She said handing him an A4 sheet and a pen. ‘Write your application. I will take it to his P.A.’

Ayo was full of thanks as he collected the paper and the pen. He immediately wrote a short application for the post of a personal driver. He attached another copy of his resume and asked the lady for a stapler so he could attach his passport photograph. He handed it to her and she disappeared into an inner office. Ayo sat down and prayed silently that this would be the end of his search in Lagos.

A few minutes later, the lady walked out of the office. ‘Ahn ahn, you are still here?’

‘Yes, I thought I could start immediately if he is satisfied with my documents.’

‘Na wa for you oh. Please don’t let my oga come and meet you here. I will call you once they give me a go-ahead.’

Ayo stood up reluctantly. ‘I…..I just thought…’ He was saying when Chief walked into the reception lounge.

‘Good afternoon sir.’ Ayo greeted.

‘Good afternoon.’ Chief replied. ‘Is he the one with this CV?’ Chief asked; looking at the lady.

‘Yes sir. He is the one sir.’

‘Hmm. Come to my office.’ Chief said as he turned back.

Ayo picked up his knapsack and followed after Chief.

Chief’s office was massive but modest with a grey leather couch on one corner and a giant sized TV facing a mahogany desk.

He offered Ayo a seat. Ayo sat gingerly on the chair in front of the desk. Chief walked towards his desk as he looked at the CV.

‘Young man, I can see from your CV that you are a graduate. Why are you applying for the job of a personal driver?’

Ayo cleared his throat. ‘Sir, I came to Lagos last week and I need to start a job urgently so that I don’t go hungry. I can drive sir. I worked as a part-time driver while I was in the university.’

‘Okay. So where do you stay?’

‘I…erm…I…’ Ayo stuttered.

Chief looked up at him expecting a response.

‘I….I don’t have a place sir. I sleep in the park.’

‘You what?’ Chief asked astonished.

‘I don’t know anyone in Lagos sir.’

‘So why did you come to Lagos then?’

Ayo looked down at his fingers. ‘I did not want to remain a burden to my parent’s sir. That is the reason I came to Lagos.’

Chief sighed. ‘It’s okay. You will stay in my boys’ quarters.’

Ayo raised his head in shock and stood up. He prostrated before Chief. ‘Thank you sir. I am very grateful sir. God bless you sir.’

‘Hey, it is okay. Get up. You are learning what it means to be a man, okay?’

‘Okay sir.’ Ayo nodded as he lifted himself from the floor.

‘Sit down.’ Chief ordered.

Ayo did as he was instructed.

‘I will ask my P.A to give you a letter of appointment. You will be paid fifty thousand naira monthly. Submit your driver’s license to her.’

Chief took Ayo home and introduced him to his family; a wife and two young girls aged seven and five. Chief’s wife, Ngozi was young and beautiful. Her skin was caramel coloured and without blemish. She looked like a model who walked out of the page of a magazine. She had gotten married to Chief while she was still a student in a beauty school. Chief had however, ensured that she finished her education. Ngozi graduated with a degree in cosmetology. Chief went ahead to open a spa plus salon for her. It was obvious that Chief was many years older than his wife and Ayo wondered what the attraction was. He was sure Ngozi and himself would be about the same age or a few years apart.

Chief furnished the boys’ quarters and Ayo had no reason to lack. The only thing he spent money on was his feeding. He began to send money home to his parents and they were overjoyed when they found out he had started working. He however refused to tell them that he was a driver. He did not want his father to be disappointed.


Six months after working with Chief, Ayo started thinking of a way to make an extra income. Chief had three cars. One for Chief, one for Chief’s wife which she used to take her kids to school and a third one which was permanently parked in the house. Ayo broached the topic with Chief one evening on their way back home. He asked Chief if he could use the third car as an evening taxi. Chief left the office at 4:00pm every day and in an hour, they were usually home. Ayo felt he could use the rest of the day to make that extra income. He proposed that he would remit the evening profits to Chief. He only wanted Chief to pay him something he could put in the bank as savings.

Chief thought long and hard about it. ‘Is the money I am paying you not enough, Ayo?’

‘No sir. Yes sir. Please sir, that is not what I meant by bringing this up.’ Ayo tried to explain.

‘Okay, so what is it then?’

‘I don’t intend to offend you Chief.’

Chief took a deep breath. ‘I am not offended Ayo. I am just wondering where this idea came from.’

‘I’m sorry sir.’

‘Why are you sorry, Ayo?’

Ayo was confused.

‘You know that car has been parked for over a year. I got tired of taking it to the mechanic and just abandoned it. You know, you just gave me an idea of how we can make extra money from the supposed abandoned car.’ Chief said smiling.

‘Okay sir.’

‘I have a mechanic at Obalende. I will give you his number and his address. Take the car there tomorrow and let him run a check on it to make sure it is fit for the road. Once that is done, you can start your taxi business.’ Chief concluded.

Ayo began the evening taxi runs from 5:30pm to 8:00pm. He took home whatever he made for the evening and Chief asked him to always split the profits into two and give half to his wife. Ayo opened a savings account and began saving his half-portion of the profits.


As he put his phone back into his pocket, he replayed Kevwe’s conversation in his mind. ‘Who was she referring to as her friend that accused him of trying to sleep with her? He remembered she mentioned something about the party yesterday. He was alone in the car all through till Chief came out. Suddenly, it dawned on him. The lady. The lady who had tried to seduce him. His mouth was agape as he thought about it. The lady was probably one of Kevwe’s colleagues. But did that mean she was also at the party frolicking and doing her business as usual. His shock turned to anger and disappointment. After everything he had done for her and trying to cajole her to leave the business, she was bent on continuing in it. If she wanted to be left alone, then so be it.


The story continues…

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