On the night of Wednesday, September 18, 2019, I took my brother’s advice and drove to his family home somewhere around Chevron in Lekki, to pass the night.
It was the most rational thing to do. We had spent a better part of the night planning my dad’s funeral (Oh yeah, my dad died on August 15), and heading back to the mainland afterwards would have been something of a chore for me. Besides, the security personnel who keep watch over my street have a problem with night-crawling drivers and they have said so in so many ways.
So, I loaded my backpack, shoveled books and papers into the trunk of the car and headed for the pristine, gated estate where street lamps at least glow at night, where parrots serenade you to sleep and where manicured lawns encircle beautiful driveways; with the Atlantic providing a picturesque backdrop in the distance.
“Una dey enjoy for here sha”, I said to no one in particular as I killed the engine and shuffled into the apartment--half asleep.
After watching PSG disgrace Real Madrid in that glamorous Champions League tie, a deep sleep descended on me. Next thing, I was being called to move my car out of the parking lot because my in-law was headed out. A new day. I hobbled out to see that it was drizzling.
Just a drizzle.
I should have known that what we call a drizzle on the mainland is some heavy downpour in Lekki.
When I eventually set out for Pulse headquarters in Lekki, I met flooded streets everywhere I turned. From a drizzle? Just a couple of minutes of drizzle? C’mon guys!!!
Never seen my car swim like this before. Heck, I never knew I got a boat for a car. We swam from Alpha Beach road into the Lekki-Epe expressway, to Ikate, to the House on The Rock Area, to Freedom Way, to Admiralty Way and to Shakiru Anjorin.
On a couple of occasions, the car went dead right in the middle of oceans that have since replaced cobblestone roads. “How do you guys survive here in the rainy season?” I asked my brother in the middle of one ocean as I searched for a paddle.
“That’s why we purchase SUVs and Jeeps”, he replied. “Jeeps and SUVs aren’t luxuries around here. There are necessities.”
Around us, cars were packing up and impatient drivers were hurling insults at themselves.
I have lost a tyre, a fan belt and the engine fan from driving in today’s Lekki floods and the mechanic is on his way to empty my bank account as he always does.
Until that SUV arrives my mainland apartment, I sure won’t be spending another night at my brother’s place in the rainy season.
And his family, my favorite niece and nephew had better understand!!!