Muritala Mohammed Airport
Lagos State (aka Las Gidi)
“Aero flight BG5X2Y is now boarding at terminal 3”
Charles listened as the announcement came ringing through the speakers from every direction of the airport.
He balanced his backpack and moved his weight unhurriedly from leg to the other, took a quick glance at his boarding pass and thought to himself,
“Which time dem won start to dey load Enugu self?”
Otondo Episode 1 – The Departure
His eyes stood fixed at the split-flap display that enjoyed a pride of place at the far eastern corner of the departure lounge.
“Your bag is open.”
He turned round to see a young lady, probably in her early twenties; she had lovely dark skin, a pleasant smile and stood at about 5.8 fts. Charles wasn’t vertically endowed but at that moment he felt much shorter than usual and was almost intimidated by her height.
After she had alerted him about his opened bag, she took a seat and he quickly checked his bag. He made a quick check of the content, fully convinced that he had not lost anything, he zipped the bag then he suddenly realized that he hadn’t said ‘thank you’ to the lady.
Turning to the lady who was now flipping through the pages of a magazine, he said,
“You’re welcome” she responded without taking her eyes off the magazine.
He took a seat beside her and within a couple of seconds; he was swimming in the scent of her perfume. She giggled when she read something interesting, and it made Charles’ heart skip a beat. He indulged himself in the pleasures of fantasizing about the beautiful stranger but was suddenly brought back to reality by a call on his cell phone,
But before he could answer the call, the line went dead.
“Flashers!” he commented, rhetorically
“I wonder how many hours it is to Enugu?” he asked, hoping to start a conversation
“Hours? It takes just about 45 minutes by air”
It sounded almost as though she was making jest of his ignorance
“So is that where you are heading too?”
He enquired further.
Not wanting to sound rude, she put aside her magazine, turning to Charles, she responded
“Nope, I am going to A-B-J”
Stressing each alphabet, but as she turned to continue reading her magazine, he popped the next question.
“So you live in Abuja?”
Now he was hoping she wouldn’t consider him to be nosy.
“Nope again! I live in Las Gidi and school in A-B-J but, I have visited the coal city a couple of times”
He was now feeling like he had the upper hand, at least he was a graduate on his way to a national assignment and she was still in school.
“Big Boy” he thought to himself
Excitedly, he added, “I am going to Ebonyi State because I am a corper, I mean I am going to be a corper, I mean I am going to the orientation camp”
He was puzzled at his babbling.
She smiled, then added
“Oh, I get it, there is no direct flight to Ebonyi state so you would have to go first to Enugu then go by road to Ebonyi, isn’t it?”
Charles felt stupefied as she flaunted her intellectual sagacity, he was beginning to feel a cold breeze.
“A friend told me about a website where you could find a list of stuffs to take to the orientation camp”
She paused briefly to think about the name of the website, then …
He quickly put his hand into his pocket hoping to “oppress” the lady with his Blackberry phone. He pulled out his Z10 and as he tried to unlock the phone, a call came through on her cell phone. She reached for her hand bag and pulled out a Blackberry Porsche. He wasn’t even aware that that model of blackberry was already in the country.
His phone now seemed like an obsolete model, He was almost tempted to push his phone back into his pocket but he refused to yield to the temptation.
“Aero flight EB11A1291 to Enugu is now boarding at terminal 5”
He listened as the announcement came through the speakers, he took a quick glance at the split-flap display then he looked at his boarding pass. Convinced it was his flight, he stood to his feet ready to take his leave, the beautiful lady was still on the phone.
“That’s my flight”
But she was so absorbed in her conversion she didn’t pay any attention to him so he left without saying good bye.
He boarded the plane and took a seat bordered on the left by a lady who was about twice his size and on the right there was a guy who seemed to be in so much of a hurry to sleep. It was his first time in the air and he never imagined that he could be so scared of flying. As the plane taxied down the runway, he found himself praying and when the plane took off, he grabbed the armrest so tight he was almost ripping it apart.
…. To be continued
you have been reading Otondo Episode 1 – The Departure
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