As I stepped out of the security doors of the bank, the warm sun kissed the nape of my neck and in a few seconds, the chill of the air conditioning was forgotten.
A furtive glance to my left and right assured me that I wasn’t being followed. I put the bag of money under my right arm and tightened my grip on its handle.
I dashed across the road, narrowly missing the front fender of a green Honda Accord in my haste. The driver yelled at me.
I was sorry, but I didn’t stop to wave in apology.
I quickly hopped into the front seat of the waiting getaway bus.
The bus wasn’t new. It had seen many miles. The doors were creaky; it took extra effort to slam them shut. The dashboard was patched in several spots with duct tape and some industrial adhesive. If you looked at it with an artist’s eye, it didn’t look ugly. The grey tape, yellow adhesive and the tan dashboard resembled a fine mosaic.
I craned my neck out of the window, wondering where the driver had gone. I needed to dispose of the cash as fast as possible. The streets of Lagos were no place to be lugging such a dangerous amount around.
Suddenly, he materialized out of nowhere, hopped into the driver’s seat. In a matter of seconds, he had hotwired the car, cast a quick glance in the rearview mirror, and slid into the traffic.
I closed my eyes and exhaled.
I kept my eyes closed as he meandered through traffic, dodging the occasional pothole. I was tempted to peek at the speedometer to be sure he was moving fast enough.
He remained silent all through the trip. I didn’t say anything to him either. We both understood our mission. I had done my part. His part was to take me safely to where the cash would be dropped off.
The wind coming in from the open window cooled my face and soon dried up the sweat which had plastered my hair to my forehead. I tapped my fingers on my knee to the beat of the fuji music playing faintly on the car stereo, my eyes still closed. In a few seconds, I slipped into a daydream…
It was a cool evening. It felt even cooler as we sat in front of the television, sipping on ice cold Coke laced with a couple of shots of Jack Daniels.
“You did a great job today, darling”, he whispered into my neck.
His lips were cold from the drink and he left a chilly trail on my skin. I shuddered slightly, not from the cold. I set my glass down on the coffee table, sat astride his laps and wrapped my arms around his neck.
“Then, it’s time for my paycheck.” I closed my eyes and leaned in for the kiss.
I felt him tapping my shoulder and I reluctantly opened my eyes.
The bus conductor’s frowning face looked back at me.
“Madam, abeg wake up, we don dey reach Jangbadi Market. Where ya money? I no get change o!”
I took out the fare and handed it to him, hiding my annoyance.
These bus conductors, sef! Dreamkillers!
I got off the bus and scanned the shopping list I held in my hand. Shopping for a family of seven wasn’t an easy job, jare!