I found this story during my exploration of the Okada books App/Store (there will be a review on that soon). Sharon Salu is quite an accomplished writer, and I think i have fallen in love with her stories. She has an extensive body of work published on her website, and I suggest you check it out.
Bewaji’s story is Sherlock Holmes-like in many ways, the character is certainly eccentric enough, and has a unique sense of humour. I loved this story and I would gladly pay for it and any subsequent installments; However, it is available for free download now. So Enjoy yaselves…
“Hi, Bewaji. It’s me, Seun.”
He did not have to announce his name. As soon as she saw “Unknown Number” on her cell phone’s screen, she knew who was calling her. Although Seun was not the only friend who called her from the United States, he was the only one who called regularly. Regularly, as in once a week, not once a month.
Normally, Bewaji would not have minded answering his call, but she was a bit hesitant this time around – she was standing in line at a motor park, waiting for the next bus to arrive; just another inconvenient consequence of fuel scarcity. It was not that she did not have the time to talk to Seun there and then. No. The problem was that she had this pet peeve: she hated listening to people carrying on loud, personal conversations in public places.
And she was at a bus park, the grand-daddy of all public places. There were several people already doing this right there on the queue: the middle-aged man in the shabby brown suit, yelling at someone over the phone that he was running late and was not going to take a taxi; the slender multitasker with the short dreadlocks and pink lipstick, who was also on the phone, and chewing gum with all her mandibles as if that art was going out of fashion. She never lost her gum-chewing rhythm and miraculously, kept up with the conversation too. Finally, there was Bewaji Bankole, the under-employed graduate, already on her way back home from her job as a part-time clerk at a travel agency.
It was just 2:00 p.m. The only reason she was already on her way home was that her boss had to travel out of Lagos that afternoon, and in his words, he could not “leave a clerk alone in his office where money was concerned.”
Bewaji hissed inwardly when she thought of the accompanying look of distrust Mr. Lawal had given her when he made that remark. The only other employee at the travel agency, Mr. Ifeanyi had given her the “please-ignore-him” look from the across the room where he stood looking up names in a directory. Bewaji had held her tongue at that moment as she remembered what Mr. Ifeanyi had told her about Mr. Lawal and his bad experiences with former employees. He had every reason to distrust his clerks as they had stolen several thousands of naira from him. So, he was not being overly cautious. She knew that she had to earn his trust. Meanwhile, she would do whatever it took to retain this job because in a land where water is scarce, every drop counts. Whatever she was earning from this job, however little, was still better than what she used to earn: zero.
“Are you there? Hello-o, Bewaji!” the voice on the phone demanded, more urgently than before.
“Time to break my own rules, I suppose,” she thought to herself. She responded in the affirmative.
Really, she wanted to know why Seun, who usually called her on the weekend, was suddenly calling her on a Tuesday afternoon.
“Yes, I am,” she replied calmly. “What’s up?”
“Plenty o. Do you have time to spare? I need your help, big time!”
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