Blow Job

By Eti Best Herbert 2 weeks ago

BLOW JOB

“Roundabout! Roundabout! Roundabout! Roundabout!” the taxi driver beckons. In a few seconds, the white Micra Taxi was filled up by passengers.

“Roundabout, waso change. Mi o ni change o!” he warned in his Yoruba vernacular.

Ochuko managed to secure a space in the front seat of the taxi. He detests sitting at that position because it has become customary for greedy taxi drivers to insist on having two passengers at the front seat in defiance of the Road Safety Rules which specified only driver and a passenger for the front seat. He had to contend with a very healthy lady for the little space. His options were limited as taxis were usually on high demand at the early hours of the morning when workers try to beat the time to their work stations.

“This is 7 O’clock News from the broadcast station of Radio Nigeria. First, the headlines: President Muhammadu Buhari signs the Not too Young to Run Bill into law.” The taxi stereo announces. He had long been disenchanted with whatever change this government intends to bring on board. As far as he was concerned, he was ‘not too young to work’; a child has to walk before he can run. What was the essence of reducing the age requirement to enable the youth to become eligible to contest for political offices when a majority of them are unemployed, underemployed or underpaid? How are they expected to procure resources to finance the election campaign expenses of a highly capital intensive Nigerian political elections? Perhaps, this is a succession plan by the elite class to have their children take off the plundering from where they stopped. By virtue of Ochuko’s experience as an unemployed philosophy graduate of five years, it was too late for him to be convinced that essence precedes his existence.

Ochuko was close to his destination. He checked his brown envelop to be sure everything was intact. The documents and compact disk which he needed for the presentation were all in the right place. “Roundabout wa o!” he reminded the taxi driver. The driver stretched his right hand towards Ochuko. He handed a dirty hundred naira note to the driver. The driver parked the car at the side of the road.

****                                          ****                                          ****

Sebastian paced up and down the corridor. He looks disturbed and his face spelled worry. He had been fiddling his phone all the while.

“Where are you? I called your phone several times, but you refused to pick up. Can you tell me what’s going on?” “But we had an appointment for 7 O’clock.” “That’s your problem.” “Sorry for yourself.” “You better be here in the next five minutes, else…” He ended the phone call on that note and moved straight into his office. He sunk his weight into his office chair. This was his last chance to secure his job as the Concept Manager in Value Advertorial Ltd. (VAL), a firm engaged in public relations services and advertisement of products of clients which are mostly corporate organizations. The report of the last Annual General Meeting of VAL revealed a lower turnover compared to the previous year due to less patronage from clients. The Chief Executive Officer had handed Sebastian the responsibility to formulate more innovative programmes and more attractive means of advertising the product of clients in order to sustain their patronage. In a few minutes time, representatives of their foremost client would arrive to assess strategies put in place to publicize their latest product.

Sebastian had been mandated to secure this deal at all costs. He knew the implication of the otherwise. Having left the labor market for five years, he had vowed never to allow himself to go back to that position again. It wasn’t a place to be. The economic situation of the country had pushed so many companies to downsize their overhead costs. Most of the companies, including VAL achieved that through the retrenchment of their labor force. Sebastian was lucky to have escaped the sieving exercise. However, he was aware that the company would not spare him if he was unproductive in his assigned duties.

****                                          ****                                          ****

Immediately Soji stepped out of the taxi, he made brisk movements towards the gate of the University. He looked at his wristwatch; it was 7:15 am. He was fifteen minutes late already. He started jogging along the sidewalk of the tarred University road. If he continued in that pace, he would get to the dojo in the next five minutes. That would warrant twenty push-ups to commensurate for each minute of lateness. The disciplinary rule does not exempt anyone, even though he was a senior member of the club. He had joined the University Karate Club from his first year after he gained admission to study Civil Engineering. He had been a committed member of the club even till now that he is in his final year of study. He was sure to miss the activities of the club after his graduation from the University in a few months time.

His membership of the club had been of tremendous advantage to him. He had joined the club basically for self-defense purposes, especially from cult gangs which were notorious for intimidating and harassing fellow students. Most of Soji’s classmates gave in to pressure and became members of one confraternity or the other. But he thought otherwise; instead, he chose to develop his martial art skill to enable him to withstand any form of harassment. Surprisingly, he had never had cause to employ his martial art skill on the street. He had only done sparring on the dojo mat. He represented his University in the All-University Games on three occasions out of which he had won gold and silver medals on two occasions.

****                                          ****                                          ****

“Sir, I’m sorry for coming late. The driver did not have change…” Ochuko tried to explain himself as he wipes away sweat brewing on his forehead.

“Spare me those details. I only have time for results not excuses. Thank your stars they are yet to arrive,” Sebastian thundered at him.

From the front of the office desk where Ochuko stood, he handed the brown envelop to Sebastian. Sebastian brought out the document and flash drive from the envelope. He plugged the flash drive into one of the laptop port while he flipped through the documents. Ochuko watched him keenly with obvious anxiety written over his face. After a few minutes of skimming through the document, Sebastian waved at Ochuko to sit down.

“Well, you have a good concept,” Sebastian commented.

“Thank you, sir,” Ochuko replied, rubbing his palms against each other.

"But don’t get too excited yet as it is still subject to the ratification of the board,” Sebastian warned. “Who are your target participants?”

“Majorly, youths, especially students of tertiary institutions,” Ochuko explained.

The telecom on Sebastian’s table rang. He placed it on his right ear. After some seconds, he said, “yes sir”. “Make yourself comfortable while I attend the board meeting,” he said to Ochuko as he made to leave the office.

“No problem, Sir,” Ochuko said with a smile.

****                                          ****                                          ****

Ochuko was fully dressed for action. He wore a blue jean trouser, black pair of shoes, tight fitted T-shirt and knee-length black blazer suit. The black baseball cap and sunglass complemented his apparel to give him the outlook of a Mafia lord. The three feet high pair of cowboy shoes he put on gave him towering and intimidating six feet height. He stared at the mirror in the waiting room, in admiration of the hard-man image which his costume has turned him to. Sebastian walked into the room. “I hope you are set,” he asked.

"Yes, sir," Ochuko replied.

“That’s beautiful. Remember: go for targets that are within a reasonable distance so they can be captured by the camera. Also, make sure the participants hold our products and pose for the camera. Good luck!” Sebastian parted Ochuko on the shoulder as they went out of the room.

The crew drove to their location at the University. Ochuko came out of the company bus while the crew members remained inside with their camera. They followed closely behind him while he searched for his first victim. He saw a guy and a girl sitting on a stone bench in a garden. Good target, he thought to himself. He signaled the crew. Ochuko sat beside the lovers. He turned to the guy and said: “I hope you don’t mind?”

The guy was too dumbstruck to respond. When he finally found his voice, he said: “If you don’t mind, you may want to sit on any other bench around,” Ochuko gave him a cold look.

“Sweetheart let’s leave this place,” the guy said to his girlfriend as he made to stand up.

“If you move a muscle, I will move you to your grave,” Ochuko said as he put his right hand into the inner pocket of his blazer suit. Immediately, the guy sat back.

Ochuko turned to the girl. “Now ask your sweetheart which hotel he took my wife to last night”.

“I don’t know what you are talking about,” the guy protested.

“Was I talking to you? If you provoke me, I will give you one bullet for your stomach,” he threatened.

“Ahhhh please don’t… I am very sorry… please,” he begged.

 “I… I … I … went to night vigil,” he stammered.

“Young man, you better say the truth before I let you have a taste of my bullet,” Ochuko threatened further with his hand still placed inside his blazers suit.

“Please sir, have mercy,” the guy prostrated on his knees.

“You think I am here to joke with you. Now take this bullet!” Ochuko brought out a can of BULLET ENERGY DRINK which he handed over to the guy who had already shut his eyes in preparation for his death. The guy came back to life when Ochuko announced to him that he had just been pranked. Ochuko pointed to the direction of the cameramen who had been recording the whole episode as it unfolded. After the guy and his girlfriend had been relieved of the shock, they both held the can of BULLET ENERGY DRINK as they posed for the camera. Ochuko and the crew members moved to catch the next unsuspecting victim.

****                                          ****                                          ****

Soji walked under the hot afternoon sun as he made his way towards the University gate. He had a series of lectures since morning. He had to rush back home in order to prepare himself for his evening training session at the dojo. The lack of sufficient space to accommodate every student at the school hostel made Soji rent an apartment outside the school campus. This means he had to shuttle in and out of school to accommodate his various activities in school.

As he walked briskly along the sidewalk of the tarred university road, he noticed a figure walking behind him. He gave no thought to it as it was a public road. He felt a tap on his shoulder which eventually made him turn back. The person was a total stranger to him.

“May I help you, sir?” he asked.

“So you think you can run forever,” Ochuko asked rhetorically.

“I am sorry sir. I don’t know you,” Soji insisted.

“Of course you don’t know me. But I guess you know Chief. He asked me to deliver a message to you”.

“Which Chief? Which message?” Soji asked, feeling more confused.

“Chief asked me to deliver a bullet to your stomach,” Ochuko said as he made to put his right hand into the inner pocket of his blazers suit.

Instinctively, Soji grabbed Ochuko’s right hand and twisted Ochuko’s wrist backward in one fell swing. Soji used his left hammer fist to strike Ochuko’s right elbow which made a snap. Ochuko made a very loud cry as he rolled on the floor. A can of BULLET ENERGY DRINK rolled on the floor out of the inner pocket of his blazer suit.

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