Night Runs – chapter 1 – gossips

Enjoy this new short story series

Chapter 1

Gossips

His rider showed no sign of irritation when Adio wheeled the car to a halt by the roadside kerb. It took him all of twenty-four minutes to arrive at the pick-up point. He had been driving around roads on the island avoiding routes that meandered into back alleys where unscrupulous policemen paired up to extort cabs drivers in the dead of the night.

His android map did him no favors as it only displayed the fastest route to pick up his next rider, but not the safest. Adio had since learned to follow his instinct; sometimes it failed, but on many occasions, he was glad he obliged the inner voice that kept him company when he drove his cab empty.

That was the best decision you made tonight bro. You owe me.”

Adio liked to think of the inner voice as his alter-ego, the one intimate friend he shared with no one, so much that he christened him “Don”.

One of his little idiosyncrasies had him nodding away and smiling while he entertained Don’s voice as he joked about everything and nothing during his daily commute. They were both the judge and jury, everyone else he came across was helplessly in the dock.

Adio certainly loved his job.

It was 11.54pm and the night was considered young on the last Friday of the month.  The streets held promise and he hoped his next trip would earn him enough to close the day on the high. He had consistently met his daily payment and delivery target, and this pleased him even more, especially because he enjoyed driving at night when his riders entertained him with unending drama that took a different turn every time.

His rider this time was a woman who surprisingly was on the big side. She was the fattest person he had ever seen; she was all of two full seats at the back of his knackered 2004 Toyota Corolla.

Her raspy voice with a deep timbre gave no hint of her size when Adio spoke with her earlier on the phone, after she had requested for the ride online. He was made to wait several seconds while she engaged another caller on the phone.

“Could it be that she was still on that same call?” Adio wondered.

I hope your shock absorbers survive this journey.” Don chirped.

Adio cringed. “Be nice.” He muttered.

His car was a 1.8litre four-cylinder engine rated 132horsepower, her weight would mean nothing for his engine.

The woman paid no heed, as she chatted away animated on the phone. Adio was used to that sort of attitude from his passengers.

His car sank lower the moment she eased herself comfortably into the back seat before shutting the car door.

Adio shook his head slowly and then started the usual compliment. “Good evening, I am starting the trip.”

“My sister, you will not believe what I am going through.” The woman waved him on as consent whilst continuing her conversation at the same time.

 “I have endured this nonsense for too long.” Then a short pause as she listened to the voice on the other side. “The idiot had the guts to bring her to my house. My own house. What a shame!”

Adio peered through the inner mirror, with a wrinkled frown, to look carefully at his passenger briefly before lowering his eyes reluctantly back to the road. It was enough time to observe her appearance and look. 

She looked disheveled, sweaty, unkempt, and angry. Nothing endeared her to him. Her dress looked like she hurriedly jumped into it as evident in the creases, yet she had enough time to smear her lips in enough red paint for style.

Her eyes darted to the left and right as she listened to the voice on the call.

This one is going through the issues of life.” Don taunted.

Adio turned the knob for the air conditioner to a cooler temperature to make his passenger comfortable. Afterall he still cared about his ratings.

“Driver of the year!” Don mocked.

As the trip started, the car remained silent until punctuated by the wheezing sound she made when she breathed. But she soon interrupted the conversation with her raspy voice again.

“He is a bastard. I had no idea that he was sleeping with Adaego. I had absolutely no idea.”

Then silence. Adio kept his eyes on his fuel gauge, a habit he had grown accustomed to since he started the ride-hailing business two years earlier.

“They met at my daughter’s tenth birthday party. I invited her to help me with cooking for the guests. It was a lot of work and I didn’t have the strength to do all the cooking, cleaning and other house chores at the time. So, I asked my friend, my friend o, to come help me out. Apparently, my friend got chummy with my useless husband, and they started texting on phone.”

Silence again.

Adio didn’t like the way he couldn’t make out what the other caller was saying.

Are you serious?” Don offered to fill in the gap in the conversation by mimicking the gossip at the other end of the call.

“I am very serious. I didn’t suspect anything at all until I noticed that Makinde was always home when I got back from work on Thursdays. He had one stupid excuse or the other why he wasn’t at work whenever I asked.”

The voice on the other end was a distant shrill as though in a fit of exclamations.

Adio turned his head slightly to hear more. What more could a listless cab driver do?

“Yes, yes, that is the day she is off work. Yes, she is off shift on Thursdays.”

Don could not offer a suggested response as the woman listened again. Curiosity killed his creativity.

“The bastard was coming home during his break from work to have sex with Adaego. Can you imagine?”

Quiet again, except for the sound of crunching gravel as he maneuvered the car into a slip road.

“Can you just imagine?” She slammed her fist on the car door shifting her weight in the process and causing the car to veer slightly to the right.

Adio’s grip on his steering wheel tightened. One hand could no longer steady the wheels as his car labored and trumped slowly through the empty streets of a laid-back neighborhood. They had neared her destination.

“Madame, take am easy o.” Adio protested feebly.

“I caught them o.” The woman continued speaking as though he didn’t exist.

Adio stay in your corner.” Don joked.

The voice on the other end of the call spoke on for a bit.

“It was the woman that runs the petty shop on my street that mentioned it to me last week. She asked if my husband was feeling better and that my friend had been coming to the house to treat him for malaria.”

Malaria Kwa.” Don chimed in, Adio smiled.

“Chairman needed some anti-malaria love as his obese wife had none to give.” Adio smirked. 

“I am telling you. I am telling you. And then she would leave the house just before I return after my shift at 6pm.”

They soon arrived her destination just about that time and Adio was starting to regret why he didn’t drive much slower, afterall it wouldn’t have mattered to this passenger, not to mention the extra money he would have earned on the rider’s application if he had gone the longer route.

She tossed some mint cash impolitely at Adio as she alighted, much to the relief of the car springs at the back.

Adio did not mind when he realized there was enough tip for his listening troubles.

He could still hear her talk as she shut the door after her.

“I walked in on them inside the bedroom. My matrimonial bed! The two idiots. They were…..” the words were lost with the emerging distance. Adio’s ears, nose and eyes struggled for auditory sound.

Baba, you need to finish this gist o.” 

Adio suddenly jumped out of the car under the guise of relieving himself by the road drain so he could hear the concluding part of the gossip. He fiddled with his zipper as he walked within ears shot.

The woman was not even startled, she continued to gesticulate as she trudged on.

It was almost felt like a performance for her.

“I beat am ehn. Oh my God! I beat the hell out of both of them, till Adaego fainted.” She coughed out phlegm which she spat into the pavement. Adio could still hear her heavy breath as she stumped away on her short thick legs. Nothing about her stride and gait made perfect symphony. 

Adio could easily be caught staring, as he tuned his concentration in for more of the gossip, throwing decorum to the wind.

“She is still receiving treatment at the hospital, that useless woman. She has not seen anything yet.”

Even though Adio had zipped down his pants, he had no interest in nothing but the gossip.

He watched as the woman walked away with the rest of her story that had kept him curious the whole time.

“Closure, closure, closure” Don urged.

The last he heard was, “he would not try it again in his life. The bastard.”

Adio was tempted to pass judgement, but Don’s voice sneaked into his thoughts.

“Is there any love in this world?

Who is Adio’s next rider? click here to find out.

Comment? drop some please.

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7 thoughts on “Night Runs – chapter 1 – gossips”

  1. Wow! Interesting. I hope to read more interesting stories on the night runs series.
    Keep the stories coming.

  2. Adio’s next rider will surely be an interesting one… Keep it up Sir while I’ll be back after knowing his next rider.

  3. This was such a lovely read. The guy’s aproko is on another level. I love how relatable this story feels… That inner voice in your head that always humour you and the dramas that Bolt and Iver drivers experience daily. I’m definitely following this series.

  4. I want to complete the gist too ooo!!! Don should tell us what finally happened after pouncing on them with better beating. Lol!!!

  5. Adedamola ilori

    Interesting and exciting start to this story Adio hasn’t seen anything yet, his night runs would show him a totally different world he’s used to, even his companion,Don would have speechless situations.
    Well done, omo Akin

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