So, I think deep down I knew my car was a tragedy waiting to happen, but I consoled myself with the fact that it was functional and I went from Point A to Point B reasonably comfortable.
Yesterday, however, I could tempt fate no longer. I already had a front bumper that dislodged at the worst moments, and a shaft that was nice enough to clear its throat for my attention every time I turned a corner or climbed a bridge. I mentioned these things to my dad, who had made a point of warning me when I first started driving the car that if it ever had any trouble, I should call him and no-one else, or I could get ripped off. He seemed very nonchalant, and seemed more concerned with whether the car moved well or not.
Yesterday morning, I attempted to start the car… and it died almost instantly. Hm, fair enough, it’s done that before, and when I complained, no-one took me seriously. My dad and his driver had acted like I was being paranoid.
I turn the key again; it comes on… and dies. I found that the trick was to rev it as soon as I started it, and gently stroke the engine with tiny caresses of my foot on the accelerator till it warmed enough for me to move it. And after all, it was ok once I got moving, right? But as my sis and I sailed along towards work, I couldn’t help feeling like something was not right. That nagging voice kept bugging me in my head. At a point, before we drove out of the compound, I actually contemplated bussing it to work. All is manageable, and then somewhere on Third Mainland bridge I start getting that horrible feeling again. And I keep hearing noises.
Turns out my paranoia was half right. Towards the end I notice a couple of people point towards the front of my car. My bumper had slipped off on one side again. We park, fix it. And I think, no big, I’m going to get that done on Thursday. The rest of the trip is uneventful. I get to work, and my seatbelt’s gone and stained my lovely sky-blue shirt. GRRR. Also, I’ve acquired a nice big dirt spot on my trousers that won’t be brushed off.
Irritable, I go about my day, not really paying attention to what I was doing, feeling down and unlike myself. I just wanted the day to end. Come after 8, I leave my office and start my car. It does that crap again. This time, I have to actually force the car to move before it was warm to keep it on. Every corner that I had to slow down and turn, the car would hiccup and begin to die, but I would accelerate it hard and it would recover. My sister wasted 20 minutes of my life in her office’s parking lot, with each second, my fear about the car steadily increasing. I was already 100% sure I wasn’t driving it again that week.
We get going, and I’m thinking to myself, ‘God, please let us get home, I don’t feel good about this.’ Guess not. We were almost on our way out of VI, and for the first time ever I saw traffic climbing a bridge towards CMS. I ignored my instincts for the millionth time that day and climbed the bridge instead of going under it. The car couldn’t make it. Especially as there was slow-moving traffic climbing. It died. And nothing I did worked. We were stuck. I hit the handbrake so we wouldn’t slide backwards, which meant I couldn’t rev the car to move.
About 10-minutes later, a couple of good Samaritans, 2 guys, stop and try to help. I was apprehensive, but they proved over and over again that they were sincere. Asked me to hold their keys while they tried to start my car. Unable to, they finally helped us push it back off the bridge and into the Ecobank head office close by where my sister had begged the security to let us park. The guys drive us to somewhere where we could get a cab. An over-priced one. But it was almost 10pm, we were tired and desperate. The taxi guy burned more of our time by going to queue for fuel.
Think that was the end? Pfft. We entered traffic. Serious crazy traffic. We didn’t get home till 11.20pm. By this time, I was fatigued and hungry, but all I wanted was bed. Guess what? I forgot the key to our side of the house in the car. My dad, once again, showed no real concern for our predicament(s). I didn’t even bother calling my mum, she would have flipped. So we jack the door, ruining the wall near it. I slept at midnight.
This morning, my alarm went off. And I ignored it. I got to work late. My car is still wasting away in Ecobank’s parking lot. I have no idea how to move it. I suddenly resent that vehicle. A lot. It’s like, a million years old. Why am I driving it?
Anyone willing to dash me a car, I won’t say no. Offers are now open.