by Michael Ehinmowo
There has not been light. I charge my phone at the petrol station close to my house. Apart from charging at the filling station, the manager and I exchange books. Sometimes, we also engage in intellectual discussions. The night before yesterday, he promised to bring me a book which a friend had recommended to me. In the morning, after my house chores, I went to the filling station to get the book. I got the book and plugged my phone, thinking I would be back in an hour time to unplug it.
I found the book a bit engrossing and it seemed that I was unable to break away from its spell. After about an hour and thirty minutes, my thought reverted to my phone. I went back to the filling station. I saw one of the two attendants, waved to her, and went to the manager’s office.
I felt a zap run down my spine as the socket where I plugged my phone was empty. I went back to the attendant and told her that ‘I can’t find my phone’. She replied that she just arrived office at that moment. I asked her of the manager and the other attendant’s whereabouts. She said the manager just left office, and that she hadn’t seen the other attendant.
I went back home, took my mum’s phone and dialed my number. ‘the number you’re dialing is not reachable at the moment, please try again later’ the automated voice responded. My mum, who was preparing for her 45 minutes commute to her new station, sensed my panic and asked what was wrong. I told her my phone was missing. She was shocked.
I thought maybe the manager kept the phone for me. I dialed the manager’s number. It rang and he picked.
‘Manager Do you know where my phone is?’
‘No o, It should be where you plugged it’ he replied.
‘Okay, when did you leave office?’
‘I left office immediately you went home, I got call from my brother asking me to bring him a document. And since attendant O (he mentioned her name) was just arriving, I decided to leave. It’s about more than one and half hour now,’ he explained.
Armed with bold-face pressure, I went back to the filling station and told her about the slight disconnect between the time she claimed she arrived and what the manager said. She was squirming and looked caught off-guide. She flared up and asked me if I was accusing her. I left her and started searching where my phone could be kept. While I was ferreting about the office, I heard my mum calling my name. I went to meet her.
‘Michael we’ll pray about it. Go and stay in the shop’ . As she was still talking, a thought came to my mind. I left her and paced towards the stall which was supposedly meant to be supermarket but only inhabited by an old fridge.
‘Don’t go there and scatter Oga’s things over’, I could hear her marching toward me, her voice quivering.
I scoured through the stall and saw a carton at the back of the fridge. I opened it and saw a black scarf covering an object. I removed the covering and saw my phone charger. Hian! I searched further and saw a black gas container. Just beside the black container I was two tiny white holes. I mentally tried to align the appearance of the object I was seeing. Charging port! Aah!
I dipped my hand into it and brought out my phone.
‘It must have been the customer that….’ I ignored her and went straight to tell my mum that I’ve seen my phone. She looked at the attendant and something like a smile curled her lip.
As we left the filling station, my mum warned me never to charge there again. I looked back and saw the lady reporting herself to people around. I shook my head. I felt like going back to accuse her.
This entry was submitted as part of the Nigerian Voices competition organized by YNaija.com.
We publish, un-edited, Nigerians telling the stories of their everyday lives. Read all the narratives daily on the Nigerian Voices vertical. You can also contribute your own story titled ‘Nigerian Voices’ to [email protected]