It was a few days to Passing out Parade (POP) from NYSC. We were driving down pipeline road in Ilorin, Kwara State, coming from the mall we just saw the movie Pan and enjoyed it not because of the fine acting but the shared joy of being together, Moyo, Tofu, Rayo and I.
We wanted the night to last longer so we walked from store to store window shopping and pretending like we didn’t know what each store had to offer. We all settled down at one of the wooden tables with ice cream cones, all talking at the same time and laughing hysterically.
On our ride home Moyo called shot gun with that came the role of DJ for the ride. I got into the driver’s seat, Tofu and Rayo in the back; I took in the view of the mall at night. I have always believed that places looked better at night with all the different colour lights from various stores lighting up the mall.
Moyo decided it was love night, so we started the ride home with John Legend’s ‘’All of me’’ then moved on to the A Great Big World’s ‘’Say Something’’ next was Ed Sheeran’s ‘’Give Me Love’’. All four of us sang along, the windows were up so we didn’t bother the rest of the world with our loud singing.
When we arrived at Pipeline Road, ‘’All We Are’’ by One Republic was playing and over the blaring speakers, Rayo was shouting ‘’I don’t know this one’’.
‘’We have to listen to this one’’ I said ‘’be patient with the song; you would know why soon enough’’ I finished.
When we got to the chorus, I sang more loudly
‘’we wouldn’t say our goodbyes because it’s better that way’’
The chorus gave words to all the things going on in my head and heart. I didn’t want the song to end. We arrived home and I refused to drop Moyo off at the junction to his house because I was milking the last moments our unit of four had left together, to the very last drop.
This is one of my best moments in my dear blue golf with its cracked side mirror that I have refused to fix, because in my mind it’s a perfect metaphor of what life is, broken but beautiful. It also had that dent on the left side of the fender from that time I drove it into the wall; and let me not forget the bonnet of the car that doesn’t close totally because I was half asleep and drove into the gate of my dad’s office but I am happy to report that I only almost hit a person and in my books that is a huge accomplishment.
I cleaned out the car yesterday. It had a lot of used plastic bottles, it housed my high heels, my colourful throw pillows, movie ticket stubs, receipts from toll gates and more importantly my best memories from the last one year I am happy to say that these are safely catalogued in my memory.
My first road trip in the car was to a place called ARMIT some 30 minutes’ drive away from Ilorin town, Mo, Pemi and I went to see Mr Mayor. It was the most exciting ride for me at the time, I liked that I was in control and of course the perks of chin chin at the end of the trip was rewarding.
Many more road trips followed but one stands out for me from a few Saturdays ago. Ife, Miss B and I went for a wedding in Abeokuta. It was amusing how people looked into the car smiling and wondering what I was doing behind the wheels. I have long since learnt that the looks come with the me driving a car, so I waved back at on-lookers and kept going. This made Ife laugh a lot harder.
A few life lessons though. One, a car is very unpredictable; it can just up and not start or decide to start making funny sounds. In my books it is like a high maintenance wife who needs constant care, love and a ready listening ear. Oh and gifts which range from a new kick, to new gaskets, engine oil every three months, a new key starter among other things. All in all, once it is treated right, it would always love you and more importantly, keep moving.
My first drive in Lagos was terrifying. After months of driving around Ilorin, I couldn’t get the image of almost driving under a truck out of my head from months earlier but I am happy Jide was there to help me, with his jokes and wicked muttley laugh that distracted me from my fear and gradually helped me overcome it all together.
I got the car as a graduation present last year and I was more than eager to start driving, till I drove my mum’s car into the wall (I have stopped driving into walls, to the Glory of God) one Saturday evening. My eagerness was replaced with fear of the road and a new found love for public transportation. So the car was packed for 6 months gathering dust, except for the occasional driving lessons after long hours of compliant from Mr. Abidoye.
Mr Abidoye gave me an ultimatum at the start of NYSC to drive the car or he would take it away. We found a new instructor in Ilorin, Uncle Tope, who in my books is the world’s best driving instructor. He shouts only when necessary, makes the most interesting jokes and he taught me to listen to a car, among other things. Oh before I forget we fasted together for road confidence because I was terrified of trucks and I used to drive off the road once I saw one approaching.
Tofu, thank you for trusting me with your life, sitting beside me when my ‘’L’’ plates were a badge of honour. Mama for endless supply of fuel money without the help from both of you, Miss Olaoluwa would not be able to have me as a personal driver today.
Last week Mr Abidoye decided it was time for a change, I always knew that I wouldn’t use the car forever but I wasn’t prepared for a change. I realised how attached I had become to the car, an extension of my bed room in many ways, all the many conversations it had absorbed and near misses. In that moment of realisation, I decided to do write a tribute to my dear ‘’blue golf’’ immortalize it the only way I know how.
You would be greatly missed and you hold a special place in my heart.