Short Stories

Fuel Station Love


Fuel Station Love
Beatrice came out of her apartment holding a ten litre transparent keg. She was really frustrated at the level at which the economy and standard of living was deteriorating. She had been on the street for three good years looking for a job, after graduating with a second class from the university of Calabar.
Now, she had finally secured a job as a secretary on the island and the PHCN had refused to supply power. She resides some where in Lagos. She lives alone in a one bedroom flat apartment. It takes one week to iron a short. they supply power for five minutes, they take it, and that’s all for the day. So you iron one sleeve of the shirt on Monday, the second sleeve on Tuesday, the collar on Wednesday and on and on. At least it was better than those times when the power was not supplied for a week. Those times when people who run frozen foods store changed their line of business to roasting and smoking fish and chicken just to avoid running into loss.
It was a Saturday afternoon and she was sure the queue would be very long, but she just had to get the fuel to power her small (I better pass my neighbor) generator to iron her cloth, because she could not afford looking tattered on her first day at work. When if it means putting off every appliances in her house including the bulb.
“Bilikis” Beatrice called the cubby, short girl at the veranda who was bust weaving someone’s hair. Beatrice had been spending time with her after her job hunting for the day and she had also learnt the skill of hairdressing.
“Ore mi atata” (my very good friend) Biliki shouted, shaking her body in a ridiculous way with her thumps up.
“Where you won go but fuel?” She asked on seeing the gallon. “Conoil. I hear say energy no get petrol” Beatrice replied facing upwards to see her friend who had already suspended the weaving of the customers hair.
“I hear too, but them say people too much for there”
“I know na, but I really need it” Beatrice said really frustrated.
“OK na. Abed help me but two litres one hundred and seventy five naira” Biliki said as she reached for her purse.
“You be mumu oh!” Beatrice said laughing. “The only thing wey u know na people too plenty for fuel station, but you no know about the increase on price abi” she continued laughing. “Aunty Biliki, it’s now one hundred and forty five Naira. God punish the president and all the people that voted for him” the fair, skinny girl whose hair was being woven swore. Her small oblong has with her long neck made her look rather funny.
“Huh! God will not punish me oh” Beatrice thought. Of course she was among the masses that voted in the current president.
“Bilikis abeg I dey go”
She got to the fuel station. The queue was breath taking. The kind of turn up you would get if it’s announced that money would drop from the church ceiling. Even members that had forgotten the name of the church would attend.
Beatrice joined the queue, at the back of a teenager who was holding two 30 liters keg. “Habah! this one wants to buy the fuel station” Beatrice thought and smiled to herself.
She waited patiently for twenty minutes and it seemed like the queue wasn’t moving.
“Oga so na only one litre petrol you won buy you carry this big Jerry can” a male voice shouted. Everybody laughed and commented. The man they were laughing at was putting on a blue torn singlet, he was dressed like a roadside mechanic. “I…I…no… no…know say e…e…don”
“Oh!oh!” Beatrice muttered. He was actually a stammerer. Everybody roared into another round of laughter. Beatrice joined too.
“Beauty” someone tapped her shoulder. “Godwin” she failed. In as much as she wanted to hide her joy on seeing him, she couldn’t.
Godwin was her Ex. She loved him but he had temper issues. she had coped with him not until he slapped her in the middle of an argument and she was partially deaf for a week. She called him on phone to bring up, she hasn’t set her eyes on Godwin for six months.
“Godwin, I thought you died” Beatrice said trying to sound mean even though she missed him.
“How can i possibly die? When the love of my life is still very much alive” He teased. He was bent on getting her back. Beatrice was the coolest girlfriend he had ever had.
“I want you back” he pleaded when she didn’t reply his previous statement. Gosh! She didn’t even blush. he couldn’t believe she felt nothing for him anymore.
“I can’t date a panel beater” she replied with sarcasm. Godwin scoffed “but i don’t best panels” he replied, though he understood what she meant. He knew he had a horrible temper but after he kind of lost her six months ago he had been working on it.
“Abeg move jor, u dey here dey talk to bobo.”the man in his late Thirty’s said in a rather sassy, impolite way. Beatrice looked ahead of her and discovered he queue has moved and she was hindering the people behind her from joining the others.
“Oga, na fight?” Godwin retorted.
“You better pack well oh. You come here come buy fuel or you come look for ashi top bleep” he increased his voices this time attracting more ears. Beatrice understood the guy, the frustrated was enough to make someone mad, but she doubted if Godwin would be able to control his anger this time. Godwin clenched his teeth and fist, trying hard to subdue his anger. He really wanted to iron things out with this nigga, but he was at the verge of winning Beatrice back. He had to show her that he had changed. He took a deep breath and let out a fake grin.
Beatrice was about to join the queue. He held her back. “You see, I have changed. You know me, I would have scattered his teeth” he breathed but Beatrice just kept quiet.
“OK! Give me another chance. Any day I raise my voice at you, talk less of even raising my hands to hit you, leave me forever” he continued but Beatrice still kept quiet.
“Beautiful Beatrice” Godwin said as he bent his knee to kneel down. He doesn’t care anymore, he wants his girl back.
Beatrice couldn’t believe Godwin was kneeling for her. She only imagined that in her dreams. She loves him, so whatelse. but she still kept him hanging.
Godwin was prepared to cry when Beatrice made no attempt. He felt has already embarrassed himself by kneeling down publicly for a lady, so no big deal if he cries too.
“OK. Godwin, I will give you a second chance because I still love you” Beatrice said after second of total silence.
“Awwwn! Fuel station love” someone mumbled.
“Thanks, let’s go” Goodwin said. He just couldn’t stop smiling. He wanted to do many things to her at that moment, but they were in public
“I thought you came to get petrol” Beatrice said with a smirk. “Yeah, but I ended up getting a greater fuel. Beauty you are like my fuel, you keep me going” he teased. Those words were from his heart. “I was going to repeat Titanic with the petrol but why do that when I can make my own love story?”
Beatrice felt her head swelling like a piece is bread, soaked in water. She left the fuel station all lovey dovey with her lover that she forgot she can’t go to work looking tarttered.
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