Welcome to storytime guys. You know every so often I worry that I will run out of stories to tell and then I remember the most random experiences and I’m like no, can’t happen. Very few people have heard this story so sit tight as you’re being initiated into the inner circle one sentence at a time.
Have you ever been in a terrible situation but because of the people around with you in that time and how you handled it that it becomes one of your fondest memories? Well you’re about to hear one of mine.
The year was 2017, around May if I recall correctly or April who knows. As you grow older, time becomes a blur of memories. Anyways I’m in my final year and I need to get my WAEC and NECO certificates from my secondary school for final clearance and honestly I was just looking for any reason to travel. For context I lived and schooled in Portharcourt and my secondary school was in Ogun state. So I leave the rain filled clouds of Port harcourt and head West to good old Lagos.
I won’t bore you with the details of the trip. Just know I got what I came for, saw a couple of friends and was supposed to leave in like two days. I’m chatting with a friend,Theo who is usually based in Lagos but was serving in Ibadan at the time. And he says he is coming into town (back to Lagos) during the weekend so we should set something up for Monday. I was done with my social visits for the trip but I was like, yes please. Because of the distance I hardly got to see friends from high school so I’m always open and excited to see them. Often times half my Lagos trips in the past was mostly about seeing them.
So we planned a trip to the beach for Monday. Weird I know but it’s perfect because it’s Lagos plus it was the only day that worked with how my trip was planned. We invited two other mutual friends from school and everything was set. So we are a party of four, know the players there’s me, our host, Swagger on a 100 Theo, then there’s cool kid on the block, Bassey and finally we have alpha male Zee. Come monday afternoon, say midday, we convey at Theo’s house, I arrive first and in time everyone else arrives, we gist and catch up for a bit and then head out. Theo drives us all down to the beach and the fun begins.
Theo’s house is not crazy far from the beach and it’s a Monday afternoon so the roads are quite free for Lagos. We get there, find a beach side restaurant to chill. Guy, the things were so ridiculously overpriced that we had to leave, drive out of the beach and go get drinks from outside before we came back in.
We are settled, hanging out, catching up on our lives, drinking by the beach. Theo had an upset stomach so he was almost often in the loo. This is very important information because it’s the thing that tips the cards. Zee and I are having the time of our lives playing like children in the water, running into the waves, trying couple poses, taking pictures, having sand in places that sand should definitely not be. Bassey is trailing behind us and only getting as far as the water touching his feet (eyeroll). For someone from the south dude was surprising scared of the water. Talking about traditions and village and his mum, boy please. Lmao
Anyways we’ve been there a couple hours, we were planning to start leaving soon and Zee, Bassey and I then planned that when Theo came back from his last bout at the loo we will lure him to come close to the water and push him in. He hadn’t even touched the water the whole time we had been there. Meanwhile me and Zee also had a separate plan of also pushing Bassey into the water after Theo. So Theo comes, we call out to him, we push them both in and we are all cracking with laughter. Next thing, Bassey exclaims and everyone is like, what’s up? He says he’s lost something in the water. It all felt very ominous, just like when Jesus said virtue had left him and was asking Peter who touched him. We are all wondering and asking, phone in hand, check. Canned drink in hand, check. What is not in hand, guys? The car keys. The car keys were not in hand. Cue the crazed panic.
Little back story, Theo had given the car keys to Bassey since he spent half the time in the loo so in case we needed anything we could access the car easily. While we were busy trying to process things, Bassey was already knee bent, arms spread out in the water, searching frantically for the key. It’s a key right, not something so fickle that can be easily washed away, all the while waves are coming and crashing before us. Spitting out things it had stolen from other people and the plastics and trash we have unkindly gifted it. And in that we saw hope, maybe just maybe even if it went upshore if we search hard enough and wait, it just might be washed back out.
So we spread out and searched and searched and searched, few people came to help and give very unproductive and unsolicited advice. In all that we still searched till darkness crept upon us and we knew it was time for plan B. We had packed all our things to the car, now that I think of it, we were able to open the car. I don’t recall how but we were. We just couldn’t start it and go back home. As per plan B, Theo leaves the beach to go find a mechanic, I’m trying to call my host to let her know that I may not go back home that night and Bassey and Zee are just gathered with people around that are trying to help. I quickly found that because my phone was in my pocket while I was playing in the water (I know, I know) that it had gotten bad but I was still able to reach my aunt luckily. By this time it was already like 7pm and leaving the car on the beach was not an option except we wanted to see it stripped down to its gear. Us sleeping on the beach was not an option also, but we thought about it all. At this point there were no bad ideas.
A good thirty minutes that honestly felt like two hours Theo finally comes with a mechanic- a duo of two guys. They tinker and tweak and touch wires and finally jump start the car and with a uniform sigh of relief we jump in and head back to Theo’s. This was like past 8pm, it was already silently acknowledged that we were sleeping in Theo’s house. And off we went.
Theo had gone a distance to find the mechanics so they joined us on the ride out and we were to drop them off somewhere along the way. When they were ready to drop off, we had to tip them or something and Zee starts looking for his wallet and only then do we discover that one of our many ‘helpers’ on the beach had stolen his wallet. And in the midst of all the drama he had forgotten his shoes on the beach. It was all so annoying and sad but we couldn’t help but laugh at the absurdity of everything.
I remember on the drive home, Theo’s mum calls and initially she was sounding so worried in the way only upper middle class men who know how they laboured for every privilege their children enjoy could be. And the way the conversation went from her sounding like that to sounding like the typical Nigerian mother who is one slap away from resetting your brain was the most hilarious things ever. Like ‘Baby where are you…are you alright?.. It’s getting late, why aren’t you home?… ok, what happened… You WHAT?… WHY WERE YOU IN A RIVER IN THE FIRST PLACE… and with your car key… I’ll see you at home.’ We laughed so hard.
Bassey the coward amongst us decided to drop off and go to his house instead of facing Theo’s parents wrath. In his defence, unlike me and Zee that had never met Theo’s parents or had any interaction with them before, Bassey and Theo are super close family friends and he guessed that in the typical Nigerian way, they will come down just as hard on him as Theo. So we drop Bassey off somewhere close to his house and then there were three.
Zee and I just kept lamenting about how Theo’s parents will think we are the friends that are trying to come and spoil their child. I was wearing sand filled short shorts and a tank top of sorts while Zee had on super ripped jeans and if you see Zee, he is the perfect pictorial representation of hard guy. Thankfully I had a cover up gown which I wore. We finally get to Theo’s house and thinking we were smart we decide to go through the back door and sneak in through the kitchen. Only for us to go in and find his parents waiting for us at the dining table. Guy, I almost died from shock. The way me and Zee sharply hid behind a wall. Please it’s family issue, leave me out of it. After a long period of explanations and apologies, we were dispersed. The whole experience was just so draining that I just showered and went to bed. And by God was sand everywhere.
The next day saw all three of us heading back out to the island to get a new car key cut and then we went back to the beach to pick up Zee’s shoes, luckily we found them. We then had a nice afternoon sharing a pizza and laughing all our troubles away. After that we headed our separate ways to go home.
So many disastrous things happened but this is still one of my best trips and I always remember it with such fondness.
We may not be each others besties but this experience bonded us in many ways. No matter what happens Theo, Bassey and Zee will always be my guys. And we will always have Elegushi beach.
I think the one think that sucked a lot was that between me and Bassey’s phone getting bad which really sucked. All the pictures from the trip went the way of the key.