“Hello… guy how far? Wetin dey happen? You say wetin? Na lie! For where? Come block me for crib make we follow march. Oya now… E go be.”
That was me on the phone with my friend,Kokri. A mutual friend, Ikemba, had just won about N1.8 milion from a N100 bet he placed on one of the numerous bet platforms that have taken over Lagos street corners. Kokri called to inform me that Ikemba was celebrating his windfall. He is my man, so attendance is almost mandatory.
We get to Omoba Hotel where it is going down. The music is deafening, with the smell of marijuana and cigarettes occupying the air. From across the room, I see Ikemba with a bottle of Ciroc Vodka. His face brightens up as he spots me and Kokri meandering through the crowd of partyers.
We exchange pleasantries and take our seat among his”well-wishers.” I quickly reach for a bottle of vodka and an empty glass. I empty the contents of the cup and refill quickly before dropping the bottle. As I sit there, I retreat into a mild day dream: I think about my younger sister, I am supposed to send her N5,000 before the end of the week. My younger brother asked me for N2,000 to buy materials for his comic book. That’s 7k with other monies I am yet to gather.
I remember my second laptop and the devil whispers: “sell am.. atink you no dey use am like that sef.”
I ask the devil: “how much I wan sell am kwanu?”.
He replies “You go fit see am sell for N30k.”
“30k? Ah! E no better make I chill make this singer boy pay me for the online promotion wey I wan do for am? You remember say I give that my papa friend brother my CV and e talk say e go fit find job for me for hin wife papa company? Make I chill. That lappy go still fit do another work another time.”
The devil replies: “KOLEWERK!!!”
Enraged at the devil, I plan to dish out a reply when to my greatest relief, Ikemba interrupts my discussion with my “follow-come devil.”
“Nwanne, wetin dey pap!”
“Nwanna, I dey men. Your own don better o. You be flexing though!”
He laughs loudly. “My brother, e no easy o. After all these years, I finally cash out better money from these people.”
“Na so! Omo so na wetin be the code.”
“Omo me was run go SA o! At least I go fit press properly from that way.”
“That one dey o. At least e go dey easier from that location”
“You wey know. I dey come, my babe dey call me, e be like she dey outside. Make I go pick am.”
“Äbeg gimme your other phone make I check livescore. I no get sub for phone.”
As he leaves, the devil returns: “That one no be bad idea o! All these years you dey waka with yahoo boys, you never dey press. At least you fit use your second laptop dey run the paroles.”
“Fucking leave me alone,”I whisper to the devil as I open the livescore home page.
“Kokri gimme biro make I mark this my ticket. My own luck fit follow shine today… Ludogoretz win, Empoli win, Kasimpasa win, Tottenham goal-goal enter, Bayern over 3.5 enter, Barca HS2 enter, Man Utd lose! Ooooooooo…. Kokri see am o… And Madrid straight win and over 2.5 enter. E no go better for Van Gaal. Common Southampton e no fit win”
Kokri: “Your ticket don burst?”
“As in ehn.Oloriburuku Van Gaal iyen ti ba ticket mi je. Abeg pass me that shayo make I forget this rubbish Van Gaal,” I blurt out as I tear up my betting slip.
The devil reappears.
“ABEG PARK WELL!” I scream out, causing everybody to look in my direction.