Asaba International Airport is currently on the outskirts of the
city. I say ‘currently’ because the city is fast growing and
expands daily. In the very near future it is possible that the
airport itself will be surrounded by business ventures,
infrastructure and even accommodations.
As it stands now, various foundations for future endeavors have
been laid with laborers working hard to build up manmade
structures that will take over the currently lush forest
surrounding the place.
When we got to the airport we met the indigenous foreman who
was glad to see me. He approached immediately and greeted
me courteously and I answered. He asked after Mr. Daniel and I
told him I would be standing in for him today. He nodded
understandingly and took me to a clearing in the huge car park
where the other workers had gathered.
The tarred runway of the airport exuded enough heat to make
someone have a heat stroke and I could see the waves of
energy emanating from the coal tar. I asked for a drink and a
bottle of coke was brought for me, chilled as ice, and I drank it
Jenny and Mr. Obi had followed close behind me and were given
the same treatment after which the foreman introduced us to the
representatives of the workers and we were asked to come into
another make shift tent to sit down while the driver went off with
the foreman to discuss other things. Apparently they were
familiar with each other.
“Don’t you people have access to the airport lounge?” I asked.
“It’s terribly hot out here.”
The representatives replied No, that that was one of the reasons
they wanted to talk to us.
We went on to discuss that and other matters with me proffering
reasonable solutions and Jenny and Mr. Obi chipping in once in
a while. After two long hours both parties were happy and the
representatives praised me for a job well done.
“It is not every time we get the Ogas to actually listen to us sir,”
one of the reps, a middle aged woman, said. “You are a
welcome development. Will you be staying on?”
I told them I was on contract and they promised to put in a good
word for me at the firm. I didn’t feel like telling them I was
already working elsewhere and so nodded my thanks. After the
meeting we went into the airport premises and had a look
There were a lot of things I hadn’t noticed on my arrival,
probably because I was in a hurry to get to the hotel and attend
my first meeting with Leemen’s Consulting. But now I actually
had time to take it all in and it was impressive. Although the
area was surrounded by bush, work was going on in and around
the Airport premises. Bulldozers were working on creating a
clearing where they said they would build another hangar for the
bigger planes. Vehicles came in and out and passengers were
disembarking in large amounts. We went and stood at the
entrance to the lounge to see if we could find a place to relax.
Some of the passengers passed by us, most of them staring at
Jenny, who graced them with her infectious smile.
One of them, an elderly man in silver lace attire, was so
engrossed with Jenny he bumped into his wife who had
been walking ahead of him. She immediately gave him a good
tongue-lashing, eyed Jenny poisonously and continued on her
way with the man apologizing behind her. Jenny grinned at me
and Mr. Obi laughed. I shook my head, laughing as well and
steered them towards a small restaurant I had spotted inside
the lounge.
We had taken a table and were about settling down when Mr.
Obi said he wanted to use the men’s room. We excused him and
ordered for some drinks.
“Alone at last.” Jenny said, and shifted her chair closer to mine.
“So how was your night?”
“You know how my night was Jenny.” I said, drinking my malt.
“You were there remember?”
“Not physically,” she said mischievously.
“Oh, come on, you are the first guy I am knowing that hasn’t
fallen head over heels in love with me, ring or no ring. What
“Is it wrong to be faithful to one’s partner?” I asked defensively.
“Ooooh,” Jenny said, thoroughly enjoying herself,
“So she’s your ‘partner’ now is she? Not your girlfriend again?”
“Jenny!” I said.
“I’m just messing with you dear, sheesh!” she said, smacking
the back of my hand with hers.
“Do you know you are one of many firsts for me? For instance
you are also the first guy that knows I am not completely
human and hasn’t freaked out.”
“Oh? Someone has freaked out over you being a mermaid?” I
asked. She shrugged her shoulders.
“A Pastor once saw me for what I was.
It was one of those mushroom churches; I had been invited
there by a, erm…man friend of mine. I think he was trying to
play for keeps as per making me his wife. I indulged him
because I wasn’t done with what I wanted from him yet and we
went to the church together. He made us seat at the front row
and after some praise and worship, this fat, well fed fellow came
out and started preaching. I could see he was totally covered in
falsehood, envy, greed, lust, the whole nine yards was all there.”
“You could see his greed demon?” I asked, interestedly.
“His what? No…is that how you see things? I see more of the
person’s aura, it’s kind of like colors exuding from the person,
flashes of light, bright and dark. I kind of feel the colors…isn’t
that how you see?”
“Not exactly, no. “I said.
“I mean, I see colors sometimes but most of the time it is more
graphic than that. Go on with your gist.”
She smiled; happy I was taking interest in her little escapade.
“We were seating in front and this guy who called himself a
pastor was belting the scriptures like he was the one that wrote
them and the congregation was being whipped up into a frenzy.
You know you humans, easily swayed by emotions.”
She gave me a wink and I maintained a blank expression.
“Okay, maybe you are not so human yourself,” she murmured
and continued

“Anyway, I’m going along with the sermon when the man
professes that he had just finished a three day fast and had
some visions he wanted to hand out. I don’t know what got to
me, either the fact that I knew he was lying or that he pointed to
me and said I was to come for private prayers that he had found
my husband! I didn’t know when I started laughing! I laughed
and laughed and my friend held me by the hand firmly, saying
‘he knew it all along’, that he was the husband the pastor was
referring to! I controlled myself and waited till after service when
we went to meet the pastor privately.
He frowned when I came in with my manfriend and said he had
asked to see only me. My friend boldly told him that he was the
one currently going out with me and that he was sure he was the
husband the pastor had seen in his vision. The pastor didn’t
even waste his time, he told him I was far from being his wife
and that he should leave his office so I and the Pastor could
discuss in private.
The poor lamb walked out so dejectedly that I felt sorry for him.
The Pastor came out from behind his desk and asked my name
and I told him if he hadn’t heard my name in his vision. He
laughed then and said he was going to pray for me, that I should
kneel down and close my eyes. I didn’t want to appear too rude
and besides I was worried for my man outside being so alone,
didn’t want him to wander off, so I decided to comply, thinking
the sooner we had this charade over the better.
No sooner had I knelt down that he laid his hands on my head,
then my face and went down to my shoulder, praying
vehemently all the time. I opened one eye and asked him what
he was doing and he told me to close my eyes, so I complied.
Again his hands continued to roam until I felt them taking the
weight of my breasts. I stood up and told him I had had enough
that I would like to leave now if he didn’t mind. He said I was
behaving like a child that he didn’t want to say anything in front
of the congregation but that he was the one who was meant to
be my husband. ”
I shook my head and chuckled.
Jenny lit up immediately.
“Ah, so you are human after all? Wait, wait, I’m getting to the
juicy part.
So I opened my mouth in shock when he said that, it was like a
bomb had gone off in his office. This fat conman actually
wanted to take me as a wife. Surely he wasn’t serious and I told
him so. He said I shouldn’t look at him like that, that he had lots
of money, houses in Ikoyi and so many cars that he didn’t know
what to do with them. I told him he was allowing his material
possessions to blind him to his calling but he laughed at that
and said he wasn’t a fool, he was going to enjoy life and all it
had to offer and ask for forgiveness later, his god after all wasn’t
a poor god and I wouldn’t be poor either if I agreed to his
request. I laughed and told him that he really wouldn’t want me
for a wife, and that where I come from his wealth was what we
used in paving our streets. He misunderstood me and said he
knew the streets of heaven were said to be paved with gold but
that wouldn’t I be better off enjoying the gold now on earth? I
told him I was not interested and made to leave. He grabbed me
and forcefully pulled me to himself. It was while we were
struggling that he must have seen me for who I was because he
suddenly let go screaming.
He pointed at me and said ’Mami water’ and I told him I
preferred the term ‘Mermaid’. I asked him if he still wanted to
marry me and he ran past me and out of his office like a bullet
out of a gun, screaming his head off!”
“What did your boyfriend say?” I asked. “Or didn’t the pastor tell
him?” Jenny laughed.
“I think he was way too scared to do anything of the sort. In
fact, the next time we went to the church at my man friend’s
insistence, an usher surreptitiously approached us and asked
that we go and seat at the back of the church, far away from the
pastor who kept casting furtive glances at me throughout the
service. We never went there again after that, I think my man
thought the pastor told us to go back because of him. I broke up
with him soon after.”
“So in a way the pastor was right, you were far from being his
wife.” I said, smiling cheekily. She grinned and sat back in her
chair, her huge chest heaving deliciously.
“So tell me about this love of your life, this Nina that you care
about so much.”
“There’s nothing to tell,” I said, “She and I just clicked. She’s
beautiful, hard working, caring, humorous and I feel I can tell
her anything. Anytime I see her smile I feel like everything is
going to be alright. She isn’t self centered. She thinks about me
all the time, I know because I can ‘see’ it and also because she
shows it by what she does, the actions she takes. She is my
encouragement. She’s not so proud that she cannot say ‘sorry’
when she is wrong, or ‘please’ when she needs something or
‘thank you’ when she has benefited from something. I don’t
know how else to explain it, except maybe like she’s like an
addiction to me. And I know she feels the same way about me.
Jenny had rested her face on her chin and was looking at me
“That’s a whole lot of nothing to tell.” She said.
“Where is Mr. Obi?” I said, suddenly feeling uneasy and wanting
to change the subject.
“Yeah, he has taken an awful long time, hasn’t he? Maybe you
should go and check on him. We’ll be leaving soon.”
I got up and headed to the male toilet. It was empty save for the
cleaner who was quietly mopping the floor. I checked all the
stalls and saw they were empty. I went back to Jenny.
“He is not in there,” I said.
Jenny was about to say something when she stopped short. A
look of panic came over her face and she pointed behind me. I
followed her finger and…
There, out on the runway, standing regally in the blowing wind
and the hot sun, was a two tailed leopard!


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