Until she had called Volcano "crazy" I had almost given myself whiplash turning my head this way and that trying to keep up with the torrents of insults flowing from both of them. Did I mention that New Bride (see part 1), was my seat mate? So evidently she was young enough to be Volcano's daughter but that didn't faze either of them.
Volcano's eyes bulged so much I was almost afraid he was going to have a heart attack as he grated, "You called me crazy?"
New Bride met his gaze head on and even though she was silent, you could practically hear her thoughts; "If the cap fits".
"You called me crazy!!!" Volcano boomed again. He was stark, raving mad by now.
As he turned around to shout, he unbuckled his seat belt to allow himself more range of motion. I actually thought he intended to leap right over the back of his seat to attack New Bride.
He was more inclined to yell, "This rat! You called me a crazy man? I will curse you today. I will put witch (sic) on you."
The irony of that statement didn't escape me. Here was a man who few minutes ago had called a woman a witch, now threatening someone else with a witchcraft hex. Takes one to know one I guess.
Volcano wasn't done, "I will deal with you. Go and ask of me; they all know me. My wife is a mighty dibia!"
I exchanged a look with my seatmate. Now I've heard a lot of things in my life but I've never, in all my years of sojourn on God's green earth, heard a man boast about his wife being a dibia/witch doctor. My seatmate's comment about Volcano's mental state was beginning to make sense.
He began to dial furiously on his phone. Someone picked and he barked an order at the person, "Meet me at Peace Park now!"
My seat mate laughed at that one, rolling her eyes as she taunted him. But I did notice that she instantly became more chatty and friendly with other passengers. My heart went out to her; violence against women in Nigeria is such that no woman truly feels safe in a public place especially where no one seems inclined to lift a finger to save her from attack. The slight show of vulnerability affected me and certainty settled like lead in my stomach. Volcano would not lay a hand on her if I had any breath left. Yes I know, I always have been a sucker for the underdog.
As though he had read my mind, he turned around in the midst of still redialing a number on his phone and said, "You don't kmow who you're messing with!I work in Federal High Court"
When he said that, my calm increased ten-fold. A civil servant then; and a court staff to boot. Well if he really worked in Federal High Court, i mused, one petition would see him shown the exit most disgracefully. All I was waiting for was for him or whomever he was calling to lay a finger on her.
Next thing, the person on the other line picked and Volcano erupted, " How dare you? I've been calling and calling. How many times must i tell you to use this your brain? How many times must I tell you to always pick my calls? What is wrong with you? Anyway meet me at Peace Park now there is something you will do for me."
The person at the other end must have balked because Volcano almost broke the phone in anger. " Are you controlling me or am I controlling you? Meet me at Peace Park!!!"
At this point I wasn't the only passenger wondering who the poor employee was who was saddled with such a man for a boss.
He turned to us with a triumphant smile and I'm ashamed to admit that in just that second I thought he looked like a gloating toad. He announced to our collectively shocked faces, "That was my wife! Wait she'll meet us at the park and deal with this witch for me."
I was aghast.
His wife? He had spoken so rudely, crassly and disparagingly to his better half? He had spoken to her as though he were addressing a house boy or slave.
By this time I was shaking with anger on behalf of his unknown wife.
To my shock, as the bus arrived Peace Park at Obollo Afor, Volcano got down, looked around and summoned a bike man to carry his garment bag. Then he slid away with his tail between his legs like an illegal fart at a conference.
As I watched him climb the bike without so much as another word, I was amazed.
What an anticlimax! And yes, I was as disappointed as you probably are.
After hours of anticipation all Volcano did was disappear when he saw the park empty of his reinforcements. Well what did you expect? A man who hides behind his wife's skirts and behind his 'boys' is probably more mouth than action.
Anyway, for the rest of the trip, Volcano's antics provided ready humor. When the driver opined that New Bride should be grateful none of the people Volcano had called up had shown because she would have been detained at the Park; a wise old man in the bus informed the driver that it was he who should be grateful because the bus would have been detained right along with her.
The lessson? In a world of crazies, sane people stick together.
Thanks for reading.
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