Some years ago. About a decade ago exactly. While I was still taking up shelter with an uncle, I was practically the family chauffeur. I was like the unofficial driver for the family at the time. I drove the family to church, to malls for shopping, to homes of family friends, ran errands. If it involved driving, I did it. The only person I didn’t drive was my uncle, and this was because he was always out in the field as an Engineer. Though I often ran numerous errands for him. The wife could drive and did drive herself to work, but during the weekends, she needed her hands and legs to be free, especially because of her triplets, who were still babies as at the time. There was also another child who was living with the family too. My maternal grandma was also around at the time. There was also a nanny that didn’t know the city at all. So, essentially, I was the ‘transporter’. lol
On one fateful day, I didn’t know what came over me. I think it was a bit of fatigue mixed with mischief. Well, not an injurious fatigue. I knew my Uncle’s wife was preparing for an outing with the baby triplets, nanny, grandma and the child. I didn’t particularly know to whom or where the visit was intended. Out of mischief, I simply grumbled to myself “they won’t even inform me about any planned outing. They will just hijack me and ask me to drive”, “don’t they realise I may have something to do?”. To avoid taking them out, I pretended to be asleep. When they were almost ready, the child, who was about 7 years then was sent to come and inform me to get ready for an outing. She tapped and pushed me several times in an attempt to wake me but I refused to give any waking impression. You know it is always harder to wake someone pretending to be asleep. Hahahaha.
My Uncle’s wife could read between the lines. I could hear her tell my grandma that I could be tired. She was sincere about it though. She knew I was not given to malingering. She did the driving for the outing that day. Immediately after they drove out of the compound, I came out to the sitting room to watch some TV. I didn’t sleep. I wasn’t really ‘tired’. I was just mischievously and strangely ‘tired’ of taking them out that day. To cut the long story short, they returned about 3 hours from the family friend they had gone to visit on invitation.
When they came back, I could see the obvious excitement all over everyone’s face. From my Uncle’s wife, to the child, nanny, House-help (I forgot this earlier) and my Grandma. Their host had given the triplets N20,000 each. My grandma got N30,000, the house-help got N15,000, the nanny was given N30,000. The child also got N20,000, while my aunt got N60,000 as gift.
Imagine what I lost that day as a broke young man. I mean, during this time, I was flat out broke. The next day, either out of sympathy or humiliation. My Uncle’s wife gave me N2,000 the next day.
This is one of the consequences of inconsistency. Most times, it doesn’t recognise if one had been doing something well up until a particular time to indulge in a moment of deliberate inconsistency, either out of rage, emotions, mischief or stupidity.
Except there is good reason or hindrance for not doing something right, the right thing should be done at all times as long as one is capable, healthy, have the means and the time.
Words by Olajide Abiola