Gabby at the Market

Gabby was lost in random daydreaming of nothing in particular when the cab turned right at the junction to the city’s library. The detour brought her back to consciousness.

“I’m going to Market Street o!” Gabby excaimed to the driver from the back seat, looking with a bit of agony through the rear ‘windscreen’ as the library shrunk out of view.

“I wan drop them first before I drop you.” replied the driver as he parked the cab at the under-bridge to allow the other occupants of the cab to alight from it before proceeding via a slightly longer route to Market Street.

Gabby was slightly miffed at the change of plans the detour meant for her. Market Street had two entrances/exits to it; one end neighboured by the library and another end led directly to the express road.

She had planned to come in at the library end of Market Street, window shop and probably buy any item of interest she came by, before coming out at the express road end of the street and getting a direct cab back to her room in a hostel off campus.

She fumbled through her purse to find a naira note in the worst possible condition to hand the driver a payment for her fare; to serve as punishment for the detour. The worst she found was a very dirty N200 note, which she squeezed hard before handing it to the unsuspecting driver, who had parked at the start of the express road, some meters from Market Street.

She yanked her balance from his outstretched hand and went off as if to be in a haste, slowing down considerably after crossing the express road and getting to the street. There were no offices there, just stalls for food items and whatever else -edible and otherwise – one could get for their kitchen.

Then she remembered some items she had to get. Her toilet was a mess so Harpic was one. Brenda had, yet again, lent her black spray polish without returning so that was another otherwise she’d have to change what she’d already set her mind to wear for Sunday service.

Gabby changed direction and now headed towards a supermarket just by the street, a detour which made her giggle. The giggle stopped soon as she went into the supermarket and found the attendant ogling her.

‘Let me even enter na’ she thought as she waltzed past the attendant, ignoring his smile at her cleavage and making a quick turn into the nearest row of goods. It was the ‘sweet tooth’ section, and temptation came in every colour, size and form imaginable.

‘No cookies! No cookies!’ she repeated to herself in thought. ‘No horlicks! No horlicks! No horlicks!’ she repeated on seeing those. “Oh God!” she exclaimed, melting as she spotted bars of Bounty neatly arranged at face level.

All, if any, effort at resistance failed as she grabbed a handful only to drop them as if she’d been electrocuted by them. ‘Two-fifty for one ke?! Who are these leaches?!’ she thought in anger as she returned to her senses and searched for the row she was looking for.

She found a spray polish, then picked mortein as she remembered dodging a flying cockroach the other night. She then picked one harpic and saw “N650” pasted on its side. ‘Too much’ she thought as she dropped it.

She noticed then that the next harpic had no price pasted on it and instinctively she picked that one instead and made straight for the counter, for the attendant whose eyes took their time on her cleavage. ‘God is judge’ she thought as she dropped the items in front of him.

He let out a long, somewhat satisfactory sigh as he picked the items and started punching numbers on a calculator. She was repulsed by the sigh but kept her cool for the moment she waited for.

He was done with the spray polish and the mortein. Then he picked the harpic and looked round it for a pasted price, there was none. She kept a straight face but chuckled inwardly at his ordeal.

After racking his head for the price and gazing at the harpic intently as if to make it squeal its price to him, he finally punched ‘270’ on the calculator.

‘Ope ooo!!! Olodo oshi! God catch you… ‘ and on went Gabby in her thought, jumping with much elation inside her while keeping a straight face for the attendant. She gave him a thousand, almost ran out of patience while he got her balance and stormed out of the supermarket when he eventually did.

It wasn’t much but with almost five hundred extra to spend now, she could get two bunches of plantain for the weekend. She would get almost ripe ones, so she wouldn’t have a reason to sulk at any time over the weekend. Gabby smiled as she approached the plantain seller at Market Street.


The above is based on true life events. The main character is fictional but everything else happened almost entirely as portrayed above. Oh, no naira notes were mutilated in the making of this episode.


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