Read Story: SEASON 1 EPISODE 144
I was up early the next day to get ready for my undisclosed destination. Esther had already made breakfast; i joined them at the dinning to a plate of cornflakes and milk.
When we were done, I followed the men downstairs. It was just 4:15am and we were already on our way. There was a blue Toyota corolla packed in the compound that was the car we used.
“Frozen”. Esther called. “Keep your ears down and your eyes open okay”. She said to me before she closed the car door.
I nodded, and we were off on our way. We drove in silence until the sun rose and we were still driving. After a long distance drive, we stopped at a filling station for a refill and were soon on our way again. No one said anything to anyone and that felt weird.
Finally we drove into a sea port and packed at the car park. The guy who drove us brought out his phone and called someone.
“We’re here, where are you? …… Okay….. we are waiting”. And he hung up, turned to the guy seated by his side and said. “He’ll be here soon”.
After a while of waiting, a fat bellied man was running towards us, and the guy who drove us opened the car door and said to us.
“He’s coming, let’s get down”.
We all stepped out of the car and waited for the man. When he reached us he was breathing heavily, we patiently waited for him to catch his breath, and when he did, he said.
“Sorry…sorry, I was busy inside. We have to hurry and meet up with the crew”.
“I hope you settled them very well?” The guy who drove us asked suspiciously.
“Of cause I did”. The man said assuredly.
“You know what happened the last time, they almost threw us overboard, I wouldn’t want that”. The guy who drove us said.
“Come on Jaz! You know how those guys can be, greedy fools!” The fat man said. “Come on we are wasting time, they will set off by 9am”. And he started forward.
We followed him to the container terminal and through it to the sea shore. They were done loading the ship and lots of sailors both cadet and captains were seen moving in and out of different ships.
“Where’s our ship?” Jaz asked.
The fat man looked around confused and ran to meet a man standing with note pad taking record of the happenings on a ship bedside us. After talking with him, the man pointed towards a cadet dusting his uniform. And the fat man went to him, they talked for a while and he returned to us and said nervously.
“Em…there’s a problem”.
“What is it?” The other guy with us asked.
“I think the captain on board is not going to allow…..” And the fat man stopped, scratching his head.
“Hey! Don’t get on my nerves, speak up!”. Jaz threatened.
“Look, this is beyond anyone here. I have settled the officers, and the crew, but they changed the captain this morning. He is strict and brutal, everyone is scared of him”. The fat man said.
“Then what are we going the to do now that the container is on board?”. Jaz asked stiffly.
“You have to follow another ship”. The fat man said.
“Follow another ship? I don’t know how you’re going to do it man, we have to be on that ship. Go back there and talk to the crew”. Jaz said. Then turn to the guy with us. “Sly, follow him and hear what they are saying”.
I was just standing watching the drama under the morning sun, no one cared for my opinion, even though I had none; it was as if I was invisible.
The fat man and Sly disappeared into the ship and returned about five minutes later with Sly’s face frowned.
“Can you imagine, this fat fool didn’t settle all the crew. They’re angry with him that’s why they refused to let us in”. Sly said eyeing the fat man angrily.
Go and fix it! You know me, you know what I can do even right here. You better fix it right now ”. Jaz said in an ominous tone.
The fat man was visibly shaking and he then said.
“I cannot defend myself now because they all call me a cheat. I gave Bobby all the money to settle the crew”.
“Where is Bobby?” Sly asked.
“He’s on leave! And out of the country!” The fat man said raising his voice a little high pitch.
“I did not pay Bobby, I gave you the money. We have to board on that ship, that very ship or prepare to visit your ancestors”. Jaz said in a stiff tone.
The fat man’s face was filled with fear, he was drenched in his own sweat, and was visibly unstable. He turned towards a huge custom officer walking to the ship, and he said abruptly pointing towards the man.
“There! There is Mathew!”
“Who’s Mathew?” Jaz and Sly asked simultaneously.
Before we could say JACK! He was running towards the man, and soon they both were approaching us.
“Good day gentle men”. The custom officer greeted.
We shook hands with the officer while the fat man stood behind him still unstable.
“I understand there’s a complication here. I will see what I can do to resolve it”. The officer said, held the fat man’s hand and they both walked towards the ship.
We waited for them close to thirty minutes before they resurfaced. I could see the fat man smiling walking majestically in front of the officer with him. And when they reached us, the fat man spoke first smiling.
“Resolved!” The fat man said proudly dusting his shoulder. “You guys can board now”.
We boarded as the technical engineering crew. The fat man gave us ID cards; mine was named as John Archers. And how they got my passport was something I couldn’t understand. It was after we boarded that I got to know that only the low paid crew knows about us. The top officers and main crew where completely oblivious of us, hence the reason for the ID cards.
We were led to our cabin, a small room with two small double bunk beds facing each other. I and Sly took the bed by the left with me lying on the top bunker, while Jaz laid on the down bunk of the bed on the right. The ship set sailed after few minutes and that felt like a relief until I started feeling nauseous .
We were just settling in when two guys came in into our cabin. A tall built dark guy, almost as big as Jaz, just that Jaz is slightly bigger, and a fair conventional guy. They exchanged glances in surprise when they saw us and the bigger one said to us.
“We’re not aware that we have company. Who are you guys please?”.
“Sorry for the mix up. We are from Chaco electrical company. We are the electrical crew”. Jaz said standing to face them.
“I am not aware of another company. We have been working with this ship since forever”. The conventional guy said, moving in front of his colleague.
“Am sorry guys, I wasn’t told of another company aside ours”. Jaz said in a daring tone.
“It’s okay; we’re here for a purpose. Perhaps we can manage. There’s no need for a fight”. I found myself saying after waiting forever to say something.
These words seemed to saturate them as they looked at the two beds that were occupied. I stood up and signaled Sly to move over to Jaz’s bed. And so peace reigned, Sly and Jaz stayed on a bed and the guys took the bed by the left. I laid on a heap of cloth at a corner beside the wade rope that faced the entrance door.
An hour or so later, I started feeling sick in my tummy, I quickly took a bucket and emptied everything in my tummy inside. The guys took a glance at me and went back to their rest. I wiped my mouth and sat breathing heavily. The conventional guy came down from his bed and squatted in front of me.
“sea sick right?”. He asked.
I smiled and nodded, not knowing what he meant.
“Very few people feel this way at first. Don’t worry you’ll get use to it”. He said and went back to his bunk.
“Ahoy!” Someone shouted from outside. And there was laughter, then a cabin boy came in and said .” the deck master needs the engineer”.
“Who’s the deck master?”. Asked the big man.
“The supervisor sir”. The cabin boy said.
“These are the engineers”. The big man said pointing to Jaz. “Go and do your job guys”. He added, turned backing us facing the wall.