Beatrice came out of her apartment holding a ten litre transparent keg. She was really frustrated at the level at which the economy and standard of living was deteriorating. She had been on the street for three good years looking for a job, after graduating with a second class from the university of Calabar.
Now, she had finally secured a job as a secretary on the island and the PHCN had refused to supply power. She resides some where in Lagos. She lives alone in a one bedroom flat apartment. It takes one week to iron a short. they supply power for five minutes, they take it, and that’s all for the day. So you iron one sleeve of the shirt on Monday, the second sleeve on Tuesday, the collar on Wednesday and on and on. At least it was better than those times when the power was not supplied for a week. Those times when people who run frozen foods store changed their line of business to roasting and smoking fish and chicken just to avoid running into loss.
It was a Saturday afternoon and she was sure the queue would be very long, but she just had to get the fuel to power her small (I better pass my neighbor) generator to iron her cloth, because she could not afford looking tattered on her first day at work. When if it means putting off every appliances in her house including the bulb.
“Bilikis” Beatrice called the cubby, short girl at the veranda who was bust weaving someone’s hair. Beatrice had been spending time with her after her job hunting for the day and she had also learnt the skill of hairdressing.
“Ore mi atata” (my very good friend) Biliki shouted, shaking her body in a ridiculous way with her thumps up.
“Where you won go but fuel?” She asked on seeing the gallon. “Conoil. I hear say energy no get petrol” Beatrice replied facing upwards to see her friend who had already suspended the weaving of the customers hair.
“I hear too, but them say people too much for there”
“I know na, but I really need it” Beatrice said really frustrated.
“OK na. Abed help me but two litres one hundred and seventy five naira” Biliki said as she reached for her purse.
“You be mumu oh!” Beatrice said laughing. “The only thing wey u know na people too plenty for fuel station, but you no know about the increase on price abi” she continued laughing. “Aunty Biliki, it’s now one hundred and forty five Naira. God punish the president and all the people that voted for him” the fair, skinny girl whose hair was being woven swore. Her small oblong has with her long neck made her look rather funny.
“Huh! God will not punish me oh” Beatrice thought. Of course she was among the masses that voted in the current president.
“Bilikis abeg I dey go”