Valentine is starting early for us, and I’m excited to share with you our 5 chapters Valentine story, “The Mechanics”. Don’t worry. Its not that short. #winks#.
The heat had started to return and Benin City roads, as usual, were busy with motorists and pedestrians. But in a quiet, well-structured garage sitting in the heart of Akpapkava, Ella, a 5 ft, ebony brown and hippy mechanic dressed in a blue dirty work jumpsuit, stood by as her sister, Priscilla worked on a client’s Audi.
Now even though she had envious hips, she knew that her daring elder sister had way more attractive hips. Men always admired her backside and stole taps. Well, the last person who stole a tap at Priscilla’s hips got the beating of his life from the thugs Pricilla paid to deal with him.
After hours under the hot sun, fixing the car, they moved to join the owner sitting at the garage. And without thinking of the consequences, the idiot had the guts to tap Priscilla on her backside, just as she finished explaining to him what the fault was and how she had worked on it.
“What?” Priscilla asked as her raised hand landed a slap on his face. “Are you crazy?”
“You slapped me?” The customer replied. Mouth ajar, and looking really angry.
“She didn’t slap you well sef,” Ella smirked, hitting a leather belt against her open palm. “This place is strictly business. We get your car fixed, you pay the bill, and you go. Feel free to admire us if you like. I know we’re hot like that. But you don’t touch unless we give you the permission…”
“Oh shut up! Your company head just slapped me and all you can do is spew nonsense. You should be more worried that you’ve lost a client, and you will lose several other clients because I will tell them how mannerless you four are?”
Ella felt so angry he was talking with no remorse. “Don’t forget to also tell them we beat you up because you have no respect for a woman’s body, neither do you have any respect for the ring sitting around your fingers. I feel so sorry for the innocent woman who calls herself your wife!”
“Hahahah…” he laughed hysterically before asking, “Beat? Four of you together think you can beat ah!” He dropped to his knees, holding the place between his legs.
Faith had surprised him from behind with a kick between his legs. Another sound slap from Priscilla and Ella followed. And when he tried to get on his feet to attack, Faith threw her belt around his neck and with help from Gloria, pulled him back on the floor.
“I will kill you people today. I will kill you!” He struggled to get the rope off his neck when Ella, in a gentle a manner as she could, stepped on his groin.
“Ahhh!” He cried.
“You want to kill us? Really?” She asked, bending over to look him properly on the face.
“Ple..please!” He managed between clenched teeth.
“I didn’t hear you well!”
“You’re definitely about to ruin his chances of fatherhood.” A male voice interrupted.
The ladies turned around swiftly to see nicely trimmed beards on chocolate skin, and amused brown eyes staring back at them. His fitted blue t-shirt revealed well-built muscles.
“He is cute,” Faith said, tilting her head a bit as if trying to get a side view of the handsome stranger.
“I can’t agree less,” Ella nodded. “So are you here to save him? Or are you here for something else?” She asked.
“Well, I was told this is the best place to have my car properly fixed, and also the best place to fall in love if I have balls,” he grinned, “I see why.”
Ella scoffed. She noticed his eyes had shifted to Priscilla. She didn’t blame him. Priscilla was a rare beauty with hips any man would dream of.
“Gloria, please attend to this client,” she said, taking her foot off her victim’s groin before giving a stern warning. “The next time you come in here feeling entitled to our backside and go ahead to touch it without permission, I promise we will remove your testicles. No joke. Now take your bag, take your car keys, take your car, and get out!”
The man struggled to get to his feet. He snatched the car keys from her hand, grabbed his laptop bag and headed out, cursing.
“So that was his crime?” The new customer asked, brows up and a smile still on his lips.
“If you get ideas in your head, you will take his place,” Priscilla said before heading for the back door leading to the inner room.
“So what exactly is wrong with your car?” Gloria asked as she ushered him out to the parked car. He had started to tell her what the problem was when Ella turned and headed in the same direction Priscilla went.
“Pris,” she called as she opened the door.
“You take charge. I need to head out,” Priscilla said, already changing from her work clothes into a casual jean and top.”
“Where exactly are you heading?”
“Tuoyo’s. He promised that Mr Bamidele’s car door will be ready by today. Been waiting for his call. I haven’t gotten it yet. And it is 1:15 PM already. You know how much I hate disappointing clients. If I had the tools, I’d get the job done by myself. Not like I don’t know how to do it, and perfectly too.”
“You seem to be going to battle. Don’t you think you need backup?” Ella looked worried. “Tuoyo is in the habit of doing things terribly, you know.”
“Don’t worry about me. I already kept something aside for the thugs. If he tries anything stupid, he’d get the beating of his life.”
Ella chuckled. She had forgotten how tough her no-nonsense sister could be. “Just be careful, Sis. But I’ll be leaving early today. James and I are going on a date; part of the counsellor’s suggestion, if we want to fix our marriage.”
“I still insist you rushed into marriage.” Priscilla said.
“James isn’t a bad person. We just have a series of misunderstandings. Besides, I still insist you need a man in your life.”
“That dude out there likes you,” she smirked, “and he is a fine young man.”
“Tell me, dear sister. What exactly constitutes a fine young man? He is not different from the rest.”
“Any man who could walk in on us dealing with Victor and not get involved or abuse us as mannerless girls is a man to look out for.”
“I believe he was just trying not to get his ass whooped, along with Victor’s.”
“Priscilla, you need a man to help you relax. You’re always working and uptight. Let me arrange a date with this guy for you. You heard what he said about this place being the place to fix his car and fall in love. His eyes rested on you at that point.”
“By all means, fix the date, Ella. But you’ll attend it yourself. Deal?” She grabbed her car keys and headed out. Ella followed.
They stepped out of the garage in time to see Gloria emerging from underneath the car. “Fixed!” She announced.
“Thank you. You really do know your job,” the man said, still inspecting the work done. “So how much is my fee?”
“Teeeen thousand!” Gloria stressed!
“Isn’t that too high?”
“We don’t do shabby jobs,” Priscilla cut in, walking up to him. “Other mechanics repair one thing and spoil another just so you’ll be at their shop every day. In our own case, if the bad roads we have in this country, or an accident, don’t spoil your car, nothing else will. It’s worth the pay.”
“I guess next time I should ask how much it costs to do a job before getting it done.”
“You should,” Ella said.
While Gloria collected the payment, Ella watched Priscilla head into the garage to put together her tool bag, and head out again.
“See you girls later,” she said.
“Heading to?” Faith asked as she closed the bonnet of another car she had been working on.
“Oh,” Faith nodded in understanding.
“I could give you a lift,” the customer said, pointing at the passenger’s side of his jeep SUV.
Priscilla didn’t bother sparing him a glance as she made her way to the green Siena parked by the corner. She got in, started in the ignition, and only looked in his direction as she drove off.
“Hahahaha…” Ella burst out laughing.
“What’s funny?” The customer frowned.
“My sister is.”
“Sister?” His brows shot up.
“Yes. We’re all sisters here.”
“Wow! You ladies are doing great. But why does she act… so… disconnected.”
“Better not let her hear you say that,” Gloria warned as she gathered her tools.
“Or what? You ladies will step on my balls too?”
“I prefer we rip it off,” Faith grinned, letting her eyes slide to the area between his legs.
“We won’t be ripping this particular balls off, ladies,” Ella said, before turning to face him. “You like my sister?”
“Are you going to help me get to her?” He asked, looking suspicious.
“No, I won’t. That is if you don’t like her.”
“Ok. I like her. She’s very attractive.”
“So if I hook you two up, where do you think the relationship would go?”
“I don’t know. You have to know someone first before deciding if you like the person enough to propose a better deal. Right?”
“Right,” Ella grinned again. “I like your honesty, because, believe me, she loves an honest man, and she can smell a liar ten miles away.”
“Let me guess. An experience she gained from bad relationships.”
“You can say so.”
“So how do we do this? I’m truly interested in taking your offer,” he said, smiling now.
“Priscilla is going to be mad when she finds out you’re hooking her up,” Gloria protested.
“She will. But I think I’ll go with this hookup!” Faith winked at him.
“At least I have one more person on my side,” he turned back to Ella, grinning. “So?”
“Tomorrow will be our toughest day at work. Come over. Say by 12 PM. Bring food and drinks. But most importantly, come prepared to give more than food and drinks. Priscilla, as she just demonstrated when you offered her a lift, doesn’t care about anyone’s material possessions; money, cars, titles, big houses, you name it. You have to prove that you’re more than the guy who is badass gorgeous with the latest Jeep SUV.”
“In other words, you want me to come work with you tomorrow?”
“What’s your name?”
“Whatever pleases you, Gabriel,” Ella smiled, turned around and headed for the garage.
“Do bring the food and drinks though. We love free food,” Gloria said as she followed her immediate elder sister behind.
He watched them disappear through the door inside the office garage, before turning to Faith who was now working underneath another car. “And you? What do you have to say?”
“You really want my opinion?”
“Wow. What a gentleman. Anyway, if my sister eventually says yes, ensure you give her the best nacks to make her forget all past experiences and look towards a brighter future.”
Gabriel couldn’t help chuckling. It must have been what got Faith’s attention and made her pull herself from underneath the car.
“What?” Faith asked. “It’s not funny. My sister has been to hell and back. If you know you can’t do that, then don’t bother.”
“I will think about your suggestion. I promise. Thank you for your time.”
“You’re welcome,” she went back under.
Gabriel got into his car, and as he drove off, Ella and Gloria emerged from the garage.
“You think he will do?” Ella asked no one in particular.
“I don’t know,” Gloria shrugged.
“And you?” She looked at Faith who was still underneath the car.
“If he can’t give her the best nacks, then he is useless.”
“Jeez! All you think about is nacks!” Gloria rolled her eyes.
Ella smiled at her sister. “I see Harry is really doing great in the bedroom.”
“Exactly, Sis. And he is returning from PH today. You can imagine my excitement!”
“Addict!” Gloria hissed.
“Nun!” Faith rolled her eyes.
Ella looked back at the point Gabriel’s car was last visible, and sighed. She couldn’t help but hope that she made the right choice.
Pelleura Valentine Story by Karo Oforofuo
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