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Meeting the Lieutenants - Literature - Nairaland

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Meeting the Lieutenants by wwwtortoise(m): 11:05am On Sep 12
This is a true life story.



So i woke up in the morning very late at about 8:41am yesterday and the very first thing i heard was . . .

" My friends and I are heading to the beach later in the day. Do you want to tag along? "

It was my sister as I heard her ask from the slightly openend kitchen door.

I had wanted to hangout with a girl i met recently online this evening.

'Maybe i should postpone the date with Agatha to a latter date grin I thought.

I was still trying to analyse the whole stuff when i looked up and realized Ng had her eyes on me as she was covering a bottled water with her hands waiting for my response to her question.

" Yes, I will join you guys "

I replied and at the same time reminding myself the need to cut down on expenses especially now that i have a new business venture to setup and undertake. It will surely be a nice time outdoor today being saturday as the beach is usually populated on weekends.

Agreeing to join Ng to the beach means i will only have food, snacks, booze and my liver cheesy to work on. It is better than having my pocket to worry about on a date with Agatha cheesy cheesy

" we agreed to leave by 1:00pm so you have enough time to ready yourself "

Ng said as she shut the refrigerator and proceeded towards the bathroom.


As time ticked away I did my routine morning chores, took my bathe and dressed up. I wore a white roundneck t-shirt on a combat camo-shorts then slipped my legs into a pair of sports flip flop.

If only i had known (or so i thought) I would have opted for a more civilian piece of fabric grin than the emboldened above. cry cry This was the cause of my dilemma.


At about 2:15pm we left for Elegushi royal beach on the Islands. We joined our colleagues who were waiting for us inside two separate trucks at a nearby petrol station and drove in convoy.

Google map estimated 1hour 25mins but we arrived at the beach 20mins earlier. Bought tickets, paid for parking space and found a good spot to park the trucks. We all alighted and exchanged pleasantries. We paid for a good wooden tent designed like a one storey deck and quickly settled down.


The cool sea breeze reduced the harshness of the sun and the atmosphere was so comfortable and soothing to the skin as I watched the ocean waters occasionally rumble into thick folds and clatter; spreading itself on the seashore.

Men, women, guys, babes, children can be seen scattered all over the beach as expected. Some in groups, others in pairs, while some were literarily alone
taking camera shots and relishing the moment.

The disc jockey in our tent was doing a great job slamming songs by 2face idibia back to back.
The environment was so engrossing and it felt like nature had rehearsed enough to entertain us all.


After having gulped enough alcoholic cream liquor, the alcohol wasted no time to kickstart its effects in my body. I stood up, whispered to Ng and left with a disposable cup filled to the brim with cream liquor and my left hand clenching to the cup as if my life depended on it. grin grin

Oh my poor liver.

When I remember all the alcohol i have drank in my lifetime, I feel ashamed. undecided undecided

But then i remember the brewers, their goals, dreams and aspirations. If i discontinue drinking they will be out of work and their dreams will be shattered. cry cry cry

Then I say to myself
"It is better i keep drinking and see them achieve their dreams and aspirations than to be selfish and worry about my liver"
grin grin cheesy
Re: Meeting the Lieutenants by wwwtortoise(m): 11:16am On Sep 12
I started gallivanting around the seashore soaking my feet with the rumbling waters and occasionally sipping alcohol from the cup. The feeling was undescribable though that was not my first time on a beach, it still felt like the very first time.

I reached for my phone in my pocket and swiftly opened the camera.

Selfie time wink wink

After a couple of selfie, I returned the phone to my pocket and continued to gallivant. Not long, two pretty girls surprisingly approached and greeted me.

I assumed they were sisters because of the facial features both of them shared. Pointed nose, huge eyeballs, same hairstyle.

" please can we take pictures with you? "
One of them politely asked.

" sure, why not " I replied.

Who am I to turn down such harmless request from two beautiful girls. Even mother nature will frown at me if I declined grin grin grin

They both flanked me before I could say jack Robinson
One to the right the other to the left. The joy on their faces was akin to that of a baby offered candy.

" are you girls not forgetting something? "
I quizzed, directing the question to nobody in particular.

" what is that ? "
they almost chorused; wearing a confused look on their faces.

" My name is Chido. It would be nice if I get to know your names "
I said.

" Ooh sorry , I am Florence "
The one who had politely asked for selfie introduced herself.

Florence seem to be the elder of the two sisters for her to be the outspoken one I reasoned.

" my name is Elizabeth "
her sister spoke shyly.

" she is my little sister. We came with our elder brother over there (pointing towards the direction).
Florence continued.

" nice to meet you and i must say both of your are pretty and could pass for identical twins "
I teased them as i sipped more and more alcohol.

"Thank you"
They almost chorused at the same time.

I felt like seizing the opportunity to . . . . grin cheesy cheesy grin guys will always be guys cool but before i could utter another word, Elizabeth had playfully spanked Florence on her hips and the latter gave her a chase.

I watched both of them wander away giggling as one gave the other a chase. I let that slide and continued to sip from my cup looking far into the sea as if I was expecting to see the sea mermaid herself tongue tongue

Not long after Florence and Elizabeth left, a guy on Chelsea Jersey and black trouser stopped beside me and I heard him say . . .

" Good day sir, please can I snap some pictures with you? "

I knew he was referring to me but something struck me immediately.

sir

" Who is he referring to as sir? " I reasoned.

A guy who is obviously older than I am. Tall, dark skinned, fully bearded, broad shoulders. shocked shocked

I was trying to dot the I's and cross the T's when i heard him again say . . .

" good afternoon sir ".

" good day bro, feel free " I responded whilst trying to mentally rewind the situation presently unfolding.

" bros abeg no vex you go fit help me snap picture "

The chelsea guy beckoned on a guy passing by; offering the guy his mobile phone at the same time.

The passerby gladly indulged him and stepped some meters back in readiness for the cameraman job cheesy cheesy wink


Few poses and mr paparazzi handed the phone back to him and glided away.

The Chelsea guy thanked me using sir again and left.
Re: Meeting the Lieutenants by wwwtortoise(m): 11:21am On Sep 12
It was until the guy left that I was able to brainstorm, accessing my attire from head to toe then realised the reason for what has happened with the girls and the guy.

" they're mistaking me for a military personnel. That could be the only meaningful reason for the selfie requests. " sad sad

I thought and glanced around to observe if such requests are being made elsewhere. No !

I had mixed feelings; a part of me was feeling fly already like some kind of low budget celebrity cheesy and the other part of me felt uneasy.

I decided to be myself and continue to bask on the euphoria of the outdoor groove.

20mins later I heard someone calling my attention from behind.

Dear reader, you know that sound one makes by squeezing lips together and drawing breathe from the mouth simultaneously.

Yeah, that one traffic hawkers use to draw potential customers attention to their wares. wink

C'mon buddy ! don't tell me you don't know that lip sound CDQ uses in his songs. Wobi kiss kiss kiss


Heard it for the umpteenth time and I turned my back facing the direction from where the sound was coming from.

What I saw shocked me. shocked shocked shocked sad
Re: Meeting the Lieutenants by wwwtortoise(m): 11:38am On Sep 12
Two guys on military attire from cap to boots standing side by side and giving me a hand gesture to come and meet them. cry cry cry

I don enta gbese today

I murmured inaudibly as i dragged my feet on the white beach sand moving towards the spot they stood discussing.

At that moment, I could feel and sense eyes from all directions on me as i noticed people throw their gaze at me in anticipation of the drama about to unfold.



"Good afternoon" I greeted as i stood few inches before them.

The face of the one standing on the left-hand side looked quite familiar to me. O'yes I remember seeing him at a barber shop where i usually cut my hair at Ago palace way. I noticed the blunt of marijuana he held inbetween his fingers. Then i suddenly felt a surge of calmness and confidence.

" I can talk my way out of this " I said to myself without moving my lips.


" I am Elvis, sub-Lieutenant . . . . . * * * * division of the Nigerian Naval Force. May I know you? "
the soldier with marijuana queried as he stretched forth his righthand for a handshake.

All these while the soldier standing on the right-hand side kept quite and was smiling as he sized me up with his eyes.

" Good afternoon " I greeted again reaching for his hand and shaking him in the process and also trying to mentally chose my next words carefully.

" my name is Chido, I came here in the company of my grand parents and immediate family " I replied blinking my eyes like an albino under the sun. cry cry cry

The mute and smiling soldier also stretched forth his hand and I shook him too. He continued to smile and nodded playfully like someone listening to his favorite music with an invisible earpiece cheesy as he firmly shook my hands.

The naval soldier dragged some marijuana and puffed severally before turning to his colleague and said something to him that I didn't understand. But i knew it had to do with a sort of punishment he was about to dish out to me.



" I am O'Brien, 2nd-Lieutenant . . . . . * * * * * * division of the Nigerian Armed Force. I am sure this is not the only piece of cloth you have. Why then did you decide to put it on outdoor or have you not heard how soldiers embarrass and punish people for this? "

The smiling soldier spoke for the very first time but with a serious look on his face this time.

" sorry sir, i have no bad intentions wearing it. This is my first time crossing my doorstep with it and it will surely be my last if you forgive me. "

I replied.

From the way our discussion was going and judging by their body language, I could tell that these were trained soldiers not recruits. This is why education of the mind is important. These soldiers were not aggressive but friendly and at the same time intimidating.

I could see people in groups preying their eyes on the spot we stood. And probably getting their smartphones ready to video if the discussion happens to turn into rolling on the sand unclad grin grin or frog-jump grin angry cheesy

" Let me advice you as I would to my junior brother, do not wear military colors outdoor or at all when you're not one. Look around you and you'll see people who need some sort of entertainment (he smiled). This is the type of opportunity most of my colleagues crave for to flex their authority. If I were you, I will take this advise because you might not be so lucky to meet my type of person in uniform next time. "

The army man with a one-star crested on his breast badge spoke softly.

" abeg make we free the guy " he spoke to his colleague who has been puffing mj.

For a moment my mind drifted as i thought to myself . . . . .
this must be arizona cheesy grin . I could distinguish variety of mj strains from their respective smell aroma grin grin grin cheesy

" today is your lucky day. I am in a good mood. Better heed to his advise. "

Elvis spoke; his sentences coming inbetween puffs.

" thank you sir, I will not even come close to camouflage again not to talk of wearing be it indoor or outdoor. Please, let me quickly go to our tent over there and bring something. "

I spoke to none of them in particular as they chuckled.


I shook both of them one after the other and left.

10minutes with those soldiers felt like 1hour to me. For a moment i wondered, if only 90% of our military can be this engaging and enlightened. If only our dear soldiers can see us first and foremost as family, countrymen and not bloody civilians.

Little brotherly and kind gestures like this yields a long lasting and multilplier effects on our culture as well as the way the citizens integrate and interact in the society.



A few steps away from them, I heard someone say . . . . .

" authority good afternoon. "

It was a shirtless guy who stood not far from me and was busy grilling barbeque in an open fire stand. He had obviously witnessed what happened.

I waved at him and walked away.


Inside life !
Moments ago I was in a dilemma which could have resulted to ridicule, shame and public embarrassment. Who knows my videos might have gone viral online by now with a catchy title like . . .

man flogged and disgraced at a beach by soldiers for wearing camouflage grin

or

suspected yahoo boy whisked away by soldiers after trailing him to a beach cheesy cheesy

no thanks to android phones; everybody now is a blogger cheesy

However the scenario ended up playing the other way round. Handshakes, laughter, and short friendly discussion with military men. I bet that woundn't make it to the internet as tragedy tends to generate more traffic.
Re: Meeting the Lieutenants by wwwtortoise(m): 12:12pm On Sep 12
I met NG with her colleagues in jolly mood as i climbed up to our rented tent.

" I was held and questioned over there by soldiers. "
I announced to them while picking cans of beer from a cooler on the table.

They all placed their gaze on me as soon as i let out my last words. The look of askance was written all over their faces, urging me with their eyes to give them more details.

" It's because of this camo-shorts that I am putting on. Fortunately, I happen to know one of them and that is why I am here to get them some drinks. "

Relieved by what i said, they continued their discussion.

As I was about leaving them after neatly arranging four cans of 500ml Hero lager beer inside a nylon, I heard NG ask me sarcastically . . .

" Did they seize your phone? " cheesy cheesy

"No, I have my phone right here with me. "

I shifted the nylon bag on my right-hand to the left-hand. Then dipped it into my right pocket and brought out my phone to further convince her and then left them to continue their chitchat.


On my way back to meet my new friends, guys and girls who had apparently witnessed our previous discussion stared at me admiringly as i observed from the corner of my eyes. They had the 'wow' look on their faces like they're seeing a celebrity grin grin cheesy

" Please accept this from me "
I said and handed the nylon bag over to the Elvis.

He drew the last puff and threw the remaining tiny blunt away, then took the nylon from me and opened it to see the content. He then passed it to O'Brien who smiled and nudged him on the shoulder.

" thank you " they said one after the other.

" I should be the one thanking you. " I responded with a smile.

" I know you from somewhere " I continued facing Elvis.

" Really? Where from? " he questioned after gulping some alcohol.

" At Mirror62 barber's shop beside grandmate " I continued.

" Sure, that's where i have my haircuts. Wait I think I have seen your face sometime there. The day we were all discussing Nigerian football and politics. "

" Yes " I replied and met his hands halfway as I saw him extend his for another handshake cool cool

" You see? You guys even know each other from somewhere. What If he had pounced on you earlier for flaunting camouflage. This life eeehh ! "

O'Brien said and threw away the empty beer can in his hand then took another can from the nylon on the floor.


We all laughed to his statement which in all sincerity was pure fact. It is a small world afterall smiley smiley wink
This further made me more confident and relaxed with my newly found friends grin cheesy


I listened to them gist about their Basic Combat Training days, the challenges and hurdles they faced to get to where they are now, their future prospects and so many other interesting things. It was fun being around them because i learnt a thing or two from our entire discussion which lasted over 40mins. Not to talk of the swag grin I got as a bonus tongue tongue


A quick glance at my wristwatch revealed to me that the day is far spent already as it was beginning to drift towards evening; 05:53pm my time said smiley


" Please can I get your phone number so I can call from time to time "
I said facing O'Brien but presenting my phone to Elvis who wasted no time to open the call dialer and punch in his digits.

" I am Elvis. My line is unavailable at the moment because I purposely disengaged the sim from the phone but you can call me tomorrow morning.

I saved his name on my new phonebook contact then handed the phone this time to O'Brien who did likewise.

" you already know my name " he said and handed the phone back to me.

I also saved it then proceeded to dial it at once and it rang.

" I am the one calling " I chipped in as i drank from my cup.

I felt like requesting for a selfie with them but on a second thought, I discarded the idea.

make I no go do pass myself angry angry grin

It's a small world nor mean say you fit trek from Lagos to London Are you with me? grin grin

" I really appreciate for the moment I have been here. It was wonderful and educating being around you. I will get in touch from time to time. "
I said facing both of them.

" I need to go back to our tent as I am sure my family will be getting ready to leave by now considering the traffic situation at 3rd mainland bridge. Permission to leave ! " I continued, this time adding humour.

The joke worked cheesy cheesy cheesy as i watched both of them smile. grin grin

" It's okay my guy, permission granted " Elvis said and we all laughed this time.

I shook their hands one after the other and left.
Re: Meeting the Lieutenants by wwwtortoise(m): 12:16pm On Sep 12
" I nearly got my fingers burnt today if not for divine intervention "
I said to Ng as we drove back home.

" nearly cannot kill a bird you know? tongue tongue But I am sure you must have learnt your lessons. Not everyone could be lucky as you were " Ng replied with a mocking tone.



" Power is not the authority to command with superiority rather it is the responsibility to lead with dignity, character and self discipline "


- wwwtortoise [2019]



The End.


My rambles -
https://www.nairaland.com/5140504/chronicles-tortoise

Chronicles of Tortoise
#COT

2 Likes

Re: Meeting the Lieutenants by IFEOLUWAKRIZ: 10:12am On Sep 13
Lucky you. cheesy cheesy

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