It’s yesterday and I am going to get my PVC today.
Walk in quietly, greet the two ladies and the man in the office with a smile, “I want to get my PVC.”
“Where’s your temporary?”
I hand it over, take the only other available seat and proceed to dig into my phone.
Man shuffles through the stacks and stacks of plastic cards…once, twice. I am counting, spying from beneath lowered eyelids. When he starts a third time, I just know. Even before he says the words, I know…
“Oga, you no get card oh”
“Your own no dey here,” he says.
Disappointment. First at myself because I have just realized that I expected to be told just that. And at INEC for proving my distrust well-founded.
“Okay,” I stay seated, looking with what I believe is a deadpan expression from one INEC face to the other. “So…” I try, “what’s going to happen now?”
Madam seated at the table seems surprised by my calmness; I can’t quite define the look on her face as surprise…I don’t know what it is but it makes me feel good…proud-good.
“Errr…oya bring his card.” She takes the laminated TVC from perplexed INEC guy and begins to write on an A4 sheet.
I am itching to see what it is she is writing, but I tamp down the urge. I sit still, harassing the touch-screen of my now battery-dead phone.
I stand, slip a lazy foot into one slip-on and take my outstretched TVC.
“Come back in three weeks for your card,” she says with a smile.
Jega postponed for six weeks so three weeks is ample time, I quickly calculate. “Okay thanks.”
I blast one grin at the trio and shuffle out in slow deliberate steps. I caught a glimpse of the A4; she’d written down the details – name, number, address, et al – from my TVC.
I know I’ll feel better coming for my PVC in three weeks than I did coming today.