The Nigeria Bridge was a Gothic bridge, which encased the Pan-African Highway as it traveled across the Niger, one thousand feet in the air. In addition to the highway, behind its windows and spires, the Nigeria Bridge contained endless cavernous rooms and a series of breathtaking viewing platforms.
I had entered the Nigeria Bridge after being warned that Boko Haram was looking for me. The woman who had sold me a hamburger, a fellow American, had bonded with me over the fact that neither of us realized it was vegan. She operated her stand out of the freshly-painted white shell of a Volkswagen bus.
My aim was to get across the Nigeria Bridge to the Houses of Parliament, which were at the bridge’s exit on the other side of the river. But the bridge’s chambers were teeming with bellhops, whose loyalties I could not count on. I ducked and wove through hallways and across platforms, before coming face to face with a bellhop, who winced. I decided to tell him everything.
“I am trying to escape from Boko Haram,” I said.
“You must speak to the Federal Prosecutor,” he replied, and showed me the way out of the bridge.
The Houses of Parliament were filled with elaborate murals, which at alternate moments seemed either like crude cartoons or delicate masterpieces. I attempted to take pictures of them with my phone, so that I could show you, but then realized I was dreaming and felt like an idiot.
The Federal Prosecutor sat amid filing cabinets, in a pale blue Oxford shirt. He was a white South African with ginger hair, though he used “mate” like an Australian. He agreed to show me the parliamentary staircase that people took to get away from Boko Haram. But as we passed back through the foyer, I ran into a tour group, which derailed the whole plan.
The last thing I remember, I was attempting to strangle a fat man who had threatened to give me away.