Thursday, 8 October 2015

THE JOURNEY.
As KC left me to continue the journey on paths I knew not, a seed of fear was pressed down my heart like a baked soil.
I turned and saw the cloud, sad, drab, on the cusp of plunging into a profuse wail. My steps hastened. The weather became sultry, angry, scattering goods, levitating papers, goading nylons until  they began a race contest, lifting dust, revealing wrinkled skins of old women, staining well-ironed trousers of working class men and exposing the bleached skin of single ladies.
Everyone was trotting or running, traders of second hand clothes began packing, as umbrellas kept flying. I wasn’t sure of my way, there was nobody to ask, nobody had the patience to be questioned, nobody was ready to be kind, nobody could see my worried face.
My heart palpitated faster than usual as trepidation ran through my veins.
The cloud couldn’t hold it any longer. No sooner did KC leave me than the burdened cloud poured down rain on end. I joined others under a bridge. Some already began an early lament : money had flown out, phone had fallen and spoilt, child is missing. My water-logged eye didn’t stop me from looking at the faces of those complaining. I pressed my eye lids and water rolled like tears. My eye roved back to the express way that was pattered by the unabated rain.
It was getting darker, I realized I couldn’t stand there much longer. I asked one of the quiet men under the bridge where I could get a bus to Oshodi, three men that had been talking on end answered, pointing to the road across the bridge.
That seed of fear did not take weeks or months to germinate, it took minutes. I walked slowly, I was cold, my teeth were clenched. I held my left hand over my left hand that was now in a fist as though the cell wall protecting the membrane.
The number of people in wait of a bus watered the fear in me. I was not tough enough to struggle with the mature and muscular men to enter the old yellow molue.
The bus was forth-coming, readiness was very visible in the dripping faces I saw. ‘’Oshodi!” The fierce struggle began, I was part of it. I squeezed myself into the bus and then breath a sigh of temporary relief.
“Where was I going from Oshodi”, I cogitated. . .
To Be Continued
Story by Ihechi Opara.

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