Friday, 30 October 2015

“Where was I going from Oshodi”, I cogitated. . .
My knees were clenched, my lips kept vibrating. There was something not normal about the passengers in the bus. They appeared diabolic, with white wrappers, white traditional beads and bare foots. They definitely did not forget to put on shoes, nobody forgets that. Their appearance was symbolic and scary. The normal wet passengers did not seem worried as I was. Most of them were listening to songs with their earpieces.
It did not take a bell chime for the oldest man on white wrapper to stand from the rickety chair. He sat in front. He wanted to say something to everyone in the bus. His tribal mark was confronting. I abhorred it. He was clearly a Yoruba man. I had tribal prejudice against Yoruba men with conspicuous tribal marks. He began doing the unexpected: advertising a balm for swollen ankles. The pungent smell from the container filled the air. It made me cough somewhat rudely and then, I could feel eyes on me. I bent my face, fixing my gaze on my distorted footwear. He spoke a language very few people understood, the rest kept analyzing his face, wondering what he was saying, still listening to the songs playing from their devices.
He attempted to touch everybody’s head for some subjective reasons. He was made to stop after his first five trials proved abortive.
I delved into searching the map in my head for the way home from Oshodi. As seconds slowly grew into minutes, I heard the driver announce that he had gotten to the last bus-stop. The tires screeched and the bus came to a halt.
I alighted from the bus, checking down memory lane if I had been there prior to that night. The rain pattered heavily. People kept jogging and running and galloping. I gave up on hiding from the omnipresent rain. It beat me and left visible signs on my cloth. I asked how I could get to Aguda, my locality, someone said I should get a bus to Sanya and from there, I could get to anywhere in Aguda. Following the advice of the good Samaritans in the unfriendly situation, I asked where I could get a bus to Sanya. No one seemed to know. They all said I could not get a public transport from there. Some still advised to go under the bridge and inquire.
The feeling under the bridge was terrible. The mish-mashed smell of dust, alcohol, carbon-monoxide, local herbs and fuel kept entering my nasal orifice and leaving me more in desperation to get home.
Well, the good God was watching over me, evident in the hitchhiker that stood beside me, waiting for a free ride to Sanya, as he had told me. A managed to get an empathizing driver that picked him up. I asked to join in, even though I would never have done that on normal day.
The car was cosy. I felt a little safe. The music playing from the stereo made me forget I was in a stranger’s car. We got to Sanya in a jiffy and then got on a bike to my house with the help of the hitchhiker.
My street was strangely beautiful, pleasuring and perfect. I dashed a big grin when I sighted my compound. I pointed to the building and then, he brought his bike to an abrupt halt. I got down joyfully and forgot to pay his charge. He called me back and asked for the money that was due him; without an iota of embarrassment, I dipped my fingers into my pocket, rummaging for money. All I could find was one hundred naira. In that moment, I came to the saddening realization that the three thousand, one hundred naira I had in my pocket had come down to just a hundred naira.
The rain had calmed. I walked quickly to my flat as though rushing to meet an appointment. I knocked at the door of my flat. I was past nine now. I heard the rustle of keys, I knew someone was about to open the door. It was my elder brother. I sighed heavily, as I took off my wet shoes.
‘’Why did you return this late’’, he asked. ‘’A journey’’, I thought. I began, ‘’ It all started suddenly, the clouds became dark. . .’’

1 comment:

  1. Nice story. why must we comment as anonymous?