I listened to the preacher describe hell fire with a dangerous passion and I’m forced to turn my head and look at his face . My head jerks back automatically when I spotted the thick saliva flying from his mouth and hoped to God that it doesn’t touch me.
Minutes passed, the driver kept getting into potholes and the passengers kept warning him.
I tried to relax when I felt a bite on my leg. I paused, crossed my ankles and forgot all about it when I felt another sting on my leg. I stomped my foot and laughed at the incredulity of my predicament.
“Ohh you too can feel it abi, I thought it was only me” the pregnant woman said aloud to me and reached out to slap her leg.
“Driver , mosquitoes dey dis your bus o abi which kin useless bus I enter like dis”
The driver didn’t even answer her and focused instead on entering into every pothole possible on the damaged road.
“óyá o, ẹ má ṣe wèrè, ẹ gbé owó jáde” ( don’t do madness, bring out your money 😂 ) , the conductor yelled.
His nails are black and dirty, his hands are callused. I looked at his face and I felt sad for him. His two front teeth are gone , his lips are charred, eyes are shot-red and his murderous looking face was bruised. I handed him a 200 naira note when it was my turn and he hissed.
“šé ê gbádùn sha?, kò sí seenji” (are you alright?, there’s no change) even though he’s got change in his hand.
The nursing mother by my side handed me her own money which served as my change , I thanked her and looked at the conductor’s displeased face and stifled a laugh.
Outside, the rain had greatly reduced so we opened the window to let air in. Oshodi bus stop is just a few minutes away so I used my final moments in the bus to stare at the passengers seated in my front. Closest to the door, was a very beautiful Alhaja; covered in hijab and as I kept staring I noticed she’s got a bulge at her back. At first I wondered if she’s got a hunch back till I looked closely and saw a baby’s eye peeking out.
To my utter amazement, this baby had been trapped in her garment all through the journey. Without thinking, I hurriedly reached out to lift the end of her hijab off his face in my bid to save him from suffocation.
A gorgeous baby boy with bright eyes looked up at me and smiled. I smiled back and forgot all my discomfort as I made silly faces to make the little one laugh which he did.
We finally reached the bus-stop and we all scrambled out. I inhaled deeply the fresh air as I reached into my bag to get out my iPhone to call my friend.
I searched …… and searched .
My head began to ache and I felt lightheaded like I was about to faint.
I remembered putting my iPhone in my bag just before the struggle to enter the bus began.
“No, no, no” I tried to calm myself as I brought out the contents of the small bag one after the other . I brought out the last item and still….. no iPhone. 😢
Owoeye Jesuloba Grace
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