I’ve never been out on my own, today is a first. Not just out on my own like taking a walk from my house to the entrance of the street but out on my own like in a bus heading to Lagos state. I was excited, so excited that I didn’t mind being squeezed on a row of seat meant for a few. As far as I am concerned, I am out of the house; seat belt or no seat belt. (God will take charge somehow, isn’t that what we say?)
I couldn’t afford to sleep because I couldn’t bear to miss any moment of fun. All around me passengers slept soundly. I began to pray the driver doesn’t do same for the atmosphere was too conducive. It was wonderful watching trees pass by and other cars zoom by though there were times I got scared if we would have a head on collision.
And then it happened! More than half way into the journey, our bus stopped right there in the middle of the road. Our saving grace was that no other car was coming at top speed. Surrounded by bushes and tall trees, I began to panic. Who will stop to help us on this lonely road? With the aid of some passengers, the driver pushed the vehicle off the road. I was totally destabilized when he announced that we need to find our way to our destination alone. Of course, he couldn’t refund our money because we had exchanged it for bus ticket at the head office.
Angry passengers began to trek. Fortunately, some flagged down other vehicles that stopped to pick them. That weird feeling overshadowed. This one time I decided to be on my own, something had to happen!
I didn’t realize I had been standing there for hours till I noticed the sun had started setting. A rickety bus finally stopped to pick me. The seat and backrest were metallic. In fact, there were no seats, just metals constructed in place of seat. Don’t ask how I managed to sit through the rest of my journey. As if this drama was not enough, it started raining heavily so all the windows had to be shut. A pure mixture of sweat and body odor was enough to slay a man but I survived.
A feeling of nausea overtook me with panic attacks at intervals. Till today I still wonder how I survived my journey to the city. The memory is becoming hazy but I shan’t forget it sooner than you think.
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