Today had been hectic. Jada had her eyes glued to the computer screen leaving only to get water from the dispenser to drink. She had a story line she was following up. Having a writer’s block had not been easy. Her phone alarm rang … she had set the time @5.30pm in order to leave the office by 6pm. There was only 30mins left for her to close.
At 6pm sharp, Jada picked her bag, bade her colleagues farewell. She placed her ear plugs on and was listening to “damages” by Tems. It was a 20 mins walk to the bus stop. It took her a while to get a bus going her direction. She boarded with several other passengers… two sat down in the front while four of them sat in the back. The back seat was so tight that one could barely move an arm or leg. The agbero that loaded the vehicle approached the driver for his payment… “Oya naaaa, give me my money”. The driver turned to the passengers “who get 100 naira here”. Everyone kept mute. One of the passengers quickly said he had a thousand naira note. The driver looked coldly at the person and turned to the agbero “naa 50 naira I get oooo. Shey, you see say change nor dey. Nor worry, we go see tomorrow”. The agbero grumbling took the money. The driver drove out of the park and into the highway.
The journey commenced and everyone especially those in the back seat were so eager to come down. The vehicle entered kubwa express lane and that’s how the vehicle started jerking. “Driver… what is happening, why your car Dey jerk like this. Una nor go service car before una go enter road”. The woman was complaining bitterly, she had on a long face and was sweaty. Only two car windows were opened. Other passengers started murmuring “yet una go dey blame government as the real problem. Sheyyy naaaa government dey drive this car”. Everyone in the vehicle started laughing. “Una see ennnn, in this country na we dey do ourselves. Na we be our problem. We dey wait for government to do everything for us. It get somethings when we fit do ourself”. “Like what emm… oga. The passenger from the front seat said with a loud voice. I be engineer by training. My oga dey get contracts to do road. By the time the money reach he hand, he nor go fit do anything. You think say if money dey una go squeeze una self for back. My dear no be everything we go fit do. Other Passengers nodded in agreement.
The driver was able to fix the problem and the vehicle was back on the road. Jada looked up and saw the unending line of traffic. Ooooh God, she sighed. She checked the time and it was past 7pm. Her neighbour by the left who had been very quiet was busy on Instagram while her two neighbors had a forlorn look on their faces. Poooon!!! Poooon!!! Car horn sounds could be heard from vehicles at the left and right side of the road. Everyone seems to be in a hurry except the two passengers in the front and the driver also. The car was going as swiftly as it could after all the driver was not the owner of the road. Luckily for everyone, one could buy bottled water to quench their thirst.
It’s quite dark now… The neighbor sitting by Jada left bought date palm and offered to everyone. He offered Jada and she politely declined. Jada stomach grumbled but what can she do. It’s a mad traffic. The loud horn of a trailer could be heard and everyone knew them as king of the road no vehicle wants them at their back or worst in between.
Yoruba music blasting from the car stereo with nice drum beats and a melodic voice. Most likely Fuji music… one couldn’t stop but nod the head and move the feet. That’s one thing about Africa traditional music. One doesn’t need to know the language but can be moved by the beats. And don’t forget the instrumentals. They were really helpful in swaying our minds off the traffic. From the window, Jada could see several cars parked on the road due to overheating. A young lady on a white shirt and a black pant trouser the bonnet of her car opened and was pouring water on the car radiator to cool it down.
The driver and the male passenger in front were exchanging driving lane ideas. The driver braked sharply and Jada fell right into the arms of her neighbor on the left side of her. The vehicle was so tight as they were four seated at the back.
Meanwhile Jada felt the strong shoulder and the warm hands that held her. She quickly muttered sorry and sat upright. Oooo my goodness…. What must he think of me she said in her head. Are you okay he asked… well I’m good just a bit tired. Thanks for the steady gesture. “Oooooops” that sounded wrong. Well in Jada’s mind, it didn’t matter. They had small talks which made the journey smooth. As they got to the end of the traffic, they saw what happened. A big truck had broken down. After passing the truck, the road was very free. Jada was so engrossed in the conversation that she passed her bus stop. Luckily for her, she could link her house through the next bus stop.
“Hello Beautiful, you seem to have left something behind”. Jada turned to check behind her to see if she had left anything behind. And instead saw that her seat mate held his phone towards her to put her number. She blushed softly and quickly typed her number. Jada came down from the vehicle and she could hear phone ringing in her bag.