I muttered and wondered aloud to myself unaware of the puzzled glances thrown my way as I trudged lazily to the park at Obalende,three streets away from the Advertising firm where minutes ago,i was one of the casual workers hopefully looking forward to being made a staff at the end of the month.
This is the twenty third time in three years i have been sacked at various jobs for various frivolous reasons.
Why then did i attend the university for a Bsc in English language after four arduous years if i can’t even find and hold down a job.
I have never had an atom of luck all my miserable life or how do one also explain setting up a provision stall today in an attempt at being self employed only to have everything carted away by thieves the next day.
Yes,the next day.i didn’t even make the price of a match box there.
Who gets sacked for turning up five minutes late..
DAVID OJO BADMUS,the most unlucky man in a 150million populated country.
I just cant explain this merry go round of failure.
Na only me dey this world?
I angrily kicked a stray dog that stopped to admire my tired shoes,one that has served me faithfully over many years as i also have dutifully taken care of it.
I have always known that Mr Femi,the firm’s fat,good for nothing,glutinous,nose picking foreman never liked me.
I got that uncanny feeling again when he told me not to start work but to see the firm’s DIRECTOR,Miss Dupe this morning.
That disrespectful little slut.
She sat against a backdrop of a newly completed OMO advert,the happy children smiled at me knowingly,seeming to mock me and my impending doom.
I eyed the banner with disdain and focused my attention on the pretty lady who sat making a call behind the large black desk that always seem about to swallow her.
She eyed me with utter disdain as i wondered how her slim,wiry frame supports her large ample bosom.
She dropped the phone,touched her small lips together and for the next five minutes,the little thing lectured me on promptness to work,laziness,disobedience to regulations and how people like me cost a generous firm like this millions of naira.
I was dumbfounded.
Millions of naira all because i was five minutes late for the first time.
SANGO will surely strike this woman dead.
Where have all the respect for men gone,i thought as she dismissed me with the kind of courtesy accorded a fly.
My world sunk a million times lower and all i thought of was how to get behind the big table,slap her face,pound her head,rip off her atrocious hair and pinch her big breast until she learns some respect and promise never to lie ever again.
It took all the willpower i could muster and the thought of Big Joe and Mini Mike,the two mean looking security guys down stairs to make me leave her office without satisfying myself.
As i lowered my tall,muscular frame on to the bench in the park,i could hear it groan under the weight of the burden i bore.
I cursed Mr Femi,miss Dupe,the ugly accountant that paid me only one thousand,eight hundred and fifty naira after working for twenty three days and the whole company.
I cursed my runaway father,i cursed everyone that has conspired to make my life miserable.
I remember Alagba Samson,the powerful priest at the C & S church down my street who with a dark furrowed gaze,dirty dreadlocks scattered over his wrinkled face, cast his usual dancing and spraying of holy water aside,stared me straight in the eye and commanded in a deep foreboding voice that i seek spiritual help elsewhere and never step on his sacred ground again.
I was so scared and left in such a hurry,i didn’t even realize i forgot my slippers until i got home.
His word rang now in my ear as i contemplated suicide,it would be a massive relief for my friend Tunde who has been wanting me to move out after squatting me for close to five years.who would blame him when he intends getting married soon.
I threw that thought aside when i remembered my mother and Lola,the only person who still cares and has stood by me all these years.
After almost an hour spent making a mental list and thinking of gruesome ways to get back at everyone who has contributed one way or the other to make my life a misery,i decided to go and see my mum.
Mama David as she is called by everyone i know own’s a small provision store at the popular Oshodi market.
Today na today o i told myself.
Its either she tells me everything she knows or God go recieve both of us.
I have had more than enough.
I carried my burden off the park’s benck and trekked down to the BRT park where i bought a 100 naira ticket and soon we were navigating through the third mainland bridge on our way to Oshodi.
I was oblivious of everything around me until the driver’s voice suddenly pierced my thoughts.
“u no go come down abi no be Oshodi you dey go?”
Anger got the better of me,i gave him a generous dose of my vile tongue as i got down.
Insults followed me as the bus slowly eased into the garage but my mind already was tuned back to my mother’s shop.
I wanted to avoid the long walk back to her shop if i take the overhead bridge so i decided to move forward a little and cross the expressway directly opposite her lane.
I waited by the roadside,lost in a whirlwind of thoughts until i felt it was okay to cross.
I drifted across the road and out of the corner of my eye,i saw a yellow Danfo emerge from nowhere.
It raced and swerved recklessly avoiding a pothole as it was furiously chased by a LASTMA van.
I wanted to jump.
I wanted to run.
I wanted to cry.
All in that slow tiny second.
Tires screeched,people screamed and with death staring me in the face,i willed my legs to move,to run but instead i heard myself scream adding my own voice to the rising cacophony.
The bus hit me.with the brute strength of a rugged boxer at his glorious peak,Its ragged edges tore into me with stunning accuracy,i longed for death as some part of me clung to the blodied edge of the bus and the rest flew sky high,
That force was just enough to take away my pains and end my miserable twenty nine years existence..
I jerked awake feeling something scatch my face.
People ran in all direction screaming at the top of thier voices.
Some men who were trying to rescue a man from a bus stuck in the drainage abandoned him and fled.
One fell into the deep drainage.
I was still wondering if this was a dream when an old man fell into a basket of tomatoes,the heap piled and i tried to laugh,my head and ribs ached.
Then i knew i was fully awake.
I pushed a large carton covering some part of me away and stared at my blood soaked body.
What was i doing here in a pool of blood ?
Traffic was at a standstill on both sides of the road as people gathered to stare from afar,others stared from parked danfo buses and molues.
A woman was screaming,telling anyone who bothered to hear that he was dead.
She was pointing at me.
Is she crazy?
She started on how my neck was twisted and my bones broken.
I concluded then that she was not only crazy,she was also stupid and blind.
I checked to see if any bones were poking out of my body to stare at me but i only saw blood.
Where did the blood come from ?
I was checking to see if there were other injured or dead people around as two ambulances pulled up in a chorus of sirens.
Some LASTMA officials approched them and they were talking feverishly,pointing towards me.
I decided to get up and walk to the ambulance for treatment since i wasn’t hurt seriously.
As i stood,blood dripping from every part of my body,people ran helter skelter,some just ran straight into others.
The nurses abandoned the stretcher they carried too and ran after thier driver.
See me see trouble o.
Where nurse dey run go i asked myself.
Won’t they come to see if I’m injured or not.
I began to find the scene amusing despite the pains i felt in my body.
I need to clean up,have a drink,take aspirin and then a long rest.
An old woman with a fish tray on her head was saying something about the end time and the anti-christ.
Just when i thought i should move closer and ask for an explanation or run like the others if the need be,i saw two people running towards me.
A middle aged woman adorned with white lace with her head gear tied around her waist was screaming David while a little teenage girl ran after her crying too.
I turned to see who she was calling out to and a force that hit me turned me around in pains.
The woman in white.
She was crying,turning me round,touching me all over asking what happened while the girl just clung to my leg crying furiously.
I looked up and met hundreds of curious eyes stare back.
The woman again screamed
‘wetin happen David ?
Talk to your mama’.
I found the strength to laugh as i wondered where the hell this woman came from and who was David.
As i took a step back out of her grasp to ask her if she was talking to the right person,we were serenaded once again with chorus of sirens.
The animated crowd moved backwards as two vans parked close to where we stood.
I was hoping it was another ambulance but they were both police vans.
Gun totting men in black and a short enigma i will later know as sergeant Robert emerged.
TO BE CONTINUED…