You Never Know (3)

You Never Know (3)

Suddenly a black goat darted into the road. Whether it was too bamboozled by what seemed to it an approaching behemoth or that it was playing out a black script given it by some malevolent spirit, no one would ever know. It just stood petrified, like Silas Marner, at the middle of the road. And in that split second of the appearance of the evil goat, the driver jammed on the brakes instinctively. Then, in a very desperate move to save the flying and overloaded bus from toppling over because of its momentum and the impact of the brakes, he swerved to the right in a battle of skids, missed the goat by a few inches and smashed apocalyptically through the bush. I stopped Linda just in time from bashing her head against the back of the seat before her. But I ended up bashing my arm. Like a missile let loose from its moorings, the bus leaped uncontrollably over low sturdy obstacles. The driver was unable to dictate its destiny anymore. His dexterity was not titanic enough to cancel out its steady and stormy roar to a grim fate.

Desperate shouts of “Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!” came from all the passengers on board. In those fateful seconds of my life, Linda sprang into my arms. Her ample breasts melted into the muscular folds of my chest. I held her tightly, even as we screamed in alarm. Our bodies were hot and our hearts were pounding away like battering rams. In the noise and confusion, I clutched the golden necklace on her neck with my bashed arm. It was a strange and impulsive move but one that had stuck to my memory ever since. In a miasma of unpredictable gravitations, like thousands of Roman soldiers charging variably toward some scatterbrained barbarians, the now-foliage-festooned bus roared and brushed into the road again. The driver slammed away confusedly at the pads below him. The tyres screeched very loudly. But turbo-charged with velocity, the vehicle hurtled away in wide swirls. Then, it did an ear-splitting somersault, relieving itself of some of the human and luggage burden it bore. I was thrown off through the window and into the bush. Even then, I came to note blindly that Linda’s golden necklace was in my hand. Miraculously, I had not lost consciousness yet. The next thing that happened was perceived by my ears only; for my enormous build was fiercely entangled in an abyss of foliage and a pool of my own blood. How my body managed to fly through that window is a mystery to me till date.

At the behest of a slipping consciousness, I heard the thundering approach of a tractor-trailer, probably rounding a sharp bend. I heard the screeching of its tyres toward the catastrophe on the road, the horrifying bash of its colossal chassis on the mangled luxury bus, merciless crushing crashes of weight on sparking tar, very loud and infernal wails and the sound of breaking glasses and the boom of exploding tyres. Splinters of glass flew off from the detonating zone and tore into the bush. One of them landed on my already blood-soaked head and broke into tiny smithereens. The pain was very excruciating. I heard and saw no more….

Two months later, I was discharged from a hospital in Benin city. I had been treated for head injuries and a broken arm. I was, again, physically fit. But, for quite a while, I was not fully myself.

One day, I went back to the scene of the accident and searched frantically for Linda’s golden necklace. And when I almost gave up the quest, I found it near the roots of some croton cluster. It was slightly stained from exposure to the elements. I picked it up and later had it polished to almost its pristine beauty. I kept Linda’s golden necklace as a memento. I had it preserved in a beautiful glass plate that I hung on the walls of my sitting room. She had, at last, proved to me that she was an angel who had only come to protect me and, after that, loosen her wings and fly away for good.

For somehow, I had managed to learn that except for my self and the man of prayers, everyone else died in that terrible accident.

24 thoughts on “You Never Know (3)” by jeff unaegbu (@jeffunaegbu)

  1. This was a very unexpected end. But a great one. Thumbs ups for this.

    1. Comments from Lade are to be attended to with utmost delight. Thank you so very much.

  2. Wow!! I know this story..The end rings a bell…Nice one…

    1. Thanks Mariaah. Events like this are almost common (yet we pray for God’s protection over our lives). Thus their reality would always ring that bell. Enjoy another year already!

  3. Parts 1 and 2 went a a very leisurely pace, and then, just like the bus, the story accelerated and ended up in an unexpected destination (for me)! But it was a good unexpectedness – and I found the part at the end where he returns for the necklace very poignant.

    Again, my issue throughout the series is the style – while I prefer stories to keep it simple, I don’t have a problem with imaginative turn of phrase. But I didn’t find the usage of figures of speech as natural or as elegant as I would have liked.

    Thanks for the series, Jeff!

    1. Dear Tola, again, thank you for this well-researched advice. I am having a challenge of a plethora of styles pouring forth from the Ambrosia-fed Muse breathing over my naked neck! And, through another pair of spectacles, I set sail to see through other sets of eyes. I think I would be very simple in my next post and step back and watch with glee at the sound of easy mastication as I enjoy now for these hard carapaces of mine. Thanks again, veteran reader and writer. You rock!

  4. See accident dey happen and ma man dey remember breast… lol… Wanted to laugh cos I thought it was funny… A tragic and interesting story… Thumbs up…

    1. Idoko, You got it going there for me! It was just what it should be. Whenever anything happens: “Gbarara!”, girls tend to jump into the arms of any available male for protection. It is instinctive. No one can help it. Thanks again.

  5. You did great with the story. Kinda like endings people never really imagined. Actually thought you were going somewhere else especially with his junior in school also in the bus.

    Not okay with choice of words though. Made me skip some lines. But I guess that’s your style so you gotta stick to it.

    Keep it up man. Waiting for your next post. Hope it won’t be this tragic though.

    1. Thanks, Jaywriter. I would have loved you give me examples for improvement. It would have been lovely to digest it and help both of us see each other’s perspectives better. Stories come in different forms. But I assure you the next won’t be so. Though, realism seems to takes precedence over romanticism in my writings. Thanks again.

      1. Sorry Jay, when I said stories come in different forms, I was reacting to the point of tragedy you mentioned, not the style of writing. Please take note. Thanks.

    2. Strong 1 here @jeff unaegbu I would love to see you examine a piece here on NS titled “IS DESTINY REAL?”

  6. Bro, I salute your genius command of words, yet in my opinion, your witty usage of figurative expressions may come out more delicious to a wider range of readers with some moderation. Moderation, perhaps also, in the use of difficult words. I guess this may make it easier to maintain a more uniform density and fluidity in the language, but then, you don’t seem to be the kind of guy who’d take a route because it’s easier :). Personally I enjoy the dramatic use of language and then the sharp turn of this story also gave me a chilly thrill.

    1. @Tee, I am trying to align oh! But I pray another part of my readers who are enjoying the big grammar show would not groan when I allign to the simpler readers. Again, like the writer Bankole said in another of my posts, this case of use or non-use of grammar is subjective. What may be tough grammar or too urbane for one person may actually be plain to another. Imagine master Soyinka reading my story? He may just laugh at the plainness and continue to “Set Forth At Dawn”. You laugh!!

  7. So much has been said Jeff.As for me , I enjoyed the story, with its heightened language and all.I think it depends on what audience you are targetting. Suffice it to say that you are a writer’s writer.

    Well done!!!

    1. @Lawal! You are the main man!! You are also a writer’s writer and readers’ writer too. Roll along with the rolls royce of wordssmithing!

  8. Em…having not have read the other parts…

    But i did note this…”ear-splitting somersault”…

    Hmm…permit my ignorance, but how does a vehicle perform “ear-splitting somersault”???

    Nice read though.

    1. @Seun, you know, I observed that a vehicle can either make a complete on-air somersault in which its parts do not touch the ground or brush against anything during the process. In this case, there MAY not be an ear-splitting sound. But more often, vehicles brush against something or has something in them mangled or has their roofs or bonnets hit the ground while in the middle of the tumble. During an accident, the sound of such impacts are usually defeaning or ‘ear-splitting”, if you like. Remember that hyperbole is an art to be utilized and not kept in the iron chest of literature. The ear may not burst or split, but the phrase will suggest that, in deed, the sound was really loud.

      Thanks a million. Ah, remember, “thanks a million” too is a hyperbole! You laugh.

  9. this is a story anyone who had ever witnessed or experienced an accident can enjoy and understand with but i do have a lot of reservations about this story:
    too many big grammar, over beleaguered with adjectives and adverbs.
    In a miasma of unpredictable gravitations, like thousands of Roman soldiers charging variably toward some scatterbrained barbarians, the now-foliage-festooned bus roared and brushed into the road again. The driver slammed away confusedly at the pads below him. The tyres screeched very loudly. But turbo-charged with velocity, the vehicle hurtled away in wide swirls. Then, it did an ear-splitting somersault, relieving itself of some of the human and luggage burden it bore.

    its kinda too over-dramatic for me, CAN BE BETTER, LOTS!

    1. @Xijay, thanks. I love hyperbolic phrases, especially in dramatic moments. Some of my readers would have been very angry with me if I had deleted those very lines of mine. In fact, I just published a book with this story in it and people keep hailing the explosive drama in some sentences. One of them actually used the word, ‘explosive’. I laugh when they do this, for a friend called me up one day and said that if I dont stop writing big big words and all, she will just come and dump all my ten published books she had bought on my office door! I said, ‘yes, ma’am, I’ll try.’ The whole thing is funny, you see!

  10. I quite enjoyed this story in its entirety – the style, the language and the fluidity of events; its pure quality. You know, Aristotle once said “Quality is not an act, it is a habit. Hold on to your habit, Jeff.

  11. @Johnson, I am pleased by this comment. And Aristotle is indeed the lord of deep thought. You rock.

  12. Na there U go fear English naa….Kai! Nice, but with enough Big words and figurative expressions to make an English Lecturer go green.

  13. Hehehehe, Raymond! If I catch you eh!

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