UNDER BRIDGE! OSHODI!! UNDER BRIDGE! OSHODI!!
I had been standing under the rain anticipating the arrival of a danfo that was to convey me to my destination. It had been a particularly sunny afternoon and the rain had come down without warning. The clouds emptied their load unto the earth without pity and I with my “fine boy swag” was drenched to the bone. Without any form of protection whatsoever, I was left by the road side wondering why on earth I had embarked on this fruitless journey. I had woken up today with a mission. Today was supposed to be the day that I was going to seal the deal with fisayo. I had been on her case for a while and things were moving along nicely. I had gone through all the phases that a young chap like me would normally encounter in the “chyking” process. We had met, she had given me the allotted quota of “serere”, she had “chopped” my money on numerous occasions, and now it was time to do the do. “Hello Fissy, you doing anything today? I was planning on spending some time with you, if you don’t mind. Could we meet at just-rite?” she had agreed and I had proceeded to bath, dress up and prepare for my date with such speed that I was sure I had broken some unofficial record for “shortest time expended in preparation for a date”. Things we men would do for some “quality time”.
OSHODI! UNDER BRIDGE!! UNDER BRIDGE! OSHODI!! The conductor continued to herald at the top of his voice. Without further ado, I began to scuffle through the other commuters that had been stranded alongside my very humble self in the dousing rain in a bid to board the bus. One thing the rain does to normal life in lagos is that transportation is brought to a near standstill leaving a large number of the populace stranded and antsy. The pandemonium that ensued was one that could only have been imagined in a novelist’s mind. Bags flying, bodies lurching, frenzied movement, all in an effort to get on the bus. I even had someone else’s finger’s nick my skin and elbows nudge me in the face. I was shoved along with the crowd but I was determined to get on. I breezed past a dude that was in the process of haggling with the conductor and that was when I even got an idea of the fare that was needed for this trip.
“oga, I don tell you say na N100. If you no get abeg commot for road make other people enter”. Next thing I know, I’m on the bus and sitting on the legs of a very beautiful lady. In the commotion of getting on the bus, I had jumped too far in and landed on her laps. The embarrassment began to spread across my face, but as a sure boy, I hid it well, tendered my sincerest apologies and occupied the seat right next to her. I began to examine the injuries that I had sustained in the process of boarding the bus. Several cuts on my skin, an ache spreading through my head, my shades hanging in a crooked position atop my nose, in short I looked like I had just survived a mugging. Poor me, I had gone through all this just for some action with Fissy? In the end, na me con be the mugu. If I had gotten what I was looking for, shey all this stress I was going through would have at least made some sense in comparison. “Hey baby, I’m sorry I won’t be able to make it as planned. Something came up that requires my attention hope you don’t mind”. “ahhhh Fissy, but I’m already at just-rite. What would you have me do now? Infact I’m holding two cones of ice-cream. What would I do with the one I bought for you?” she had laughed then, and now when I think of it, that last ditch effort to get her to come was pretty lame for someone who prided himself as a smooth operator. I had tried to score another date with some other female lurking around but today wasn’t just my day. Either they were all there with someone else or they were waiting for someone else. In the end, I had given up and left.
“oga were your moni now? U no go pay me?” the voice of the conductor snapped me out of my reverie just as the pretty lady beside me was handing over her fare to him, the lady whose laps I had been on some minutes ago. Hmmm. Maybe all was not lost. I could still “chyk” this damsel beside me. Who knows, I probably could hit jackpot. I first proceeded to settle the issue of my fare with the conductor before I got thrown out of the bus ending my hope of some action this night. As I turned to start the conversation there was a loud sound of crunching metal accompanied with a vibration of immeasurable proportions. Just as I was about to make sense of what had just happened, I realised that the lady I had been gearing up to talk to was leaning on me in a very awkward position. Apparently the driver had brushed pass another danfo that was slowing down to make a stop and there had been a collision involving the right side of our bus and the left side of the other. Our driver was definitely at fault as he had been driving recklessly since the beginning of our journey, but I wasn’t going to join the other passengers in berating him. He had given me the perfect opening line for my conversation-God bless his soul.
“Are you alright miss?” before she could answer, we were swung from left to right to left. The driver was being really reckless and the blessing I had pronounced on him earlier, I was about to retract because instead of the lady answering me, she turned to shout at the driver too. May God punish the fool. Where was he rushing to sef? Tempers that had flared earlier as a result of the driver’s recklessness began to recede and I was now faced with another dilemma that was sure going to rival the dilemma of our world leaders seeking world peace, a new and appropriate pick-up line that wasn’t going to sound too goofy with the present situation of things. But would you blame me? I was just in an accident and the most important thing in the world to me was how to start up a conversation with a babe. I normally wasn’t used to this kind of problem but I had been on a losing streak today starting with Fissy. A pick-up line began to light up the insides of my thinking faculty and just as I was about to use it,
BANG! BANG!! BANG!!!
We were jolted right there in our seats and I could swear my head touched the roof of the bus twice before I landed back in my seat. My pick-up line took a quick exit from my brain and in its place, the ache that I had experienced on boarding the bus returned. The idiot had driven over some grave pot-holes and neither we nor the bus were any better for it. Now I was mad and for the first time, I joined everyone else in haranguing the driver. In fact, I almost slapped him from behind if not that I remembered in the nick of time that I was given off the gentleman persona for the benefit of the lady I was trying to quip. Now I was frowning. How bad could this day get? First Fissy and the disappointment, then more disappointment with the other ladies, then the rain, then this silly reckless driver, what could possibly come next to spoil this day further? I was so immersed in my thoughts that I almost missed the lady’s thighs rubbing against mine. At first, I thought it was an accident but as time elapsed, I realised it wasn’t. See as God con dey butter my bread. I whispered a little thanks to whoever the “chyking” god was and I proceeded for the kill.
“na wa ooo, dis driver no go kill us today” I said. Pretty lame considering I had spent the better part of the journey thinking and this was all I could come up with. Who cares about what I said. In my opinion, this girl was heading home with me tonight as she was the one who had set the ball rolling. Don’t worry about how much time had elapsed I still had some time before we got to our destination. “my dear, I’m even tired of the journey sef. I think the man is drunk. How else…”. She was cut in mid-sentence by another jolt. The fool had done it again. This time, the door of the danfo fell off its hinges and unto the road.
JESUS! JESUS!! JESUS!!!
The Lord’s name was echoed all over the bus both by the saints and sinners like me. The bus came to a stop by the road side and both driver and conductor began to retrace their steps back to get the missing door. That was when I confirmed that the clown we had in the name of “our driver” was actually drunk. He staggered back to the spot where the door fell off and it was an uphill task to get the door back to the bus alongside the conductor. Eventually, the conductor had to do the job alone. At that point, I burst into laughter and the laughter spread throughout the bus and in some quarters was mixed with insults at the driver. I didn’t hear the lady beside me laugh and so I paused and turned to see what was wrong. Her face was ashen with fear, and it was obvious she couldn’t see the humorous side to all that had happened. O well, now I was going to have to be the one to cheer her up. “ikeja along, owa oooo.” So she wasn’t headed to Oshodi. O well, I better get straight to the point.
Wait! Ikeja along, wasn’t that…
The driver slowed to a stop and the conductor announced “oya ikeja along, come down ooo.” Before I could even say, “can I have your number?” the lady skipped passed me and jumped down from the bus, the expression on her face being that of pure joy obviously at the fact that she had arrived despite the plan of her enemies from her village using the driver to make sure that she didn’t reach her destination. Just as I was about to decide if I was coming down with her, the conductor closed the door and the driver zoomed off. It then dawned on me that I hadn’t even asked the lady for her name. I blurted out a sentence that was barely above a whisper “walahi, God go punish this driver. E no go better for am.” I sulked all the way to oshodi and fortunately for the driver, there was no more drama from him even though I was somehow counting on it to unleash my fury on the drunken maniac. By the time we got to oshodi, the rain had stopped and I alighted from the bus and began to make my way through the teeming crowd on my way to board another bus headed for mile 2. The rain had soiled the road I was walking on and my “fine boy” shoes and jeans were messed up. I began to ask myself the question of who sent me when my phone rang. I pulled it out from my pocket and picked it up without looking at the caller ID. “Hello?” this unfortunate individual had sure caught me at a bad time. I just hoped somewhere at the corner of my mind that I wasn’t talking to either off my parents. “Oh I’m sorry, is this a bad time?”
Infact, God punish the babe. After all I was in this predicament because of her. “Yes? Any problem?” I didn’t even bother to hide the snarl in my voice. “I guess you are really angry with me. I was just calling to see how I could make it up to you. I finished what I was doing early and I was wondering if I could come over and see you. I would have loved it to be a surprise, but I do not have your address.” My brain was immediately set in motion and I found myself stammering. “Y-you w-want to come over tonight? Isn’t it late already?” she laughed then, that sexy seductive laugh of hers. “Well, not only do I intend to come over, I wish to spend the weekend with you if you are not too busy. It’s a Friday night. We could go clubbing and…” I cut her off in mid-sentence. “No. 7, Ofokaire Street, Akanke Estate. The white house with blue roof and black gate, you can’t miss it. It’s directly opposite a mechanic workshop. If you have any difficulty finding your way, just let me know and I’d come get you.” She laughed again and said “ok, I’m on my way. See you soon”, then she hung up. A smile spread across my face and all the anger I had felt some seconds back had suddenly evaporated. I began to laugh softly when I considered all that had happened. I should have killed her through the phone but instead I had doled out my address like a fool. I laughed again as a thought struck me. What wouldn’t men do for some action? What a day this had turned out to be.