Danfo By Theo-ziny Joel

It held firm it’s whip, lashing me from all cardinal points without a bit of mercy. Yet, it’s creator is known to be merciful, but where is the mercy portrayed here? Mercy said no to me. I was innocent, we were innocent still yet punished unjustly.

“Whichkyn punishment be this?” Said a tall bodily built man who stood next to me. He was trying to use the newspaper he held to form a shield as a defence to protect himself from the unfair punishment he and the rest of us were receiving.

Everyone who stood at the bus stop had something over their head protecting them from the anguish of the hot sun that woke up at the wrong side of it’s bed.

We all stood in scattered lines along the road side waiting for a stop over by any bus heading to Ikeja. I felt not comfortable with everything. I had longed for this day to come but not in this pickle state I was. I could feel the melt of my cream sliding over my face then to the corner of my lips. It tasted like cream, well it’s a cream but tasted like salad cream. I liked the feel it fed my lips but I immediately spat it out since it wasn’t consumable.

The sun was frying me up despite I had my Jordan face cap on. I felt the sun was shining from under the ground because I could smell my feet baking. I needed to know what the time said. I looked around to check who was putting on a wristwatch, despite I had one on but one that had stopped working since 3months ago, Yet, I wore it with pride and swag.

I could sight no one putting on a wristwatch. And my phone was a no option to help out, for it gave a time account of another planet. It had never for once retained a correct Nigeria time. Almost immediately, My so called alien phone rang, and the caller ID displayed “MY LOVE”. Still ringing, I dumped it into my pocket as it vibes and rings on. I couldn’t pick up because I was out of lie. I had told her I was about dropping at Ikeja whereas I just got out of the bathroom.

I and others still stood at the bus stop waiting for the drought of no bus to be over. Others that couldn’t wait walked down to the nearest bus stop in hope to get a bus there, while those that felt they were billionaire boarded a bike at a very high expense, and as well staking their life at a very high risk considering the long distance.

Few minutes later, we all sighted a bright yellow bus coming from a distance. We all were moving in different direction trying to predict the spot the bus was going to halt. Some had even boarded the bus in their mind before the bus arrived at the manner at which their face expression glared. I foresaw it was going to be a third world war to be counted worthy as a passenger on this bus. I regretted I was putting on a white top. What other top would I have worn though if not it. I wasn’t so opened to option in picking an outfit for such a date. It was the best I had.

The bus drew nearer, or better still we drew nearer to the bus. It was more like a scenario when a daughter saw her father afar and ran to embrace him even before he arrived home. Despite the bus was yet to stop, people had already mounted the bus door, hanging with one hand and leaning with a leg that was swaying left and right. There was so much skills on display. A well dressed man on suit had his tie at his back with his two hands hanging on the bus door and two legs not touching the floor. It was all about who wanted it the most and the strongest. Women weren’t left out as well, most especially those with big buttocks-they had the upper advantage. They used their blessed below as a weapon to shield all forms of external opponent. I wasn’t lucky enough because this woman with a very enormous blessed below so guided me in bid to let her two young kids in. I struggled with her but I made no form of progress. My effort was more like one throwing an egg to break a fence.

Still on the struggle to get on the bus,I felt someone from behind trying to climb over my head. The manner at which he grasped my head was like I stole his wife from him. He neglected the door but instead focused on my head.

“Oga wetin happen na” I shouted

My words had no effect but instead was effective on the pain he inflected the more on me. He pulled my ears and held my neck with his left hand, he squeezed my neck so tight that I was starting to choke. I realized it was becoming a real war in which I wasn’t trained for. I had no other option other than to retreat since there was no way forward. I tried moving backward but I was stalked. This man wasn’t giving me the space to move away, neither was he giving me the chance to move forward.

“What kind of devil agent is this one?” I mustered

Eventually I was out of the battle field. Not too long, another bus came along,this time it stopped not too far from me. I doubled up fast and with no stress got into the bus. I felt relived as others rumbled their way in.

After some minutes we got moving. I checked myself, my white top already had a big stain. I was so upset.

“It must have been that stupid man” I said out loud that the fat lady that sat beside me heard but I am sure she didn’t understand my English language because her appearance showed her personality. She looked like a very tough yoruba woman.

“Emu owo yin wa line by line lati eyin o” the driver ordered from the front for us to pay our transport fare line by line.

It was one of those buses that had no conductor to collect money. We all brought out our money, while the driver watched from his front mirror to see as we were contributing it.

” Please fast be with it” he said in the best possible way he could express himself in English despite murdering the language. But yet still, we understood clearly what he meant. We all arranged the money accordingly and faithfully, then passed it to him at the front.

Fuji music clouded the bus. How they differentiated this Fuji singer from that still marvels me a lot. They all sound same to me. The driver was in no doubt enjoying himself. He was just moving left and right like a National flag doing it’s job. He sometimes leaves the bus steering and places his hand over his head, as a sign he was immersed in the music I found as noise pollution. To add to the noise pollution, he was making his own instrumental with the bus horn, giving unpleasant unrhythmic sounds, nodding his head like a lizard. I fixed my earphone in my ears to serve as earplugs without playing a music.

“Abeg make una help me shift small” another fat woman who sat on my line requested. I pretended like I didn’t hear. I sat close to the window almost out of the window and she still yet expected one to adjust. I just ignored her and looked outside the window.

“Nah me talk say make una big pass necessity ni” I muttered within me.

The fat lady who sat beside me tapped me to adjust. I looked at her scornfully but not to be disrespectful, I just shook my body in pretence that I adjusted. This fake act had always worked for me in times memorial, but maybe not today because this fat woman just moved squeezing me to the window.

“This place is tight nah” this was me yelling. They made no reaction to my complain. My effort to push was effortless because I was so stuck like a can fish. Furious was I that I wished I had a gun to shoot them, not for them to die now, but a gun that would make them reduce in weight. I had my cloth roughen. I heard my soul screaming for help. I felt my life had been squeezed out of me.

I felt my phone vibe in my pocket. I couldn’t reach it, due to the state I was.

“it must be my love” I said within me.

After minutes of drive, a woman stood up and faced us the passengers. It was obvious she was a trader, about to trade her products. This was a regular act in most Danfo buses here in Lagos. Everywhere a place for buying and selling. She started with jokes-this is typical of them, this got most passengers laughing. A joke which I found not close to being funny. She advertised her product, one in which could heal serious headache, stomach pain, body pain and cure all form of skin diseases. Who would believe all this? Well Lagos Danfo passengers do. Their response to the product was overwhelming. A man bought six of it and I was like

“wetin happen” Funny how people buy lie.

After she was done selling her products, she sat down with smile all over her face. It was a good day indeed for her. Not too long, another person stood up, this time a man. He wore something close to a green suit but not qualified to be called a suit because it looked more like an overall coat to me. He also had a pink tie on, on a yellow shirt that looking at the collar you go like “shit” because it had loosen threads all over it. His colour combination of a green so called suit on a pink tie with a yellow shirt, made him look like someone that was going to sell paints. But to my surprise he was a Pastor. He held his bible. The bible looked strange to me though, it was so big and old, looking like what the pharisees and sadducee used during the time of Jesus.

This colourful Pastor preached with all seriousness, this was evident for the sweat that raced through his face could be seen from far a distance. Well, the passengers were enjoying him. some nodded their head in agreement. After few minutes of preaching and praying, he shared some envelopes round the bus, in collection of offering.

“what won’t you see in a danfo bus?” this was my soul talking to me and my spirit.

Cheerful givers gave their offering. After collection, the colourful pastor blessed the offering and as well his congregations. He also sat with a face of fulfilment.

The journey to Ikeja continued. The driver had stopped his music for sometime. Minutes later he put’s on the radio. The debate from the radio presenters was on the upcoming champions league between Juventus and Real Madrid. Some men in the bus took up the debate from the radio presenter and brought it to reality.

“Juventus has won this cup already” A man sitting on the first row said

“and who told you that? Have you forgotten C.ronaldo is playing in that match? and God ministered to me that Madrid will carry the day” said Pastor colourful

” and so what?” same man said

“It means it’s impossible for a win for Juventus”

” Ronaldo can do nothing. what can he play?”

“What do you mean by that? are you referring to my own Ronaldo?!” Pastor colourful blurted out in anger

“Yes! he can’t be compared to any Juventus players”

“that’s an insult!” Pastor colourful said out loud with him on his feet. Obviously, it was turning into a big argument that might most likely turn out in a fist battle. They raised voices at each other. I was enjoying myself. I was so surprised when our colourful pastor landed his opponent a slap that made me held my cheeks. I felt the pain on behalf of this man. Well this man survived. In retaliation, he grabbed our colourful pastor by the tie, pulling him closer to himself, in return, he blessed our colourful pastor with a return slap that sounded like a traditional yoruba hunter’s gun. Some good samaritans tried separating them.

“you must give me my offering back o” the man yelled in anger

“offering God have accepted already. Come and collect it nah” pastor colourful replied

I felt entertained by both men, but my entertainment was cut short because our bus had reached it’s destination. Both men still exchanged words at each other, even after we’ve all alighted the bus. I waited a bit to watch both men. I had this smile on my face. I was really enjoying myself. I wished they had started their fight earlier in the bus.

I now had a full view of Pastor colourful full outfit. He had a red canvas on, on a navy blue trouser. I just smiled and concluded with myself that this was indeed a colourful outfit.

The vibe from my phone in my pocket brought me back to reality, that I was to meet up with someone. I took out my phone. I saw I had missed five calls from my love and I also had an sms from her. I opened the sms it reads

“Dear, something came up and I had to go back home to meet my aunt. Tried reaching you early enough but you weren’t picking up. I am sorry for any inconveniency. take care and have a colourful day. HEART YOU”

Had I picked the call when I was at the bus stop earlier, I wouldn’t have wasted my time coming here and going through all the stress. I felt disappointed. The thought of the stress of going back home made my soul and spirit leave my body. They weren’t ready to go through stress again. They left my body standing alone on a spot. Indirectly, It was indeed a colourful day.

One thought on “Danfo By Theo-ziny Joel” by Theo-ziny Joel (@Crushina)

  1. I really like “DANFO”. Very Relatable fiction!

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