It was drizzling as the vehicle was slowing down. Bisi looked out the window and sighed in resignation. They had argued back and forth in the bus about where the NYSC camp was. Bisi had thought she would get to Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun state. But she had been told that she was to drop at Sagamu. Bisi knew the town was in but she didn’t know she would have to drop on the express.
The woman with the loudest voice told her to hurry down. She said Bisi had to make sure she got a bike instead of a cab. How was she supposed to climb a bike with such big box? Something in her sent panic all through her system. Her box was removed from the rear of the vehicle and the driver wished her luck. Bisi was left on her own and in her confusion. She felt the urge to call her mum, but she knew it would only give the older woman an opportunity to start telling her how she should have served in Kwara state.
There were people around, luckily for Bisi. Hawkers hawked and bus conductors shouted their destinations as they hung at the edge of opened buses. It was a busy place after all. the panic began to leave the girl and she made to hail a cab.
“That’s not a very good idea,” a voice said from behind her, Bisi recoiled and spun around. She stood staring at an elderly woman in her forties with a young girl beside her. The woman looked at Bisi and then at her luggage.
“Good evening, ma,” Bisi greeted the staring woman. The woman nodded and pointed to her big box.
“Why do you need that much things? Aren’t you a corper?” she asked again, the girl looking up at Bisi with an expectant stare.
“What did you bring,” she chipped in as she started at the nylon of plantain chips in Bisi’s hands. Her mother tugged at her hand and she smiled innocently. Bisi couldn’t help but smile inspite of herself. She took out one of the bundle and handed it to the girl. The girl looked at her mum and when a nod was given, she gladly collected the goodie.
“Thank you,” was said in gratitude.
The woman asked if Bisi could carry the box herself and the poor girl shook her head, she scolded Bisi but asked her to wait. As it happened, she had her car parked at the other side of the express. She had a boutique there and promised Bisi she would take her to the camp.
It was like the little girl had create a bonding with Bisi because she asked if she could stay with her still her mum comes. The mother asked if it was okay with the said lady, and after receiving a nod, she went away.
Bisi asked the little girl what her name was and she said Laura Clement. She was telling Bisi all about her school when a boy came and informed Bisi that he had been instructed to come and help with the box. His name was Kehinde, he stooped to roll his trouser up backing the express.
Bisi stared at the shop the woman had indicated and she was outside, by the car, waving them over. Bisi said she would help him carry but he said she shouldn’t bother. She held the girl firmly and they crossed the express.
Bisi smiled through her thank you words as the girl held unto her hands.
“What were you buying?” the woman asked Bisi. “Where is your box?”
“Ma, the boy said you…” Bisi looked back to where she had come from, there were no box and no boy!