The concluding part of Kolade-Dricks Bus Tales.
Episode 24 here
The driver pulled over. Alas! The man that just alighted from the bus was the person wailing that his phone had gone missing. Pandemonium broke out and all hell was loose in the bus. Some passengers were busy swearing, others complaining that time was being wasted, the rest shouting and ranting some nonsense at the man whose phone was missing. I just sat still in my chair, not knowing what to think or say.
Soon a man in military uniform, a soldier actually (I had not noticed him before) got down from the bus. This man was quite built physically, with eyes so scary that if you starred deep into them you could almost feel the pain and anguish they were carrying. I started thinking of the many men he would possibly have killed in the line of duty. Of course he was a soldier and that is what they were trained to do. I began to picture myself in military school, I thought to myself that there was no way a guy like me could survive such harsh training. I would have probably died long ago or dropped out…
My day dream was cut short as I felt a tight grip on my wrists. “This was the kind of grip he must have used on the battle front”, I thought to myself. He dragged every individual one after the other out of the bus. Fear had gradually began to creep in.
Suddenly I started feeling guilty as if I was the one who stole the missing phone. What if it is in my pocket? What if it was dropped in my bag mistakenly? What if it developed wings and flew or crawled into my bag miraculously?
Those were the questions flying inside my head, messing with my brain. Then I started convincing myself that I could not be the thief. While I was engaged in my dilemma, the soldier announced he was going to search everyone from head to toe. He started looking at everybody’s face and soon our eyes clashed. He sensed my fear and said “I dey suspect dis pikin”. I felt like telling him to his face “who be pikin?” but the thought of receiving a deafening slap kept me mute. Though I was sure I did not take the phone, my face betrayed my conviction.
After the soldier’s comment, attention started coming towards me. People started throwing suspicious glances at me once again. This time I had no reply for them. I could hardly feel my mouth, talk less of moving them. My hands were already shaking and my entire body was now the epitome of the personification of fear.
Just then, one of the pretty NYSC ladies asked the phone owner for his phone number, I wonder why this had not occurred to anyone yet, probably we all thought it had been stolen and the thief could not be so dumb to leave it on. But I mean, it was still worth the try. She dialled it and the phone started ringing…
Lo and behold, it was ringing in the trousers of the owner. Apparently, he had a leaking pocket and his phone had slipped all the way to the bottom without his knowledge. He was wearing skinny pants so his phone could not drop to the ground. You need to see the look on his face when he discovered the phone, he was like a helpless puppy looking for its mum, simply priceless!!!
Different people now wore different expressions. The soldier was putting on an angry look, some looks portrayed disbelief, others frustration, the driver was upset, angry and frustrated all rolled into one. He had missed out time to make more returns. I had the best look at that moment. My look portrayed relief. Our tight-fisted soldier apologised rough handling us.
The journey henceforth was silent. I could not wait to get off this plagued vehicle.
As I approached my bus stop I reached into my pocket to bring out my #100 naira note. All I that was in my pocket was this flyer I was given to attend a program. Come to think of it…. I could bet I had thrown that flyer away. On my way to the car park, a lady walked towards me and handed me this flyer. She made me say to her that I was going to attend this praise programme her church was organising. Not wanting to waste my time and also disappoint the lady, I said I would come. I remember reaching into my pocket to throw the flyer into the car park dustbin after our discussion.
Did I throw my money away instead of the flyer???
All that was irrelevant at that point in time. The only thing that took precedence was the need to conjure magic and produce the sixty naira transport fare!!
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