A few days ago, I sat in the ‘comfort’ of the cab on my way to the night shift which has so much become regular of recent. As the cab man was screaming his destination on top of his voice, I decided to busy myself in the e-version of Francine Rivers’ An Echo in the Wind. Time, always not my friend these days, was running out fast. I needed to catch the staff bus, failing which I would have to ‘hail’ a bike in a not so favourable time of the day. Little by little, the vehicle got its full passenger load, and even added the extra one man in front, that has come to stay in my city of residence.
I managed to murmur a reply when each of the co-passengers came in as I was engrossed totally in the book I was reading. I even ignored all sorts of messages that came in on the phone, preferring instead to continue my reading.
Time to move, I looked up for no particular reason and then went back to my reading.
The journey started smoothly and there was this elation in me that the angels have actually answered my prayers and we would get to my destination even before the calculated time. While the journey continued in its smoothness, I was enjoying the breeze that was washing over my face that warm evening, as well as the minimal level of traffic flow that allowed easy and quick movement for me.
As we approached the final stop, I wanted to flip my wallet which I always held in my hands. That was when it dawned on me that in my rushing and hurrying, I had left my wallet on my bed post at home as someone moved me for free from home to the bus stop while I was hurrying. In my distraught state, I actually started ransacking my bag maybe to see if angel Gabriel had placed it in there. My palms became sweaty, my mind in turmoil. “What would I tell this cab man for God’s sake?” I was half laughing at myself for the embarrassing scene I would witness when I alight at the last stop. I tried to place a call to my friend who lives a bit close to where I was going to stop to go wait for me and avail me of the amount I needed to pay. Thank God for MTN and Globacom, my misery was compounded as the call did not just connect on either of the networks.
I sank well into the car seat, ready to receive the highest level of dressing down I have ever received. I sighed repeatedly, brought out my handkerchief to mop invisible sweat. Simply put, I was restless. The young lady beside me whose greeting I answered in a murmur noticed that I was not composed and I was lucky she asked “is everything okay?”
I smiled, and told her I was in real deep trouble.
Explaining my plight to her, she told me to calm down. That was when I started feeling the coolness of the breeze on my face again. She paid the driver with a crispy one thousand naira note and just chuckled, more like holding a laugh.
Wetin consign me? Part one of the ish don settle. She just turned to me and said “I’ve been down that road before”.
Reaching the final stop, I thanked her and was about making my way to my friend’s when she called me back. She asked where I was heading and how I’d make my way there. All semblance of ‘forming’ disappeared straight. I reeled out my movement and lucky me, we were headed in the same direction. She offered to pay to my next stop and we started a semi-gist. That was when she narrated her own experience. Time seemed to move too fast and we got to destination, that was when I remembered the staff bus I was so in haste to catch, which by then was even gone.
As I made to go after saying thanks, she just pulled me back and dropped five hundred naira in my hands to “find your way back home tomorrow and be more careful next time”. I smiled and said thanks to appreciate the gesture.
Now you wanna know what happened next?
I took her digits and promised to call to appreciate her. Someway, somehow, there was a mix up and the number I took from her exceeded the normal eleven digits which a mobile number should be.
My ass was saved, I got a raise, but the chance to appreciate the lady I met in the dark was lost.
Maybe she was sent by angel Gabriel. Just maybe…
I am @0scarpoems