From the 31 days project here comes the first out of 20 short stories from the author of #LagosChronicles. A short tale in transit of a young married employee, enjoy…
It was bad enough that she woke up late today of all days, when the supervisor from headquarters was going to be visiting her unit.
It was already 8:15am and traffic was rife with the usual strength of an army brooding for war, Oshodi was a complete mess, a cacophony of ear splitting noise, jarring activities from other road users and the usual air pollution caused by exhaust fumes from the battalion of vehicles growling like angry dogs on the highway all competing for space and right if way.
A drop of sweat was coursing down the left side of her face, she brushed it aside with the white handkerchief she just bought off the mobile vendor on her street, Haven forgotten to carry one in her bag.
The soft vibration from her bag caught her attention, her phone was ringing again. Omolara was sweating and she hated it, the bus was barely moving and she was half losing her mind. She made an attempt to pick the call but it stopped ringing just when she tapped the receive button, it was her colleague at the office whom she believe must now think that she was avoiding the call.
She adjusted herself on the second row seat, struggling to take her mind off the missed calls, she already exhausted her call card trying to explain to the office why she was a bit delayed but all they seem to care about was the exact time she would arrive which was impossible to estimate from the messed up traffic situation she now found herself.
Just at that moment, the driver of the fourteen sitter-bus veered off the road and began to drive against traffic to save time, none of the passengers said a word about this though they all knew that the act was illegal. Omolara on her part had mixed feelings about it but also said nothing, she rather braced up for the bumpy ride.
This went on for some minutes and almost succeeded when suddenly the driver tried rejoining the right lane almost running over a street trader, this sudden shift caught everyone in the bus unaware throwing them off balance and filling the air in the bus with curses directed at the driver and some at the conductor. It was apparent they were now being chased by road traffic operatives who were now gaining on the bus.
Omolara began asking the conductor for her change as she had paid with a thousand Naira bill for the trip which was jacked up from seventy Naira to one hundred and fifty Naira due to the recent fuel price. The conductor ignored her and everyone else asking for their change but she kept on demanding for hers’ becoming angrier each time she did.
Her phone was ringing again but before she could react to the it, there was a loud crushing sound followed by a violent forward jerk that almost threw her out of her seat.
Minutes later, struggling to hold on to her sensibility she grabbed her bag and began moving to exit the now stationary vehicle which was all nose crushed with the concrete divider, the man sitting next to the door was stationary some of the passengers had already alighted and were helping those of them trying to come out of the bus. She was assisted by two men who held her hands and kept asking her if she was okay. She didn’t respond but kept moving out the door while checking herself for injuries.
Her phone was still ringing… She picked it ignoring the woman who was crying by her side. “Lara where are you?” came the angry voice from the other side “we have been trying to reach you all morning but you didn’t pick your calls what’s going on?”
“Hello Lara, are you there? That place is noisy where are you?” Omolara was still in minor shock and couldn’t readily respond but at last she spoke ‘I just survived an accident’ she said with shaky voice and trembling hands.
“What! Where?” Omolara began to cough ‘I am currently at Yaba not far from Adekunle, please could you help me pass the information to our head? I would have to sort things out here before I leave, I should be at the office in no time please’ she said as she scanned the crowd for the conductor so that she could collect her change.
The scene was that of a typical crash, men in yellow top and wine coloured trousers where everywhere, she saw the driver sitting on the floor, badly injured and smeared with blood, the conductor was no where to be found.
Several women were raining curses on the driver demanding their change from him since the conductor had obviously absconded with the stash of passengers money, Omolara joined them forgetting that Johnson was still on the phone.
All attempts by the men both passengers and the traffic officials to calm the women down failed, it was a scene that draw onlookers from everywhere, at least those who could spare some time to watch, the scene cursed more traffic, giving the men in uniform extra work to do.
By the time Omolara realized that she had forgotten about the call she quickly rushed to check her phone and that’s when see realized that it was ringing again. Johnson must have dropped the call along the line, she picked the call but the voice that came across was different, female and stern “Mrs Omolara Wilson, kindly leave that environment and get here ASAP, the official medical team here will attend to your needs but you have to get here right now if you don’t want any more bad reports on your record, thank you.” the line went dead…
Omolara was tongue tied and confused, who was that? It must be the supervisor and did they hear the exchange between her and the driver a while back? She couldn’t tell. She stood their pondering for what felt like an hour but was just forty seconds, the accident scene suddenly became a distant event, no need to make more trouble the conductor was gone anyway, along with her eight hundred and fifty naira change.
Omolara would have to look for the nearest ATM and pray that the machine delivers as the cash on her was not going to be enough to take her to work. At this point, a taxi was what was on her mind regardless the cost, to hell with economic hardship, this cross was hers’ to bear, Lara walked away from the scene heading straight for the adjoining street to hunt for a functional ATM.
About Sunday Imonah
Sunday Imonah AKA The SoNaR’ is an enigmatic Presenter on Metro 97.7FM. Besides presentation, he has produce, written, and directed various creative works to his credit.
This young April born Extrovertial-Introvert is a bunch of things. He is a Voice Actor, IT/tech savvy, an actor, vocalist, songwriter and writer, he is a known Compere covering social and corporate events before joining Metro FM in 2012 after completing the presentation course at the FRCN Training Institute Ikeja GRA Lagos.
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