It’s cute; very cute, listening to people talk about love and how beautiful it is. You know what’s cuter? Experiencing it yourself.
I thought to myself, it would be nice for me to give me two cents (or eight naira) on the topic. And so I opened my text editor and began to say what I had to on the topic. On finishing and going through it, I deleted it all. Not because I didn’t like it, or because I felt it could be better, but because I’m very happy. Happy because God is good.
Backtrack to sometime last year, during my industrial Attachment. Getting to my final bus stop on m way home, I jumped off the bus and asked the bus conductor for my N900 change. I had given him a 1000 naira not and I’d been disturbing him for my change the entire ride. It was like a movie. Man screamed ‘GBERA’ and the bus driver pressed the accelerator and sped off. Thats how my N1000 went. It was a Friday. I buy suya every Friday (well used to because economy); and this animal had just run away with my potential suya.
Hurt. Sad. Weak. That’s how I felt. I thought I was street uno. And things like that don’t happen to (fake-)street people. It was a terrible weekend. I spent most of it thinking about what could have been. How the beef, yaji and onion combination would have felt. I had no one to be kissing so it wasn’t going to be a worry, making my breath hot and laced with the quite discomforting smell of onions. ‘I can see it in your eyes, you’re angry’ my mum had said. Trying to work out if she was singing Drake’s ‘Shot for me’ or if she was talking to me, I ended up not responding.
Fast-forward to just over a year after. I am a man now. An eagle; inured to the madness that fills the streets. Still very motorcar-less and an upcoming billionaire but I am a man now. I rule the streets; the streets are mine.
Friday evening. Tired and hungry since I had stopped by at the gym to work on my now fairly presentable body, thoughts of taking suya filled my mind. Would it be with garri? Would it be in indomie? Would it be with bread; a bread and suya sandwich? So many questions. I had to make the right decision as I wasn’t going to let the evening be one that could be characterised as staid (been waiting to use that word).
‘Alaye, bo le’ Mr. Man Get down, the conductor said; but I wasn’t listening. On tapping my shoulder, he brought me out of my daydream, or evening-dream. I looked up to his face, eyes clearly asking him to come again. ‘Ogbeni oo de bo le‘ he repeated. ‘Oh. Okay’.
Something about his face took me back. I knew I had seen him somewhere, only I couldn’t say where specifically. ‘Gbera’ he shouted as the bus sped off.
When the bike dropped me off in front of my house, I opened my wallet to pay the bike guy and saw that the 1000 naira note I had left the office with was still there, intact.
That’s when it hit me! I hadn’t paid for the bus ride! And …. It was the same guy that had run off with my money that year! It wasn’t 1000 naira he had lost but he had lost money. Glad and very excited, I went into my house, gave my dog the routine pat on head, ate the lit meal my sister had prepared for me (since I had bribed her) and went to sleep like a king.
PS: It’s not a love story or about love but it’s close