By Caleb Jacob
The gentleness of the weather by 6.15am caressed my dark-tan skin as I hurried out of my apartment to the bus stop to board a bus going to Mile2.
Apparently, Lagos had been up like forever, so, commuters were all at the bus stop: some selling, some with megaphones and lemon aprons calling people to the knowledge of Christ. Bodies hit against mine severally but I dared not complain except I want to further delay myself.
I crossed over to the opposite lane and stood at the popular Iyana-Iba bus stop where touts rang the regular anthem, “Under bridge, Barracks, Abulado, Mile2, Oshodi, Hold your 150, I no get change o!”
I waited patiently for the molue to arrive since their fare was cheaper. I will part with #50 at least. The wait seemed like forever, and when the white tall and lengthy bus finally arrived, I guarded my black handbag under my armpit as I struggled with other passengers to board the moving land plane. Finally, I was on board adjusting my wig which was almost pulled off in the struggle.
As usual, the bus was filled to the aisle and I stood alongside other bystanders. The molue’s movement was unstable meanwhile those who couldn’t bear the roughness of the road showered blames and curses on the government for making people go through such stress.
I focused on the road as many thoughts pass by my mind as the morning breeze came in despite the congested atmosphere. I thought about my boss and all his policing, and how he would scold me for arriving late today. The bills I had to pay immediately month ends at my sick cousin whose health improved no better, were good distractions from the chats and loud cackles going on in the vehicle.
We were some minutes closer to Abulado when I began to gain consciousness of the people in the bus. The sky was bright but a little dusky, however, you could point out the faces of strangers in the bus.
“Abulado de there?” The conductor howled. A very few people replied while we on the aisle adjusted for them to alight. The driver set the bus on motion again. Everyone readjusted to position.
Before we got to Mazamaza, there was traffic as usual, but people decided to remain in the bus since the journey was a bit far.
The voice in the bus grew louder and people’s body rocked each other, but everyone had to live with it, including me! There was a passenger behind me who had been flesh to flesh behind me. I had made no effort to tell whoever it is to let me a breathing space because I considered the fact that we were in a public transport and comfort is not guaranteed. So, I let whosoever it is be.
This fellow pressed against my buttocks whenever the driver steps on the break that I felt as if I was piggybacking him. I still kept my eyes focused on the road. Suddenly, my consciousness began to come alive when I felt something hard piercing the middle of my ass. At first, I felt it was the handle of an umbrella the fellow held, but I did not turn around. The driver stepped on the break again and this time, I felt the stuff harder between my buttocks and I moved a bit further to avoid that pain the third time.
But that did not stop the pricking, this time, it was not closer, but I could feel something gentle on my ass. An instinct pricked me to swing around while another instructed that I just use my hands to adjust whatever it is away from my body. Well… I obeyed the later and not minding whatever or whoever it is, I swung around and came eyeball to eyeball with the fellow behind. Lo and behold it was a man, six ft tall and a little muscular and fair.
My gaze suddenly went down to that particular reason I swung in such manner. I guess “shocked” is an understatement for what I felt at that moment. “Jesus!” I screamed on seeing his cock that stood out of his already zipped-down jean below his Manchester United’s jersey. This fellow had been groping me ever since I boarded that bus because I noticed I had been rocking bodies with someone for a while. He gave me no breathing space.
My shout had attracted other passengers to my side that they were curious to know what was happening. At this point, the driver had pulled up beside the road while those in front turned to see what happened behind.
“Madam wetin de happen for there? Why you shout like that?” The driver asked.
“Ahn Ahn, oga, wetin your John Thomas de do for outside na? You de Okay?” A lady who sat very close to him asked when she saw what I too had seen. But this fellow stood still without saying a word.
“See me see wahala o! No wonder, I dey feel one strong thing de chook me for nyash, I no know say this guy dey do one very stupid and evil thing for my back!” I blasted. “This man don de chook me with him prick since I enter this bus but I no notice until now wey I jus say make I turn my back o!” I reported.
“Ewoo… Madam o, see wetin dey your back!” Another lady alerted, “Wait, wait, no move. Abeg, bross…” holding my dress up so that others could see what she was pointing at. “Wetin be this?” She asked.
“Aaah! Madam, this guy don already release for your body self!” An elderly man revealed. “See na, na sperm be that! Chai, Aunty you go need go change this cloth o.”
And with the anger already boiling hot in me, I swung swiftly and landed a jaw-breaking slap on the fellow’s cheek. Other women could not also hold back their astonishment, they pulled him out of the bus and began to puns mercilessly on him. Some of them cried furiously while beating him, “Naso them dey do! Devil! If them no rape you, them go fuck you inside motto. If no be that one, them go finger you! All these men, I no know wetin ona take us for. You and dog, I no know wetin be the difference sef!”
These mob attracted the attention of a female soldier who took over from where we stopped. I branched a nearby bend-down-select shop and priced a trouser which I changed into and made way for work.
By Udeme Ralph
After this and after that
After labour and strife,
The odds and pains of life
The dreams of our delicate hearts
These little lights of ours
When finally blown down
After we’ve breathed our last,
And brutes devour our scalps.
After life, after men and earth,
When none of these remain,
After learning, knowing and teaching,
When reading ends and writing ceases
After history, and law, and maths,
And theories and latitudes on maps,
When planes and birds no longer soar
From east to west, and north to south.
When everything fades:
All gone from view
When sound and vision fails
And this sand and dust, like dew
Ascends lofty heights of no return
Our bones cracked and crunched
Our world blown up and burnt
What will become of us;
What will be left untouched?
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