“Obalende! Obalende!! Obalende!!!” The conductor called out.
I waited for the bus to slow down to where we were waiting and I tried to jump on it as soon as it stopped. I love it when I see people jumping into moving buses. I tried to jump but I realized that I was too short. I eventually changed my mind and tried to climb in normally; that didn’t seem possible either. Oh na!!! The bus is too high. I have been waiting for minutes at this bus stop and I can’t miss this bus. I think I want to cry. I felt a hand on my shoulder and I saw a man smiling at me and asking “you wan enta”? I quickly said yes with a big grin. He picked me up like I was a nylon bag without weight and dropped me on the bus, then continued walking. I shouted a “thank you sir” and people turned to look at me and some of them started laughing. I think I might have screamed a little too loudly.
I entered the bus and sat by the window. The conductor turned to me and said, “smallie, hope you hol yur 150 shenge o?” I nodded and turned to look out the window. The bus started moving and I almost started jumping in glee. You see, today is the first time that I am going to school alone. I live somewhere inside the Oshodi market and my school is on Lagos Island. You might be wondering why I have to go that far. I come from a poor home but my parents are determined to make me better than them. They went to school too but like my father will always say, “our head no get oyel”. My head had proven to be full of oyel when I won the spelling bee that the state had organized last session and I had come out tops, earning me a scholarship with a private school on the Lagos Island. My mother followed me to school for the first two weeks to be sure that I knew the route and to help with my registration and all. This week, I was begged to go alone because the time she spent on the journey could be used to make small money in her shop; they did not know that I was glad. I felt like a big girl.
“Owo da?” I turned to the conductor and stretched out three fifty Naira notes to him. Just then I heard, “no collect money from the smallie jare”. I was surprised. I realized it was the driver who had spoken and I had to stretch to shout a “thank you sir”. I didn’t even know he had seen me. The conductor started mumbling and the other passengers screamed at him to shut up. I zoned them all from my mind as I continued gazing at the buildings on the road. I saw KFC, I had watched their advert on Iya Kabiru’s television last week; the chicken looked sweet ehn! I almost licked the TV sef. When we got to the third mainland bridge, I kept praying for hold up so that I will look at everything very well. Every time my mother follows me to school, she laps me so I cannot see outside very well. Today, I was getting a chance to do all that.
I looked at the big water and the people that were in boats on it. I wondered how big the water was; did it reach America? I would like to enter this big water one day, in fact, when I am grown, I will enter it. The big sign boards that change were also very bright and beautiful, one day my face will be on them too. I was sad when we finally got to Obalende. I had to be carried down again even though I really wanted to jump and run. I hopped, jumped and walked all at once to enter a maruwa.
I looked for the one that said, “CMS-Tinubu-Martins” and ran to it. I told him I was stopping at King’s college and he said, “wole”. “You are soooo cute”, said the aunty beside me. I turned to her and said, thank you. “Where do you stay?”, she asked. I told her Oshodi. “Ah! loun loun!!! Are you not scared of coming this way alone? How come you are going to King’s college, is that not an all boy’s school?”. Ah! This Aunty can talk o. I smiled and told her that I am getting used to going alone and that my school is after King’s college but that is the nearest known bus stop. “How old are you sef?”, she asked again. I told her that I am six years old and I am in primary two. She was really impressed. She told me to read my books and be a good girl and always look at both sides of the road before I cross. I say okay and thank you and realize that we are almost at king’s college. The driver slowed down but I told him to go further a little before I get down.
When I got to the gate of my school, I tapped the aunty that this was my school and she said ‘Okay love, have a nice day”. I gave the driver one of my fifty naira notes and she asked him to give it back to me that she would pay. Today is my lucky day o! I told her thank you one more time and got down. The driver asked me to wait and he took my hand and helped me cross the road. I didn’t know that people were this nice in Lagos o. I turned back to wave to the aunty and ran to my school gate. I like the aunty but I like my school more and I am already late.
It is a new week, I will listen to my teacher and learn very well this week. I have to add more oyel to my head.
Hey darlings….it has been forever. I know!!! I have been convalescing and I didn’t have power to write anything. I am better now and I hope to be able to continue writing. I have especially missed writing my eko o ni baje series.
Today’s story was inspired by a girl i saw on friday; I decided to imagine how her day was and I came up with this. This was a rushed post; i hope there are no typos and I hope it is relatable. Yes, I was the talky talky aunty. You see children everyday, be the adult and pay for their fares. Let them have extra biscuit money. lol. Kindly drop a comment, I know that some people have issues with helping people in lagos, though. hehehe.
P.S- what dreams and aspirations did you have as a kid? How many of them have you achieved? How many of them were bogus dreams? Please, let us know in the comment section. Thanks
I hope you have a splendid week….xoxo