NOTHING PUZZLES GOD by Dafe Great
Terry stepped out of the bathroom and slung a towel in a carefree manner over his shoulders, he whistled a familiar tune and dabbed pomade over his beautiful skin while staring at his comely face in a clean mirror placed on the wooden table in front of him. Before long, he slipped into his black trousers and a pair of sneakers, he matched it with an expensive, blue polo shirt. He squirted a little oil spray into his palm from the little bottle that was placed on the table just by his dog-eared dictionary and ran his hands over his clothes hurriedly before combing out his spiky hair, it was one Herculean task he had to deal with every morning…
The thought of going home to see his wife and little daughter excited him as he walked down his street to the main road where he could get a tricycle that would convey him to the motor park. As he trod down the road with his rucksack strapped to his back like a secondary school boy, people rushed past him, boys and girls. Men and women, some of whom he knew. Some waved at him and he waved in return, others just kept stony faces as though he were the panacea to their myriad of problems and he had been callous enough to deprive them of his help. He got to the road and waved his hand, a tricycle pulled up by him.
“PTI Road”, he said, stooping low to see the Keke rider.
“Where for PTI road?” The man asked.
“The motor park”.
“#70”, he piped.
Without much ado, Terry stepped in and greeted the corpulent lady who breastfed a little boy in the Keke.
She muttered a reply and he ignored her afterward.
The man drove in silence until he got to Terry’s destination, he paid him and alighted by the park. He walked into the park, it was a roadside park anyway and a small, wizened man yodeled into a public address speaker – “God’s Will Motors, from Warri to Asaba, Warri to Lagos, Warri to Port Harcourt, Warri to Yenegoa”.
The man must have 5 lungs, Terry thought.
The park urchins seized his luggage and asked in unison as if rehearsed – “oga, where you Dy go?” Some others added; “oga follow me, na me know where you Dy go”.
He smiled and looked straight ahead, he seized his luggage from the middle-aged, wiry man who had seized it earlier, a stick of cigarette hung carelessly from his dirty mouth, his lips were jet black and he stank a mile.
“Oga, nr be so ooo”, he protested before prancing off in another direction to disturb another customer.
He walked to the counter where the cashiers sat and saw a few placards with the inscriptions, “Warri to Benin, #1000”, “Warri to Asaba, #700” and so on, he sidled towards the beautiful girl who sat behind the table where the latter inscription was written.
She flashed a smile on seeing the soigne man.
“Good morning sir, it’s #700 to Asaba”.
Terry returned the smile and looked at her beautiful face, she had a low cut blouse on that exposed her cleavages most provocatively, the smile was plastered to her face, exposing a set of white dentures bifurcated by a well-deserved diastema, her well-rounded arms were exposed, and designed with bracelets, all these analyses took Terry one second to observe. He produced a crisp #1000 note from his pocket and handed it over to her, she took it and pulled out a drawer from a chest in the table, looked for his change, and brought out a crumpled #100 and #200 note, but she was hesitant about giving it to him.
“Anything for dash sir”, she pleaded. Her eyes dilated as she looked radiantly piteous.
“Keep the change”. He wanted to take her number but today he was going to meet his wife and child, this one had to slide – probably some other time.
He joined the other awaiting passengers under a canopy provided in the park, the passengers ranged from businessmen and women to career women, students and the high profile runs girls who plied their trade in the Warri metropolis, one could tell from their garish makeovers, pallid, flaked skins altered by excessive bleaching and falseness which couldn’t be disguised.
Soon, a man dressed in a blue coverall held a microphone to his lips and announced; “travelers traveling to Asaba with B ticket, B for breast”, he repeated the announcement and it elicited laughter from a few people. He wondered why people felt so amused by that kind of ribaldry, he was irritated. However, his bus was ready to travel and he was huddled up among other passengers who took their place beside a white bus, a self-important staff in the park stood by the bus and tore their tickets before letting them get into the bus.
Terry was the last to get in and he sat by the door, suddenly a mad man ran to the bus and commanded him to alight from the bus. He thought it was a joke initially so he disagreed, the mad man went on vehemently almost seizing his shirt in the process.
“Oga, come down na, he says to make you come down, nr waste our time”, came the entreaties from other passengers.
“Yeh!” Another woman piped, “na so e Dy is. After Dem don do ritual to make money, mad people go Dy disturb them up and down”, she added.
“Na true oo, see as small boy like this fine, see him expensive clothes. Where he Dy see the money, abeg come down bros”, another man corroborated.
And then, more clamors of “come down” rent the bus.
Terry eyed the mad man, his pupils were crimson and the pallor of his face depicted extreme anger, he would kill the man, he resolved in his mind. As soon as he alighted, the bus pulled out of the park and the mad man showed a clean pair of heels.
He rejoined the other passengers in the canopy and bit his lips, he had been unnecessarily vilified, the joy of going home to see his family that initially overwhelmed him was now lost in the wind, an evil zephyr had been blown in his direction. He was sure his enemies were at work.
The other passengers looked at him curiously, some of them went as far as changing their sitting positions. He noticed it but he didn’t care, they knew nothing about him, what was such opprobrium that he had faced to them? They were humans and hence quick to judge, so he ignored them.
A car drove into the park haphazardly and two men alighted and ran hysterically into the administrative office. In a split second, somebody held the microphone and announced in a rueful voice that an accident had occurred and the bus that was Asaba-bound had been burned, leaving no survivor. Terry wept and looked up to the sky, people walked up to him saying; “you get luck oo, your God nr Dy sleep, which God you Dy serve?”.
He ignored all these and wept the more, he was favored. He thought about the faces of the people in the bus, so full of life and hope, now cremated in a bus. He thought about the face of the mad man and thought he saw the face of God in it.
NOTHING PUZZLES GOD by Dafe Great