ONE CHANCE!

ONE CHANCE!

The noisemakers had started again.
The four abled men living with me in the one bedroom container called a hostel woke me up with their discussions about the girlfriends they went out with the night before while I was left to study for exams peacefully. I asked, ‘what is the time?’ They chorused ‘9:00am’, ‘what is today?’ ‘Thursday’, they chorused again. Still sleepy, I asked ‘what is Thursday?’ With a spank on my head, I heard ‘it is the last day of exams, your exams’. Oh my God! I dashed out of bed, wore a shirt and trousers hanging loose on the wardrobe and left without bathing because the exams were about starting in 15 minutes and it would have taken me the same 15 minutes to travel from my hostel to the exam center.

…I exhaled deeply as the chilled Pepsi I bought outside the hall calmed my nerves after the exams, knowing it would be A’s all through my courses when the semester’s result are out. To crown it all, mum called me that dad had agreed with my vacation to my uncle’s house in Lagos for the semester’s break and I had been given permission to go alone since I was already a young man studying civil engineering in 200 level at the University of Ilorin. There was so much joy in my heart as I hurried home from school…

Glorious! I screamed, sitting inside a bus at sawmill garage loading In Lagos passengers, I had bought some snacks for the journey since I was loaded with cash and as well gave some change to beggars who were standing outside begging in form of prayers as the bus zoomed off. One random passenger in the bus broke the silence with his prayers in Yoruba language which I did not understand but still answered Amen when necessary. I had already finished the snacks I bought at Ogbomosho and slept off after then. Prayers by the same random man started again and woke me up. I looked out the window and realized I was in Lagos. I highlighted at Ojota.

In the course of crossing the road, I noticed someone sticking his hand inside my bag, and with quick reflex, I threw a punch that didn’t meet him, he managed to run away while I guarded my bag closely…lesson learnt.

Running and struggling for buses are not my thing because cabs at Ilorin actually stop as well as reverse for you to take a seat in them majestically. On this day however, I had no option but to do so and in the process, my earpiece got damaged.

Oshodi to the island, precisely Lekki, was another stressful journey for me but the excitement that I would be staying at my uncle’s house in Lekki thrilled my soul. I had made plans to go out, take lots of pictures, and play FIFA 2020 with my cousin that claims to be the champion.

I noticed some funny movements in the bus but didn’t bother since I had already paid the transport fare. Immediately we approached the almighty Third Mainland bridge which I was in total awe of as I glamoured at its view with the sunset pitching its tent aboard its ripples, mum’s call came in. I tried forming “Lagos boy” while we were conversing when I had only been in Lagos 3 years ago, and I came with her.

The funny behaviors of certain people in the bus got my attention, this time I was eager to know what was going on, and unfortunately I became distracted by this time bomb that came from my crush. She messaged me, unbelievable!

Texting her back, a gun cocked from nowhere with a group of thieves including the driver asking everyone in the bus to bring out their phones, money and other belongings. I looked at my phone, the incomplete message staring at me and then I reduced the volume and threw it inside my singlet holding my bags tightly. Luckily, I was sitting beside the window, more than ever, my intent was to jump out, but I was scared because the bus was in motion.

As soon as the bus stopped due to the traffic at the toll gate with them secretly carrying out their operation at the front row, I flew from the back window to the floor doing some James bond skills. Tales of the adventure were my gist for the night to my uncle and his family as I sustained minor injuries. Thank God for the woman that observed the incident and offered to help me to Lekki phase1 where I located my way home.

“Observe the bus as well as the passengers before you enter, feel free to highlight from the bus or car if you are not comfortable. It is your money and your safety matters, remember to Stay Safe, Simple and Live Smart” that’s what an article told me when I Google searched One Chance.

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