Hello. We’re all aware of the current situation in Nigeria. We all need to do whatever small part we can to ensure the girls are returned safely. That said, before reading, please take some time to sign this petition and this one as well. God bless.
I stared out the window, watching the lane markers on the stretch of seemingly endless road ahead become less visible by the second. The sky that had just seconds ago boasted one of the most beautiful sunsets I had ever witnessed – a glorious display of God’s artistry; dark grey clouds breaking up from a thicker gathering into smaller, more individual, beautifully unique shapes, dancing and quietly racing towards a bright orange tomorrow somewhere beyond the trees – steadily transformed into a solid darkness, illuminated only by soft clouds lazily drifting by, lit by far off city lights that promised an end to what had been a slightly grueling, deeply emotional trip.
About nine hours on the road, my bladder was almost full even though I’d had nothing but a can of malt all day, my legs were beginning to dislike the space they had been occupying the entire trip and were dropping subtle hints of discomfort, my butt had lost all feeling, and my body had decided I had slept enough for the day. Never mind the fact that I looked a complete wreck. The worst of it was the sky I had relied on to keep me entertained for the duration of the trip had abandoned me in the dark bus with people I had no interest in, leaving me to fall back on the thoughts I had spent the day trying to escape.
Despite putting your life in the hands f a complete stranger, who could very well be a mad man, speeding down and expressway, totally disregarding almost all traffic/driving rules, and acting like he and his vehicle are oblivious to the speed bumps and potholes on the road, road trips often aren’t so bad. Especially if you’re smart enough to go with a companion or you’re a sociable person who just makes friends with everyone on the bus and then basically becomes a nuisance offering unwarranted opinions and making a whole lot of unnecessary noise in a much too small bus. Unfortunately, I am neither. More often than not, I find myself travelling alone and have taken some sort of solitude in these happenings. I’ve never considered myself a sociable person, in real life, and thus don’t even bother to engage any of the fellow passengers any more than a polite nod or handing them some toilet paper – as I always travel with a roll in my bag. Besides, I always have my laptop and/or a book on hand, so I’m pretty covered as regards entertainment.
However, the circumstances that had led to me embarking on this trip had prevented me from adequately preparing and so I was left companionless yet again, and without my laptop or a book to keep me distracted. For the first time in what seemed like ages, I was on the run again, from another one of the kind of situations I almost always find myself fleeing from – emotional. My problem, the way I understand it, has always, and probably will always, be that I am a lover, not a fighter, if I were to sugar-coat it. Basically, I fall in love with someone, get upset about it, and then run away. This body, mind and soul was not made for confrontation, and I shy away from it like an open discussion is the sun and I am a vampire who has spent five decades living in caves drenched in darkness, and never once in all that time having gotten a glimpse of sunlight.
So, here I am. On a bus with about 12 people I do not know and lack the will to interact with, no sky or visible scenery to pretend to be deeply interested in, a tape of some supposed comedian reading terribly rendered versions of stolen jokes from a script playing over the speakers, and left out to dry by the sandmaster in conjunction with the driver seemingly deliberately speeding across speed bumps, causing the bus to jerk violently every now and then. Realizing my options are limitless, I decide the most suitable course of action is to strongly monitor my thoughts and prevent them from straying towards what I really should be thinking about.
Leaning back into the not-so-plush seat, I close my eyes and focus on thinking about the amazing week I had, driving extra energy into the “amazing”. I smiled as I remembered karaoke and game night, and chuckled a little within myself as certain conversations came to mind. Sometimes you never realize just how much you really miss people until you find yourself surrounded by them again. I let my mind wander from that to accessing how much a lot of people have grown, and how tragic it is that some have just managed to pretty much stay the same while everything and everyone around them changes; basically living their lives as living testimonies to the old saying “You can take a monkey out f the bush, but you can’t take the bush out of the monkey.”.
Some part of my sub-conscious records the fact that the bus hasn’t moved for a while, and I snap out of my reverie. Everyone on the bus is talking excitedly and horns are blaring from every imaginable angle. Outside the window, I notice a long line of red lights ahead of the bus, also not moving. Before I have time to really register what’s actually happening, three sets of flashing blue and red lights speed past the bus, leaving behind a trail of sirens piercing through the deafening horns from cars tired of being on the road and anxious to get to their destinations. Personally, I’ve never understood why drivers who can clearly see that NO car is moving continue to toot their toot their horns instead of remaining calm and probably seizing the opportunity to grab a quick nap, considering flying cars are yet to be invented as several movies and cartoons promised us years ago. What I find even more intriguing is that the fellow passengers on my bus, who are coming from a place that has often been referred to as “traffic capital”, were forming agitation.
In their defense, some actually had to make continuing journeys that night, so their annoyance was somewhat understandable. Luckily, I had no place I was in a hurry to be at so I just leaned back into my seat and dragged my thoughts back to where I’d hopped off; memories of smiles and laughter, conversations late at night, movies, and other, precious, irreplaceable, simply indescribable moments of simple bliss and profound ecstasy. Soon enough, we started moving again and I resumed staring out the window. We were closer to the city now and the roads were lit with streetlights and lights from one or two buildings scattered down the way. Grateful for the steady crawling of the vehicle, I rest my head on the window fully confident that my head will not be banged against it anymore at the pace we were moving.
A few more hours to go, I sat in my chair, staring lustfully at the road, still unsure if I’d done the right thing, plagued with thoughts screaming to be let out of the box I’d locked them in and unfinished stories playing out over and again with different endings, most begging for a chance to be told