Journeying into the heart of the crowded city. …!!!!
It was getting dark. .
“The traffic will be less by this time uno??” …the face looked down at me..
“So you don’t need to fret . I would come with but…..” it shrugged.
“Yeah Yeah I know. Allow a girl to get missing in this forest of a place. That’s cool”… I reply
“But hey..ama stand with you till you get one going to obalende..i won’t move an itch till the dust from the car stain my pretty face. A scout’s honour “?..that lopsided grin again..
“Silly!!”. I nudge it
“I know right??” … it replied.
The keke wasn’t comfy but it was okay. The lady by my left ignored us. The face was staring straight ahead..my fingers however was tingling and dancing…his caught mine.
“Silly!! It replied.
“I know right?? I thought you wouldn’t notice.!” My expression wasn’t innocent.
Alighting from one and jumping into another bus. It stares at me from behind closed doors…staring through the open car window. .waiting..
“We would be good …” it said. “You know it all right?”
“Yeah I know . ” I wave. I watch the smile fade with its shadow as the bus zoomed into the dark night.
“What do you mean no bikes? ” I asked. Standing infront of a small crowd of people eating suya and drinking booze.
“They close by 9 here”. A face from the tiny crowd replied me
“What does that even mean? ” I could tell my expression right now wasn’t even pretty. One hand was holding my face, The other on my head…. “he was kidding right??” I asked no one in particular.
“So what do I do??”
“Erm…you walk! !” Another replied me with a small laugh. Like it was the most natural answer ever.
Now the problem wasn’t walking. The problem was where-the-hell I would be walking to and how long I would be walking. And I didn’t know the route. It was dark and I had no idea if I was going to be falling into a ditch or into someone’s backyard and get kidnapped.
“Momma told me never to stay outside after dark” I sobbed.
“Where you de go sef??” Now I could picture a face in the faces. He came outside the circle and stood with toothpick in his mouth, still chewing.
“Aladura. …”?..I pronounced. I hoped I got it right. Scratching my jaw and wondering what to do. Hoping for some sheer miracle he was going to materialise an okada from thin air and say…”Oh see…a bike. Hop on and fly away to your destination.”.. but ofcourse, wishes don’t happen in real life #deepSigh
“Ok. See Ehen look as I dey point na. Go left. ..walk straight down to the end of the road. Then take a right..and your next right. On reaching there..take a left and then another right and then curve into a junction and take a left…..you will see the aladura street. ”
Ok yes I was staring at him as he spoke each direction like….”Erm dude….Relax. you confusing the shit outter me. ”
He looks at my puzzled expression and then repeats it again…slower.
I nod. I thank him and I nod again. And I kept nodding as I walked.
And my mind kept ringing…
“Am officially lost!!
“This shi only happens in the movies. And look at me, a grown ass woman getting lost in a crowded city.
Who send me eh??
“Mummy will cry her eyes out.
Sis would be wondering who to snap picture with..
Bro gat no one to quarrel with… even lala has no one to tease him “lala” again sef..
Am lost!! Am soooo lost”
Did I get the stares??
Oh yes definitely.
Did I care??
I just counted my steps…repeated his instructions and I kept walking. Ignoring the whistles of some lone touts and their “fine baby” taunts.
I still had my empty bottle of pepperspray. .and I can throw a mean stare.. not punch. ..but stare and throw in a snarl..and if that doesn’t work….
“Scream. Scream very loud. That Banshee-like-screams? Yeah. That one ” it should do and kick and scratch. Yep. That should work too.
I kept walking .
Then I saw it. “Aladura gate”…
After walking for what seemed like hours. Like I was walking through the valley of the dead. Forgotten alley. My legs felt like it wasn’t mine. My body just ached.
I walked up to the gate. Touched it just to be sure I Wasing seeing things like someone who is thirsty in a desert and be seeing a pool of water. Nope!!
The gate was real. And my smile was wide so wide I laughed..
“There you are aladura gate. How happy am I to see you. I missed you so. You make a girl’s heart beat fast and slow at the same time…naughty naughty you”. I hit it.
Yep. That served me right. My hands wasn’t made of steel .
I walked the rest of the journey and got to the door. Walked in. Greeted the shadows and the chairs. Walked through the passage way and knocked on the door… she opened up and as usual..
“Sweeerryyy “! ! Lauretta screamed …. *did I miss this girl or what??*
“Yup i needed that hug now. And food. And a bath and maybe a feet rub. Yes that too”
I don’t think ya’all couldnt guess the look she gave me..
“Ok. I can go make dinner for myself. That’s fine. If I burn down your kitchen because am tired AF. Don’t hate me…”…
“C’mon gaan sit down there.” She pushes me to the bed and heads to the kitchen.
I was still smiling when my head hit the pillow..