Missing the Bus by Tolu Daniel – A Short Story

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MISSING THE BUS
BY
Tolu Daniel

That was how you missed the bus; you had awoken earlier than the usual time and skipped your normal morning routines. Yet, you still missed the damned bus! Only three buses made the journey from Abeokuta to Abuja daily and you missed the last one and the only one that would get you to Abuja in time for you to sleep and prepare for the examination.
You stand by the bus stop to contemplate upon traveling to Lagos or Ibadan to get another bus, your earpiece blasting sad tunes from your favorite musician Regina Spektor. You swayed your shoulders to the left and then to the right, singing along offhandedly.
You missed the call of another Abuja bus conductor calling aggressively for three more passengers. You move slowly towards the Ibadan cabs, the extra fare that you would need to pay to get to Ibadan turns your stomach. You bite your tongue and wonder why you had punished yourself. You mistook the driver’s gesture of trying to point you to the fact that the Abuja bus still had two more seats, to him insulting you because you felt embarrassed when you caught some people watching you as you did a dance move that you had practiced overtime.
You trembled at his huge tribal marks; a warning rang in your head not to exchange words with him so you turn quietly towards the cab. You entered his cab and sat down at the front seat, ready to go to Ibadan. Then your earpiece falls off and you hear ‘Abuja one, Abuja Enikan’. You jumped from the Ibadan cab forgetting about the restraint of the seat belt and fell back. You slowly detach the belt and made your way to the Abuja bound bus only to meet the pretty girl who lived next door whom the neighbors had told you said that you were proud and arrogant, going towards the same bus.
You keep walking, eyes on the prize, seriously concentrating and pretending as though you had not seen her. Then you get to the bus before her, you notice that she had seen you make the last minute dash for the last seat on the bus, yet she still kept coming towards the bus, smiling as though she had just won a lottery.
“You are David Agboola, are you not?” she said as she spoke to you, her face still aglow with that victorious seeming air as she got nearer to the bus. You couldn’t find your voice and hoped that you never find it so that you would not have to say something wrong, so you nod instead. She brought something that looked all too familiar from her hand bag that had the letters MUSCHINO largely printed on it, evidence that it was probably a knockoff; that was when you realized that you had misplaced your wallet. Your hand went straight to your back pocket to seek succor but you were left disappointed.
She had made the effort to bring you the wallet all the way from your house at this hour of the day; it suddenly began to dawn on you that she expected gratitude as she handed the naira filled wallet over to you. There would have been no way for you to pay for the bus that had gone earlier, if you had not missed it, you manage a grunt and suddenly felt out rightly emotional and since words were failing you, so you get off the bus and gave her a hug.

THE END
Tolu Daniel is a fiction writer, blogger and administrator of A Poet’s Diary. He blogs at http://toluojuola.wordpress.com and is @iamToluDaniel on twitter.

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