I switch off
Because light is loud
Rays and shine.
Let me be
The clutching claws of dark
Make home to me.
Don’t turn the lights on,
I don’t wish to be found.
© The Short Black Girl, 2015.
Today, something very rare and overwhelmingly pleasant happened in the bus I entered and it touched my heart. I had initially hopped into the half full Ojuelegba bus at Ikeja under- bridge, but decided to disembark from it seeing as the driver promised I would be paying 200naira for only a short distance that wasn’t anywhere close to their final bustop. I moved a little further and approached a Yaba bus, hoping the fare will be lighter, but it was all same, and shame wouldn’t let me return to the Ojuelegba bus even though the bus was barely full and I was already running late on my appointment. Thinking back now, I think God thought I deserved to witness what ‘m about to tell you so he made me board that bus…
Halfway into the journey, some guy sitting beside me made a call through to someone (a friend, I guess), talking about how he needed a thousand naira or two to complete his fare to get to some place, home, I think. It sounded like his friend also complained of the hard economic times because he had to resort to cajoling his friend to speak to his wife/girlfriend on his behalf so he could get the money. Shortly afterwards, he recounted his ordeal to the lady on the other end, and asked that she kindly lend him some money. I think she said she could only spare a thousand naira, because he responded with something like ‘even if it’s one k, no wahala, thank you, I will send my account number to Bayo’. Soon after, he made his friend promise to go send it into his account immediately, so he could get on with his journey and then, the call was over.
The instant he dropped his call, the woman sitting at the other extreme of the long bus seat quickly dropped a thousand naira note into his hand so that noone might see it, but somehow I caught it from the corner of my eyes, and I realised the young man was struck with surprise as I was. He looked from his hand, to me, then the woman, willing her to explain what the gesture meant even though he knew full well she was lending a hand
and his subconscious was likely already dancing to Korede’s GODWIN.
I could almost feel tears form in my eyes, because I was overwhelmed myself. I didn’t realise some Nigerians could still be sensitive to the plight of their fellow brother or sister. It touched my heart. It seemed like the young man would cry, as he kept batting his eyelashes as if to keep the tears from falling (grown men don’t cry!!!!). He thanked her severally, bowing to show his respect and appreciation. I almost joined in to thank her but then, I felt it was unsolicited. The lesson was just enough. And there and then, I prayed that the very next time a neighbour (known or unknown) seems to be in need, that the good Lord gives me the sheer will to touch someone’s heart just the way the woman touched mine.
© The Short Black Girl, 2015.