I’m possibly moving faster than the speed of light today. Waking late came with a speed I never thought possible. I’m at the bus stop. In less than five minutes, I see a bus going my way. I ignore the conductor’s ‘Hol’ ya change o,’ and quickly slip in securing a seat by the window.
‘Good morning sir. Yes Sir. No… no… Sir the one we have now is 120 billion naira. Oh. Okay Sir. In that case I will call other agents to make inquires if they have something like that. Bye.’
I check to know who it is that thinks he is having a private ride. It’s a dark small man sitting beside me. His hair is overgrown and he has on a black suit that looks more like a priestly cassock as it’s too big for his tiny frame. He gets at it again
‘Hello. I’m almost there. I will meet you at the conference. Yes. Can I fix an Uber for you? No? Oh okay then. Bye.’
‘Hello. Yes. I got it. What kind of message was that? You asked me to send you 50k this morning and I sent you 40k and you are still complaining? What kind of attitude is that? No…no don’t worry. I will do the remaining transfer.’
He fumbles with his phone and gets on it again. ‘Have you seen it? Don’t ask me for a favor ever again!’
‘What’s actually wrong with women? How can you ask me to send you 50k and I send 40k and you are still complaining? Am I owing you?’
Oh no. The clown is talking to me now. I chuckle, not knowing what to say.
‘This is the reason why I don’t have a girlfriend. All women do is ask and ask but never give. To think she isn’t even my girlfriend!’
‘Same reason I don’t drive my car around.’ he continues, ‘It’s better everybody joins the hustle and start entering public transport na.’
‘Please what’s the time?’ I ask to shut him up.
He checks his wrist watch, tells me what the time is and proceeds to bring out all four phones he has with him and tells me the time on each of them one after the other. I’m amused. He reminds me of the badly dressed man I met on the bus sometime ago and gave my number when he asked.
He called me 24 times a day, once for every hour. Don’t they say bad things happen to good people? Some murderers don’t even get a punishment as bad as that. He called to ask: Have you gotten to work? Have you settled in? Have you started working? How is work going? Are you hungry yet? Can I bring you lunch at work? If not, what will you eat? What are you doing at the moment? Can I stop by to see you briefly? Have you concluded your work for the day? Are you about to leave? Have you left? Have you seen a bus? Have you gotten on it? Where is the bus at the moment? Are you near home? Are you home?… . It’s a wonder he didn’t call to ask what air I’m breathing.
All these came everyday. I almost died but God had me. I took the bull by the horn and took charge of my life. I stopped picking his calls and when I did, I sounded uninterested. Soon he took the cue and stopped calling. My life became mine again.
‘You work around here right?’ it’s the clown. We are at my bus stop. I answer in affirmative and get down. He doesn’t ask for my number. We didn’t get to that point. Jesus loves me.