I am sure that many of us must have traveled on a “Bus” at one point or another and found it both exhilarating and fun-filled; the chit-chats, the bumpy ride, new meetings peradventure; love meetings.
I am also pretty sure that not many of us will risk traveling by night on a bus.
While many people believe that people travel on a bus because it is cheap, it is not the case for many people who use this means of transportation. Many people opt for bus rides to get an opportunity to view the landscape and learn about new peoples, new places and their variant cultures. Others want a chance to taste local cuisine or just pick up artifacts or to add to the memoir.
So, in the year 2007, I had a short break in School and decided to pay a surprise visit to my lovely Aunt and her family who lived in Kaduna State, North-Western Nigeria from Lagos State in South-Western, Nigeria.
So, I packed a very small luggage and set off. Even though I am all for adventure and fun, I had never traveled to the North-West by myself. Due to language barriers and the likes, I decided to travel by night, as the journey was about a 12-hour journey, I did not want to arrive by night and be unable to find my way.
So, a seemingly naive teenager arrived at the Motor Park at about 6:45p.m. clutching her luggage. I bought a ticket and asked for the departure time; “no worry go sidon, e go soon full” was the reply as is with most buses that go on Night journeys in Nigeria, they move only when the bus is full.
Hours later, I got on the bus, as the bus conductor proceeded to call us in with our ticket numbers. Seated beside me was this young man who had just been transferred from the Union bank branch in Lagos State to another Union Bank branch in Kano State. He was slim and tall.
You know my love for slim, tall guys now. loool. It was an instant hit when he initiated the conversation. So, we got talking and I had almost learnt about his whole life history right there on the bus, I shared tidbits of my life with him too.
We were having such a nice time, that all the other passengers thought we were a cute couple, then, he asked to give me a Kiss. Strange. Well, I have kissed my boyfriend, family and some good friends but not some random stranger. He started pleading with me and I thought, “why not? if not? S**t can happen on a fancy night bus ride to Kaduna”. The lights in the bus had been dimmed to enable the Passengers sleep well. So, I gave permission; he gave me a brush on the lips and I thought; “not bad”, thanks for not crossing your limits.
It did not end there o, because he was a little excited and asked; “like can I really Kiss you, like really kiss you?”. It was only then my Mum’s words began to ring loudly in my ears; “nkan ti o ba mo pe o ni je, maa fi run mu o”Tweet
which literally means; “whatever you know you will not eat, do not perceive it”. Smart right? The English man will say; “Do not start what you know you cannot finish”, or “do not begin an assignment, only to leave it half way”. Well, I had begun this one and this young man wanted me to complete what I had started, he wanted more, I proceeded to sleep, he inched closer to kiss me, and started making efforts to tug at my blouse!
This was when the “Margaret Thatcher” in me woke up! “Young man, will you respect yourself? I will leave this seat now”. He apologized and said I could rest my head on his shoulder since I so badly wanted to sleep. What did you think I did? I took the offer. His name was “Temitope“; this Yoruba name literally means “I have sufficient reasons to give thanks”.
We arrived Kaduna at about 9:30a.m the next morning. I alighted from the bus, another young man also alighted from the bus. He asked why my ‘boyfriend’ did not come along with me and I was like; “boyfriend, who?” and he answered; “the Young man that was with you on the bus.”
“Unbelievable! Boyfriend, kwa?! He was a fellow passenger”, and he went; “but I saw you people kissing yesterday night.”
There it was! I had heard it! and right from an eye and ear witness! They say; “the evil that men do lives after them”, here was my “Unevil” living right next to my face! I quickly asked him to give descriptions to St. Gerard Catholic Hospital, Kakuri, Kaduna. He told me he was going my way and asked me to come along, I followed him, he paid my fare and naturally (or not?), he asked for my number and I gave him.
He promised to call me. He did. He always did. After a while, he asked me out, I accepted. It was an “audio relationship” as he was far away in the North-west while I was in the South-west. This guy eventually became a very “great help to me in times of trouble”, he was an Architect and quite the money man. He funded my account regularly even without asking him. His name is “Kayode“; a Yoruba name which literally means; “He has brought joy”.
Of course, he teased me about my ‘boyfriend’ from the night bus occasionally. Notwithstanding, he played the part of a good boyfriend to the best of his capability.
Have you been on a night bus ride? share your experiences below…