“Ni Ojuelegba Oh, They know my story”
The Music blared from an unknown source, filling the air in the Ojota Motor Park. She wasn’t particularly a fan of the indigenous music but this song just knew how to flip her switch. She nodded her head to the rhythm of the song, her own small dance. Annabelle continued to nod her head as she boarded the bus going from Lagos to Ibadan. She hated traveling by road. She hated traveling all together. It meant movement. It meant change. She didn’t like either but she was not going to get paid from the comfort of her living room. She was a reporter. She had gotten word that something was going down with the big shots in Ibadan and she wanted to be the first to get the scoop. Her father had started her down the path of journalism and now she was working a job that was full of traveling even though she hated traveling. The irony.
The bus took almost an hour before it started to move. This aggravated her even more. She didn’t like waiting. Patience was never one of her strong suits. She was already upset. The man beside kept trying to make conversation with her. He introduced himself as Fred. She didn’t want to continue the conversation and continued to give him one word replies, like a boring Whatsapp conversation, hoping he’d shut up and pay attention to the trip. She wasn’t an unfriendly person but the situation was less than ideal for her. But he didn’t. He kept talking to her and slowly she began to show interest in the conversation. He was persistent. She liked that. At least he was a worthwhile distraction from the driving of the man behind the wheel. The driver was a maniac. She wasn’t sure how fast he was going but she was sure it was faster than any established speed limit there was, if there were speed limits in Nigeria anyway. She fixated herself on her conversation with Fred, shutting out her fear of the driver’s speed, the Afro-pop song playing in the background that wasn’t worthy of her small dance and the numerous complaints by the passengers, especially the two men in front who looked like they would throw up.
To everyone’s surprise, the bus came to a complete halt in the middle of nowhere. It jerked her from her conversation with Fred. She didn’t recognize the place. It was not a known stop and it was not their destination. Something was wrong. Apparently she wasn’t the only one who sensed that something was amiss. The man by the front passenger’s seat came down and began to run straight ahead. Then there was the sudden sound of gunfire and then a lifeless body in a rapidly increasing pool of blood was all that was left. The driver held the gun. Some women screamed in absolute terror while the rest were stunned speechless. Annabelle included. The two men who looked like they would throw up during the drive suddenly get up and pull out guns and command everyone to come out and lay beside the bus. Everyone does as their told. Nothing compels man more than fear of death. Everyone has obvious signs of fear on their face except Fred. Fred is calm. Too calm.
Written By Martin Achimugu
Published By Great Opara