Lagos Danfo Valentine 2 - Simply SAMAD

Simply SAMAD

A blog dedicated to short stories from Nigeria and exciting tales all over the world


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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Lagos Danfo Valentine 2

A young man's plan to see his girlfriend on Valentines Day suddenly spins into a nightmare when he boards a Danfo... [For those who missed it, read Part 1 of the Lagos Danfo Valentine]

No matter what anyone said, he just turned a deaf ear to them all. When some got tired of begging, they began to hiss out loudly. Others simply began to step off the bus while a few still hoped that their appeal would get to him.

Unfortunately, it didn't. When the driver realised that the young man was not cooperating, his voice suddenly took on a very soft texture and he began begging the guy the way he would have spoken to a lady. He was polite, courteous and subtle with his words and body language.

Five minutes passed and nothing had changed. The young man remained sitting on the bus...

"I'm not going anywhere," he thundered.

"Nobody or anything can take me out of this bus till you take me to Allen. That was our agreement..."

"But Sir, I have explained everything to you…,” the driver said for the umpteenth time

In all of this, one of the things I found strange was the nature of the driver. He did not look or sound like a typical Lagos driver. He was neatly dressed and spoke good English. These were two qualities that one might need to consult an Oracle to find either of them in a Lagos driver yet, this one possessed both and to worsen my state of momentary confusion; he had been extremely polite to the young man all through despite his glaring biological seniority.

At a point, I was forced to look at the unyielding passenger a bit more closely. He was also well dressed, wore a Nike branded wristwatch, had a big headphone just above his collar but was listening to loud music as I wondered why he couldn't just vacate the seat he had stubbornly occupied for so long just to let peace reign.

Suddenly, his phone rang and when he dipped his right hand into his pocket to retrieve the phone and receive the call, I couldn't help but eavesdrop.

"Baby, I'm sorry... Don't worry I'll be there soon... Yes! I'll be with you in the next one hour... I know I should have been there but you can't blame me...”

All along, the driver had ceased begging to avoid disturbing the young man's phone call right until the young man used a word that pulled me back into his telephone conversation.

"Na this bastard driver come park me for Maryland o and no gree move... That's how these fucking bastard Lagos drivers behave... The son of a bitch is still here with me."

The driver’s next line came in the form of a question. And it had just seven words.
“Did you just call me a bastard,” he asked.

I looked at the driver and felt sorry for him. He just stood there and slowly shook his head three times. After the third shake, he left the side of the young man, opened the door to the driver's seat, went in, killed the ignition and exited the bus.

A part of me really wished the young man had agreed to get off the bus. I reckoned this would have saved everyone a whole lot of trouble but apparently, the young man did not share my chain of thoughts.

I was jolted back into the scenario playing out before me by the young man's voice.

"What do you think you're doing?" I heard him ask aloud.

Right about the same time, the driver went into the bus the same way a passenger would and sat right next to the young man. That struck me as odd but what I even found more astonishing was what the driver did next.

Right after he took a seat beside the young man, he shut the door of the bus and instantaneously had both he and the young man locked in. Commuters who had witnessed the drama to this point exchanged curious glances and then the young man spoke again:

"Driver, what's the meaning of this nonsense?"

By now, he had anger plastered all over his face. The driver said nothing. His eyes fixed on something straight in front of him that only he could see. When I looked at the driver's face, my heart felt like a foot bumping into a hard object in the dark. His face was completely devoid of any emotion I could name. I was still trying to comprehend why the driver's face looked so blank when he spoke:

"I begged you as much as I could yet you chose to ruin my day. I respected you and spoke to you courteously all along yet, you have the audacity to call me a bastard. My friend... Today, you will witness what bastards do."

The young man's reply was swift.

"Bros, no dey threaten me joor. Na for your pocket you dey talk all that one..."

To this, the driver replied.

“I’ll show you how bastards who drive commercial buses to feed their families act.”

The young man’s voice rose to a thunderous pitch when he impulsively said,

“Are you mad?”

That was the last time the young man asked a question that evening because everything that happened next shocked everyone into silence.

The driver began to shed his shirt, unlaced his shoes. When he was done, he shed his brown pants and just when everyone looked on in wild anticipation, the driver pulled aside a part of the driver’s seat and what came tumbling down from a concealed compartment of the backseat fleetingly made my breath cease. They were clothes but not just regular clothes.

Apparently, the young man who was now trapped in the bus was the first to see it and his countenance abruptly changed. I could have sworn that the young man had lost his voice. In a space of one minute, I noticed his face was covered in beads of sweat.

The driver paid little or no attention to the young man. Rather, he began wearing the clothes that had tumbled out of the driver’s seat in a hurry. He wore the pant then, put on the shirt, buttoned it from bottom to top, tucked the shirt in, wore his stocking, pulled on a pair of black shoes and then wrapped up his transformation with a cap that had the unmistakable colour of men saddled with the responsibility of taking and protecting lives; men who fight as part of an organized land-based armed force.

Ladies and gentlemen, the man was a soldier and that’s probably why no one said a word when the first slap sent the young man’s head crashing against the window.

The second sent his head flying forward and then there was a third, a fourth, a fifth, a sixth and I lost count.

When the door of the bus slid open, the soldier had his right arm tightly gripping the young man’s belt and pant; forcing him to move in a very awkward position.

Once again, the young man tried to break free but the next slap must have shifted a few things in his head because he fell to the floor and began crawling around on all fours; searching for an object that was never lost in the first place or one he would never possibly find.

When the man pulled him back up, the young man burst into tears and then began to chant the same line of appeal he had turned a deaf ear to moments ago. He said “please” over a dozen times but he might as well have been soliloquizing.

“Oga abeg. I go find another bus enter... I beg you,” he repeated.

The irony hit me when I realized no one made the slightest move to speak on the young man’s behalf. They simply watched both men. A few were bold enough to bring out their mobile devices to steal an image or a 20-second clip of a civilian being dragged away by a huge soldier.

I knew the young man’s Valentine’s plans for the day would forever remain locked in a cage. The soldier had just taken the place of his girlfriend who was still expecting her sweetheart to show up. I wondered if she would ever see him on this beautiful Valentine’s Day.

As I kissed baby girl while she slept that night, I suddenly remembered that there was a military barrack very close to the bus-stop where the young man’s Valentine had gone ugly and I wondered how hard the young man must have chewed on the apple of regret upon realizing that he had become an unwanted guest to soldiers;  on his Valentine’s Day that once held so much promise.

Author: Samod Biobaku | Simply SAMAD

1 comment:

  1. Wow lovely story
    I must confess that you have lots of wonderful short stories... . More ink to your pen...
    I must tif this one ooo


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