No Stranger, No!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Middle Seat.”

‘Cuz I like to paint the perfect picture everytime;

If you know a bit about Lagos, Nigeria, you do know it’s largely divided into many sects; the most profound division being the Islanders and the Mainlanders.

There’s this mini sect between the two, we’re the “betweeners”

We basically dwell on the mainland, but we spend the most part of our weeks on the Island. I like to think that we’re simply waiting for fate to take it’s course and we’d move up! Literally!

So, everyday, I take a bus to the island, to get to work.

Now, I’d like to cue in again, that in some unexplainable way, there’s some sorta communal feeling when you’re on a bus in the wee hours of the morning. So, we catch the last bit of the sleep we missed together, our heads falling on each other’s shoulders unexpectedly. Then, we wake up and have devotion together; the unexpected preacher starting off with “Let’s just zing diz worship song together” after which we get off wishing each other perfect days.

Mine has an extra twist to it, ‘cuz I take the same bus from the same spot every day, so at least 70% of the people on my bus are the same, everyday! All that’s left is to pack lunch boxes for everyone, in the spirit of communal living. Really.

On random days, roughly between the traffic and the fatigue, the person sitting next to me just glances my way… It’s always my cue to plug my ears and start nodding enthusiatically to sometimes  no song.

I’m not a snob. I’m just following instructions and avoiding a weird play of events.

On a given day, some months back, for some reason, the person sitting next to me and I were the only two awake. When he glanced my way, I reached into my bag quickly to avoid the conversation I was sure was coming. I had no earphones. :(

He waited a bit till I was settled and then began his onslaught. The conversation went thus:

Stranger: I’ve been seeing you everyday, you work on the island?

Me: Yes

Stranger: Where?

Me: Karimu Kotun

Stranger: No, I meant the name of the office.

Me: You wouldn’t know it

Stranger: Oh, Ok. I work on the Island as well. You might not know it too. 

Me: Ok

Stranger: Ahn ahn. Won’t you ask to see if you know it

Me: No

Stranger: Why?

Me: Nothing

Stranger: What’s your name?

Me: ‘Deola

Stranger: That’s a beautiful name

Me: Hmmm

Stranger: You won’t ask for my name

Me: No

Stranger: Are you always like this? Giving one word answers and all…

Me: My parents said not to talk to strangers

***

*Conductor screaming “Obalende bole o*

I shuffle off quickly, leaving Mr. Stranger bewildered :(

I’m not a snob. I’m obedient. 😀