‘’What is the truth in being your brother’s keeper? Why can’t your neighbor look out for you? What is wrong with these Lagosians???? Ina jaka na ya je?’’
Ali’s frustrations grew with each passing second, he was angry, surprised and bewildered all at the same time
It must have been that ticketer he thought to himself, Haha! Be iya bar aikin shi ba ne..?” he is supposed to attend to passengers. He can’t just abandon all that to steal my bag for not tipping him. Who else could it have been? Suddenly, Ali remembered the young man in white buba and blue trousers sited behind him when he initially boarded the bus. He bought his ticket after I bought mine, Ali though out loud, he even came in after I did….. he is the only person that has seen a lot of me today to steal from me. Barawo! barawo!! mutumin Chan barawo ne “”Na barshi da Allah!
Read Also: Chronicles of Ali – Episode One
More and more ridiculous thoughts flooded Ali’s mind, at this juncture everyone was a suspect to him. It could not have been the food seller, no… food sellers don’t steal. Wait, how many people were on this bus before I went to get food?
‘’Dan Allah mutum da ya duaka mun jaka ze mutu deren nan if he/she doesn’t return it to my seat before the bus loads and I am not joking.’’
Ali continued raining threats and blowing hot whilst the search for his bag continued. The louder his voice went, the lesser the threats seemed relevant to other passengers and commuters.
Even the Security men blamed him for being careless after taking a few loose minutes to look around in the guise of searching for his bag. One of the security officers widely known in the park, a one time driver called out to Ali
“Ya ya yaro? Mai ya faru?’’
‘’Wani ya sata mun jaka’’ Ali replied
‘’…..Ayaya?Wani lokoci? A motan Chen Yanzun yanzun! Kai yaro kana Lagos ka bude idon ka , ama aje number ka a gurin ticketer in mu Sami jakan za mu Kira ka.’’
Ali for a minute thought help has come, the following minute, help left. Ali looked bitter and exclaimed “amma aikin security, aikin banza ne Allah kwa!”
After over 20minutes of the futile search for Ali’s bag, the sad reality dawned on him, his bag is gone. Like a wounded lion, Ali retraced his steps into the bus to take his favored window seat as the journey was about to begin.
Looking into his neighbor’s wristwatch, Ali noticed the time is almost 07:45 am. His predicament has forced the management to delay in takeoff, other passengers have started lashing out their frustrations and unbelief in the transport system although others still blamed Ali for being so gullible to leave his bag unprotected in a motor park,
who does that? A middle-aged igbo man said while venting to the driver to get moving.
Ali’s morning couldn’t have been worse, is this why he woke up early? Allah be ji adu’a na yau de sa fe ba? Is this the worst decision of his life? How is he going to appear home, empty-handed! This must be the worst decision of his life, going home today of all days or is this a sign? He thought to himself. All Ali had left on him for the journey was his wallet and phone and he is so glad he didn’t leave them in his bag. His charger, clothes, gifts for his mom & sisters, his new shoe…. All gone! It took him months of working as a meruwa to get all this together and in a moment, a single moment he went to get food to eat, all has been taken away from him, indeed this barawo will never know peace, Allah will deal with him in 700 folds. This pain he has felt today, karma must payback.
The Driver finally revved up his engines in anticipation of the long-awaited departure. Ali’s demeanor has changed, in less than an hour he has gone from a vibrant and hopeful young man anticipating his mother’s embrace to a forlorn character just waiting to be home.
The bus pulled out of the park, making its way through a plethora of yellow and black striped buses (popularly known as danfo). Traffic is beginning to build despite the early hours of the morning, the early risers are on the road again, the city that never sleeps is widely awake. Ali looks on silently as the driver pedals away, away from Lagos for good.