Getting into this danfo (Lagos yellow bus) was war. It had been a survival of the fittest.
I felt relaxed when I saw the girl sitting beside me. She looked so composed, I doubt if she took part in the rush. Her bag caught my eyes. It was really nice and fashionable. I decided to keep the complement to myself but she smelt nice too, something like strawberry mixed with vanilla and a dash of coconut.
Her smell made me relax. I know it would be mean of me not to tell her how nice she smells and how much I admire her bag. So, I decide to. No! I am not about to ask her out. I am a girl and a very straight one at that. Yet, I found myself adjusting my dress and hair.
‘I like your bag. You smell nice too’ I said, smiling.
She smiled back at me. ‘Thank you’
An awkward silence overshadowed us as we gave the bus conductor our fare.
‘Are your eyeglasses recommended and medicated?’ She asked
‘Yes, they are. How about yours?’
‘They are but I can see very clearly without them’ She replied
I was confused. People who use medicated eyeglasses do so because they have one eye defect or the other. That means they cannot see clearly without them. Curiosity got the better part of me.
‘Why then do you use them?’
‘Because I have a perfect picture of how my adult self would look when I was a teenager. Glasses was one of the features. It would not be a perfect picture without the glasses. I had my plans and amazingly they have been working out the way I structured them. Little hiccup but nothing serious’
I have never heard those kind of words before. It is very great for people to have plans but knowing how they want to look per time that I have never heard of. I started to feel she was not living her life. She was trying to be someone she knows or admire or does not even exist. But she looks great in this script she is living out. Lost in my thoughts of how very rare and un-Nigerian this is, she said,
‘I intend to stop all these by 2019. I have been in a box. I have not been living’
‘Why 2019? Why not now? Do you have fun at all?’
She smiled, ‘It was nice talking to you. This is my stop’
I wanted to alight with her so that we could continue the conversation but I was glued to my seat. I felt like I was in a trance. Those words did not sound real yet I was more baffled that she is choosing to wait till 2019 to start being her true self. Every day is new, so is every minute.
I watched her cross the road as we were stuck in traffic. My vision blurred as I stared. I was still thinking about our less than five-minute conversation when I heard screams of market women. I looked towards the exact direction she had passed, clearer this time. She had been hit by a bike man. I saw her get up. It didn’t look very serious. She picked up her glasses and I wondered what if that was her last moment, what if? Our eyes locked as the bus zoomed off.
Do you have a perfect picture you are playing out too?
Are you living or acting?
You need to live your own life, not some fantasy or imagination. This world is not the same without you living your own life.