The Fellowship of The Last Bus

For Nd

We had become a community– The Fellowship Of The Last Bus. Every night we sat in silence as the ancient 911 crawled through the capital to the outskirts where our homes were.

Seats were fixed. The slender middle aged nurse sat beside the driver. the nurse’s wife was from the driver’s village so they called themselves ‘In-law’ but watching them laugh and gist in low conspiratorial tones, heads thrown back to savour spontaneous laughter, they could pass for twins.

In the middle were the business women, over dressed in fitting skirts and jackets. They were often on the phone, bellowing at an unseen customer to pay up or be dealt with. Sometimes they called their parents to find out how they were, sometimes they just placed their heads on the seats in front of them and fell asleep.

I sat at the back, last seat on the left, from there I watched the goings-on in the bus or let my eyes wander, through the windows I watched men peddle fruit and cigarettes, women push wheel barrows full of sand, and little children shepherd cows across hills.

Sometimes I wore my ear phones and let music carry me away, but my eyes kept flipping open and I was at the back of the bus again.

Until she came.

She stood at the door for a second and everyone sort of paused. I saw the hesitation in her eyes and I wanted to smile at her or to beckon but I looked out of the window instead and counted tricycles.

“Is anyone beside you?”

I shook my head because no sounds were coming from my mouth. She smelled so good, like she just walked out of a scented shower and her pink toe nails looked coy against her cobalt blue sandals. I could hear my heart beating and I wasn’t sure why. Sweat trickled down my armpit and I felt a little cold inside.

She got off at the next stop and I realised I didn’t know her name so I got off some fifty meters later and took a tricycle to her stop.

We spent forty minutes driving in and out of side streets, but she was gone.

She didn’t show up the next day, or the one after that. We had a few other newbies– a nun, a middle aged man with a large brown enveloped tucked under his arm who had come from Awka to petition against deductions in his pension, a honeymooning couple who snuggled so close together I feared they would fuse. After a week, I stopped looking.

Then she showed up again, and walked to the back. I didn’t wait for her to ask. I moved over and said, “Hi girl, where have you been?”

“Around,” she said, with a cryptic smile on her lips.

“Good to see you here again.”

“Good to know. You’ll see plenty of me from now on. I got a job at MTN. Today was my first day at work.”

And that’s how I met Endie, Ndifreke Isangedighi. I didn’t know this then but we would stay friends for life, through jobs and transfers, through weddings and a divorce. We would quit the last bus community, buy cars and have drivers. But everytime a large corporate bus would drive past me after work hours, I would find myself in the bus again re-learning the simple art of making friends.


Crescent and Cross

His hair,black short and curly
His eyes, large warm and doe-like
His voice and the way he says my name,
His hands and the way they wrap themselves around my frame,
A liaison most unlikely
A pact unapproved,
Can a crescent and a cross
Play as one?
Isn’t it strange
I travelled a thousand kilometres
To find him
A brother from another time
Sitting right next to me.

Why I Unfollowed You

I clicked follow by mistake.

I wanted us to make it work but 30 tweets a minute was out of my league.

You spammed my TL . Do you have to cc everyone from the Pope to Lucifer? For a 200 word rant? Seriously?

We rubbed each other the wrong way. When I tweeted ‘Guys Rule’, you had to say ‘Girls Rock’. When I opined– ‘The patient dog got the meat’, you remembered ‘the early bird got the fruit’. it was inevitable.

How can you tweet nudes by 10 am? Are you the only applicant in the world? Abeg.

Two months. No tweet. No retweet. No sign. Sorry love, Twitter is done real time.

A Direct Message in the first two minutes, asking me to buy something. Say what?

You wouldn’t follow back, even though you followed just 30 people. C’mon man.

How could you say Michelle Obama wasn’t fine? Did your glasses break or someone stole your eyes?

It was high maintenance. Can’t you exist for 24 hours without cursing Mr President? Can’t you see the man has it rough already? What makes you think you’d do better? Seeing that you are a single man who can’t even lead a wife and a kid?

It was a matter of principle. The good book said “cut off anything that would keep you from heaven”. Reading your R-rated tweets, threatened my mansion.

You stole my tweet.

I was just being kind, doing to you as you had done.

Your handle. Jesus didn’t rise for me to follow Lucifer’s Boo, Maneaterrrr and DevilDame, you make this thing hard.

I have a bible. The least you could do is to give me your testimony or translation. Sorry, there’s only so much TL room.

You are a ghost. You hover on my follower count. No Retweets , no mentions, no thing-am-abouts. No. That wasn’t the plan.

Your avi is eww.

Your unfollower tool said 200 people did it. I felt left out.

Twitter for Blackberry won’t give me a mute button. So I did what I did.

I am sorry. It is not you. It is me.
I un-followed you but please, don’t un-follow me.

Why do you unfollow people? Share with us in the comments. 🙂


For Claironem

(To be read in your best Bebe Winans voice)

Heaven was more
Than word of mouth,
In the hour,
I found her,
My weary eyes
Came alive
At the sight of
In a field
Of flowers–
Grace of a goddess,
Heart of a saint,
Smile of a princess,
A vixen’s gait,
Fragrant spice and incense,
Lavender and rose,
Fingers, sure and swift–
bringing beauty from ash,
Eyes that flash with mirth,
A mind so keen
Yet, she would
call me friend.