Something happened to me in 2014. I was to write my post jamb in OAU then, so I went to Ife a day before the exam, so as not to get to the exam a day late.
I stayed over at a place that was actually arranged for me by Seun – One of my closest friends at the time.
I woke up very early on the day of the exam and found myself inside the campus, waiting for the exam to commence.
We started very late. The exam started at exactly 2 pm and we ended around past 5 in the evening.
I had to be in Lagos that day because the lady I stayed with the previous day had gone back to Abuja. Her own school was already on break and I was the one who made her a day late before leaving Ife.
Immediately I got to the park, I started searching for a bus that would convey me back to Lagos. The high number of commuters and the hike in transport fare had me wondering if I would be able to get home on time that day.
Finally, at about some minutes to 7, we were able to get a bus going to Lagos and we commenced our journey. The crazy traffic meant it took us three hours to get to the Redemption Camp.
My dad kept calling every passing minute to know my current location. I had to keep lying to him that we were almost in Lagos to keep him from worrying. Unknown to me, he was at the bus stop with mum awaiting my arrival.
Let me draw you back a bit. In 2010, my dad had a stroke. It was only by the grace of God that he could stand on his own and lift his legs after some months. The walking was not even perfect, he was limping, but we were thankful to God that he could walk at all.
Fast-forward to my journey back home from Ife, at about past 10, we moved past Redemption Camp. Dad was still out there, waiting with mum.
Anyone who knows Abule-egba bus stop as of 2014 would know that there was no bridge there at that time and there was no place for him to even sit down and rest at all. He was tired and in pain, but what could he have done? His last daughter was not home yet and he wanted to be the one to walk me home. So he waited. My siblings could have been the one to come pick me up, but none of them was at home then.
We got to Iyana-Ipaja at exactly past 12 in the midnight. Students with rich parents had their drivers waiting for them. The rest of us had to find our way home somehow.
Before I alighted from the bus, I made friends with two people, Charles and Rachael. (I know Charles would smile reading this Slightly smiling face)
His own route home was totally different from mine and Rachael’s so we exchanged numbers and said our goodbyes.
Rachael and I began to find our way home. Everywhere was extremely quiet and dark. The only voices that could be heard were voices of students running in a bid to leave that very scary place.
You know, as we were trying to find our way, we saw big huge boys flagging down cars that they don’t even know whom the driver was just so they could leave that place. Some cars stopped, some did not. It then occurred to Rachael and I that we needed to do something to save ourselves too. So we also decided to ‘copy’ those guys now, we also stopped a car, lol.
Immediately the car stopped Nah, a jeep actually, we hurriedly hopped in and sat down.
I was looking outside through the window, silently thanking God that I had been rescued, only for Rachael to tap me and whispered to me to look at the face of the driver. LMAO
I was gripped with fear.
Man has white beards all over his face, he was using black shades and had a black hat on. He looked so scary. My heart literally stopped beating. I was silently asking God to forgive my sins just in case he was going to harm us, I wouldn’t have to suffer twice.
I would make heaven at least. Silly me.
His voice jogged me out of my thoughts.
I guess he saw the look on our faces and noticed we were uncomfortable, being the kind man that he was, he decided to do something to calm our nerves I guess.
If only he knew his voice was scarier than his looks, I guess he would have left us alone instead, after all his intention wasn’t to harm us.
You see, when I heard his voice, I started wishing the ground would open up and swallow me.
He asked where we were coming from and how we found ourselves on the bridge where he had stopped to give us a lift. We responded fearfully. He saw the look on our faces and the fear in our voices didn’t go unnoticed. He knew his voice wasn’t helping matters so he kept quiet.
About fifteen minutes after the drive, he told us he couldn’t help us further than that as the gate to his estate would soon be locked and he didn’t want to sleep out that night. He gave us 1000naira each and dropped us off where there were police officers and traders that were just closing for the day. He prayed for us, we alighted and he drove off.
The search on how to get another cab to get us to our destination continued and for the second time that day, we were lucky.
A taxi driver approached us where we stood – confused and totally unsure of our move. He told us he closes early but for some reason, he felt the urge to stay out late that night and when he saw us, he told himself he’d pick us up and round off for the day.
We walked down to where his cab was, got in, and continued our journey home. While we were going, his brake failed. I hit my head on the driver’s seat but I didn’t mind, I just wanted to get home to see my family. I knew my parents would have been worried sick, as they couldn’t reach me, the reason being that my phone’s battery was down at the time.
At exactly 1 am, I got to Abule-egba. Rachael, who had alighted some minutes earlier saw her dad also waiting for her. Parents!
I alighted at my destination and unsurprisingly saw my dad waiting for me. Mum had gone to buy suya because according to her, she knew I’d have been hungry and just wanted me to ‘put something in my stomach’ before getting home to eat ‘good food’.
As soon as I saw my dad, my heart broke into a million pieces.
I ‘know’ him.
He could barely stand for ten minutes without complaining about feeling pains in his legs, but he had to stand for hours waiting for me. I ran to meet him. He was shaking but was trying to be strong for me.
He made a call to a neighbour to ask if he could pick us up with his tricycle as we couldn’t get any means of transportation home. The guy came at once.
Inside the tricycle, I placed my hands on dad’s legs, he winced in pain, I knew he was hurting. I then looked down at his feet, they were swollen. I cried inside ‘coz seeing me break down because of him would break his heart too.
Mum saw me, she understood what was going on, told him ‘sorry’ and that we would soon be home so he’d get some rest. She patted me on the back too.