I was moving real fast. Lost in thought about my predicament. The rain had just stopped but I didn’t mind. I needed to make it to the bank before 4pm. Traffic was heavy and a part of the road was flooded so only the walk way was free.
Then, I noticed her. She was a few metres ahead. She seemed uncomfortable, her legs were dancing as she moved. She kept looking around, front, left, right, back at me. I got curious, what was wrong with this woman. And then she got to the point. A car was parked beside the walkway. That was exactly what she needed, a cover from the main road. In one swift movement, she pulled down her trousers, bent and the tap opened….
Few minutes ago
It was 3:30. The day had run fast and smooth. The rain had helped too. I felt the urge to check my pocket for reassurance. I did and, it’s missing. WHAT???
The sweat started pouring, how come? I was sure I brought the card from home. How did it suddenly disappear from my pocket. I had not left the office since I got here in the morning. I searched everywhere. I couldn’t find it.
Oh God! I don’t even have ‘shingbain’ on me. I came to work with my ‘last card’, the plan was to use my debit card on my way home. It was a Friday, I would be needing a lot of cash this weekend.
Wait a minute, it was 3:45, if I could make a quick dash, I would get to the bank before 4pm, withdraw over the counter and be fine still… Without further delay, I picked my phone and dashed out.
She went on and on. How long had she been saving this, I wondered. I couldn’t go back, left or right, the only way was the one she was occupying. She threw caution and morals to the wind. KAI officials could go to hell. She was in her own world and she had to do what she had to do. There was only one guy watching, who cared. He should see if he wants, besides he could only see, he couldn’t touch.
Out of embarrassment, I turned my back despite how agitated I was. God, I needed to get to the bank. The buses were not moving, the main road was still flooded. And there I was, helpless.
Eventually, at 3:59, she finished her exercise. She flashed a smile at me as she walked by me and I could see the relief on her face. However, I had my own unease too. I continued my journey, running, hoping and praying.
“Oga abeg, I really need to make this withdrawal. It’s very important,” I begged, sweating and panting.
“I say we don close,” he retorted coldly. He locked the gate and I watched helplessly as he walked away. How could a human being be so wicked? I was livid. He didn’t even show empathy, How dare he walk out on me? My money is part of what pays his salary. God, I wished I had some super powers, I would send thunder to fire him there and then. In fact, I’m closing my account with them first thing on Monday.
My weekend was ruined. How do I even get home? Borrowing was not an option, everyone in the office was broke too. We were all expecting the next pay. As I walked back to the office, my mind was filled with various thoughts. I cursed my luck for losing my card, I cursed the security man for not opening that gate. But, I couldn’t curse her. That smile she flashed me kept replaying in my head. That smile of relief. I absolved her of any blame whatsoever.
I got back to the office still lost in thought. Why was this happening to me? What have I done to deserve this ‘kain’ punishment?
As I opened the door, I saw it on the floor, by the dispenser. It must have dropped when I tried to charge my phone earlier. I couldn’t stop the smile. That same smile of relief. It felt like a huge load was taken off my neck and I could breathe again.
What is the lesson in these, I wonder.
May you always find a way to ease yourself when in discomfort.