“The world is really a small place”, my colleague had said. We all respect his opinion and stance on certain issues not just because of the intelligence, he is also older than the rest of us. His wedding is coming up in a few weeks and it is quite obvious it is telling on him. Most times, he is only physically present at the office and when he decides to, he only speaks few words.
That was one of those days he decided to say something to our banter on several life issues. He speaks with so much confidence and panache, sometimes I envy him. I wish I could speak with so much authority like that. Some of us do wonder why it took him so long to get married.
The full effect of his statement played out a few weeks later. It was a long weekend and I had gone to visit my long lost friend in Ilorin. He saw me off to the park on Monday morning after a wonderful time with his family. I was to join a Sienna and while I was about to enter, we saw her, one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen. She sat at the far corner of the back seat, I dropped my bag beside her to keep space, while I continued gisting with my friend.
And before we separated, he told me, ‘Omo that babe fine o, good thing you are sitting beside her, it’s time you did something about your being single.’
“Let’s see how that goes,” I replied.
Minutes later, the car was filled and we set off on the journey. I scanned the people in the car, I was flanked by the pretty lady to the left and a good looking man to the right. The seat in front had a plump woman in the middle, flanked to the left by a guy with a funny looking haircut and to the right by a serious looking guy, his looks and demeanor is pastoral and he was reading what I think is a motivational book. The seat beside the driver also had a lady.
As the journey progressed, I noticed the stares and it suddenly seemed every male in the bus was beefing me, I later got the ‘scope’. I was sitting next to a very fine girl and I am not making the most of it. The guy with the funny hair started playing songs from his phone, attached to an annoyingly loud external speaker and he was singing along, while looking back from time to time, the serious looking guy too kept looking back and making the book he is reading obvious, probably she might like the book and ask him about it, so they can start a conversation, so I thought. And the driver too, he kept trying to be funny too. It just seemed to me that everyone in the bus wanted her attention.
The most obvious however was the man beside me, when I first noticed his arm move past my back, I thought he was just stretching, until he did it again, and seeing that she won’t respond to his tapping, he changed tactics. He started a conversation with me, but he was really trying to talk to her. His story was more like trying to show off, he is a Civil Engineer, he travels a lot, he is based in Abuja, just travelling to supervise some of his company’s projects.
His erratic movements was making me uncomfortable and I kept wondering why he was so desperate to get her attention. However, that gave me an opportunity to start a conversation with her.
‘Do you mind swapping seats, someone desperately needs to talk to you’, I said to her.
She replied with an ‘are you alright’ look. I shrugged my shoulder and added, ‘he has been trying to get your attention since.’
‘I know,’ she retorted. ‘But I’m not interested’, she added.
‘Torrrh,’ I muttered.
A few minutes, the bus broke down and we all had to get off for it to be fixed, that was the moment everyone showed their real intentions towards her. We were all trading banters with the driver, throwing jokes and bemoaning our fate at the same time. I noticed the men all wanted to be beside her and she kept moving, changing positions.
‘It’s like everybody on this bus is interested in me,’ I heard the voice beside me say.
I only replied with a smile.
‘Even though I sometimes enjoy the attention, this is really annoying,’ she added.
‘Well, you can’t blame them for trying,’ that was all I could say.
‘I think I like you. You are the only one not giving me a tough time on this journey.’ I heard her say.
That was the beginning of our conversation and from then on, we talked on so many things. I really enjoyed her views and opinions on certain issues. Till we got to Lagos, we kept talking more to the chagrin of the other people in the bus.
I noticed the annoying looks from the other guys especially the one next to me, the more the angry stares, the more the lady and I flowed. Afterall, it is not my fault that I was sitting next to the pretty girl and neither is it my fault that she found me interesting enough to hold a conversation with. She was the first to alight from the bus when we got to Lagos, that leaves me alone with the other passengers. But after all the conversation, I didn’t get her number, I never asked for it because I didn’t deem it fit. My friend was mad at me when I told him on the phone later.
But as fate would have it, we met again few weeks later, at my colleague’s wedding. I guess I don’t need to tell you who the bride was but I can tell you the man who sat beside me on that journey was one of the groomsmen.
Also, the guy with the funny haircut was one of the servers.
Well, it’s a small world indeed.