Commuters. Bus Drivers. Clients. Waiter. Hungry humans in the restaurant. A jolly little boy. Lame beggar. Stranded road users. It’s 10.48pm as I type this. I arrived home exactly twenty minutes ago. Why? It rained.
Heavy downpour started in the hour of four. As I type this, it is still raining. For those who are well versed in Aba roads, you would relate with this. Everywhere is flooded. Passengers stranded. Crowd of heads at every bus stop.
Park. Azikiwe by Asa. Ama Ogbonna. Okigwe Road. Brass. Bata. Clifford by East Street.
Rain fall. Flood.
I stood there under the rain waiting for a bus to pull over. But none did. One by one, people instruct their legs to take a walk. I check the time. It’s past 8pm.
I join them: the gang of road walkers who beat rainfall, bad roads and flood to their game. I’d walk pretty fast. Long legs. Then slow down, swim through a flood.
Cross a red sea. Scream at a bus. Cuss a speeding Camry for splashing dirt on me. Caution my flippant tongue. Ask God for forgiveness. Laugh at my yeyeness.
I remember Sabrina and starts humming the song we did at the club last week Saturday. I hum it. I walk it. I let my step sync with the invincible drumbeat.
Cold wind swish by. I shiver. I cough.
I. Cuss. Bad. Governance. I keep walking.
At a point, I couldn’t restrain myself from shivering. I had to do something.
R. U. N! No, jog.
I’d fasten my knapsack, take a deep breathe and start jogging. One. Two. Three. Four. I count electric poles as I jog pass them. Soon, a stranger would join me.
“Nna, this is the way o”.
He’d join me. Jogging. We jog pass three poles another man joins us. We three now. Another joins.
Four. Five. Seven. Nine. A lanky boy’s jogging becomes a road affair. Cold and shivering Aba men jogging home and saying random nonsense.
‘Pee D Pee!’
‘God punish Okezie’
‘Aba amala mma’
‘Aba wu para para’
‘Aba wu daachi, boy!’
‘Bros na to jog reach Abuja be this’
‘Oh, boy make una slow down na’
‘Anyi akotala sign’
‘Aba amaka zi’
The irony. We’d laugh loudly, like touts. Soon, the number of joggers would reduce. Seven. Four. Three. Two. The first man to join me, and I. We jogged all the way from Azikiwe by Asa road to Brass by Okigwe road, where we met a knee high flood and paused to swim.
Random guy: Nwanna, daalu. Oyi ahapula m. (Thanks, brother. I don’t feel cold anymore)
Me: Udo (Peace)
He’d turn to the right side of the road leading down Brass. I turn to the left, swimming up Faulks road, wet to my boxer.
I’m home now
I’ve had a warm bath. While I wait for my sister Mabel to make ready my dinner, I sat me down to type these. My laptop has refused to come up. My diary is soaked. The rain is yet to subside.