The bus jerked again for the umpteenth time. The cake in my hands swayed from side to side with each lousy movement of the bus. I muttered a prayer under my breath again. I was scared of these public buses, ‘Danfo’ as you may call it, but I had no choice. Industrial Training (IT) had been a wonderful experience, it had been fun working with beautiful people and my last day of work was gradually coming to an end. I thanked God for safe journey throughout the entire period.
I began to meditate or chat with the Holy Spirit as my friends usually described it. As the bus jerked again, this time, in some sort of continuous way, it made everyone look like we were bumping upward and downward at a fast manner and some nasty thoughts began to crawl in my mind. I quickly quenched the thought and began to focus my mind again.
Soon, the jerking stopped and it was calm again. I began to remember how beautifully my day had gone. One of my co-workers or co-interns, who I had a crazy crush on, had offered to follow me through one of the two public buses I was obligated to take before I could get back home. I was really happy not only because I desired some ‘alone’ time with him, but also because I was carrying two birthday cakes I had gotten for my mum’s birthday the next day; he offered to carry both. With joy unexplainable, I had tagged that day one I would never forget; but it also happened that life had planned another reason why I was never going to forget that day. Before leaving him, I had faked laughs through his numerous tacky jokes which I hoped would end. The next bus stop was where he had promised to stop and so, happy was I when the bus driver pulled over and signaled at those who wanted to alight.
As the bus made another turning, I let out a sigh of relief, I was finally home. Well, somewhere I knew very well, about ten minutes from my house. The bus was almost scanty, as people had dropped at earlier bus stops. I couldn’t wait to get down and show my mum the cakes I had got her.
Then, I suddenly saw the bus make a sharp u-turn, I wondered what was happening, but I wasn’t ready to waste my time wondering, I wasn’t taking any chances, this was a road I knew too well, it was a straight road and there were no other alternative routes. I peeked around and realized the other two women still in the bus were asleep. At the top of my voice, I began to scream, I felt my voice shake, I was nervous, I stuck my head through the battered looking window and called out “help me, help, help,, thieves, help me!! The conductor raised his hands and hit me. It hurt, but I was determined, nothing was going to stop me, so I kept screaming, the sellers along the roads and passers-by kept staring at me, I knew they heard me. I screamed louder but they wouldn’t listen. I saw fear in the eyes of the man that passed by as he briskly took off after a sharp sight at the bus conductor’s face. Then, I knew my hopes had been shattered. Then, I wondered what happened to the ‘communalistic’ nature I thought Nigerians had.
The bus soon stopped at somewhere that looked really isolated. I felt another punch on my face. I closed my eyes as I dreaded whatever was going to happen next…
The tears rolled down my eyes as I felt the pain. Not the pain from an intercourse, but pain from the fact that I felt used, destroyed; pain from seeing my blood flow down the dirty metal platform; pain as I felt everything I had leave me; pain from the regrets of keeping my virginity till this time. Pains from the comments I began to imagine my ‘friends’ make: “what she was stingy with was now taken free of charge by a rapist!! Haha!”
From that moment, I hated the citizens of my country for watching these men ruin my life and still refusing my cry for help, I hated the government who could provide better jobs for these men but didn’t, I hated those men for stripping me off my pride and I hated myself for being weak and not being able to protect my own. Did I hate God? The one whom I had placed all my trust in? No, but I hoped that as my damaged life went on, He would show me the purpose for that episode. I hoped that as my life went on, some meaning would unfold. I was hopeful, maybe in the end, I wasn’t weak. I had become a bold woman; Fearless and courageous.
Anjola Ogunsanwo: A 300level student of mass communication, Covenant University, an introvert who manages being social at a very respectable level. A lover of God and a lover of arts. Make-up artiste, head of SocioInspiration team. www.socioinspiration.blogspot.com
Twitter: @anjola_xx | Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org