What do you get when you are at a bus stop, there’s no bus and a long queue of people are waiting to get onto one? Disillusioned. Yes, you walk all the way to the back of the line. You count your steps because, one there’s no bus, two the chances of getting into the first one is nil and three you are just eager to get home so whether you are first or last it does not matter, all of you will wait.
But, that is a dull way to start a story, so let’s start over.
What do you get at a bus stop at 6pm when a handsome guy bumps into a lady from behind? A story.
No, first you get a scream! “Ouch! Watch it!”
Then you get a moment, call it Chemistry or a spark- but as long as you are looking for a name for it- we shall call it L.A.F.S better known as “Love at first sight.” The guy found his arms wrapped around the lady’s waist to prevent her from toppling over as he apologized, “Sorry, please forgive me, I am very sorry.”
The girl took a deep breath and said “Let me go, its okay.” The guy let go. He tucked his hands so deep in his pockets you could see fists. What about the girl? Well, from where I was, I could see her trying her best not to turn around and look at the guy. She ran her hands into her pockets and sighed in relief. Her phone, fare and makeup were still in place. I looked at them once more as the bus slowly made its way to the bus stop and as I was giving up on them, I saw the girl turn.
It was a swift swoosh as her braids added to the dramatic flare that was her curiosity.
So, I know that’s also not a good way to start a story, but since we are almost there, let me continue. She said, “Why did you bump into me?”
The guy said, “Someone pushed me. I think he was being chased or something. Look, I did not mean to do so. I am sorry.”
“It’s okay. My name is Helen.”
“Mark. It is nice to meet you, so where are you headed to?”
“What’s your stop?”
“Greenstead. What about you?”
“So, we are practically neighbors, just don’t bump into me again.”
“I’ll try my best not to.”
Okay, now what would you do if you were me? No, I would not push the guy again and cause another bump. I’d stick around and that’s what I did. The girl was in those tight things girls in Nairobi can’t stop wearing and boots. She had a black trench coat and a brown bag which I thought was supposed to match the color of her boots, but something about the shades threw me off. Her braids were neat and long. They had the “pull me” effect on me and so I focused my attention on the guy. He was walking beside her now with his hands out of his pockets. He was wearing a gentleman’s bracelet and a wrist watch with a black leather strap. His hair was short, well trimmed by a barber but not well maintained by the owner. His jacket was as black as my thoughts. His eyes were brown. I know most people have brown eyes in this city, but have you ever seen a shade of cocoa in someone’s eyes? Well, me too…but there was something about his eyes that made me stop and wonder, where all this was going.
If he asked her out on her date, would she say yes?
That’s too fast, right? I thought so too. But what if he asked to sit beside her in the bus and then asked for her number before she alighted? Makes sense, right? But, love has never made sense to the single people…it’s as insensible as the lovers themselves.
Wait, who said this was a love story?
I am getting ahead of myself, back to the story. They walked beside each other until they got to the bus and the guy let the girl go in first. She took the seat next to the window and tapped the seat beside her. He settled in as she wanted and waited for the other passengers to fill the bus. She looked at him while he looked at the people walking past him and smiled. It was a slight tremor of her lips and the way her eyes said things that only her mind could confide to her heart that had me staring. She looked at him until he turned and locked eyes with her. She smiled and turned to look outside the window. She had seen the Bata shop. She had seen the ‘jobless corner.’ She had seen the street lights and people and curio shops before. She had been boarding the bus here for four years.
I stared at her.
He stared at her wondering what she was seeing and why it was more interesting than getting to know him. She had a chance. She had this great shot at what might be. Why wasn’t she talking to him or looking at him like she did a while back? The bus started moving, but the girl still had her eyes outside.
I turned to her and shouted, “Hey, would you please talk to him! The suspense is killing me!”
I heard people laugh…and turned to look at the woman seated beside me. She was laughing while pointing at me. The guy and girl looked at me. Everyone in the bus was staring at us. I’d just been caught staring and nosing around in someone else’s business. So I pulled out my earphones and listened to SautiSol aware that I was pining for an ending that wasn’t mine, and writing a story that was not mine to chart.
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