He was short at a mere height of 5"4 with weathered skin that had seen a lot of sunlight, harsh conditions, and a lifetime of frowning. His mouth told its own story of constant displeasure evident in the grooves etched into both sides of his mouth. His eyes were bulgy and angry behind his thick bifocals and stared out with ire at a world he obviously thought owed him something. His over-sized pinstriped suit hung drunkenly upon his body like a reluctant and unwilling co-conspirator as he surveyed the rest of the lowly mortals around him with thinly veiled disdain and contempt.
He positively vibrated with angry, negative, energy, and as we waited for the bus to get filled up, I instinctively gave him a wide berth. He reminded me of a Volcano about to explode as he strummed with negative energy.
But Volcano was not to be avoided. He suddenly jerked from his seat which was beside the driver's at the front of the bus and hustled over towards my own seat which was right behind his and close to the door.
He had crazy, don't-mess-with-me eyes as he reached across my knees without so much as a 'by your leave' and inelegantly yanked his cloth garment bag from the seat beside mine as though it contained dollars rather than an ugly looking suit.
Now this may come as a surprise to some of you but I'm the very soul of tolerance... alright maybe that's an exaggeration; but my point is, I didn't say a word at his rudeness. My mentor would be proud. 😃
Fast forward three minutes later, a hapless gentleman who had all the glow and besotted attentiveness of a newly married man came to write down his wife's name on the manifest. The manifest had been placed on the front seat, (Volcano's seat) because all the passengers, Volcano included, were still milling about buying this and that for their journey. Something about the new groom must have set Volcano off because upon sighting New Groom, Volcano suddenly erupted again from his spot beside a kilishi seller. He moved with such speed that Mai Kilishi almost fell off his rickety bench in surprise. Volcano grabbed New Groom and shoved him away. He picked up the manifest and thrust it against the surprised man's chest before slamming shut the door of the passenger side of the bus. New Groom exchanged a shocked look with his bride but before he could open his mouth, I gave him a speaking look: DO NOT ENGAGE. Thankfully, he backed off.
The driver appeared and we all clambered aboard and shut the door. As the bus began to pull out of the park, someone belatedly recalled that she had forgotten her phone with her boyfriend who had obviously realised the same thing and was already racing after the bus, screeching at the top of his lungs for the driver to halt. The driver obligingly pulled up short and thereby committed an offence which earned him a stern glare from the angry little man beside him.
Volcano hissed so loudly he would have done a fishwife proud and then he proceeded to wonder aloud why "that ogbanje" had not collected her phone long ago.
Everyone ignored him. Again. I gave a silent sigh of anticipation as I settled in and prepared to be entertained on the four-hour long journey. I mean, it wasn't even 9 o'clock yet and we already had an ogbanje in our bus.
Who knew what the rest of the journey would offer right?
To be continued...
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