Ejay glanced frantically about, looking for that one buka spot that would put the war in his stomach to an end. Right now he was an angry man with a blurred vision and he pitied whoever would deign to cross his path right now.
“Ojota! Ojota!!” someone called beside him and from the corner of his eyes he saw a young, scruffy looking guy calling out to passengers. His lone danfo was parked just beside him and he saw the guy reach out to two well-dressed young ladies, laughing,cajoling and half pulling them towards his parked shuttle bus.
Ejay looked away just as the girls laughed and made to enter the bus, obviously won over by whatever the driver said. At the same time, his gaze fell on a small buka directly adjacent the bus and he sent a quick prayer of thanks heavenward as he scurried towards it.
“Madam, I came before that guy you’re serving now”, a guy protested as the serving lady passed a plate of steeming jollof rice, coleslaw , and turkey over the guy’s head.
” He don come since but him comot go buy water “, the lady replied as a way of explanation.
The aroma of the food wafted over to him and Ejay felt his stomach grumble. He counted the persons before him on the queue and nearly cried from frustration.
Finally, it got to his turn and he placed his order, rushing to take a vacant seat when the food got to him. He rolled up his long sleeve shirt and delved into the plate of hot pounded yam with egusi and assorted meat. This was food for the gods and right now he felt like one. He felt he deserved this special pampering after the hard day he’d had at the office under his new manager.
The food down, he stepped it down with a large bottle of stout and for the first time, took a look around his surrounding.
The place was parked full with people who were as hungry as he’d been some minutes ago. The serving girls were busy, not quite through with an order before another was placed by an impatient customer.
Ejay downed the last of his drink and got up. He stepped out into the scorching sun and swore under his breath as the hotness of the sun hit him.
He wished the sun would relent in its onslaught or that it would at least rain. The weather had been very hot for several weeks and he didn’t know how much more people could take before they succumbed to one heat-related illness or the other.
” Ojota! Ojota!! Came the call again and Ejay frowned. Wasn’t the bus filled up yet? He must have spent well over forty-five minutes inside the buka and this driver was yet to get his complete passengers?
He contemplated joining the bus so the driver would get an additional passenger at least. He knew just how hard it was getting passengers in Lagos sometimes was and he felt the driver just might be happy for that one more passenger.
As he thought, a middle-aged man entered the bus, followed by a young boy who couldybe a day over eighteen.
Ejay made up his mind instantly. “Oga, this your bus never full?”, he joked as he approached the bus from behind the driver ” Na bottomless pit you dey fill?”
The driver swerved round and at the same time Ejay peered into the bus and the smile slowly faded from his face. A coldness settled over him and he felt himself getting confused.
“Wetin you dey look! Wetin you dey find!? ” the driver barked at him, looking anxiously about.
“Oga, no be you carry two ladies over thirty minutes ago and two men just now?” Ejay asked in confusion, his gaze transfixed on the very empty vehicle.
“Carry who? Who you see enter this place? Abeg! Abeg!! No come here talk wetin your eyes no see!” the driver replied angrily, clearly agitated.
Ejay had never felt more confused. He knew what he just saw and it was two men entering this vehicle. It’d been a while he saw the young ladies and it was possible they’d come down afterwards. But if he hadn’t seen the other enter, the empty vehicle would make some sense.
Shaking his head to clear some of the confusion, he looked about, saw the vehicle was parked a little away from the others, something he hadn’t noticed before now.
He knew something wasn’t quite right, but for the life of him he didn’t know what it was.
“Na wetin you dey find you go see so”, the driver said behind him, and before Ejay could blink, he felt two strong hands shoving him into the vehicle…….
To be continued………