I was seventeen, alone and the journey was compulsory. Auto-crash was rampant then due to the government’s negligence of major roads and oh, I am an indigene of Nigeria. Bad roads have become a norm for us. We had and still have to live with it, not by choice of course but for the fact that it was our only option except you have enough money to fly. Flying didn’t help either as not all states had airports.
I was scared to my pants and fear was a company I hadn’t desired especially on this very journey but it was there. I went ahead to imagine the different scenarios in which I would die and I prayed. I prayed so hard, so hard for the grace to get to my destination. One thing that journey taught me is that fear communicates itself very quickly and we ought to beware.
My bus left the terminal at 6am and I was to reach my destination twelve hours later from the departed time. I had picked a seat by the window because I wanted to see it all, the trees, the roads, people. I didn’t want to sleep through the journey; I wanted to write things down, to remember that day so I could write about it someday as I have done today.
There is no doubt in my mind that most of you out there enjoy listening to music each day that passes you by, am I right or am I right? Yes, all varieties of music, no matter what your preferences may be and if you were on this journey, you probably would have picked up your phone, scrolled through your library and jump on the next track as I had seen the other passengers do. This luxury wasn’t available to me; I was still too little to use a cell phone. All I had in my possession was my memory, eyes and hands which I occasionally drag across my side of the window.
I saw intricate splendour of mosques, churches, temples, hills, secular structures (bridges, step-wells, and tanks), and canopies found in the different regions of my country as we journeyed through towns, avoiding the main roads which wasn’t moving at all due to traffic. Some architectural structures didn’t leave me awed as I marvelled at the ability of people to still live in mud houses. I have never lived in one and would love to for the sake of experience.
For the first time that day, our driver whom we’ve been told to address as Captain stopped us at a road side fast food to eat and it was noon. As I sat munching my biscuit, I listened to the lady who sat behind me tell her neighbour about an accident they had witnessed which left a family of five dead. My biscuit fell. My fears returned and I thought to myself ‘what if I don’t make it back home?’
The horn blew and the journey, continued.
Have you ever traveled alone? Were you scared? Did you encounter any accidents? Pray, tell in the comment box below please.
Photo Credit: BPG