He wakes up with a big yawn and stretches himself on the hard concrete floor. It’s still dark outside, but he knows that if he must make early morning profit, he must get up and get out.
He walks behind the uncompleted building, jumps over human faeces and grumbles, “Sule no dey hear word. Why he must shit for road?” He lowers his trousers, stoops low, and unleashes the content of his stomach. Wetin Sikirat dey put for food, man no know. He wrinkles his nose at the stench of his excreta. Omo mehn, this shit dey smell, no be small. He tears off a leaf from nearby, and cleans up. Just outside the building, he scoops out water and rinses his face.
“Gbenro,” he calls out on his way through the passage.
“Egbon, e still too early nah,” Gbenro protests sleepily. He makes no response, Gbenro would soon be on his way.
In the bus, he reaches into a hole by the left of the steering wheel and pulls out an empty gin bottle. He grumbles angrily, Sala don drink this thing finish. But he still uncaps it, and lets the droplets wet his desperate tongue. He entwines two wires just in the place the ignition hole should be and the bus revs into life.
By 8.00a.m, he and Gbenro have made three return journeys, and he now sucks on the nylon of the locally-prepared gin Sikirat has handed to him while Gbenro screams, “Yaaa baaa, Yaba, Yaba, Yaba, Yaaa baaa.”
As the passengers trickle in, Yetunde comes and stands by the side of the bus where he is seated, “E karo,” she greets shyly, a sickly child firmly strapped to her back.
“Bawoni?” he asks, “how my pikin?”
“Im bodi dey hot. Him dey cry throughout night.”
He dips his hand into his pocket and brings out a N500 note from the wad. She collects the money, but still remains by his side.
“E never do?” he asks in irritation. She only lowers her gaze, and he hands her extra N200.
“Ese,” she says smiling, and turns to go. He pats his son, “take care of am o.”
This one eye never open. See as she dey do sef. Foolish girl.
The bus is full, and he touches his ignition wires again. He depresses the accelerator, and the bus starts to gain momentum. “Your conductor, nko?” the passengers who haven’t collected their change cry out. Down the road Gbenro raced, and in a swift movement was hanging safely by the entrance.
By 8.00p.m, he has retired for the day, and is seated at Sikirat’s place. She serves him his evening meal, and Iyabo is sitted on his laps. His arms are wrapped around her, and sometimes she asks him to stop behaving like a baby and eat his meal if he wants to have power for that night. With his mouth full of roundabout, he says, “Iyabo baby.”
He can’t wait for tonight.
She can’t wait for tonight either.
They both know, Friday nights are best.