I’ve had enough bus experiences to fill the chapters of a book, but this one here trumps them all.
Two Mondays ago, I was on my way to work, and I was looking forward to a happy week. I had forgiven everyone who offended me the previous week- the man with the ego that needed to be deflated, the woman with the cheeks that needed to be slapped, the lady with the mouth that needed to be shut. Them all, I had forgiven.
So I boarded a BRT from Obalende that was Oshodi-bound. I settled into a seat just by the window, and plugged my ears with an earpiece. The music filtered into my soul and had me swaying my head gently. There must have been a smile on my face as a woman with her baby smiled at me before taking her seat next to mine.
The woman was young, could not have been much older than I, and beautiful, despite the nonchalant way her hair was done. As soon as she settled the infant on her laps, she began to twirl her tiny fingers around themselves. She looked at her mother, and let out a laugh. She was dressed in pink and white, her hair full and glistening with baby oil, and when she smiled at me, it was the very picture of innocence… of cuteness.
I am not the sort who readily takes to strangers, or chit-chats with random people in public transport, but I could not resist the urge to carry this child, especially as her mother seemed overwhelmed with the task of carrying all that luggage by herself. I knew she needed a break to rest. So I offered, stretching my arms after complimenting her baby, “may I carry her?”
She gratefully obliged, and told me how obedient her baby was even as a 10-month old, hardly ever crying at night, and sensitive to her environment. I responded by telling her how lucky she was. She smiled. The baby laid comfortably on my laps, all her fingers wrapped around my left thumb.
As the bus pulled to a stop, passengers scrambled to get off. Two men separated the young mother with her two large bags, and me. I got off the bus, and planned to tell her again how beautiful her baby was, and how she was such a blessing…
But she was nowhere in sight! I became a little panicky, until I saw the big brown bag, the one that had all the baby things- pampers, feeding bottles, and the like. I moved over and waited, my eyes scanning the area for the beautiful woman with the untidy hair.
It took me ten minutes to realize I would not see her again. I would not see the beautiful woman with the untidy hair.
It was 7.30a.m on a Monday morning, and I was stuck with another woman’s child.