A NEW THING(1)
Tunde is on his way from work after a busy day at the State Hospital where he works as a resident doctor with the Lagos State Ministry of Health. He has had a long day but his day would be longer as he is made a guest at the compulsory inescapable traffic situation particular to Lagos drivers and commuters. Alone in the car with no one to talk to, his stereo is always so loud that the motorist in the fifteenth vehicle in the traffic line could hear it as though it were playing from his or her own vehicle. He can not wait to get home and take off his clothes for a shower and warm meal but unknown to him, this traffic standstill is not going anywhere for the next one hour.
In his tinted windowed car and with the Air-conditioning system at lowest temperature, his blasting stereo keeps him company but in the prevailing fuel situation, he is forced to turn off his air-conditioning system and bring the tinted windows down for a breath of the God-given natural and fresh air from the surrounding however little in the midst of the tight crowd of vehicles all over the place and it is really refreshing.
Bringing down the windows, in his usual jovial manner, he signals hello to the driver in the vehicle to his left, a middle aged man piloting an SUV who seems twice as stressed as he is and so does not really respond to his greetings but just bows his head. Turning to his left to do same, he finds himself lost when his eyes hit the driver of the Mercedes Benz sedan, a young pretty lady who he would later discover does not just comprise beauty alone but also comes equipped with a well-seasoned mind.
'Hello ma'am. A quite annoying situation right?', Tunde asks trying to break the ice.
'Yeah I guess', she replies feeling rather uninterested in such conversation or at least not in this hellish situation but Tunde does not read the signal in her tone nor in her facial expression.
'So what part of Lagos do you stay?'
'Look...I....I....I have had a long day. I'm not in the mood for whatever it is you are trying to do here. Okay? So if you can just face your steering wheel until this traffic clears. It will be best for both of us okay? she yells over the sounds of the vehicles in the gridlock.
Tunde feels really embarrassed by the words she does utter that he quickly rolls up his glass and begins to question himself on why he actually bothered to say hello to her. Turning on his speakers again, he tries to drown her voice along with the words she had said to him but to no avail. He still hears the words as though she is repeating it in his ears continuously.
An hour later, the traffic begins to move gradually. Tunde changes his gear from park to drive, gently resting a leg on the throttle to generate just enough momentum to get the car to move but not so fast. The disgruntled lady in the sedan honks at Tunde as she drives off with full velocity as though she is being chased by a wizard with intent to kill her. Tunde drives off to his residence just a few blocks away still feeling pained by the way he was treated by the lady in the sedan. He however hopes that he sees her again to apologise assuming they got off on the wrong.
Seven days in a row, he enjoys the traffic situation of Lagos hoping to see her once again but this does not happen. On a pretty warm Saturday evening however, he is doing a cruise drive by 7pm in the beautiful yolk-yellow sunset.