The golden ray of the sun enveloped the sky, its warmth illuminated the earth below as the sporadic life in Lagos went on oblivious to its existence. It was 2pm in the afternoon and life was at its busiest, traffic, both human and mechanic was slow, the day filled with its noise, the air thick with the acrid smell of fuel and the pungent smell of garbage. A typical day in the commercial capital of Nigeria.
Ade walked out of the building, his trusty backpack slung over his shoulder, he was headed to the bank to make a deposit; the bank was just a few blocks away from his work place but with the traffic it would take him 30 minutes to get there and another 30 minutes to get back to his office, it would have been a lot less easier without the traffic.
He walked to the nearest bus stop and waited, a couple of minutes later, one stopped and without a bother, he hopped on, his mind already plotting his return.
“Oga give us your money.” The conductor barked in a smoke cracked voice.
Ade dug into his pocket and fished out a 100 Naira note. Just as he handed him the cash, he noticed a white handkerchief at his feet. He picked it up and showed it to the beautiful lady seated next to him.
‘Madam na you get am?’
‘Ah thank you, I no even see am! Ah, thank you very much.’ She said beaming with appreciation.
‘No problem.’ Ade said returning her smile.
The bus continued to crawl through the smothering afternoon traffic, which Ade used to hate when he first arrived from Niger state but he soon got used to it and learned to plan his day around it, he could now tell when it was light and when it was heavy. He would normally not go out at this time of the day but his boss had wanted him to make this deposit and had left him no other choice.
Ade soon started to feel sleepy and rested his head on the metal frame of the rickety bus and closed his eyes.
‘Egbon if you reach Star bank for Crocket street abeg stop me there.’ To which the conductor nodded his head. He shut the noise, the traffic and everything else around him out as he was encompassed by the black embrace of sleep.
He opened his eyes a couple of minutes later and found that the car was still rolling on, they should have reached Star bank by now, why were they still moving? He wanted to ask the conductor that but the throbbing in his head felt as though he had been alcohol binging for 3 days, he shut his eyes against the pain and soon dozed off again.
The air was cold and so was the hard floor he was lying on, he could feel other people in the room and in between shuffling feet, he heard muffled cries. The air was dank with human sweat and something he could not particularly place his finger on. He slowly opened his eyes and immediately found 2 eyes looking into his, he sprang up.
‘Who are you?!’ His drowsy eyes took in his immediate environment, ‘where am I, what am I doing here?’ His voice quaked with fear. He looked back at those eyes and found its owner to be a young lady, who was probably the same age as him. He looked properly at those eyes and found something in them that scared him even more. Fear; pure unadulterated fear.
Ade looked around the single windowed room once again and to his surprise found other people sprawled around the room, in a corner was a little girl, she must not have been older than six. It was her muffled tears that woke him up.
Ade looked at the young woman again and asked, ‘Where am I?!’