Prose

NYSC CHRONICLES – MY TWISTED JOURNEY (Part 3)

NYSC CHRONICLES SERIES...

Tunde, raised by a single mother was the last of eight children; a tall handsome fellow, light in complexion with hazel colored eyes.

He graduated from Bayero University Kano, with a degree in Business Administration. He spoke the three major Nigerian languages and loved the game of football to a fault.

“My guy na which state them post you for NYSC?” his friend Jibrin asked; “Omoh na Niger State oh, I no know how these people carry put me for that kind far place”, Tunde answered.

Jibrin laughed in a sheepish manner, he replied: “At least you sabi speak Hausa now; things no suppose hard for you there, he giggled; no vex you hear”.

********

Uju packed her suitcase and prepared for the journey to Niger State for her three-week NYSC orientation camp. Her father dropped her off at the bus station, prayed for her, and bid her farewell.

The bus station was crawling with people; the white buses all parked accordingly from the big luxurious buses to the small sprinter buses.

The surrounding was rowdy, agberos’ called out for passengers, the hawkers walked around sampling their goods, while the travelers were all seated in the big hall waiting to hear their bus departure call from the large speakers, that were strategically placed at both ends of the waiting hall.

In the waiting hall, there were long seats made out of stainless steel which stretched from one end of the hall to the other.

Plasma television sets barricaded behind iron protectors hung at both ends of the waiting hall. On one end, a Nigerian movie channel projected on the big screen and on the other end, the sports channel.

Uju entered the waiting hall with her bus ticket in her hand, dragging her suitcase behind her, moving down the aisle looking for a place to sit down.

“All passengers traveling to Niger State please step outside with your luggage and wait for the roll call”, the announcer said.

There was a roaring noise in the hall as people stood up and dragged their luggage with them as they struggled to get in the long queue. 

Read also: NYSC CHRONICLES – MY TWISTED JOURNEY (Part 2)

NYSC CHRONICLES SERIES…

With a sigh of relief, Uju stood up, carried her suitcase, carefully avoiding obstacles that lay along the aisle. She meandered her way through the crowd and went outside the hall to join the queue.

The bus conductor came outside with a notebook and began to call the names of the passengers according to their seat numbers. After Uju heard her name, she entered the bus with her suitcase.

“Excuse me please”, she said politely to a passenger, “You are on my seat”. “Oh I’m sorry” he replied and gave way for Uju to pass through to the window seat.

She sat down, put her suitcase beneath her seat carefully adjusting her chair for the long journey, then she said a prayer. 

She leaned back and opened her novel to read. “I’m Tunde”, the passenger seated next to her said, stretching forth his hand for a handshake. “I’m Uju” she replied shaking his hand.

“Are you going to the NYSC orientation camp too?” he asked, “Yes I’m going there” she replied “Wow”! He exclaimed, “That means you have to be my friend now, after all, it’s going to be a really long journey”, he said with a cheerful grin.

TO BE CONTINUED…

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