I had a thrilling weekend back in the city, I just had to return to my place of primary assignment as work begins the next day.
“Hey! Corper shun!” Vincent, the boat driver said as I got to the jetty with my bag and two loaves of bread in my hands. It was as if he was waiting for me because he started the engine as soon as I sat in the boat.
The time was 5:45 pm. I put on my stopwatch to actually figure out the duration of the journey from the jetty to the community where I was serving. This has caused a lot of arguments in our hostel in the past. Where some say it takes 25 minutes, others say it’s a little short of 35 minutes. Either way, I needed to find out myself.
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The speed boat moved with a great speed as the name implies. Four of us in the boat were all young men, the driver was the only familiar face. The other guys were speaking their local dialect and all they said sounded like violence to my ears.
One was smoking loud and they were all facing front; not even looking back to see me at the rear for once. I was a bit scared when the driver took an unusual path.
“Bro, why this way?“
“The creek is faster and the water at the other side has risen now“, he replied after taking a deep breath.
The creek had mangrove swamps vegetation either side of the water with a very small hut afar. A bad thought then came to my mind. What if they have all planned to kidnap me, a serving corps member, government property. As soon as we got out of the creek, I was relieved. I quickly checked my stopwatch; it read 5:53 pm.
We haven’t got to Mbiama, a neighboring community when the boat stopped on the sea. Vincent tried starting the engine again but failed in four attempts. Now, the boat drew back in slow motion. The other guys at this point spoke to the driver in their violent language. The driver seemed confused and I couldn’t just find a word to speak.
When I finally looked up, all I saw was the sky kissing the sea; all was sky blue. All that was on my mind was ‘what if the boat capsize’. I couldn’t even swim in a saliva pool not talk of a sea. My heart began to beat faster than that of an Olympian who had just won a marathon race.
To be continued….