"Two lucky chance, Two lucky chance" The bus conductor roared with an unplacable Hasua accent. As though sensing Udoh's presence, the conductor, wiry in his dirty white caftan swirled around.
"Oga, Lagos to Uyo?"
Udoh replied in the positive.
"Driver, time dey go. Make we move" said a man from inside the bus
Udoh who had already taken his seat in front, turned to look at him. He was a towering, bitter looking man with no neck and the thinnest lips he had ever seen.
"Oga, calm down" The bus conductor eyed him "Na only one person remain"
There were now loud murmurs of dissent among the chorus.
"Bring my money if una no dey go again" said the woman who was breastfeeding her baby.
"We go see pesin carry for road. No be so?" another man shouted.
"Na so!" answered the others in the bus.
"Oga,where you dey hurry dey go?" Udoh finally spoke.
"Na who you dey talk to?" the man said icily
Udoh sighed and mumbled something indifferently
"Better take your time" the man snarled
"You hear me"
"Make una no fight oh" the driver ventured
Everyone burst out laughing except udoh. What was so amusing? he wondered. The man was so rude.
The silence that followed the passenger's murmurs vibrated horribly. Udoh had been so lost in thoughts that he didn't notice when the Last passenger showed up.
She had a beautiful figure, a narrow waist and long tappering legs. Her full breast like two fawns stood out of her dress. Udoh felt a sudden rush of blood to his loins but he checked himself. This was no time to lust after a girl.
"Awrighto. We go soon move" The driver said
Udoh let out a sigh and squeezed his eyes shut. Something niggled at the back of his neck, that bizarre feeling when something wasn't right.
Then it hit him "Please wait!" he shouted. He had forgotten his suitcase at the luggage counter.
"Abeg, two minutes" He pleaded "I have forgotten my bag over there"
Three minutes later, Udoh was walking down to the bus when he noticed people were rushing down their vehicles and taking to their heels. He was confused until he saw it. A fuel laden vehicle was descending backwards as the brake had failed to put it to a stop.
The tanker immediately fell with a loud bang and the content spilled. For the first time in his life, Udoh couldn't move. He felt glued to the spot.
Hr could hear screams everywhere. People trying to run for their lives. And then all of a sudden, he heard a loud bang jolting him back onto the floor and a stream of fire following immediately, engulfing the lanes of chaotic traffic.
And all of it,the entire scene, came together in that one moment, in the time it took him to draw single breath.
For he recognised something burning in the fire. The girl with the beautiful figure.