When Life Happens…..Part 2

I stood under the bridge waiting for the bus.
Bus arrived almost 30mins late. I stepped in, only to see a familiar face.

.
“Mr Bello, how are you?” I said, beaming with a forced smile.
“Haaa, so good to see you.” He said

.
It was the same Bello who had driven me to the Court of Appeal Complex at Central Area one time like that. As I was about to enter the court, he called me back

.
“Won’t you carry your bag?

.

“Won’t you wait for me to finish? Or aren’t you going to drop me at the nearest bustop?”, I had responded…in the good old days.

.

“Noo, Oga sent me on errand and he didn’t ask me to wait for you.” He responded
So I reluctantly went back and picked my bag.

.
But on this morning, I sat directly behind him. He was the bus driver for my route and I would be seeing him everyday. It felt a little comforting.

.
My face was expressionless. I stared through the window but I didn’t see anything. My face was too stony, too rigid for my own liking.

.
He covered the lanes smoothly but not without little stops and interruptions. I didn’t care.

.
I walked into the building. Nobody recognised me. Not until Jonah came.

.
I digress…..

.
Now, few weeks earlier.

.

I had travelled with Oga Jonah, two police escorts and three drivers to ibadan. We moved in two buses. One was an ambulance which had my dad in it. I was in the bus following the ambulance. It was the 3rd of June.

.
2nd June
I had been in a meeting with the president of the court. Then I went to UTC….that place that looks like oshodi in abuja, to sew white clothes to be worn on his remains. I got home tired. And there were no bikes again by the time I got to my area because it was the period of Muslim fast and the exact hour they were breaking their fast. So I trekked and trekked.

.
Early in the morning on June 3rd, I was driven to the court by my dad’s assistant. Then, we went with the court ambulance to the national hospital.

.
This was where the real drama started.

.
The previous day when we were at national hospital to submit the coroner’s report and court affidavit because I had insisted on no autopsy, I had been called upon to select a casket even though little brother was there. I had been sitting at the entrance of the morgue, under the tree, mulling over life and staring at nothing in particular when I was suddenly summoned.

.
I stood by the door and pointed at the first and only casket I saw from afar. I didn’t care how it looked. I just didn’t want to enter.

.
So, on this 3rd of June, which was the day I was conveying his body to another morgue in ibadan while the family made preparation for the final burial, I was asked by dad’s assistant to come inside and identify him.

.
I panicked.

.
I almost ran.

.
You see, my old man joked with me one day. On one of our trips home, he had given me the keys to mom’s room to go and sleep there but I opened it, peeped inside and bolted. I don’t know why. But I just didn’t feel like it.

.
Instead I went to look for anywhere to sleep, floor? Couch? Kitchen even, if possible, I didn’t mind.

.
So he had jokingly said to me amidst stifled laughter “Yetunde, you are too fearful. I know that if I die today and I’m put in the next room, you’d never bother to enter the room again or even touch me with a long pole.”

.
I honestly had no answer to it and didn’t respond. I just knew I didn’t see him dying yet.

.
So on this 3rd of June, I first of all ran away like he predicted. As I was backing out, I was crying. I suddenly felt alone. There was nobody to hold my hand and say ‘don’t worry, it will be alright or let me accompany you to the casket.’

.
The casket was open but I didn’t move close. I was outside wailing. Several people were at the national hospital morgue that morning with crowd and buses waiting to carry their corpse. So shedding of tears was free but it wasn’t fun to watch.

.
Dad’s assistant couldn’t understand my refusal to go in. He went inside and looked at him.

.
“He’s your father now. Just go and make sure he’s the one”, he said

.
“But sir, you have seen him now. Isn’t he the one?”

.
“Just go there’, he said

.
After few minutes, my heart began to reason with my head. My brain was almost shutting down but I forcefully re-booted it. My eyelids were forced open and I walked gingerly to the mortician even though I could not feel my legs under me.

.

Those moments in life you didn’t have a choice. That moment I decided not to let dad’s words ring true.

That moment I had to put my emotions aside.

” I am ready to see him”, I said
I have only seen a dead body once- Grandmother.

.
She was kept in the morgue for close to six months. By the time I saw her during the lying in state, it was almost scary. Her skin had turned darker. So since then, I stayed off corpses.

.
I didn’t look at mom neither. I didn’t want to remember her that way. Especially after I saw the way people were throwing themselves on the ground after looking. I couldn’t deal with it.

.
So, the mortician went to open the casket again and I moved closer. He looked so fresh. Like he was just sleeping. He looked every bit as handsome as he was in real life.

.

He wasn’t scary. I looked and looked.
Then, I walked away. I was shaking uncontrollably, sobbing. A policeman led me back to the bus. Dad was moved to the ambulance. I was in the second bus behind the ambulance.

.
So, if my dad could look back, he would have been shocked that his fearful daughter was the only one who accompanied him home and later even had to sit in front of the ambulance when it refused to move again.

.

The story of the ambulance and the drama of people’s beliefs about spirit is another post.

.
Back to the main gist(I hope its not getting confusing)

.
As Jonah saw me, he began to introduce me to everyone in his department as Oga’s daughter. Then, the condolences… I just nodded. Thank God, I was still going upstairs. The people upstairs didn’t know me.

.
My police friend, Amodu wasn’t on duty which was good for my anonymity for a while.

.
Until yesterday, i sat in the dark, in a corner with my head on the table, when a certain Oga came in and asked

.
“What is your name”
“Yetunde”, I said
“Yetunde what?”
“Olasiyan”
Then recognition dawned.
“Oh, you are CSO’s daughter.”
I nodded, looking at the ground and muttering oh, not again.

.
The lady behind him acted surprised too. Then the condolences started again. He invited me into his office. He talked, I nodded. Then, I went back to my seat.

.
The female director came. She had seen me the day before but didn’t know me. He told her. They both called me inside again.
“Sorry o, I didn’t know you are the one. OK, go home and rest till Monday”, she said.

.
I was happy. I had been at the General hospital early yesterday morning for medical fitness something something. The rain had made me cold. It rained through the night till morning. I didn’t go with the bus so it was not easy.

.
As I stepped out, I saw a man who was driving out. I joined him.

.
……to be continued

Author

nikeolasiyan@yahoo.com
She has won many awards in writing and poetry amongst which are CLO essay competition (1st Prize Southwest) NDIC essay competition(5th Prize in the southwest) and a World Bank Essay Certificate of Participation She has worked with woman.ng as a content editor and a host of sites as a ghost writer. She has written great inspirational content for fashion brands/blogs. She has been featured on radio and recently added public speaking to her portfolio. You can hire her to write a professional/business profile for you, online content editing, book editing, guest blogging, ghostwriting, content creation or if you need copies of her book, contact her via nikeolasiyan@yahoo.com Facebook.com/Yetunde Olasiyan instagram.com/Yetunde Olasiyan Follow her business page on Instagram @officialladywriter

Comments

Yetty owoot
July 14, 2017 at 12:27 pm

Having to do all those is such a huge responsibility for a woman, I think. I salute ur courage o!
But mehn, you have a striking resemblance, if u had been a man with fairly same stature, I bet u won’t need an introduction!



Hello!!! Kindly drop a comment....