Fill your life with only good people, and goodness will not cease from your life.
‘I don’t know anywhere.’ I said and looked around. ‘I am sorry for delaying you.’
I watched the bus as it disappeared into the horizon, and the silence that followed echoed loudly.
Tosin stayed beside the road and I stood beside her. I held my dead phone in my hand and realized if she decided to leave me, I would be lost in Lagos.
I began to calculate how I would have to get to a branch of my church so I could power my phone.
‘I also have to get home as early as I can.’ Tosin explained. ‘What if I give you my battery so you can use it?’
I was quite touched by her offer, but shook my head slowly.
‘My phone uses an inbuilt battery.’ I sadly answered.
‘Don’t worry. You have really helped me. I really appreciate you.’ I told her. ‘I will try and charge the phone in my church branch close to this place.’
‘Which church is that?’ She asked.
I hesitated before answering and her face became expressionless.
‘Before I walk to the end of this road, I should see one of our branches.’ I said, and arranged my backpack as I prepared to leave.
‘Once again, I can’t thank you enough for your goodwill. God will bless you abundantly for helping me find my way.’
Tosin seemed to be lost in thoughts as she didn’t respond to my last statements. She raised her brow and heaved, indicating she had come to a decision.
‘Since we have been together right from Berger, let me just finish my goodwill.’
The tone with which she said the ‘been together’ made my stomach squirm, and I imagined the vision I had seen in the cab once again.
I waited for her to continue speaking and held the straps of my backpack.
‘Ehmm…’ Tosin began, ‘Let’s do this.’
‘My cousin works at one eatery just by the next junction. I will tell her to help you charge your phone for some minutes so you can call your friend and tell him you have arrived at Ikorodu.’
The peace, joy and gladness that filled my heart and burst within my belly when she said those words can only be compared to the one felt by the mother whose lost child was found and returned to her, I imagine.
If not for my utter self-control, I would have hugged her and probably done more.
But I held back my shoulders and refused to completely show how I felt.
‘You are beautifully wonderful.’ I simply said. ‘You must be an angel sent from heaven.’
She smiled and nodded in a tell-me-something-new manner but I didn’t mind.
‘It’s not that far; we can trek it.’ She said and started to move.
As I caught up with her, I made the decision to know more about her before we part ways.
‘Even if not because of my vision and her beauty, just to thank her for all she has done. I must know this angel better.’ I silently resolutely decided.
As we walked to the eatery, she was closer to the road while I was on her right. From my bucket of gentlemanly behaviours, I picked one gesture and acted it out.
I broke my stride briefly and sidestepped to my left. Then I moved to the side of the road and made her shift to her right, away from the road.
We continued to walk in that manner and I smiled contentedly and praised myself for remembering to be chivalrous. I felt glad that I could show my gratitude in that little way and protect her.
We walked on in silence and I didn’t know she noticed my change of position until two seconds later when she smiled.
‘James the gentleman.’ She said.
I smiled back and decided not to boast.
‘Tosin the helper.’ I returned.
She frowned slightly and turned to face me. ‘How did you know my name?’
‘It was when you told that strange man in suit while we were in the cab.’ I explained. ‘I was surprised when you told him.’
‘Aren’t you a stranger too?’ She asked.
I was taken aback. ‘Well, you are right I am a stranger.’
A moment of uncomfortable silence passed.
‘But I don’t want to be a stranger anymore.’ I stated out of the blue.
‘I would like to be a friend, at least.’ I added and immediately began to feel I must not miss the opportunity.
‘When I consider everything that has happened today; how you helped me in the busy street of Lagos where I’ve been warned not to ask for anyone’s help; how to you showed me the way to this place, and how you are still sacrificing your time just to help me charge my phone; I cannot but feel I must know you better.’ All the while I talked, she folded her hands across her chest and listened as we walked on.
‘I don’t think heaven will be happy with me if I don’t get to know you.’
‘What do you want to know about? I am Tosin, you know that already.’ She said, pouring water on my hot coals. But I didn’t relent.
I smiled, ‘And my name is James.’ I told her my name again.
She smiled, and I felt encouraged.
I went ahead to tell her about my state of origin, place of residence, workplace, and the things I like to do.
She nodded and seemed pleased by what she’d heard, but I decided to pause and wait for her to tell me about herself too.
She stopped along the way, and cleared her throat before she spoke.
I readied myself and listened attentively while assuming she must have something important to say for her to stop walking.
She looked into my eyes, and I felt a twitch in my eyes. I blinked.
‘We have gotten to the eatery.’ She announced, and pointed to the red-coloured building that stood just behind her.
‘Oh!’ I was disappointed the journey was too short. ‘That was so fast.’
‘Don’t you want to charge your phone anymore?’ She taunted.
I didn’t know when I laughed.
‘I’d rather know you better than charge my phone.’ I said bluntly.
She shook her head and a smile played across her lips. ‘If I had known, I would have give you my Identity card instead of sacrificing my time to follow you here.’
She was only joking, and I knew, so I laughed.
‘Okay. I’m sorry.’ I said with a smile. ‘Let me charge my phone, please.’
‘Better.’ She nodded and led the way as we walked towards the revolving door of the building.
. READ EPISODE 8 HERE