“Eko Idumota, Eko Idumota!!! Mi ò ní change o, wölé pèlú change ë. I no get change, I dey talk my own now oh.”
Adeola froze when she heard the voice. She was on her way to the market to buy black clothes for her mother. Her mother had never liked the colour black as she associated it with death.
Growing up, Adeola had been warned many times by her mother against wearing black. Her mother was of the belief that the colour was a bad omen and attracted evil. She and her mum always had a running battle over this, as Adeola loved the colour black. She sometimes dressed in all black while she was in the university and was unbothered by the strange looks she sometimes got.
Her mother who never wore black was now forced to wear it. Her husband’s body was lying cold in the mortuary and tradition expected that she was garbed in the colour black.
“Aunty, comot for road if you no dey go make another person enter my moto jo. Eko Idumota!!!” The voice boomed above the other voices shouting their various destinations. A passenger trying to get into the bus shoved Adeola to the side and she turned.
Their eyes met. Shock registered boldly on their faces and they stared at each other.
“Eko….” He stopped mid-sentence; his eyes locked on hers. The bus was about moving and she flagged it to stop.
“O n wölé.” The conductor shouted and the bus halted.
Adeola entered the bus as she continued to stare at the conductor.
The conductor was speechless as he also couldn’t take his eyes off Adeola.
“Bèrè sí gba owó mí o.” The driver shouted at the conductor.
The conductor began to collect the fares from the passengers. Adeola stretched a two hundred note to him but he refused to collect it.
“Collect your money, Deolu.” Adeola said.
Deolu ignored her as he turned his back to her.
“Deolu!” Adeola called out again.
Deolu burst out into tears. He began to wipe off his tears with his hands, embarrassed by his sudden breakdown in the presence of strangers.
“Ahn…ahn, wetin happen?” One of the passengers sitting beside Adeola asked.
“Wetin you tell am wey he dey cry?” Another asked.
Another passenger looked at Adeola and looked at the conductor. She opened her mouth wide and exclaimed. “Olúwa ò.”
“Wetin dey happen for dia? Kí ló dé?” The driver shouted. He took his eyes off the road briefly. “S’ó ò lè sòrò ni? Mo ní kí n ló sëlè níbè yën?”
“Driver, take am easy oh. You no look the face of your conductor and this girl.” Another passenger said.
“Wetin do dia face wey I go dey look am?”
“E be like dem be family?”
“So how that one take consine me?” The driver snorted. “Me I no get family too?”
“Driver, ó wà o.” Adeola said. She turned to Deolu. “Daddy is dead, you can come home now. The burial is next Thursday.”
Deolu shook his head as his tears flowed freely down his cheeks.
Adeola touched her twin brother’s shoulders as she made an attempt to alight from the bus. “Please come home. Maami’s heart has been broken since you left. Don’t let her die without knowing you are still alive. Please!” Adeola pleaded.
Deolu nodded as his sister alighted and watched the bus zoom off to its destination.
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