The scorching late harmattan sun causing hot air to rise in the dry wind soon enough forced Segun to seek shelter under what is left of the pink flowers and dry leaves of the red-flame tree along the roadside.
The dry air soon enough soaked up his perspiration arising from his long trek along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway from Iwo Road bus-stop in Ibadan, in his to secure a cheaper bus fare travelling to Lagos.
“Where all these ‘sole’ come dey, wen I need dem pass” he mumbles to himself as he tries to brush off the red settling dust that has patterned his bags and shoes in red mosaic art.
Little cloud patches had begun to gather around the sun’s sharp rays when from a distance he heard the hoarse voice of a conductor, “Eko ‘wole’, N400 change Eko.”
The young undergraduate with utmost gladness quickly gathered his bags and hurriedly approached the vehicle. “Thank goodness!” he exclaims as he boards the bus in quick strides. He finds a seat next to a beaming smile radiantly directed at him.
Segun’s reticence and shy nature left him almost speechless as he tries to find the words to utter some greeting. “Goo-oo, good afternoon” he finally manages to say.
“I couldn’t help but notice you are a student of the University of Ibadan” says the feminine voice in return.
“Yes I am and how did you know?”, he asks looking rather puzzled.
“I could see that notebook of yours sticking out of your unzipped backpack.”
“Thanks,” Segun returns as he fumbles with his bag’s zippers. “By the way,” he adds as he musters some courage, “I’m Segun and you are?”
“Amaka” replies the beautiful fair lady. “I am an undergraduate of Obafemi Awolowo University.”
The rivalry instinct in Segun quickly awoke at this piece of information catalysing a lively conversation between the two newly acquainted.
“My school rates higher than yours” Segun says with the pride of a superior being.
“No” replies the young lady “Only on old glory, does your school pride rests” says the young lady quietly.
The conversation continued desultorily as both travellers jump from one random topic to another enjoying each other’s companionship.
“Where in Lagos do you reside?” Segun asks breaking the few minutes silence between them.
“Lekki” replies Amaka.
“That’s a neighbourhood for the rich” he replies shrugging as she smiled at his expression asking him same question to which he replies, “Yaba”.
The conversation had thereafter continued until both parted ways.
Segun was smiling to himself when soft gentle hands squeezed his shoulders.
“Why are you smiling to yourself?” inquires Amaka.
“Only reminiscing about the bus affair, dear. The very first time my eyes met your beautiful smiling face. And it’s wonderful having you for five years against all odds.”
“Happy fifth Valentine, dear” she says, kissing his lips.