It was a sunny day, a very hot sunny day. They had been at the bus stop for almost an hour. The buses that came weren’t going towards their destination. Finally the bus comes and everyone rushes to get into the bus. Woman 1 hurries to enter the bus as there is no other bus at the bus stop. She is closely followed by woman 2. They are direct opposites; woman 1 is older, alone and has an air of experience. She has a satisfied air, composed and sure of herself, where woman 2 is young, almost innocent and carries a baby in her bosom. She is flanked by friends, gorgeously dressed like her with gold earrings and necklaces. She is beautiful, shyly so and it reflects on her face. The baby is her first, it is obvious from the way she holds her baby close to her chest and whispers sweet nothings to the sleeping child. The bus starts to move, slowly at first but gradually it picks pace. The conductor asks for his money, arguing with stubborn passengers who attempt to negotiate the fare. “kini bobo yi n bami so?, fumi lowo mi jare” (what is this man telling me?, Pay me my money jare). Woman 1 pays no attention to them. She tries to block out the noise, the droning of the conductor’s voice and the chatter of woman 2’s friends. Finally she attains the state of calmness she craves. She revels in it gathering her thoughts and going over her memories.
It is then it comes to her, the gentle crooning of woman 2 to her baby. She sings softly to the sleeping child as woman 1 looks on. She feels the love woman 2 pours on the child and it touches something in her. Just then the bus makes a funny sound and is suddenly out of control. “the brake don loose o, the brake don cut”, a woman screamed from behind. The bus is moving of its own accord as everyone starts to pray. Woman 1 grips the seat tightly and glances to her side where woman 2 is seated. Woman 2 grips her beloved package close to her chest and though there is terror in her eyes, she seems outwardly calm. The driver manoeuvres the bus to the side if the road and everyone gets down as fast as they can. Bus driver bends under the bus to take stock of the damage done while conductor stops another bus to convey passengers to their destination. Once again, woman 1 and woman 2 are placed side by side.
It is a short journey and this time woman 2 is aware of woman 1 looking at her baby. She shifts trying to block the view of her baby and woman 1 smiles gently and looks out of the window. Soon they are at their destination and woman 2, along with her entourage move along. Before she leaves, she steals a glance at woman 1 who gives her a gentle yet sad smile. It is a heavy smile, one that shields secrets, secrets that burden the soul of the one who keeps them. Woman 2 turns away at the urgings of her friends and soon woman 1 is forgotten. Woman 1 stares after her, wishing and longing for youth that is now lost. She places her hand on her stomach, mourning a womb that would never give life.