LOVE IN TRANSIT

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Diverse young couple are sitting in commuter train or bus. Tourists are using public transportation to see city. Man is pointing out window and couple is smiling.

Omolra Otuyemi

On that fateful day, my major goal was to get to my destination in record time. It is not really that I had not been on a train before, but I hadn’t been on a train in Lagos.

I could feel it in the air, something new is about to happen. I was glad my boss had put me up to this job.

Approaching the Ikeja train station of the Red Line Rail, I was astounded by the magnificent transport structure that is a pulsating reflection of the city it serves.

The work of art stands firm along the popular Ikeja Along axis, adding more aesthetics to the area.

I pondered on the thinking and work that must have gone into the realisation of the project. The train station is strategically located close to the Ikeja bus terminal as well as the local and international Airports. It is a testament to the fact that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has worked with the best team, who definitely know their onion.

Stepping into the coach, we were embraced by the medley of colours, the interior was a breath of fresh air. It was uniquely designed to accommodate commuters’ diverse needs. The coach was designed for rest, work and adventure.

As I settled in to work on my laptop, I heard the deepest baritone I had ever heard.

“Is the seat taken?’

“Not at all, just…” I mumbled.

My gaze fell on the tallest man I had ever seen. He had a bicep that looked like they were going to rip his buttons apart if he sneezed.

“…Please, take a seat”. I said teasingly.  

“Thank you. It’s actually my first time in Lagos. I live in Kano. I’m here in Lagos for a business meeting, Marina precisely, but i’d be getting to Yaba to meet with someone”. 

The fine looking tall man said.

“Oh! Great. I retorted. How long will you be staying?”

 I was jostled at the immediate conversation we struck. It was almost as though we had known each other.

Suddenly, our eyes and my heart skipped at the sight of his dimple.

“What type of man has a dimple so deep?” My thoughts wondered.

“I’m Aminu. Aminu Ahmed”, he said, extending his hands for a handshake that I took instantly.

His palm matches his stature. I looked at him excitedly, expecting him to open up for more conversation.

As the train lurched forward, I felt a sense of sanctuary, a temporary refuge from the chaotic Lagos’ crowd. The air-conditioning breezed softly, providing respite from the sweltering heat, while the rhythmic clatter of the train on the tracks created a soothing backdrop to my ears.

I found myself drawn to Aminu.

Suddenly, his baritone voice tattled me again!

He said: “Lagos is really up to something with this present administration. The governor has made promises and kept them. I admire his guts and drive”.

“Yes”, I nodded sheepishly.

“His next big project is the 4th Mainland Bridge?” I muttered.

“4th Mainland Bridge? Don’t even think about that!” Aminu said with the audacity of a doubting Thomas.

“Well, don’t bet your life on that”. I replied proudly, reeling out the many firsts of the governor.

By now, we had built an unbelievable bond, sharing jokes. Our connection blossomed.

“I’m beginning to like this city”. Aminu exclaimed.

Then, suddenly, without looking at my face, Aminu said:

“I’m beginning to like you too”.

My heart skipped!

I shifted uncomfortably on my seat.

I transfixed my gaze on the LED screens displaying route information and announcements, keeping passengers informed of upcoming stops and safety instructions.

I pinched myself to ensure I still had breath left in me. I had to say something.

 “Have traveled on the Lagos waterways?” I asked, trying to change the conversation.

I felt his gaze piercing through my eyes and something began to burn inside of me. Just then, we had an announcement that we were already at the Yaba Station.

Staring continuously at me, Aminu said:

“That will be my stop. I really do hope we will meet again. I have somehow extended my stay in Lagos for two weeks. Hope you will show me around?”

I smiled blushingly and shook my head at his suaveness.

“I will contact you”, he continued. “Hope you give me the audience”.

Aminu got up and I watched him move like a gentle force through the aisle.

 Good luck with that. I thought to myself. The vibration from my phone jostled me and I thought my boss must have sent a message.

Checking through my phone, I found a friend request on my Instagram page. It was from Aminu!

I smiled.

The Red Line Rail is more than just a mode of transportation; it is a symbol of the vibrant city of Lagos, a city that pulses with life and possibility.

As I was still savoring the joy of the ride, looking through the window for the onward journey to Oyingbo, I felt a firm touch.

 “Get up sis, you have been sleeping on the couch since you came back from work”. Alas! It was Funmi, my niece!

“Oh my God!” I mumbled. So, I had been dreaming! 

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