© Lewis Dampson
Jesse sat in the sand on the seashore thinking to himself. He seemed lost in thoughts not considering the heavy tides coming against him. He got up and paced with his left hand supporting his chin. He looked into the sky and wagged his head. Without thinking twice, he ran towards the vast water and stopped abruptly with tears streaming down his cheeks. He stared at the water again and ran for the second time towards the water. This time around he didn’t stop. He continued to run until he got into the seemingly angry water. In no time, his feet couldn’t touch the seabed. It was then it occurred to him that he couldn’t swim. He wanted to turn back, but it was too late. He plunged into the water.
He wrestled for sometime, came up to the surface. He couldn’t sustain his floating and therefore plunged into the water for the second time. This time around, he could feel his breath ceasing. His lungs were being filled with water.
With all his strength, he wrestled again, but this time not as before. His strength was failing him and his life was slipping away from him. All hope was lost for Jesse. In the midst of nowhere, a powerful tide rescued him. He was brought ashore by this dangerous, but lifesaving tide.
He sprawled on the shore vomiting all the water that had filled his lungs. He laid still on the shore for sometime. Thoughts of Sandra still flooded his memory. He couldn’t hold back his tears.
Jesse walked briskly to the bus stop. He was already late for work and didn’t want another confrontation from his boss. The voice of his boss echoed in his head as he hurried to the bus stop. “Gentleman, the next time you are late to work, don’t bother coming at all. Because if you do, you will only come and meet your sack letter,”.
Jesse was lucky when he got to the stop. He was second in the queue. “Oh, thank you God! I thought a lot of people will be here by now,” He said to himself. Others came to join the queue in no time. The bus arrived in two minutes and Jesse boarded it. As it was expected, he sat next to the person who was first in the queue.
In the heat of things, Jesse didn’t take a good look at the person standing in front of him in the queue. He was so caught up with thought to get to work on time. He caught a glimpse of the lady sitting beside him when the bus started moving. Jesse admired her, but on a second thought decided not to bother himself. “They are all the same,” he said to himself.
He took a magazine from his bag and started reading. He was doing everything possible not to think about the beautiful lady sitting beside him. The lady on the other hand was also fidgeting with her phone.
“Driver, please, I will alight at the next stop,” said the lady. Jesse squinted at her. Truthfully, he wanted to speak to her, but he was scared. He had been disappointed by many ladies and that had made him think of all ladies as being the same. He was very sensitive when it came to the matters of the heart. Little issues could throw him off-balance. He made a decision not to get himself involved in any sort of relationships to avoid such bad experiences. “Love is not for me,” he constantly told himself.
The bus got the stop the lady was supposed to alight. She grabbed her bag and got up to leave. “Excuse me please!” She said to Jesse. Jesse made way for her to pass. She opened her bag to pay for the fare when she realized she had no money inside it. She freaked out and began rummaging the bag by bringing out one item after another. People on the bus became impatient with her since she was delaying. Jesse was one of those people. He was running out of time and needed to get to his workplace in ten minutes. Failure to do that meant he being fired from his workplace.
The lady kept searching for the money. “Driver, please, I left my money in the house,” the lady said sadly. “So? What do you expect me to do?” the driver said harshly. “Please can I pay tomorrow when I pick the bus? You know I always pick this bus to work every morning,” the lady asked. “No way lady!! I have to make sales today and I need my money now!! Or else I will seize your phone!! Said the driver angrily.
“What!!? The price of this phone is like a hundred times the fare. How can you suggest to take my phone? I won’t give it to you!!” The lady retorted.
Now, Jesse was getting angry at what was going on. His job was on the line and these people were arguing on something that seemed unimportant to him. He lost his patience and walked to the driver. “Can you please move this bus now!! I am late for work!” He exclaimed. “I won’t move an inch until this lady pays her fare. I am always being cheated. People patronize my bus and refuse to pay. How do they expect me to cater for the needs of my family? Eh? Tell me!! I won’t move this bus until she either gives me my money or deposit her phone as a collateral,” the driver said firmly.
Jesse without thinking took out money and gave it to the driver. “I am paying for her and myself. I will get down at the next stop. Now, please, move the bus! I am late for work!” He immediately moved to his seat without even looking at the lady. He didn’t even respond to the ladies “thank you “. The lady got off the bus and the driver moved.
Jesse closed from work that day very tired. “The start of every week is always hectic. Man, I need rest. I have to get home as soon as possible.” He ambled as he got nearer to the bus stop due to tiredness. He sat on one end of the bench provided at the bus stop with his face buried in his palms.
He got startled when someone touched him on the shoulder. He looked up and realized it was the lady he paid the fare for in the morning. “Hello, I guess you remember me?” the lady asked. “Of course, I do,” Jesse answered sharply.
“I am glad you remember. I tried thanking you in the bus this morning, but you moved back to your seat quickly that I couldn’t get the chance. I really appreciate what you did for me in the bus this morning. The way you came through for me to save me from such an embarrassment. Thank you very much!” Said the lady. “You are welcome, but have money in your bag next time,” Jesse said sharply and again buried his face in his palms.
To be continued…