Friday 8 June 2018

The Hopeless Romantic (The Fine Guy in Kaftan) 1

After spending time deliberating on what to wear, I ended up going English. Omo, the native attires had one issue or the other…short hand, off-colour veils, punctured veils…and so on. I just vexed and took a shirt and black skirt to put on. Yeah, it’s really strange for me to do so on a Friday but the girl was getting late for work.

I hurried to the park to board a bus to Ojota. I entered the bus and deliberated on the area to seat. The truth is, it has never been a big issue…choosing a seat in a red bus.

This time around, I was confused. I went to the back of the rows of seat and when the lady stood to excuse me in, I changed my mind and left for the vacant seat beside a neatly dressed Muslim man (well-starched kaftan and a cap).

We started the journey…except from the hurls and insults from the agberos in the car.

The bus went smoothly till it halted at Majidun. The passengers murmured and it was then I discovered that the bus had hit a car in front. It blocked the bus and demanded for a compensation.
Ama pe lo ni oo… Awon t’on lo ibi ise nko (We will be late today oo/ How about those going to work?)” The passengers lamented.

Yes! I was going to work and I was late.

I sat there murmuring when I noticed the ‘Fine guy in kaftan' making a call.

“We're are Majidun BRT terminal. Okay…I’ll come down now’.

As I thanking God that we haven’t paid for the bus fare (abi they would refund ni?) I parted a way for the ‘Fine guy in kaftan’ to leave the bus.

“Let’s go and enter another car”. He told me.
Read also: The Awkward Week.

Omo, I didn’t waste time. I stood sharp sharp and left the bus with him. The rift between the bus driver and the hit car got intense. I was just silently thanking God that I had gotten another option.
Some passengers left the bus while other sat there, patiently waiting for the rift to be settled.
Well, the ‘Fine guy in kaftan’ busied himself with a phone call and he informed me that a car would be coming our path.

Alas! A big black jeep parked beside us. We entered and then I noticed a husband and his wife in the front seat. The man drove the car.

I later figured out that ‘Fine guy in kaftan’ is a close friend to the couple. They discussed and talked about their personal matters. I just sat there and enjoyed the vibe of Ramadhan…supplicating.
The ‘Fine guy in kaftan’ finally broke our silence. He smiled, greeted and asked if I was enjoying the ride.

Of course, I am. I dey for A/C oo. The space in the jeep was just enough. I don’t have to spend any fare or get soiled up in the stress of the red bus. I’m listening to you guys personal stories and laughing internally. Why won’t I enjoy the ride?

Scratch that. I replied with a shy and simple ‘Yes, thank you very much’.

I turned away and we continued with the ride. ‘Fine guy in kaftan’ said he was looking forward to getting married and taking care of his wife when she gets pregnant.

‘What are you waiting for? Get married na”. the woman said in Yoruba.

“I haven’t even found anyone”. He replied.

Several pregnant women started to cross the road and they laughed, wondering why such happened when he had just mentioned having a pregnant wife.

‘I just want to take care of her…I want to show that love and care’. ‘The fine guy in kaftan’ said.
After some minutes, he told me the best place to alight form the jeep. I then discovered it would be better to arrive at their final destination. I would just need to take a simple bus to work.

‘You’re a student?”

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“No, I work”.

“Okay”. He replied.

It seems ‘Fine guy in kaftan’ was a gentle man but he talked freely with his friends.

We arrived at Alausa and the woman alighted first, before the rest of us. He was meant to accompany the man to his office but ‘Fine guy in kaftan’ followed me, to assist me in getting a bus.

I thanked him again and he smiled in response. He held his two phones and I patiently waited for the ‘Give me your number moment’. 

A bus parked beside us in less than few seconds and I had to hop into it. ‘Fine guy in kaftan’ waved at me and shone his brightest of smile. I replied with a rueful one.

And there I was, in the bus, hoping that like in movies, ‘Fine guy in kaftan’ would hurry to catch the bus and get my number or enter an okada and hurry to meet up with me.

I kept turning to see if he would come but then, I remembered that this is not the movies. This is Nigeria and this is Lagos.

Well, the hopeless romantic still hopes that he will trace me to my workplace or that we will meet again in a red bus. What am I really? A hopeless romantic?

I was on my way home in the evening. I alighted from the bus and walked to the next park. Again, I wanted to keep walking down but an instinct told me ‘No Maryam, turn here!’.

I turned and entered the road to my right, which was just close to a GTB ATM stand…and behold…I saw…
To be continued…

Stay tuned for the next episode: The Hopeless Romantic (The Fine Guy in Kaftan 2).

 Maryam AbdulWahab, My Life in Lagos.



  1. Wow!My life in LAGOS
    This is just too cool
    A hopeless romantic
    I can't wait for the next episode ooo

  2. Awww...thanks so much. I promise to update soon.