[Stories] On Our Way Home - Philip Chijioke Abonyi

[Stories] On Our Way Home - Phillip Chijioke Abonyi

They sat next to me in a bus. A woman and her husband.  

“I know the journey will be tough,” the man mocked, staring at his wife with the corner of his left eye, “Nsukka the most timid area in Igbo land.”

The wife looked at him with face coated with anger. He smiled, hiding his face from his wife. The woman leaned her head on the glass of the bus and she ravaged the beauty of blooming trees that stare from a distance. From all indication she seemed to be sad.  


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There was a silence. The only noise that we heard was the one that came from the moving bus struggling  itself in the potholes like a snake moving on unleveled ground.   I looked at the woman confused. She resembles my people but unlike her we do not keep quiet when you pull our legs.  That is Nsukka people for you, you do not call them a fool and expect to get thank you when they have done nothing to you.  

“I heard you,” a woman sitting on the second seat woke the conversation, “talked bad of Nsukka, where are you from?”  she asked, leaving a smile on her face.  

The man looked up with a smile too.  He seemed to cleared his throat. And then balanced in his seat.  From his action, you would think he was the United Kingdom and he has cleared his throat and sat well because there was a lot of things to say about it.  


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“I am from Mbaise, Imo state. The heaven of Igbo land. A place whose roads are coated with foam. Smoot and peacefully,” he explained, demonstrating everything with his hands.  

His wife jumped in. “See your mouth. Your roads are made of foam. Is it not where you married me to? A place that is so bushy that one eats with snake in the same plate?”  

The whole people in the bus burst out laughing.  I was not surprised, the whole people in the bus were from Nsukka except the man.   The man allowed the laughter to die before he began.

“You said my place is bushy that snake is part of my family. You forgot its still the same place you were dancing and very eager to leave your home and follow me. You remember, it’s the same place right?  You remember how happy you were,” he smiled thinking that he has gotten his wife.  

The wife smiled too. “My darling husband,” she held him passionately, “you remember how you fought your parents against their disapproval of our marriage. You remember how you told them that Nsukka is the best place in Igbo land. And how they told you that it is not true. But you barked like a dog at them. You told them that Nsukka is a beautiful place filled with beautiful people. You said I am beautiful. And I could remember how you danced the day you married me as if to say you are poisoned to dance.”  


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There was silence again as the man dug through his wife's words. He felt caught in a trap he set.  

“But...” He tried to talk but felt what he wanted to say will not help him.  The people in the bus laughed mocking his abruptly silence.  

He looked at his wife who is laughing too trying to tease him by touching his beards.

The man held her hands and whispered, “You think say you don win bah?”  

He then pulled her pointed nose. And they smiled looking at each other passionately.


Source: Tushstories 

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