A good Nigerian on his way to work found me at dawn today, sprawled out in the middle of the road, knocked out cold. He was kind enough to pick me up and look for some water to resuscitate me, after which he helped me home and went on his way. It was only much later when the blinding ache in my head subsided, that bits and pieces of yesterday came trickling back to me.
After three hours spent crawling through mad traffic from Oshodi to Iyana – Ipaja, it was a pleasant relief to eventually get off the staff bus at Pako. Hectic wouldn’t have been enough to describe the day I’d just survived at the office and I was eager to reunite with my bed, my eyes still heavy from the nap I took in the bus. Only the small matter of a ten minute trek down the long winding and deserted street, and across a short wooden bridge separated me from home.
At twenty-five minutes past the hour of eleven, the night was not too young. Still, I had come home at much later hours, so there was no fear. Gripping my bag tightly, I made to navigate the dark and desolate stretch of road in front of me. Power was out as usual and everywhere was quiet, eerily so. In quick long strides, I headed in the direction of my abode, rubber soles barely making a sound on the sandy road.
Alone and making rapid progress, I was halfway through the journey when one of the wooden PHCN poles by the side of the road moved. I swear, it did, jumped from its base and landed square in the middle of the road, right in front of me. Nothing in the world could have prepared me for what happened, nothing at all.
Before my brain shut down and I went lights out, I heard it say one single word.