We were in the bus and her reaction surprised me

In the bus and her reaction surprised me

Most days when I’m out of the house, I like to feel that I have a responsibility to make someone’s day good. This mini superheroine feeling has been with me for years, way back in high school; it hasn’t been broken off yet. When in the midst of people and you hear tales like, ‘But for that person that took the initiative for the attendance, we wouldn’t have otherwise… ‘ or ‘It was that lady that had the needle with the thread in her purse.

She had a couple of pins too she used to tuck those flyers in. Who knows what would have happened… ‘, chances are they were referring to the person my inner spirit urges me to be like, but for my frequent bouts of social anxiety.

A sad excuse as to why I’m not always the good person I aspire to be. So when the lady seated beside me in the bus, on my way home from a midday outing yesterday, started to act unsettled and fidgety, I eventually got struck with empathy enough to give her all the attention she seemed to be in need of. I thought also it could be my benevolent deed for the day.

Earlier on, I was giving her just about the required minimum attention you’d allot a stranger and not appear conceited, but she kept asking questions concerning the commute and pretending she wasn’t noticing I was feigning concentration on my tablet. I guess she was really in distress as she was barely indignant at my slightly cold and uninterested display.

In fact, she was rather interesting in her inquiry tactics. She would ask a question gently, which was ironic for her distressed state, and then she’d half-smile and wait till I got ready to answer. And I took my time. I wasn’t in the mood to be friendly. But she did not let her countenance waver. When I answer she’d ask another question.

Subsequently, she got my interest and I tried to find what her pain was about. We had been in traffic for close to 2hrs and what I could best infer, it was her first time on that route. She was fastidious about timing, and appointments, so when the scheduled time for her to meet with this certain host drew closer, and the host’s call turned disturbing, it got her apprehensive.

With the calls, her host led her to believe she had spent way too much time on the road and if she wasn’t still close to the arranged venue, she might indeed have gotten lost. So for someone stuck in an unknown location in an unseen-before traffic, she exhibited the right amounts of agitation. She asked if that was the only route to her intended location -after which she told me her location. She asked if I knew the vicinity of the venue and how she’d get there swiftly from the bus stop she’d alight.

She asked if the traffic was normal for that time of the day and when it would stop, if quickly or gradually. She asked if I thought she should try to find another means to get to her location as she wasn’t sure not to make a wrong decision by herself. Then she confided in me the intricacies of her business after I started to show her concern and not brush off her questions.

In the bus and her reaction surprised me

She made me deeply realize the other kinds of people there were in the world, the ones that differ from my character disposition. I’ve not really thought of how queer my friends are and what bonded us the most, whether our similarities or differences; with the same traits you’d complete the other, with different traits you’d complement each other, or the other way.

But what I saw at that moment with this seat lady was our differences and how I appreciated them. I’m conscientious, I have maybe an edgy amount of pride, conservative, calculating, amongst others qualities I noticed she was short of, which wasn’t bad at all. What she had, that I lacked, was what drew me to her. She was trusting and open-minded, even if she saw I appeared younger than she was. Judging by the dynamics of the conversation we had, she was bright with good self esteem.

After I made her realize her worry wasn’t going to change the situation in any way, the traffic wouldn’t seize and she would still be late thereof, she resigned to weak disappointment and then got more assertive. She gave away her day’s purpose and why she was worried though she disclosed nothing private, or personal. Then she helped me with suggestions on my hair regimen, tricks to mising fuel, and other things that made me laugh.

In the bus and her reaction surprised me

She wasn’t loud and this was good because we were on a bus full of passengers. I liked her. She was like a free spirit and conversation wasn’t forced. More than an hour later and we got to her bus stop. She alighted, but not before thanking me multiple times in a row. She waved when she was out of the bus. I waved back and smiled at her. We did not even exchange names. She could be a mini superheroine trying to make my own day in a distress call disguise. I doubt I’ll meet her again, or even recognize her if I do. The good talk we had.

Check these out also


  1. You get anxious in social situations? I get anxious when people ask me out.
    I like this story. Its a beautiful breath of fresh air. What tips did she give you for missing fuel?

    1. People kwa… ahh Fine girl.
      😂you want tips. Naija babe. They were not tips per se. Analysis. Pretty much what we know – more load/more fuel consumption, larger gen/larger fuel consumption. So if you’re not going to need an a.c. or your fridge while using your gen, pls invest in the smallest sized generator. We talked the science and physics involved. But the economics part ehn, if you were to save the extra excess money on fuel used on a bigger gen for the same number of hrs on a smaller gen, after 3weeks give or take, you’d have saved enough money to buy a smaller gen. Imagine how much you’ll save in a month using a smaller gen against a larger one for the same fuel consumption 😂we did the maths in the bus 😂😂. Either that, or just build a new house and install only lower watts devices. You dont really need a 100-watt bulb. 😂😂

  2. That happens to me like all the time. Funny how you realise you didn’t get a name or a number soon after they leave. And you never ever get to see them again. I love to call them Angels.

    1. I was just trying to keep my fingers crossed on the never ever getting to see them again part😳 I wouldn’t? Sigh

  3. lool! @ Amanya, I have met a couple of them Angels as u call them.But the question is what kind of Angel was she? from ur story, my dear, i guess she was the good type. Most times, these ones wont even give u their phone num or get quite reluctant if u asked. I rem once i insisted on collecting ___ phone number. lool, i ended up doing absolutely nothing with it.
    so if u think u mait see her again, ADONBELIVEIT 99%.
    I suggest we jst enjoy the moment and get the message.

  4. I had to read the post twice to get the message, LOL. Nope it wasn’t about what you , i failed to grasp it first time .

    I could totally relate to her anxiety, however I would hardly act fidgeting as my stubborn gut feeling always keeps me calm.

    Nice write up

    1. So I have to ask, have you been caught up in such a situation -meeting with clients, presentation due in a couple of mins, school defence- and you’re not close to the venue or ready with the items needed and your absence would cause you shame😢… You’d still not be anxious?

      1. Sure enough, the first time I had such instance was the day I almost missed my 400L second semester exam. For one I overslept, woke up late , amidst the chaos I forgot my Exam admission card and School ID Card. To make matter worst there was serious traffic on the way. The only available bus that I struggle to enter wasn’t helping matter as it kept breaking down every now and then. Exam was suppose to start by 8:30 and here I am still on the road at 9:45.
        Since the situation is out my control, I just plug in my hands free, prayed and stat calm. I actually need to stay calm or else I won’t be able to write anything concrete down and that will be worse.
        I just put everything in Gods hand, this is a time to put my faith to work
        I got to school around 10:15am, as if there was a conspiracy, the invigilator didn’t asked me for my ID or whatever. He simple asked for my Matric number and seated me at a far corner in the exam hall.
        It looked like a dream to me and unbelievable but this was real. And funny enough, I got the highest score on that course. LOL.

        1. Loool wow you have yourself a story right there to always calm yourself with whenever the chips are down. That’s awesome

      2. Another one is when I made a drawing for a client. We have actually schedule , the timing was mutually fixed and agreed upon.
        However my then boss suddenly step into the studio and asked me to go deliver the drawings to the aforementioned client immediately across a journey that was not suppose to be more than 55mins or so.
        On there was traffic, there was no alternate route and bikemen were nowhere to be found either.
        All this while I just stay calm because overtime in have learnt that fidgeting does not solve anything. Calls were coming in from my then boss who was threatening me I will be fired if I didn’t meet up while the client was telling me off too. Still I remain calm.
        Seriously I don’t know how I do it but I just usually becomes calm in such situations. That peace that everything will be okay no matter how rough.

        1. And I’m glad it works for you. For some of us sometimes it drives us to paranoia. There’s just so much burden the heart can contain, so I think. And what I try to defend with, where in the Bible, when God said he wouldn’t give us the temptation that we cannot handle, maybe the limiting point for others might just be the start for you, according to how God has created and seen into your heart.

  5. I like the lady. Apparently, she isnt used to taking a rebuff or no for an answer. I am sure even though she was late for her appointment, she would still smoothen things so well she could just get another appointment

    1. Yup. I’m sure about that too. At some point it was as if it didn’t matter again as it did and she was cool with it

  6. Hi Oluchee,

    I know I have commended your writing before, but I must do so again. This piece was wonderfully sublime, it reeked of humanity; yours, mine and everyone else’s, and felt like a cool breeze on a hot day.

    Regarding human interactions, sometimes the ones that leave indelible marks on us are the ones that just pass through, never to be seen again but always remembered. I like to think of these experiences as “Micro-bonding sessions”. 🙂

    I too like to make someone’s day good, and I’m deeply touched when someone makes the extra effort to make mine good.

    Have a great week.

    1. You don’t know… Well I’m sure you do know.. how good words do magic to a person. You’re lovely. Thank you.

      And yea.. micro bond right?! She encouraged and challenged me. I thought..how I felt about her when she left..I mean.. I’m writing about her.. if someone could feel that way about me when I leave.. people just thinking good thoughts about you. I don’t know, i feel that’d be nice.

      No need for wishes, your week is already going to be awesome! ({})

  7. This is so beautiful.
    I completely understand the mini super heroine feeling, like I’m trying to make sure when someone thinks of me, they remember how their is better for my presence.

    Lool. I thoroughly enjoyed this. Thank you for sharing.

  8. I guess you learnt a lot from that day. She could have been an angel sent to help you identify what you were lacking at that moment. We all have to be nice to anyone we meet because you may not know what you would gain. I learnt to be nice after I met my boyfriend with a different set of friends and perception. It has really been a blessing to me. I now make people feel my presence and the gift which I have.

    1. It’s great you understand most of the little mercies we get hit with sometimes. You know, some people might just go ‘its just someone in a bus. Everyone sits beside somebody all the time. No biggie’

Share your thoughts please