A Hot Afternoon

I walked out of the security door of the bank and I was immediately hit by the hot breath of air from the street. I felt like going back into the air-conditioned comfort of the bank.

I walked briskly down the road. There are a lot of people walking on the two sides of the street and there are lots of shops on both sides of the street. I went past a dry-cleaner’s shop. He was trying to put on his generator (I-Pass-My-Neighbor), but it was proving to be a difficult task.

It is around two o’clock in the afternoon and the sun is brightly shining. Most of the pedestrians are sweating profusely. I decided to cross to the other side of the street when I got to a Zebra crossing. I wait with the group of people I met at the crossing.

Cars speed by without coming to a halt behind the white lines across the road. The pedestrians, myself included, are too seasoned to trust the Nigerian motorists to obey the traffic rules. We waited patiently for a chance to cross the road.

A shabbily dressed teenage boy barged into me while I was crossing the road with the group of pedestrians. He immediately apologised. His breath smells like liquor. The smell of food from a nearby restaurant welcomed me to the other side of the street. My stomach growls in response and I remembered that I haven’t eaten lunch. I went into the restaurant and sat down at a table close to the window.

A lovely waitress brought my order and after a brief prayer I began eating. It was Amala and Abula soup with a large chicken thigh. I savored every morsel of the meal. I checked my wrist watch and saw that it was a few minutes to three. After I’d washed my hands and cleaned it with a napkin, I dipped my hands into the back pocket of my trouser so as to bring out my wallet but it wasn’t there. It wasn’t also in any of the other pockets of my clothing.



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