The drive from Ogbomoso to Osogbo was intense. Adeola couldn’t stop squeezing her face whenever the reckless driver jumped into a pothole, there were countless of them. A pregnant woman would have a hard time sitting at the back seat in the bus for the fear of her unborn child throbbing inside of her.
Adeola sat in the middle of two women who were probably in their mid-forties. They were dressed in Ankara prints styled in Iro and Buba. They were market women just like most of the female passengers, with raffia baskets and sacks stuffed at the back of the bus and below the back seat, filled with farm produce to be sold at the next Ifon market.
She wished she chose the seat by the window side; that way she could rest her head by the window side. She however changed her mind as she heard one of the women on the first row seated by the window side grumbling and speaking in Yoruba about how had she had just hit her head on the glass because of the pothole the driver refused to avoid driving into on the road. The woman beside her replied that it was probably not the drivers fault because the road was not so good either.
The weather was hot and the road was void of coal tar and so it raised red dusts as the bus driver drove into the outskirt of Ogbomoso. Resolving into calming herself, Adeola reached down her backpack and pulled out her phone, there was no network reception on it but she read her messages anyway. She glanced at the previous message, Tobiloba, her boyfriend sent to her and she smiled broadly. It was a short message which summarized Tobilola’s full support on Adeolas recent decision — to terminate her admission as an undergraduate at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso where she was in her second year studying an agricultural science course.
Adeola could feel the lump in her throat as she read his message all over again. It was filled with words she wanted to hear, all she needed him to say but she could not help but feel scared in the bus at that moment. She wasn’t scared because she was having a second thought; it was very normal at that point to develop cold feet. She was terrified if she would pick the right words in her mind to explain to her Parents what she really wants, perhaps she didnt think this through.
Adeola realized she had to inform them, to receive their blessings and most especially their support. However, as the reckless driver fell into another pothole, Adeola realized how crazy her words would sound in her Parents ears.
Mummy, Daddy. I made the decision to start my tertiary education in another school, preferably the University of Ibadan and I would be studying Communication and Language Arts.. She thought to herself.
It was no question, Adeolas true talent was writing. In her head, she knew she had a lot to learn in order to be professional but she was willing to make the sacrifice — dropping out of one school to hopefully get readmitted into another school. This was definitely the scariest and toughest decision she had ever made.
It sounded insane. Many people would ask why. Why can she not endure the rest of the years at her school and then consider this new path? What was she thinking? What if things would not work out the way she planned it? Would her parents even agree to this in the first place?
Life suddenly seemed short and overbearing to Adeola. So many questions; many she wasnt sure she could answer on her own. The only thing she was certain of was that this was her dream and she needed to follow her heart, pursue that dream and create a future for herself. Indisputably, she knew the decision was a bit late. She had all the years in secondary school to have figured this out but Adeola could recall how frightened she was back then whenever she thought about departing science department and finally admitting she was better off at the Arts department.
All the signs were written — Adeola was meant to be an Art student; every of her classmate knew that but she joined the science department anyway because being in the science department was a big of a deal back then. The science students were the nerdy but coolest members of the popular students. She sometimes thought of switching to Arts but it was too late for she was already in her final senior class in secondary school.
There was no turning back.
It was the only regret she had which left a scar on her heart; the sad feeing of not being who she really was meant to be.
Adeola sniffled as she tried to shove down her worries and strives. I can do this, she muttered a little bit loudly to herself. She quickly turned around to see if there were any aggressive faces shooting her curious glares but there was none. Most of the market women were asleep, even the two she was sitting in between. Those who werent asleep were lost in their thoughts as well. Dont we all have our worries?
As terrified as Adeola was, she was still filled with pure determination. She had never been sure of anything her entire life. The whole journey would be a long ride but she was more than willing to go through it every step of the way because she was sure there would be a silver lining in her cloud of uncertainty. She only prayed her parents would listen to her heart and understand how much she needed their support. It all came down to their support and blessing. Adeola knew how significant her Parents role would be; emotionally and financially.
As the driver announced to the drowsy passengers that he was driving into Ifon, the market women sat up immediately and soon the bus was noisy once more. Adeola predicted in her head how long it would take to arrive at Osogbo — her birthplace, her home, the chosen place for her newest future to be determined by a simple yes from her presently naïve parents.
Will she be saying goodbye to her life at Ogbomoso or not? She breathed heavily as the driver pulled over at Ifon.
~Susanah Omohunola Ajiboye
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