The popular market was busy. Passersby, buyers and sellers all struggled to walk past or have business transactions on the already crowded street. People and vehicles jostled for space as cars honked to get their attention. The sun beat hard and various bodies glistened with sweat. A conductor hung precariously on a yellow J5 bus as he shouted his destination at the top of his croaky voice. Passengers shoved each other to get into the bus.
“Na five five oh. Madam, dress. I say na five five.” The conductor shouted at a woman in the bus.
Within a few minutes, the bus was filled and the conductor tapped the roof of the bus to signal to the driver that they were ready to move.
A woman who was seated by the window at the back seat of the bus called a pure water vendor. She collected a sachet from the young boy and paid for it. As she bit the bag with her teeth to tear open a small portion, she dipped her head out of the bus and started to wash her face with the water. I was seated next to the woman and I noticed that as she put her head back into the bus, there was an expression of surprise and regret on the face of the bus conductor.
A hand appeared from outside and was on the woman’s neck. The woman held on to the gold chain on her neck but the guy who later showed his face was faster. As he pulled the gold chain, the man who sat beside me stretched his hand over me and tried to stop the thief. His outstretched hand came face to face with a shining metal and he withdrew his hand immediately. He did not want to get stabbed. Everything happened in the twinkling of an eye.
As the bus moved forward, the conductor said to the woman. “Madam, shine your eyes oh. You no dey do that kain thing for inside market. If you wear gold, you go comot am once you enter market.”
The man scolded the conductor. “Didn’t you see him when he was coming? You no fit tell her?”
“Oga, she don put her head outside already nau and dem don see the chain. If I talk, dem go know say na me tell her.
As the journey proceeded, the woman mourned the loss of her chain. While some passengers sympathized with her, others began to share various incidents of robbery in the market.
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