So there I sat on the coach. I arrived at the station in the nick of time and the only seats available were towards the back, a few rows away from the bathroom. I scanned the area and quickly noticed that it was packed with students which was little wonder as my destination was a university town. I looked forward to 3 1/2 hours of uninterrupted reading. I’m excited about my book. The front cover has a handsome man and a pretty woman, they make a great couple. I think it’ll be a good book. The story line seems good. It was then I noticed him:
The coach is full of students but why is there an older, bearded gentleman on it? He is Asian and fits “The Profile”. I start to get nervous as he gets up for the umpteenth time to use the bathroom. Why on earth do you need the bathroom so early, we only just left. He is wearing a long puffer jacket, at first I wonder why he has to be the only one wearing a long coat, then I notice we are all wearing one but then everyone’s is short. Okay mine is long but no, it isn’t puffed. I start to type texts to dear friends and family to inform them of my impending demise. I type faster as I noticed another man a couple of rows in front staring suspiciously at the bearded man as he returns to his seat. The minute this man sits down a younger Asian man gets up and goes to the bathroom. Five Minutes later I turn to look at the bathroom to see if smoke has started bellowing out from beneath the door. It hasn’t- yet. In the meantime I start to wonder what role I’ll play. I would like to be the hero. The one who tackled him to the ground. Or the one who was bold enough to voice her suspicions to the coach driver, but not the mug who blew a false alarm now labelled racist or Islamist (that’s what it should be called).
I try to settle into my book. It is promising, but too many characters are being introduced and in rapid succession. I think the author should not have used names that are too similar like Melba and Shelby, it’s a struggle to keep up and I hope it’s a good read. It’s all I have with me- reading Success Magazine(which I brought for back-up) sometimes gives me the feeling of being at work.
Would I sell my story to The Sunday Times? Of course, I have no plans to die (not that you plan these things- except you favor euthanasia). I wonder how much they’ll pay as the hero who stopped the bomb from going off? But what if I don’t make it? I’m jolted back to reality as a smartly dressed man with red hair rushes towards the bathroom. He doesn’t make it and pukes right in front of the door. Ugh!! He finishes puking and stands upright looking around like a complete idiot. About now everyone is busy covering their noses. I fight the urge to tell him he needs to wipe a bit of puke stuck to his goatee. And I win, urge slowly retreats. The guy now has to walk the length of the coach to “report” himself to the driver. Wine is indeed a mocker. He says to you; “here, just a little more, so what if you get drunk? (moron)”
We make an unscheduled stop at a bus garage to have the coach cleaned. It was at this point that I had nothing but praise for the British Transport system. I remember years ago when my cousin Gbemi and I had to walk miles back home from Hyde Park. It was new year’s eve (I think) and buses were few and far between. We finally caught bus 32, only to have an inebriated passenger spill out the contents of his stomach. We were all bundled off the bus and told the bus was “no longer in service” and we walked all the way home.
As I get back in line to get back on the coach, I silently pray that I don’t end up near the bathroom or near the drunk. I think everyone is praying along with me- for their own sakes. Thankfully I don’t. But I end up right behind the younger Asian man who was in the bathroom for 10 minutes. He starts talking excitedly to the young lady beside him. I hear Jesus Christ. I hear Church. Before long I realise he is sharing the gospel of our Lord Jesus with her.
I look at my book, and now know where the adage comes from…
Thank you for reading, do come back!