The Abuja sun that afternoon was the scorching kind that makes you wonder if Jesus intends to end the world this time with fire and heat. It was pitilessly burning everything it could reach on earth. I had just stopped a bus going to Wuse and waited for it to come to a stop before getting in. On a normal day, these coaster buses that ply the Nyanya-Wuse route can be extremely uncomfortable – that is, when you don’t have a vengeful sun adding an extra layer of discomfort. The bus was full, people jammed against people like a human sardine can. There was just one empty, which wasn’t even supposed to be a seat at all, because that row could reasonably only accommodate three persons. But the conductor had their rules and was determined to squeeze four people on it. So, that was how I ended up sitting with my bum half on the seat and half hanging in the air.

As the journey progressed, people alighted at their various stops, leaving more room in the bus. I immediately seized the opportunity, when one lady alighted, to take her position by the window. Even though the breeze streaming in through the window was hot, it still gave me some much-needed relief.

When I got into the bus, I didn’t take much note of my environment – something I usually do whenever I enter a bus – perhaps because I’d been so uncomfortable. Now that I had gotten a more comfortable place to sit, I could afford the luxury of taking a look around.

I had just turned my gaze to the door of the bus when I saw him.

This was not your regular conductor. He wasn’t shabby, unkempt and grubby-looking. He looked clean and well kept. Quite tall, a bit muscly, light complexioned. When he turned to face me, I noticed his face had well-structured features with high cheekbones and full lips.

Oh. My. Lawd!

Where did this cool drink of milkshake drop from! I couldn’t help myself. I just sat there, very aware that I was ogling him and unable to do anything about that. He must have sensed my avid focus on him, because he turned and our eyes met. And he winked at me.

Ewo! I blinked, unable to believe what I’d just seen. Was that a sign, Mother Rainbow? I desperately wondered. Did he just wink at me?

I quickly turned my face to the window as I felt my face heat up from a temperature hike that had nothing to do with the sun. I waited a few minutes before turning back. And lo, he was still looking at me. This time, he smiled. My insides began to melt as soon as I beheld that smile. It was the most beautiful thing to see on that hot afternoon. I smiled back and mouthed a hello. He was still smiling when one of the passengers hollered that he was near his bus stop, shifting his attention from me.

I made sure I stayed put in that bus till we got to the final destination, which was Berger, totally abandoning what had originally brought me to town. As soon as we got to Berger, the bus driver hurriedly excused himself and dashed off, clearly pressed to take care of something. Effectively leaving me alone with the conductor.

This was the moment when any reasonable member of society would step down from the bus and be on his merry way. But I sat there on my seat, slightly flustered, thinking of the move to make, wondering what I would do if he asked me to get on out of the bus.

But he didn’t. He came to sit beside me. His scent had already been tainted by the working class odour of the sweaty and unwashed. But I didn’t mind. I was simply enraptured by his beautiful face.

Before I could say anything though, he said to me, “You’re beautiful.”

I couldn’t believe what he’d said and I felt robbed of any knowledge of how to speak. My speechlessness must have encouraged him, because he took my hand. Ran his fingers through mine. My heart was racing, as I was both aware of the traffic of people and cars moving outside the bus, and removed from them. My face was hot and I felt a small giggle bubble to the surface, out of my mouth.

“My name is Naetochukwu,” he said, his English sounding educated.

“I’m Peace,” I finally found my voice long enough to reply. Even if the words came out hoarse.

“That’s a nice name,” he said.

“Thank you,” I said in a much stronger voice.

And from there, we started talking. We just sat there and talked and talked. Getting to know each other with topics of family, school, career, relationships. It was from our talk that I found out that Naeto was actually an engineering graduate who had come to Abuja to look for greener pastures but ended up with this work as a conductor. As we chatted, I realized that there was something striking about him. The way he held me in his gaze, the strokes he gave my hands as we spoke, the calmness of his rich baritone voice. Whatever it was, I was fast falling for this enigmatic human being sitting beside me.

We must have gotten so carried away in our conversation, that we didn’t notice when the bus driver came back. It was the bang of the car door as he slid in behind the steering wheel that snapped us out of the cloud we had ascended to. The driver was surprised to see me still in the bus, and asked if there was a problem. Before Naeto could respond, I answered that there wasn’t any problem, that Naeto and I were actually longtime schoolmates, and we were just catching up.

“Eiyaa,” he said. “But we don dey go. We wan start to dey load Nyanya now.”

Sad as I suddenly was, I knew it was time to leave.

“You have to come down, make we load Nyanya,” the driver said.

I nodded and turned to Naeto, to ask for his contact.

“Oga, you no go come down?” he said again.

Feeling a spurt of irritation, I was going to snap at the driver that he should give me a minute, when the conductor snapped, “Oga, we don reach Berger. Abeg come down!”

That wasn’t Naeto’ voice. I blinked and turned to him. And I blinked again.

“Oga, come down beg!”

I was jolted from my fantasy back to the present. There standing just across me was the conductor alright. But he wasn’t smiling or winking at me. He wasn’t good looking and charming. He was just your regular conductor. Feeling the heat of mortification suffuse my face, I scurried down from the empty bus, ignoring the bemused looks of the conductor and driver as I darted off, shaking my head to shake off the remnants of my fantasies.

It must be the heat, I told myself as I wondered about the alternate reality that had apparently all been in my head.

Written by Peace

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  1. Mitch
    May 29, 07:02 Reply


    The hustle for man. I most definitely can’t relate.

    But, Peace, you’re shaa a hoot!

    • Mandy
      May 29, 07:13 Reply

      As in! I can’t deal. I’ve been laughing so hard this morning. This struggle for man is real.

      • Mitch
        May 29, 07:32 Reply

        I tell you, Mandy.

        Beht wait first!
        Where have you been for the past few days? Your shadow wasn’t even seen at all.

        • Mandy
          May 29, 08:10 Reply

          Have been observing from the shadows. Saw the carnage a few days ago. You’ve got fire. lol. But you were against someone who’s got a fan club and an impressive mind-boggling almost-alien command of the English Language. 😀

          • Delle
            May 29, 12:13 Reply

            A fan club of ratchetness isn’t really supposed to be called ‘a fan club’, just saying ??

            By the way Mandy, ya salty!

          • Mitch
            May 29, 12:15 Reply

            Don’t make me laugh!
            You seem to have forgotten Teflondon at his peak.
            That’s what this is. A repeat of Teflondon.

  2. Mandy
    May 29, 07:12 Reply

    This soundtrack of Love on the Brain is brought to you through the collaboration of Heat and Konji.

  3. Realme
    May 29, 07:28 Reply

    LoL.. LoL.. LoL..the heat must be something else that day

  4. Tman
    May 29, 08:55 Reply

    Lol. ???

    I was already wondering if there were Nyanya, Wuse and a different Abuja in London. I really love you piece, Peace. (Oh see what I just did, the heat must be getting here too)

    Bhet, your fantasies though! Disney should get you a job. ?

  5. Higwe
    May 29, 08:58 Reply

    Peace : you’re a werey moraf*cker ??????

    Naso conji hold you , you begin dey imagine things ????
    Hahahaha hahahaha hahahaha

    • Share
      May 30, 08:31 Reply

      ??? … Your laughter is nauseating…

  6. Fred
    May 29, 09:51 Reply

    What the brain has imagined together, let no funky smell put asunder

  7. Thor
    May 29, 10:17 Reply

    Wtf. ???. When last did you treat malaria?

  8. Delle
    May 29, 12:14 Reply

    I just hope you’ve gotten laid. This is not ordinary biko???

    • Malik
      May 31, 00:00 Reply

      Wallahi. Continue this way and you’ll soon fuck a statue or a painting.

  9. Oma
    May 29, 13:49 Reply

    Ok…this just made my day ??

    May 29, 15:28 Reply

    Welcome back from wonderland Oga Peace

    How is Alice btw????

  11. Sworld
    May 29, 21:32 Reply

    what this heat + konji will cause ba!

  12. Kelvin
    May 30, 16:58 Reply

    Wait! What? I’m not understanding ????

  13. Cardinal Orsini
    May 30, 22:26 Reply

    Hmm So I’m not alone in this imaginative play?

    Sometimes I pity all these Agbero and muscular street boys, only if they know how many times I have had sex with them in my mind….Odiegwu.

    • Malik
      May 31, 00:01 Reply

      Cardinal, please add barbers to this list. And say a prayer for us.

      • Cardinal Orsini
        May 31, 19:41 Reply

        Oh Hoery Roman Curia!
        How did I forget the barbers with their Dick bulging out each time?
        My barber in secondary school was the most tempting Man I ever had. Most times I turn unnecessarily just to touch the D with my elbow.

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