I have been feeling like this for days now. My belly grows bigger and my black top is beginning to choke. My stomach spins like there are many danfo drivers fighting in it. I turn my eyes towards the dramatic woman. Her bra is already tied round her head. Her breasts bob up and down like ‘Indian hemp’ on the mouth of these area boys. The pure water hawkers stop, stare and leave their mouths open. These people like to watch strange things.
I imagine the way their lips will also drop when they see my stomach evidently swollen. The way they will shake their heads, just like Rosco and his friends would. The way the women, especially Mama Nneka- the roasted plantain seller, would throw their hands over their heads and shrug their shoulders when I walk past. I don’t like Mama Nneka. She never sells her Boli to me. She leaves a stick and a cane beside her. Anytime I approach her, she would raise it up and nod her head like an Agama lizard. I would just turn away and go back to my seat. I don’t like it when people beat me like a mad person.
Speaking of madness, this lady began to sing Ijo ya. That song that Rosco likes to play in his bus every morning as he drives off. See the way the red beads around her waist jumped up and down as her buttocks shook left and right. Her head moved to where her hands moved. Her white underskirt shook and her belly vibrated. I thought she was the only one that was mad. A yoghurt seller parked his bicycle beside the road and began to clap for her. The aboki selling Indomie started to laugh very loudly. He pointed at me and back at her.
“See your family member” he said.
I cursed back silently. Mama Nneka too began to laugh as she turned her coal-burnt plantains to the side. The whole place was alive with laughter. I could feel the eyes of everyone on me. I put my hands over my stomach to cover my belly.
Suddenly the woman stopped dancing and ran towards Mama Nneka, who in turn left her wares and fled. Stupid woman! I thought she would stand and frighten her off as she always did to me. Much to my surprise, instead of throwing over her coal pot and roasted plantain, this crazy woman picked up a stick and started to run towards me. I stood, frozen as I watched her run, miss a step, arms flailing, stick flying and finally crashing like an egg, into a nearby gutter.
I tried to keep back the tears as I feared what else would have happened. Maybe I would have fought for the love of the tax-free life under the noisy Eko bridge or for the pleasure that I got from Rosco’s arrogant thrusts. Perhaps, fled for the protection of this tiny something growing within.