I started this story two weeks ago, and I think it’s about time I completed it. If you haven’t read the first part of this story, you can do that here!
After about an hour, the driver got back into the bus and started to turn the bus around. As we drove out of the Salaga District, someone asked the driver where he was taking us and he responded, “I’m using the other route.”
The uproar was almost hilarious, if I wasn’t a part of this predicament.
I checked my wristwatch – four o’clock. Hmph.
Daryl smiled and said, “I know this whole thing is upsetting – but you can see a silver lining here, can’t you?” His remarks managed to pull out a slight smile.
I called my mother just before my battery run out. Of course, she was outraged but there was little she could do to help.
I wasn’t even in need of any help. Daryl’s backpack was packed with goodies to keep me happy. He had kelewele plantain chips in there, snicker bars, you name it! What else could a girl ask for?
After a while, the insults that were being thrown at the driver quieted and we were on our way.
The bus stopped at the Yendi rest-stop and passengers alighted to use the bathroom and buy food. The bus had barely stopped when Daryl was on his feet and at the door. He managed to get us the restaurant’s last food orders for the day. I stayed back to keep an eye on our stuff.
When the bus took off again, Daryl offered his food to the mother of three sitting across the aisle from us, and we shared mine.
Quickly, we got lost in loud conversation and laughter – Daryl had a story about everything!
A number of times, the lady across the aisle would chip in a story here and there, but she was asleep before long.
We watched funny videos on his Instagram timeline until his battery died.
I realized how fast I was learning about him – it was so easy to talk to him! He was obviously more open than I was, and yet, it didn’t seem like I wasn’t as interested in the conversation.
When we got to Bimbila, it was 11:30pm. We met a police barrier at the town’s entrance and the police told us that we had to park there and wait till the curfew was over before we could pass through the town.
The curfew ended at 6:00am but because the driver gave him a note (Ghc 5); he said we could move in an hour.
It was within that hour that we both had some sleep, with my head on his shoulder and his head propped on mine. After an hour, when the bus started moving again, he reminded me to update my mother.
When I sent my mother a text, I realized how relaxed I was throughout the entire journey. Daryl hadn’t only helped me get my mind off the mishaps, but he had helped me keep my cool. In another situation, I would have been the cheerleader on the driver’s hate-squad.
But there was just a calming effect he had on me that…
A loud bang snatched me out of my thoughts – the car skidded to the right and slumped at an awkward angle. I looked outside the window to find that we were in a gutter. At this point, passengers were furious.
We had just entered Jasikan and the driver must have fallen asleep. With the bus wedged into the gutter, the luggage storage door was shut. At this point, passengers who didn’t have their luggage stored under the bus hitched rides with other busses that was going their way.
Daryl didn’t. He stayed with me even though he didn’t have to.
It was 5:30am, and we were both certainly not going to make it to work in time – we borrowed another passenger’s phone to make calls to our offices to seek permission.
Daryl joined the other men to break open the luggage storage area. When everyone had had possession of their bags, we took turns in flagging down busses going to Aflao.
In two hours, we were at Aflao and getting onto a smaller car to Accra. I was covered in dust and smelt like I needed a two-day retreat in soapy water – but Daryl sat close to me and kept my spirits high.
When we got to Accra at 6:00pm on Monday, I was tired – but I was glad. We exchanged numbers at the 37 bus station. With some reluctance to part Company, we went our separate ways.
So, this is how the 12-hour journey from Tamale to Accra eventually became a 36-hour journey filled with a series of unfortunate events.
Little did I know that five years later, these unfortunate events would be what would lead me to one good thing – to my good thing: Daryl.