Actually, Shalom got down at the first bus stop the yellow trotro came to.
Incidentally, he got on the bus because his young innocent heart was breaking, and he did not know how to deal with it. Returning to the police station was the last option on his list because that would have meant going back to the situation that had made Adobea angry and hurt, and his innocent mind reasoned that he needed to put as much distance between him and that situation.
And so, he simply jumped into the bus without thinking.
Incidentally, the two young men who had been laughing at him and who had seen him the first time the prostitute went to buy food for him were sitting in the same bus, and Shalom was sitting behind them.
They took out their books, obviously tackling a physics homework on motion that they were going to submit at the university. They were comparing methods because both of them had different answers, and each was trying to convince the other that his answer was correct.
“Conkaheads!” Shalom said as he leaned across the back of the seat. “You’re both so wrong. Don’t you listen to your teacher when you’re being taught?”
The two of them exchanged amused glances, and one even giggled.
“Cha, ebe the foolish boy o!” said the bigger one.
The thinner boy, who had giggled, nodded as he tried to suppress a laugh.
“I sight am longest,” he said as he half-turned in his seat. “Okay, Mr. Einstein, why don’t you show us where we’re wrong?”
Both of them giggled derisively, but Shalom puckered his brow and pointed a finger at both of the sheets in their hands.
“From the onset, both of you got the linear algorithm progressions wrong,” he said softly. “You both tried to work out your answers to absolutes, but that’s not the requirement of the question. Instead of absolutes, you’re being required to evaluate frictional effects and abrasive elements leading up to the answer. So, from the very onset, you got your formulas tangled up.”
The two young men stopped giggling then and looked at each other with sudden apprehension, and both of them stared at Shalom with sober looks now.
“Well…can you explain a bit…better?” asked the taller boy.
“Conkaheads,” Shalom said with absolute disgust. “You have been given three kinematic variables ranging from deltas and subscripts for an object under constant acceleration, and you’re now required to use a kinematic formula to solve for the unknown variables. Your formulae are wrong. Here, give me a pen and let me show you.”
And so the stunned science students handed a pen over to the boy they thought was the dumbest of the dumb, and as his hand flew across the sheet and he explained what had been difficult formulae to them, breaking it down so that they understood what they had never understood, they soon stared at him with reverential eyes.
“Yesu Christo Kronkroni!” the shorter one whispered, stunned to his very core. “Hey…man, shit! You’re a bloody genius!”
Shalom sat back and gloated at them.
“Yeah, I’m a bloody genius!” he said with chuckle. “Use my formulae to solve for any variables when you face questions of such nature.”
“Oh, man!” the tall one said and extended his hand. “I’m Kokou. My paddy is Addison. Thank you, thank you very much!”
And just then the driver’s mate came around and asked for fares.
Shalom looked at him with disgust.
“Go away,” he said curtly.
“What?” the driver’s mate asked with surprise. “Where are you going, sir? And you need to pay your fare.”
“I don’t know where I am going, and I don’t have money on me,” Shalom said indignantly. “So, go away!”
“Herh!” the driver’s mate cried angrily and tried to bunch up Shalom’s shirt. “You craze or something?”
“Your mother!” Shalom shouted immediately, and the mate suddenly raised his hand to slap him, but the two university students stood up quickly and pushed him back.
“Hey, chill, he’s with us!” the tall one said and handed a twenty-cedi note to the mate. “He’s going to the last stop so deduct it from this!”
The furious mate took the money, and that was when the car came to a stop and people began to alight. Just at that time a huge dilapidated bus came to a shuddering stop in front of their bus, and a dirty-looking mate jumped down and began to scream stridently.
“Kotipowdo, Kotipowdo! Yessss, ready bus to Kotipowdo! Kotipowdo!”
And immediately Shalom began to giggle as he stood up and began to move out of the bus.
“Hey, you getting down here?” the young man called Addison asked.
“Yes, I want to go to Kotipowdo!” Shalom said with a giggle.
“Hey, man, do you have a phone we can reach you on, in case we need a little tuition in physics, you know,” Kokou said, and Shalom shook his head.
“I don’t have a phone, not yet,” he said with a smile.
Addison quickly scribbled his name and number on a piece of paper and gave it to the handsome young man.
“Please, that’s my number,” he said hurriedly. “Please try to reach me when you get a phone, okay?”
“Sure,” Shalom said impatiently and stuffed the number in his pocket. When he turned to leave the bus again, Kokou stuffed another twenty cedi note in his pocket.
“Keep that, bro,” he said hurriedly. “And do call us.”
Shalom got out of the bus and immediately crossed over to the huge truck. The bus moved off and he waved when he saw Kokou and Addison waving to him.
Shalom faced the driver’s mate of the dilapidated truck.
“So, you’re going to Kotipowdo,” he stated with a giggle. “Are you from Kotipowdo?”
The mate giggled and shook his head.
“No, I’m from Etwe-Ase, the village before Kotipowdo,” the man said.
Shalom burst out laughing shrilly at that.
“Kotipowdo means penis bump,” he said, unable to restrain his laughter.
“And Etwe-Ase means vagina under,” the mate said, and both of them laughed shrilly.
“Hey, Atobam, don’t be foolish!” the driver stuck out his head and screamed. “Load the car and let’s go!”
The mate snapped to attention immediately.
“Yes, going bus, going bus!” he shouted. “Kotipowdo ooo, Kotipowdo! Etwe-Ase ooo, Etwe-Ase!”
And, quite naturally, Shalom jumped into the dilapidated bus without a care in the world except to escape the pain he was feeling from Adobea’s rejection.
He sat beside the driver’s mate – who gave his name as Kwame Taxi – and chatted for a long time with him.
“I have to come back, you know,” he told Kwame Taxi. “I just want to see Kotipowdo and Etwe-Ase, and then I have to come back to Adobea. Yes, I certainly can’t live without Adobea.”
“Is she your girlfriend?” Kwame Taxi asked, and Shalom smiled goofily.
“I guess,” he said. “We have kissed and I have touched her nipples.”
“Did you do ragm-ragm-zo with her?” Kwame asked, and Shalom shook his head fiercely.
“No, no, no,” he said vehemently. “We’re waiting. I want to marry her before. But I touched her vajayjay.”
“What is vajayjay?” Kwame asked. “You mean her ebon dontori deedeedew?”
Both of them burst into raucous laughter then, and an elderly woman sitting close by looked at them with revulsion.
“Two foolish fools!” she muttered angrily. “Dontori indeed! On your head! That is where you came out of, both of you, and you can’t live without it, so you better respect it!”
“I’m sure you come from Etwe-Ase!” Shalom said immediately, and giggled crazily with Kwame joining in.
“No, she comes from Hwea-Ding-Dong, the town before Etwe-Ase!” Kwame Taxi said.
“Quite foolish area you all come from,” Shalom said through his giggles. “From Hwea-Ding-Dong you come to Etwe-Ase, and from Etwe-Ase you go to Kotipowdo! Foolish people!”
And this drew various reactions from the people in the bus. Whilst some laughed, others heaped insults on the young man who did not appear to be affected, and just continued laughing.
Eventually, Shalom paid for his fare with the twenty cedi note he had been given. He received ten cedis as change and put it in his pocket. He dozed off, and when he woke up it was late afternoon and Kwame Taxi was shaking him awake.
Shalom sat up and yawned greatly, and then he looked all around him. He was surrounded by thick cocoa trees, and the car was on a clay wet clay road.
He could see that several people had gotten out of the bus and were walking gingerly through the muddy sludge. And he saw a tractor with a trailer loaded with cocoa beans stuck in the clay sludge some distance away.
“Are we in Kotipowdo?” he asked with confusion. “Why, it is not a town! It is just cocoa trees and clay!”
A thin man who was getting down paused and shook his head at Shalom.
“N-n-n-no!” he said, and it was evident that he was a stammerer. “We a-a-a-a-are in Hweaaa Hweeeea Hweeeaaa…diiiiiiiing…diiiiiiiing….diiiiiiinnng…”
“It’s okay, please,” Shalom said with sudden concern. “I understand.”
“He will say it before he stops!” Kwame Taxi said as he shook his head. “That’s Ato Basabasa the stammerer! He will just have to say it!”
“Hweeeeaaaa, Hweeeeaaaa, Hweeaaaa!” the man said, shaking his head and closing his eyes with concentration. “Diiiiiiinnnng, diiiiiiiiing!”
“It is okay, gowayu!” Shalom said angrily.
“Stu-stu-stu-stupid bo-bo-bo-boy!” the stammerer retorted furiously. “We’re in Hweeaaaa, Hweeeaaaaa, Di-di-di-diiiiiiiing Don-don-dong!”
And then he nodded and got down from the truck.
“We’re not in Kotipowdo yet, Shallot,” Kwame Taxi said.
“My name is not Shallot, my name is not Shallot!” Shalom said indignantly.
“Oh, what did you say then? Shagot?”
“Your mother Shagot!” Shalom cried indignantly. “No! Shalom! Shalom!”
“Oh, okay, okay, sorry,” Kwame said. “There was a heavy rain, you see, and the road is not good. When it rains it becomes muddy and bad, so the car is stuck. But we’re not far from Hwea-Ding-Dong, so you have to get down.”
“No!” Shalom said, getting agitated. “I want to go back to Adobea! I’m hungry!”
“You can’t go back now!” Kwame said calmly. “This is one of only three passenger vehicles that ply this route. The other two are all in the shop at Suhum, so this is the only one you can get. But it is stuck, and we can’t get it out of the mud now. So, you have to get down and walk to Hwea-Ding-Dong and wait till tomorrow.”
“I don’t want to wait in any Hwea-Ding-Dong!” Shalom cried. “I want to go back to Adobea!”
The bus driver appeared around the bus. He had taken off his shirt and folded up the legs of his trousers, and yet he was covered from chest to feet with muddy splashes of red clay.
“If you don’t get down, you’ll have to spend the night inside the truck here all alone overnight,” he said crossly. “And in the night the ghosts, witches and dwarves would come and feast on your body! Kwame, get the bag and let’s go!”
“Get down and let’s go, please, Mallam,” Kofi Taxi said with some misgiving.
“And who’s the Mallam?” Shalom asked angrily. “What at all is the matter with you? My name is Shalom!”
“Yes, yes, please, hurry and get down. Tomorrow we’ll send you back to your Adobo.”
“Don’t spoil her name!” Shalom said angrily and jumped down from the truck straight into a muddy clay sludge that reached almost to his knees. “Her name is Adobea.”
Kwame Taxi had taken a sack-like bag from the back of the truck and slung it across his shoulder, and now he began to walk after the retreating back of the driver.
Shalom pulled his leg out of the sludge, and his sneaker was sucked right off his foot. Alarmed, he pulled at his other foot too, and the other sneaker came off.
The Reset, Weekend Story, The Reset, Weekend Story, The Reset, Weekend Story, The Reset, Weekend Story, The Reset, Weekend Story, The Reset, Weekend Story, The Reset, Weekend Story, The Reset, Weekend Story,
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