Isn’t it weird how time just stands still for one person? Or that the universe delays it’s actions by seconds, minutes, one heavily pleaded for hour, just to please one set of people?
Like when Daddy goes out as the rain begins to drop and the heavens don’t let loose until he pours fuel into the generator and is safe and warm inside.
Or like how the sun stays most unusually on one side, and the clouds cover my part of the road, because I moaned to the heavens that I wasn’t wearing a long sleeved shirt and my delicate skin cannot be burnt again by that excessively hot Bida sun?
Or how, waking up in the morning all bright and early, I asked for a motorcycle to speed my journey to my classes and one pops up handy right beside me?
How about those moments when, just as you think of them you lift your eyes and find your crush staring right back at you? Or how that small voice inside your head yet entirely a stranger tells you to sit tight at home and chill today and coincidentally that test that had everyone else rushing to class was cancelled?
And then I wonder…when time stops just for us, what does it do for someone else at that exact moment? When things work out exactly for my good, Does it affect someone out there?
What about that stranger in location unknown, who stepped out just as dad drove in, and got drenched to bits? We had prayed a “pause” prayer, releasing the rains immediately our family was complete again.
If we had stopped our supplications, would the rain have roared briefly and then stopped just in time for the stranger to go out?
When the clouds covered me and protected me from the sun, the people on the other side of the road in that hot Niger State sunlight…their poor skins!
And that Okada that popped up and picked me, amidst all the other desperate students… Let me tell a little story:
One morning I was rushing to class. I wasn’t late; not even remotely. I just needed to snag my usual front seat desk, because the back is never an option.
As I stepped out of the corner of my secluded street into the open road, someone else stepped out with me.
A girl as goody-two-shoes as I was, and as eager to be early. Or perhaps she just had an early test… I don’t know.
I didn’t slow down to ask her. Anyway, I muttered my usual prayer.
“Send me a bike Lord”.
I’m supposing that my unaware competitor must have prayed too, or at any rate, wished deeply for a faster means of transportation, because just then, a bike casually edged behind us from nowhere.
The girl and I yelled “bike” at the same time, the standard Nigerian way for hailing that well-known, unpredictable mode of transportation.
My unknown competitor ought to have got that bike first. She was nearest, afterall. but I muttered my prayer one last desperate time.
The Okada man pushed towards me instead and asked in the laconic tone so typical of his profession: “where?”
I didn’t pause. I didn’t even look back. I climbed on before giving my destination, because the universe picked me first.
So now I sit here writing tonight, wondering how our prayers work.
Random selection? Favoritism? Or pressure? The Bible says “pray without ceasing”. The holy Quran insinuates, “as God wills”. But I’m rambling.
© Olatorera Dickson-Amusa.