18th of January 2017 was a day to remember. I was on my way to Sheffield from Leeds and I took a bus from home to the city centre. The plan was to go window shopping for a while, probably spend some money and be broke before travelling. I do not like to shop. It is the most exhausting activity of all time especially when I already have two heavy bags to carry. I would rather exercise than shop and I never exercise. But, on this cold day, Esther needed a new pair of flats.
So, after walking around aimlessly in stores for half an hour with nothing pretty to buy, I decided to save my hard earned money for my future and head over to the coach station. On my way, I noticed everyone kinda stood still while facing a particular direction. Since curiosity only killed the cat and not antelopes, tsetse flies, humans and what are you, I succumb to my overpowering curiosity to find out exactly why this unusual event was happening.
On getting there, I saw policemen and their cars everywhere. Roads around Vicar Lane, Kirkgate and Victoria Gate were on lock down. It was like watching Mission Impossible. Hmmmm… “Ki lon shele?” (What is happening?) I said to myself. While looking around trying to find a reasonable warm person to ask, the looks on the faces I saw were not approachable. I just kept moving towards the sealed of spot desperately trying to find out what was going on.
All sorts of scenarios and questions kept going through my mind: Did someone die? Was there an accident? Are they shooting a movie? (my camera was on standby just in case I see a celebrity) Is Obama here? Was Trey Songz down on one knee right in the middle of the road trying to propose to me? Are Omarion and Trey Songz fighting over me? Is money falling from heaven? Has the trumpet blown? What is going on?
After a lot of thoughts and fantasies with no friendly looking person around to ask, I decided to sum up courage, channel the journalist in me and ask a policeman.
Me: “Excuse me, sir…”
Officer: “You can’t go through here luv”
Me: “Go where? There? Where olopas (policemen) plenty? Emi ko (not me)”
Oga police gave me a strange look and I realise the Yoruba in me was coming out, I quickly changed to the British accent I bought at the airport in 2014. Olorun ma je ki owo jo na.
Me: “Oh, sorry about that, I am not going that way”
Officer: “So, how can I help you luv?”
Me: “May I ask why the road is sealed off?”
Officer: “It’s a bomb scare luv”
Me: “BOMB!!! JESUUUUUUU!!!!!”
Looking around with fear in my eyes, I wondered why people were still standing there and not running for their lives. One silly guy was actually arguing with a policeman about his right to pass through the sealed off area. Jesu Christi!
As for me, my ‘about turn’ was sharper than the one I did for Queen’s College inter-house sports match parade. Bomb? Ni bo? (where?). I was so scared I didn’t even realise I was jogging on the spot getting ready for my Olympic race. Even my two heavy bags suddenly felt empty. If you know me well, you would know that I run like a duck. But today, I graciously flaunted it. I ran all the way to the coach station, bought the earliest ticket and headed straight to Sheffield. No be only me waka come.