BREAK THE CHAIN

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Hawkers were walking about displaying thoer various wares taking advantage of the current traffic and trying as much as possible to catch the attention of travelers inside various buses.

Looking outside I was interested in the view of everything and nothing in particular because my mind wasn't fully here. The scenery was not new to me, just the environment. Only the jarring cold of the early morning harmattan this morning brought me back to full attention. Realizing my mistake immediately, i pulled my cardigan closer with my hands to prevent the cold from making my fingers numb.

Thinking back to the last year I had spent in Kano State. A young man from the western part of the country, the company I worked for had transferred me to one of it's branches in the north. Although it hadn't been easy coping with the culture change, the language and most importantly the weather, I had managed.

The weather had been one of my biggest challenges moving north as it could get unbearably hot during the dry season. We were in the harmattan season which was still a part of the dry season but with cold morning and nights. Which is why i didn't think much of the cold because I knew in a few hours with the sun out in it's glory it would get hot again.

I wasn't a fan of the weather but there was a lot i loved about living in the northern part of the country. First was the night scenery, second was the food, and then perhaps the most important was the people or if I was being truthful one person in particular.

The passenger sitting by my right said something i didn't hear but from the laughter and smiling faces i understood it was something funny. Listening to him a bit, I got the gist. He was telling a story of how he apparently outsmarted a group of corrupt traffic officials. My thoughts drifting again, I remembered the day i met her.

It was my first month in Kano and I was unfamiliar with a lot of the culture and the environment. We'd just landed a huge contract and due to my major input towards it's success. My colleagues suggested we go out to celebrate.

We were there celebrating when she walked in and immediately she caught my attention because she looked right at me and our eyes locked. I was still staring when one of my colleagues coughed bringing me out of my reverie. A bit embarrassed I didn't make any move.

We celebrated way into the night and we were our way home when we spotted about three guys trying to rob a young lady. Noticing our attention they turned and ran. I was the first to reach her and immediately i saw her face i knew it wasn't a coincidence to me anymore.
She looked at me and we both shouted YOU AGAIN in surprise.

That was how i and Zaynab became friends. She would always call me her savior which technically wasn't true as I wasn't the only one there, but I never really complained though. She suddenly became the reason i was interested in kano. She taught me the hausa language, and was always bringing me hausa food to try out and give her my opinion, she showed me new places. Before long i realized i wanted more from our friendship but at that point I realized our backgrounds could be a problem.

You see, I am a from a Yoruba tribe and a Christian, while she was from the hausa tribe and a Muslim. It's not everyday you see relationships that different here in Nigeria. We dated for a few months before we decided to a make it official, but like I feared her parents were against it and so were mine.

After months of constant arguments, we almost gave up. Fortunately or unfortunately Zaynab was involved in a car accident and my constant presence at the hospital gave her parents a first hand experience of how much i loved her despite their hostility. They decided to give in and allow us get married. My parents on the other end were surprised at her parents change of heart that they also decided to support our choices.

So here I was on a cold harmattan morning heading for Lagos State from Kano State, Zaynab would be joining me next week as I planned to introduce her to my family.

The passenger beside me cracked a joke and this time I joined in the laughter. As the traffic cleared and our bus began to move again. O was only leaving Kano state for a week but I was already missing Zaynab.

Against all odds, we'd broken the chain.

Oh, I forgot to tell you earlier. My name is Sam.

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