Two days ago. About 1pm.
3rd pharmacology assessment has just ended (exams wey we suppose start by 9am o). My stomach is growling for food so I decide to dash in and out of the house and stuff my belly.
On my way back to school I enter a keke that has one passenger, a male. A few meters forward a middle-aged woman joins us. She has two children; a female and a male. I offer to lap the female and we have an uneventful ride with my mind racing through questions, doing post-mortem for the pharm assessment, MB plans and everything between.
I alight at my first stop, pay my fare and unwittingly leave my phone on the seat.
I’m in a bus enroute Ettagbor when I reach for my phone in my bag to check my reading timetable and make good on my transit time by reading a topic, that’s when I notice my phone is not in the (tote) bag.
“No oh, probably a joke” I think to myself as I search my bag again carefully emptying its content. Laye. Futile. Abortive. No phone. Hian.
I gently tap the lady who sits beside me and ask to use her phone to call mine. She obliges. First two tries? Not reachable. Sparks are beginning to go off in my neural wiring, the first thought on my mind is “Jesus, not now”. I begin to say the name of Jesus.
In recent times God has blessed me with the gift of calm and faith in abundance and I hear Him whispering peace as I try again.
It connects. I hear the driver’s voice. He asks me to come back to the keke muster point. I thank him, thank Jesus and quickly alight. I narrowly avoid being hit by an incoming bus in my rush to get back, but with all my rush it takes about 20 minutes to get back there because this is some some minutes past 5pm and everyone is returning home.
I finally arrive and ask a woman who has a nearby stall to help me call my phone after explaining my plight. She’s suspicious, still she calls. It doesn’t connect. Nobody is taking the calls. She’s telling me the obvious, the general reality- a phone dropped in a keke can’t be found again. Not in Calabar. And yet, I know that is not my reality. My confidence is strange but not surprising when I tell her “I know I’ll find my phone, Ma” in response to her insistence that the phone is gone. 30 missed calls later from 3 different people my phone is finally unavailable. They tell me to go home. I’ll not find it again. “Would you recognise the driver’s face?” “No” “Plate number?” “I didn’t notice”.
“what kind of phone is it sef?” they ask, to which I reply “a Samsung”.
The talk is almost getting to me and I begin to confess “… And he delivered me from all my fears.” “Jesus”, I pray, “I’m scared, but I trust you to deliver me from my fears, all my fears.”
In faith I continually repeat “thank you, Jesus”.
I can’t stand on the streets forever. The last Kekes are disappearing from the street but my hope doesn’t die. All the adrenaline from before the exams and everything in between the hours is finally getting to me. I board a bus and head back to school.
I sit in the bus in silence but my joy is untouched.
I reach the hostel and try the number again—not reachable. So, I sleep.
I wake up to Mi’s call to check up on me post-exams. He senses something is off and I share hazy details. We agree in faith and the call disconnects.
I call my elder brother, intimate him on the situation and then move to the reading table to read because this MB will not write itself.
One hour later I step out of the room to clear my head and to see my friend, Ansah. We have a conversation about exams, preparations and all.
Just before I go downstairs I pick my sticky notes and write a gratitude note: today I am grateful that my phone has returned to me.
The phone issue comes up in our conversation because I have to check my topic for study class the next day. He says I should call the number back when I’m ready to step out the next day. I agree. It’s an act of faith.
After I wake, I have a much needed conversation with our Father and continue my reading from where I left off. I’m unusually at peace as I step out to brush my teeth. When I return to the room I call the number after declaring in prayer. With bated breath I wait. It rings. Once. Twice. It connects. It’s the driver. I almost scream.
We talk, he’s about to mention the location to meet him when the call abruptly ends. My airtime is exhausted. Neni offers me her phone to call him back however, he calls back in a blink. My joy is irrepressible.
Hurriedly, I prepare and step out.
Thirty minutes and a long holdup later we (my friend and I) are finally at the location. He sees me (remember, I wouldn’t even recognise him) and waves.
We share a hug and pleasantries. I’m almost in tears. He gives my phone back after we make small talk.
I thank him, he says I should be grateful to God he found it and not other passengers, because what are the odds…?
And at this time? There’s never a perfect time for loss but 9 days to path/pharm MB definitely ticks the box of crazy timing.
A lot could have gone wrong, but God…
The first thing I see is my phone’s wallpaper: today I’m surrounded by goodness and mercy. I remember that every day of the past two weeks I have constantly affirmed these words. Now I see them in the flesh, in the miracle of my phone.
When I return to the room, I find that sticky note and write again: “this morning, my phone returned to me…”
I think it’s a bit unreal till this moment that this sequence of events happened in less than 24 hours but it did. Jesus answered my prayers in the most dramatic and marvellous way.
To be loved by our Father, our good Father, is an immeasurable blessing.