She stood outside His Majesties Kitchen, a Chinese restaurant, on Town Planning Way, Ilupeju. It had been raining heavily and most of the buses plying the route refused to stop. If only she could get a bus to the next junction, she would be able to board a bike or another bus home. She lived at Mafolukun, Oshodi; she was a bit far from home. If it wasn’t raining, she would have been able to trek to the bridge and board a bus to Mafolukun. She wished she had extra money; she would have chartered a taxi. She had spent her weekly allowance and it wasn’t even weekend yet. How was she going to survive? Her Grandma had warned her concerning how she spent money. If only she had listened. Now, she was drenched, cold and stranded. She wished she had stayed home that day. How was she to know that it would rain? She wasn’t a soothsayer or a witch.
She told her Grandma that she needed a car. The woman could afford it. Yet, she declined her request. She complained that the last car she bought for her didn’t last a year. She doesn’t allow her to drive her green Honda Element. The pathetic old woman wished her all sort of suffering. If her parents were still alive, she believed that they wouldn’t deny her whatever she wanted, no matter how many times she asked. She was already thirty, yet, the old witch refused to give her details of her inheritance. What was she waiting for anywhere, until she was dead and buried?
“Hello,” a black Prado Jeep stopped beside her. The side window was a bit lowered.
She narrowed her eyes and stared back at the driver, but, she didn’t recognize him.
“Can I give you a ride?”
She nodded her head. God truly loved her. He sent her an angel in disguise at the nick of time. She had thought of calling her Grandma’s driver, Martins. If he wasn’t running any errand, he might have been able to pick her up. She pulled at the side-door, it was not locked. She climbed into the vehicle and shut the door.
“Where are you heading to?” he addressed her.
She glanced at his brown square shaped face, “I am going to Mafolukun.”
“Not my direction, but, I don’t mind dropping you off,” he swerved the car back to the road.
“Thank you,” she smiled at him. He appeared to be cool, calm and collected. His blue Hacket short-sleeve tee-shirt attested his well muscled body. She wasn’t a fan of skinny or fat men. She liked them tall, handsome with muscles and all.
He sensed her perusal and directed his gaze at her, “You are welcome. You are dripping wet.”
“Hmm…” she sighed and thought that he must be worried about his car seat.
“I live in Ilupeju. You can change into something dry at my place, and then I will take you home later.”
She thought to herself. She doesn’t think it would be a good idea to go home with someone she didn’t know.
“I am a Medical Doctor, I am concerned about your health,” he returned his attention to the road.
“Oh… I see,” If she followed him home and he tried anything funny, she would show him that no one messes with her and goes scot free, “Okay, let’s get me warmed up.”
He chuckled and turned the car into a street. He stopped outside a two storey building and honked thrice. A security guard in red and white uniform with blue stripes opened the white gate. He drove into the compound and parked in-between two other cars. They climbed out of the vehicle and walked into the building. He led her into one of the flats on the second floor and unlocked the door. She noticed that he was about five feet eight inches, exactly two inches taller than she was.
“Welcome to my humble home,” he bowed comically.
She giggled and walked around the large sitting room. It looked homely. The curtains, rug and furniture were in shades of cream and brown. The electronics were sophisticated and everything she laid her eyes on spoke wealth.
“Let’s get you warmed up.”
She turned towards him and noticed that he was easy on the eyes. She could swear on her parents’ grave that he had a lot of female admirers.
“Put your wet clothes in the washing machine, when it is dry, you can iron it.”
“Okay,” she followed him into one of the bedrooms, “Can I dry my shoes too?”
“Yes. There is a big tee-shirt in the wardrobe. She can wear that until you clothes are dry.”
“I will make us tea,” he backed out of the room and close the door behind him.
She looked around her. The bed was well made and the room looked spick and span. She made a mental note to organize her room when she got home. She went into the bathroom and got out of the wet clothes and shoes. She found the tee-shirt in the wardrobe and put it on. She looked ridiculous. It was three times her size. At least her hair was in weaves, in an all-back style. It wouldn’t come undone. She packed her wet clothes and shoes and joined him in the kitchen. He put her clothes into the washing machine and turned on the dryer knob. He filled two big mugs with hot water, dropped in bags of Lipton tea and added milk and sugar. They returned to the sitting room and settled on a long chair.
The hot tea made her feel warm. She relaxed and thanked God that the stranger stopped to give her a ride.
“My name is Erhumu Ogheneochuko, my friends call me Eru.”
She met his friendly gaze, “I am Ibinabo Udeme, and you can call me Bina.”
He sipped at the hot liquid, “What brought you to this area?”
She sighed, “A job interview.”
He raised an eyebrow, “What’s your discipline?”
She stared back at him, “Business Administration.”
He nodded and took a long drink.
“Where do you work?”
“Grace Springs Hospital, right here in Ilupeju.”
“Lucky you,” she placed the empty mug on the wooden stool beside the chair.
He chuckled and looked at her. Their gazes locked.
“Will I be a little forward if I tell you that I like you?”
“Yes,” she looked away.
He started to laugh. She smiled and rested her back on the seat.
“I like you.”
She turned her head and looked into his dark penetrating eyes. She lowered her gaze and whispered, “I like you too.”
He smiled at her, “Are you in a relationship?”
She shook her head.
“Neither am I.”
She raised her head and tried not to look at him.
“Will you… Can you… Can we…” he cleared his throat, “I will like to go out with you.”
She pressed her lips together. Her last relationship ended badly. Eru seemed like a nice person. If she agreed to date him, she could always back out if things turned sour.
“I… I will like to date you.”
She directed her gaze at him, “Okay.”
Her response warmed his heart. He placed the half-empty mug on the stool beside him, “So, does that mean that you will go out with me?”
His dark eyes brightened, “Fantastic.”
She let out a quite laughter. His excitement was contagious.
“Okay, let me get your clothes ironed, then, I will take you home,” he got up.
She nodded, “Thanks.”
He picked his mug and hers and strode out of the room. She sighed and folded her arms across her chest. She had just accepted to date a really nice man, a doctor for that matter. He seemed to be quite loaded and comfortable. She had hit a jackpot! Just when she thought the rain had ruined her day, God sent her a knight in shining armour.