One Chance

“Hey.” I almost jumped out of my skin as his palm made contact, and shuddered. Since my car had been involved in a gruesome accident a week ago, I’d had to endure the ever despairing trials of public transportation in this damned city – the revolting smells, the grueling heat, the loud, ear-splitting noises, and, worst of all, other people’s sweat-soaked skins brushing against mine in the too-tight buses. Matter of fact, I was thoroughly convinced the physical contact would be the reason why my check-in at the prestigious Yaba Left came quicker than I had previously predicted it would as I stood on the side of the road, just a few days ago, my hair a hot mess, clothes torn, and blood trickling down my leg, staring in absolute disbelief at the worthless wreck that was once my baby.

I spun around sharply, the sum total of all the aggravation I had been made to endure in the past couple of days gathering at the back of my throat, ready to give this animal who felt he had the audacity to just touch any random person he came across a pretty decent-sized portion of my mind and the telling off of his entire existence, only to be rendered completely and almost hopeless speechless by the brownest eyes I had ever seen. Now, brown eyes being my one kryptonite, I had to fight an inward battle and still maintain a cool exterior. For better or for worse, my welled-up anger and frustration still needed to be vented and they weren’t about to just let my crazy hormones deny them of the release they so desperately craved. Shutting my heart up, I let him have it, never once minding that I was creating a scene, and he sat there, staring straight at me, saying and doing absolutely nothing. It made my heart twinge a bit not to get a reaction, but I didn’t stop until I was good and done and then I spun back around, folded my arms and pretended not to be listening to the other passengers on the bus whispering amongst themselves.

I hadn’t even had time to properly feel bad about what I had done and chastise myself when I felt the same soft, sweaty palm on my shoulder for a second time. I couldn’t help but ask myself if this fellow was mentally unsettled. Bracing myself for whatever assault he might have prepared, fully aware that everyone on the bus, save maybe the driver who might have been watching through the rearview mirror, was now watching us unashamedly, I turned around and snapped. “What is it?!”

“I noticed your zip was down when you got on.” My goodness I hated his stupid voice. So calm and level with absolutely no trace of anger. “I thought you might want to fix up before your stop.” When he leaned back into his seat, there was a slightly smug look on his face that I would have missed if I didn’t know any better.

Struggling to prevent my intense embarrassment from breaking through to the surface, I turned around again and folded my arms, the look on my face daring anyone to speak a word to me. However, this didn’t stop the people on the bus from snickering and talking excitedly, so I just kept acting like I was Ray Charles to t all. After passing what I considered to be a respectable number of stops, I faced the bus conductor “Owa oh!”

“Se o sure npe ibi le ti fe bo le?” What an absolute idiot.

“I said ‘Owa’!” I all but screeched. I hopped off the bus before it even came to a full stop and proceeded down the road in search of a taxi that would convene me to my final destination without any further embarrassment or inconvenience, muttering all sorts of curses under my breath.

“Your zip is still down.”

I almost tripped over myself when I heard tha same annoying voice, but my feet kept me upright and my feet moving forward, even though I really just wanted to turn around and slap him clear across the face. “Are you serious?” I wasn’t too proud to put an extra bite in my tone though.

“If you zip up now, I promise not to laugh.” The now obvious smirk in his voice only served to upset me more and I just kept moving, attempting to flag down cabs, refusing to glance back at him, or zip up. “If this isn’t your stop, why did you get down?”

“Bia. Don’t you have somewhere to be?” I spat back. This one was obviously not normal. In fact, I was becoming more and more convinced that he was an agent of the devil sent to push me into suicide or murder. Binding and casting the devil, I quickened my pace in a bid to get rid of him, wondering all the while where all the cabs were.

Imagine my shock when I felt a hand close around my wrist and found myself face-to-face with this brown-eyed, smirking demon. “The only place I have to be right now is with you.”

Yes, the entire statement oozed cheese, but lo my foolish heart stopped. I just stood there, staring into those eyes like a lost puppy.  And when I finally found my voice, all I could manage was a whispered “It’s like you’re mad.”

Chuckling, he reached down and pulled my zip up “And you’re stubborn.” And we just stood there, my hand in his, staring into each other’s eyes forever and it was almost perfect.

“Excuse me.”

I blinked, and I was back on the bus, squeezed between two women who were well passed being overweight and stank of fish and struggle. Gathering my senses, I turned to face the person whose hand still seemed to be on my shoulder.

“Your hair is getting in y face. Can you please hold it together?”

Just imagine the animal. The voice alone was just annoying beyond belief. I was just baffled as to what sort of vehicle he thought he was in. “Why don’t you try leaning back? Or, better yet, buy your own car.”


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