Someone nudged me and I turned to look, keeping my hand firmly in my pocket, determined not to lose my wallet while being jostled around in the after-work crush at the bus stop.
“The lady in that car’s calling you,” the man standing beside me pointed. My gaze followed his finger to the blue Golf parked across the road.
I couldn’t tell who it was from where I was — not even if it was a “lady” or not — as I didn’t have my glasses on.
I crossed the road, narrowly avoiding getting hit by a bus.
“Thunder fire you!” the driver slowed down to scream at me, extending his hand in the waka gesture.
“And you too,” I shouted back, returning the gesture before hurrying to the car.
“Hello Ramat,” I said, recognizing her. She worked in my department at the bank.
“Hello. Do you need a ride?” she asked. “I’ll drop you off.”
“Thank you,” I said after getting in.
“Where do you live?” she asked.
I told her.
She pulled into the crawling traffic, and I leaned back and closed my eyes.
I didn’t want to talk to her — not after last night, not after the day at the office.
She drove in silence.
“Ramat,” I said softly, unable to take it any longer. “About last night…”
She braked suddenly, throwing me forward.
“So that’s why,” she was amused.
“Well..” I shrugged helplessly.
“Well.” she mimicked me.
The invitation was there in her eyes and I found myself leaning towards her.
She grabbed my cheek between her forefinger and thumb, effectively stopping my advance.
“You’re an idiot, aren’t you?” she asked, pinching my cheek so hard it hurt. “We already got here. Where exactly do you live?”
I pulled my head away and looked outside.
“I’ll get out here,” I said, perhaps a little too firmly, then softened when I saw the look on her face. “It’s not very safe if you go in further.”
I grabbed my bag and got out of the car, walking round to her side.
“Thanks for the ride,” I said sincerely.
I leaned over to bring my face close to her window.
She pinched my cheek again without warning. “You’re a big idiot.”
Her laugh still echoed in my head as she drove away.
I walked home grinning ear to ear. Perhaps I was an idiot after all.