The day I rode in a taxi with a beautiful, strange woman! She must have been of Igbo descent, Lagos-bred; a fair-skinned beauty! Indeed she was the kind of woman that would instantly keep a man aware of his manhood. She kept me very aware of my masculinity!
The cab ride had been a happenstance. I was headed to Lekki from Ikeja for an appointment with a client on a very hot Wednesday afternoon and the very idea of going by bus (with all those many strangers and humid air) was unbearable. So I decided to hail a cab instead. It would be expensive, but at least there would be air conditioning!
As I entered the cab, the pretty young woman came rushing in too. She was clearly a professional of some sort and not very used to being under the sun; a fanciful rich girl used to the good things of life… We slammed the doors simultaneously and then looked into each other’s eyes in puzzlement. The driver also observed us from the rear mirror, probably thinking we were together. And just then the girl spoke with what was a really cool and polished Lagos accent-
“I’m sorry, I didn’t know you already hailed the cab…”
“Okay!” was all I could whisper. Her beauty struck me like a thunder bolt and I was just in shock…or bewildered.
“Maybe I should go…”
“What? No! Let me go. There are no cabs today. I literarily stood here for nearly fifteen minutes before this one came along” I replied.
“How about you both ride together? Which part of Lekki are you headed?” the taxi man asked while turning to stare at us.
“Phase One” she replied.
“That’s where am headed too” I beamed. “We should go together; there is no need having to wait another fifteen minutes.”
“So thoughtful of you. Thanks” she replied, offering a beautiful smile. Those beautiful lips!
The cab driver drove off and silence overtook us. It soon became awkward even as I could not even turn to behold her beauty in spite of how much I wanted to.
The incident reminded me of a similar encounter back when I was in the university. I rushed into a campus cab for a drop only to meet my ex already seated with her two besties. They immediately became vicious-looking, and I was going to leave when the taxi driver asked which part of school I was headed. It turned out I was headed to the fancy part of school, a private hostel where cab drivers loved to go because the fare was higher and they would be saving their vehicles by carrying just one passenger instead of four. The cabman asked my angry ex and her sympathetic friends to leave and then I took my ride much to the embittered girls’ irritatiin…
As I thought about that incident while riding beside the pretty girl, I wondered what would have happened if she had ended up disgracing me as I did my ex. I mean she was obviously monied and could easily outbid me if it came to a contest. Fortunately it didn’t, so we rode together. She was awfully silent however. I wanted so much to talk to her, to know her name, ask where she worked, what she was doing in Ikeja and if possible get her phone number too! Yeah I know…I’m such a dreamer! But then as it is the truth in life, every good thing is desirable. She was a beautiful woman and I couldn’t wait to be acquainted.
The drive was long and silent. Pretty girl busied herself with her phone, and in between fiddling with the IPhone made countless phone calls. Occasionally I would steal glances at her only to look away the moment she began to notice. The truth is that the cab ride was one of the worst I ever had. I was so uncomfortable it would have been better to go by bus. Why did i have to experience all that just because of a girl that really caught my fancy! Such a life…
After we crossed the Third Mainland Bridge I knew it was time to talk to her. I had to because I realised that if I didn’t she would alight at any bus stop and that would be the end of any possible introduction as well as anything that could result from such an introduction.
“What’s your name?” I asked her. She turned to me and literarily looked at me as if she was just seeing me for the first time.
“I’m sorry… what?” she scoffed.
“I’m Jide…” I said as I extended my hand for a shake. But she not only ignored my extended hand as though it was infested with leprosy, she also tactfully brushed me off as if I was dust on her designer corporate [black] dress.
“How nice for you!” she snorted.
So the drive continued in silence once again as she handled her phone. I could see the cab man observing us through the rear mirror. I was sure he was being very entertained. Worst cab ride ever!
“I’m headed to Ikate Elegushi…” I tried again at small talk, and this time my pretty stranger flared up.
“Why are you telling me; am I driving the cab? What is wrong with you?”
“What do you mean what is wrong with me? I am just trying to talk to you...”
“And what makes you think I want to talk to you? You think just because we are in this car together you have the right to talk to me? Do you have any idea who I am?”
“Oh! dear no…”
“You know what this is bullshit! Stop the cab!” she screamed as she opened her purse, counted out a few thousand naira notes and shoved it at the cabman before storming out of the vehicle.
The whole thing was dramatic, the deepest shitty encounter I ever had with a a woman since breaking up with my girlfriend. For many days to come I couldn’t help but think about that incident…