It can happen to anybody I keep telling myself. As I stirred through the window of the bus i eventually took this fateful day.
It was chilly and rain has refused to stop. From my busstop to the office the cloud was bursting in unretractable tears.
It was early, I was sleepy and cold. Everywhere was wet. All I really wanted was to go back to bed, pull my coverlet up to my chin and hug it to sleep till evening. But for my job…
Okay, before I loose track of my thought right now. So I got a lift just outside my house in Gwarinpa estate. I didn’t think twice before jumping into the nice looking vehicle as this man offered me a ride.
I dread rainy season, partly because I’m susceptible to cold and partly because I usually have episodes of rheumatism during this period. So I opted in, used the seat belt (I instinctively always do that), he asked and I answered. Wuse 2.
My journey was supposed to be a short happy ride as he himself was headed my way. What a lucky girl I was. I smiled, realising I’ve being wrong all my life thinking i’m never one for luck. At this very moment I felt lucky. My life long argument that there’s no such thing as luck was lost as I stirred through the window seeing how brutally the sky sheds.
My day dream was short lived. I felt cold fingers on my lap. Jerking me back to reality, I immediately looked left to be sure there was no mistake here…
He smiled and through a set of gapped brown teeth said baby you’re beautiful.
Huh! My eyes popped. No subtlety. No sass just plain askance. I realise this middle aged man didn’t give me a lift because he wanted to help his fellow “man”, no he gave me a ride because he felt I could pay back in kind.
I was furious. I said to myself Bukunmi, you should’ve known better. Your parents thought you well. For an instance I hesitated for fear of the down pour. I was tempted to play along till I got to my bus stop.
Then shit got weird. He parked and asked if he could hold my “soft” hands for a little while. Quickly a decision was made.
Unbuckling the seatbelt I ran out of the car in the rain. I just realised I was picked up by a sex predator. A total stranger, in an unfamiliar environment. Realising I had escaped without him knowing what to do and unsure of my reaction he sped off.
As his tale lights disappeared in the rain. I raised my head, faced the sky. Because right now, It seemed perfect to just stand there and let heavenly waters wash away my naïvety…
While most free rides can sound like this when we’re in need.
Well, not all free rides end up in that mood. Many have lost more than they bargained for while taking free rides.