My phone rings. I had just been thinking to myself, “Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to deal with rush hour traffic?” It’s not a number I know. I sigh. Long day. I hope it would be a short call. I was just in the middle of ordering an Uber.
“Uh huh,” I answer, wondering why he, it was a he, was calling my name with obvious surprise in his voice.
“I’m two streets away from your office. If you’re still around and you don’t mind, I can give you a ride home.”
I don’t have time to think about the several assumptions made and implied. Two streets away? A ride home? Heck yeah.
A few minutes later, I am waiting outside. Someone waves. But I don’t wave back. I look behind me. A girl has to be sure. But he keeps waving. All right, that should be my ride. It’s a Mercedes. There is something about me and a Mercedes. It was made for me.
I am very soon nicely snuggled in the passenger seat. And we are off. There is some traffic. But it’s a Mercedes. He changes the radio station. Some news. Boring, but who cares? We drive some more but there is even more traffic. Again, I’m not sweating it. It is a Mercedes.
“There is this place.”
“What place?” I try not to stare. Have I told you about his eyes? He wears glasses. The nerdy type, so you have to take a closer look. But it’s there. With just a little slant to the sides. I’m a bit in awe of his eyes.
“They serve good food. And this traffic isn’t going anywhere. What do you say?”
He takes the next right turn. A few minutes down some streets and we seem to have left the relative chaos of everyday life behind. It is a nice place. Roof top spread. There is the sound of water coming from somewhere but I can’t find where and this makes the place seem all the more mysterious.
We are back in the Mercedes. The traffic is kinder. My stomach is happy. My brain starts to think.
“So…” I turn slightly, to get a good look at his profile. “Where do I know you from?”
He takes a quick sidelong glance at me. I think he is trying to decide whether I am serious or not.
“Lucy.” He says again. It is meant to be a prompt. To sound a bell. Nothing.
“Don’t do this.”
He shakes his head. “Do you still think of him?”
“My ex?” How on earth did my ex come into this conversation?
“The guy you once loved?”
Is he still trying to make me remember? How can I forget the only guy I have ever loved?
I look at him again. The strange guy in the Mercedes. Not handsome. But I can’t stop looking at him. Something about his eyes. Did I already tell you about his eyes?
“Why didn’t you say something?”
“That you don’t even remember me?”
“I was trying to remember.”
He says nothing as a rattling minibus cuts in front of him. Cool as cucumber. I would have called the halfwit driver an idiot. But I have been working on that. On my temper. True to God, I have.
“He told me you broke up with him.”
“What! That I did what?” I am almost perched on the edge of the seat.
“Don’t explain it to me. I’m only telling you what he said. I know how it was.”
“How do you know how it was?”
“Because I know you.”
“Right.” I realize we are getting nowhere.
“You had only eyes for him,” he says out of the blue. “I remember thinking how I wanted that to happen to me.”
I did have eyes only for him. Until he went and broke my heart. Until I got that call from his fiancée. Until he looked into my eyes and lied. I didn’t break up with him. What did he mean I broke up with him?
“Don’t,” he says, seeing as I was gearing up to give him a piece of my mind. “It’s not important anymore.” He paused. “Or is it?”
He looked at me. I looked at the street. Where were we? I asked him. He said he wasn’t sure. Why wasn’t he sure? Did he know where I lived? He said I needed to tell him. So where had he been driving to? In the general direction of where he thought I lived.
“Stop the car.”
He glanced at me and kept driving.
“Stop the car,” I say again.
I remembered him now. The best friend who was ever around. I might have met him once. He had gone off to add one more degree to his portfolio just about the same time I had fallen in love with his friend. I always heard about him. Heard.
He stopped the car.
I wanted to ask why he called me. Why I was here, this minute, in his impossibly sleek car.
“So what did you do?”
My friend wants to know. We are about to head home after a long day at work. It is one of those days where I wish there was a guy with a Mercedes to get me home through the traffic. One of those days which make me remember the one time there was. My friend is intrigued, intrigued about me and the guy with the beautiful eyes.
“Of course I didn’t get out. What kind of man would let a woman off in the middle of nowhere?”
“Well, he doesn’t know you might be a teeny bit crazy.” My friend rolls her eyes, eyeing me, trying to figure me out.
“I’m not crazy, just wildly passionate.”
“They sound like the same thing to me. So what happened? After he stopped the car.”
“He took me home.”
“And that was it. Obviously I could figure out why he called me. I even thought I might like him. I already liked his ride.”
“Yes, the Mercedes. But?”
“Well, you know what they say about baggage.”
“You can’t check it in if it’s overweight?”
I nodded, still thinking about his eyes.
My phone rings.
“I hope the Uber driver isn’t calling to say he can’t find us.”
I say nothing because it’s not the Uber driver. I stare at my screen wondering what to do.
Yes, you guessed right. It’s him. Again. What do I do?
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