Rain Love: A Short Story

RAIN LOVE: A SHORT STORY: Leesii is a romantic at heart. She loves love, but does she find it?

I remember that day vividly because it was raining. And quite heavily, if I might add. The rain was totally unexpected because the sun had been shining all through the day. With the issue of climate change, I wasn't very fond of weather reports because their predictions were not always correct. I had on jean shorts with a black polo and a pair of fancy black slippers. The little bag that housed my phone, a few naira notes, and ATM card was slung across my shoulders. I had a slight skip in my step that day because all my deliveries had gone smoothly, and I had more products waiting to be sent out. Every vendor's dream! I was smiling inside, and I knew my face betrayed some of the happiness I felt.

As I walked towards the junction to take a bus back home, it began to drizzle. People ran into sheds to take shelter, but I couldn't do that. I had to get home before Mummy returned from her shop. The thing I was supposed to do before her return was lay at home untouched. I contemplated booking an Uber, but the recent stories of people getting killed and kidnapped made me wary, and Mummy had advised me to stay away from Uber for some time. I shared Mummy's fear, although I didn't admit it to her. At the same time, I stayed contemplating what to do. The rain began to pour in torrents. The crashing of the thunder echoed loudly, and I almost jumped out of my skin when a black Mercedes Benz swerved in front of me.

"Oga, watch road na!" I yelled in anger. "Get in. I'll give you a ride to where you are going to." The driver said. I remember looking around me to see if there was someone else besides me. "I'm talking to you. Come in; it's raining." I had taken a closer look at the driver of the car. He was dressed in a suit. Shady characters don't do that, right? I thought to myself. He kept a well-trimmed bore and had light skin. I doubt kidnappers took special care of their appearance. "I'm flattered that you'll rather stare at me than get away from the rain, but I care about the health implications that will lead to, so I would rather you get into the car." He'd said.

I had looked around me, thinking, he looks harmless, at the same time offering a prayer to heaven before getting into the car. He turned off the air conditioner as soon as I entered. "Where are you headed?" He asked as soon as I sat down. "Elioparanwo." Neither of us spoke for some time before he said, " I'm Tonye. It's nice to meet you." I had turned to him with a slight smile and said, "My name is Leesii. It's nice to meet you too." After that, he didn't say anything till we got to Elioparanwo junction, where I insisted he drops me off and that it was okay for me to get a Keke Napep to my house. As I got down, I said, "Thank you." He replied to me with a nod and a smile and drove away. I had watched his car drive away under the still pouring rain and thought, " Good Samaritans still exist," while secretly wishing I'd see him again.

Days after the incident, his face stayed with me, and I felt silly for having what my best friend Rahina diagnosed as a "crush" on the handsome stranger. I remember going to waybill goods to my customers and hoping I'd see him again. It never happened. Days turned into weeks, and I thought I had forgotten about the handsome stranger until I went to Rahina's place for a visit. Her brother, who had been outside the country for almost ten years, was back, and she wanted me to meet him in person. Members of her extended family crowded the living room, and we had no choice but to escape to her room.

After shooing away her younger siblings and some cousins, we had the room all to ourselves. I listened as she gushed on about the tools her brother got her. Rahina is an artist, and art supplies are one of the best gifts you can ever give her. "He got this for me when he visited Paris," she was saying when a knock came, and the door opened. "Hassan? I'm sorry to intrude, but where's your brother?" Standing before we were the handsome stranger I'd been unable to get out of my head for weeks. I didn't use to believe in fate until that moment.

He looked at me as though he recognized me but said a curt "Hello" and left without waiting for a response to his question. Did he recognize me or not? "Okay..." Rahina drawled with obvious confusion at the abrupt way with which the stranger came and left. As Rahina droned on and on about how amazing her art tools were, my mind drifted to a certain stranger whom I couldn't stop thinking about and ironically didn't even recognize me. "... Uh, Leesii, are you listening to me? I know you have no interest in art, but can you just lend me your ears. I can't help but want to brag about these babies." She cuddled a brush against her chest and made cooing sounds to it. "Please don't make it weird, or else I'm leaving." We both laughed.

Later on, Rahina introduced me to her brother Hassan and the handsome stranger Tonye who turned out to be a friend Hassan met during their study days. "Yeah, I know, Leesii. We've met." Tonye had said when Rahina introduced me. I felt something soar inside me when he said that. Rahina raised a brow in question, and I said, "He gave me a ride in his car." "You remember," Tonye said and flashed a smile at me. Years after that, I still have his smile imprinted on my memory. I still remember him whenever it rains. I find myself still looking around for a black Mercedes Benz to stop beside me. I still look back at the two months fling we had and curse my stupidity. Deep down, I know that even if the same series of events were to repeat itself, I'd make the same decision. I'll allow myself to love hard. And, I'll be left to nurse a broken heart again.

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