It had been a hectic day and I was longing for my bed. I was standing at the bus stop when suddenly it starts to rain.

“Oh great.” I muttered.

There weren’t a lot of people waiting under the bus stop shelter. I was startled when someone held their umbrella over me. I instantly tuck my purse under my arm more securely and looked up at the person.

“Oh hello cutie” I say to myself.

Ok, this doesn’t mean attraction, it’s just an appreciation for a beautiful face.

Alexa, play ‘Umbrella’ by Rihanna.

I looked around. A couple of people were also huddled under the shelter. Who was this person who was so generous with his umbrella? “Thank you” I tell him.

The rain was gently pouring and it wasn’t so windy.

“Not a problem. I’m Tunde.” My brain was already in overdrive.

Do I know him? I’m terrible recognising faces. He also just told me his name. Why was he sharing an umbrella with me? Is this some new Lagos jazz that I am unaware of? Am I to respond?

I say a silent prayer. “I’m Ebun. Thanks again.” The rain suddenly stopped after a few minutes and I got on the first bus that arrived. He waited for the next one.

**************

The following week, with my car fixed, I was driving to work and was stuck in traffic. As usual, I turned on a podcast and was trying to pass time. I turn briefly and who do I see in the car next to me?

Tunde.

He is gently nodding his head, probably to music. His brows narrow as he sees me staring. He recognises me and waves.

“Thanks again.” I call out, in appreciation for the umbrella incident. The ‘Yoruba’ in me will thank you ten times for anything.

He smiles. “Have a good day,” he replies and waves.

I nod.

The traffic eases up and I head to work. The real question here is not how we coincidentally meet again this morning, it is how I was able to recognise his face. I’m not good with faces!

****************

I had received a message on LinkedIn from a recruiter and after taking a look at my CV, I was called for an interview. A few days later, I left work briefly for the scheduled meeting. Taking a deep breath, I step into the boardroom with a confident smile. There are three people in the room. Yes, one of them is Tunde. I was so shocked but I quickly composed myself. “Good afternoon.”

“Hello. You are Ebun, right?” One of them asks.

“Yes.”

“Have a seat.”

The interview went well. Was Tunde HR? But he wasn’t the one who sent me a message on LinkedIn, it was a lady. Was he stalking me? Oh my goodness! This happened in mystery novels and crime shows. I relaxed, aced my interview and walked out with a high shoulders.

I was on my way out when I saw Tunde heading towards me.

“Hi, Ebun.”

“Hello.“ I kept walking.

“What a coincidence seeing you again. Your interview went well.”

“Really? I’ll need to be convinced you are not stalking me.”

“What? No! I just helped out the HR person today. She has something urgent to attend to.”

I stopped and looked at him. Confusion and shock edged on his face. Was he telling the truth?

“Look, I came out here because I am as shocked as you are. I don’t even know you. You think I am stalking you because I shared my umbrella?”

“Well, you can’t blame me. This is Nigeria.”

“I was just being nice. Besides, sharing my umbrella with you was easy because you are not too tall.”

Ouch! I gasped.

What! He did not just call me short! “Sorry, but it’s the truth.” He added.

“Anyone taller than me is too tall.” I replied.

He laughed.

I smiled. Maybe I was overthinking this.

I eventually got the job and I resumed a month later.

Tunde and I have been friends for three years now. Friends, you guys. Just friends.

Written by Praise Ajewole @Praisewrites

Blog admin: Opeyemi Adetunji @opydorcas

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