I hate my life right now. This, this is the height of it. I’m soaked. I’m cold, my feet hurt! I just wish I could punch someone! I hate this so much. Ugh!
Within Flo’s head, emotions raged. The anger that brewed within her resambled the booming thunder that sounded around her, the howling wind that looked as if it would pull out trees with the most effortless snap and the cold rain that drenched her to her green khakis, heavy orange jungle boots, her underwear and her bones.
Anyone who knew Flo knew that she hated being in the rain. It was quite the irony since her name was Flower. And that was the exact situation she was in at the moment. Caught in the downpour, with no vehicle to go home in, no place to shelter herself. It was already dark and Flo and Ilya’s only option was to walk home in the rain that didn’t seem like it would be stopping any time soon.
Ilya, who had suggested that they had gone to the market in the first place right after Flo had pointed out the signs of the coming rain earlier, walked briskly literally shaking the raindrops off her shoulders. Contrastingly, she didn’t seem to mind at all. Flo, on the other hand, gritted her teeth in annoyance. She didn’t know who to blame. God? Meteorology? Herself? Ilya? NYSC?
Today was supposed to be her free day. She would have been in the comfort of her home right now, cuddled in cozy blankets while the sound of the rain lulled her to sleep. But today, she had to be at the weekly Community Development Service meeting that was compulsory for all Corps members, and the close proximity of the CDs venue to the market was what had prompted Ilya to use the opportunity to shop for their groceries.
Flo just wanted it to be over. She wanted to be home and warm. She wanted the horrible experience to end. Her feet rubbing at the wet soles of her tight jungle boots caused her great discomfort. Her fingers had become pruned and numb from the cold rain. Flo would burst into tears any moment now. She had enough.
Ilya turned around to see the exhausted girl. “C’mon, hurry up. You’re being too slow. We won’t reach home on time at this pace”
Flo didn’t know when she roared at her. Her aggression turned to tears. “Reach home? You plan for us to walk rather the way home? It’s too far! I’m exhausted. I just want to go home!”
Ilya chuckled unfazed by Flo’s tears. “That’s what we are doing baby girl. C’mon Flo.”
Flo squeezed rain water off her khaki jacket futiley. “Look at me! I’m soaked. Can’t we just find somewhere to wait the rain out?”
“C’mon Flo, man up. Sometimes we get drenched but we gotta fight past the rain to get to our goal. Oh my God, now I sound just like you.”
Ilya tried to pull Flo but she was adamant. “I’m going to catch a cold and I hate getting sick. I’m going to be cold all night… This is terrible.”
“Then stay here.” Ilya said as she gave up on her roommate and kept walking leaving Flo behind.
Flo stamped her feet in frustration like a child. This was the bane of her existence. The height of her discomfort. She was usually the calm, enduring and calculative one but this situation only proved how much she hated being in the rain.
As Flo lamented her situation, a car slowed and idled beside her.
“Corper! A voiced called at her and the car window wound down to reveal a man. “Get in.” he said confidently.
Flo blinked at him. It was a risky thing to jump into a strangers car but all she wanted was to get out of the rain.
“Thank you but I’m fine. I wouldn’t want to ruin your car.” Flo said politely.
“I don’t mind. It’s just a little water and who said it was a free ride anyway?” He arched an eyebrow at Flo but she didn’t dwell on it too long.
Flo considered it. Some private car owners used their cars as taxis to make a little extra. Maybe he was one of them, taking the opportunity that there were few vehicles on the road to pick up passangers. Flo pointed at Ilya who had not yet gone too far and said. “Please pick her too. I hope you won’t charge us too much. ” Flo bargained.
“Oh, it’s nothing a pretty thing like you won’t be able to afford.” He said with grin.
Something about this man put Flo off and she couldn’t put her finger on it. He wore a suit and looked like a responsible person but his smile made her skin crawl but she put the feeling off.
With Flo giving directions, he dropped the two girls off at their apartment. Ilya got out and Flo opened the door dreading the few seconds which she would have to endure under the rain again before she got into her room.
“So… my payment.” The man said to Flo stretching out his phone toward her.
“I told you it wasn’t free. Give me your number.”
Flo was taken aback. No wonder he didn’t sit well with her. She got out of the car shaking her head. “No.”
“That’s fine. But if you don’t pay me one way, you will have to pay me another way. That’s how life works after all.”
Flo backed away from him. He had this smirk on his face that said ‘Mind you, I always get what I want.’
She turned around and went home quickly. She knew right away that this was bad news. She had made a wrong call to show him the directions to her house. From his eyes she knew that he was not planning to leave her life anytime soon.
Even when she had showered and tucked in bed later that evening, she remembered his glare, his smirk. She suddenly wished she had endured the rain than put herself into this situation.