Was it just her he had been staring at for the past few minutes? Or was there someone behind her? She looked up from her phone and took a cursory glance around the sea of humanity around, as if looking for someone in particular; a tactic she always employed when she felt someone was checking her over but she didn’t want to make direct eye contact. Her eyes passed a soft drink vendor, perspiration running down his face as he chased down a moving vehicle. Then moved over to a tired looking pedestrian in a over-sized suit, clutching a rather large, old briefcase. She didn’t miss the ticket seller where she sat beside the bus stop stand, looking like she would rather be somewhere else. Then him.
Her heart skipped a beat. He was definitely looking directly in her direction. She looked down at her phone screen although it was locked and there was nothing currently being displayed. She brushed an imaginary strand of hair away from her face. She didn’t need to take a proper look to tell he was good looking. Fair. Probably quite tall, seeing as the person that just took a seat beside him at the bus stand was fairly tall and he was clearly taller although he appeared slightly slouched in the seat.
She pushed the power button on her phone to unlock it but her mind had absolutely no intention of making use of the phone at that moment. Why use a phone when a hot guy was staring at you? At last, her daily painstaking make-up application every morning that took the better of an hour had paid off. The question now was – who would make the first move?
She turned slightly in his direction so she could pretend to use her phone while stealing glances at him. It would have been so much easier if she had worn dark glasses as she had initially planned, she grumbled to herself inwardly. Better make the most of the current situation, she thought. She opened her phone’s picture gallery and scrolled down but her eyes were not on the pictures but on him. And if her eyes were not lying – weren’t his eyes also on her? And was that a slight smile playing on his lips too? She looked away from the phone at random passers-by before returning to default position. Would not do to give away the fact that she was feeling flustered by his gaze. She glanced at her watch and tried to look to muster an expression like she was late for an appointment and was only waiting for a bus but in her mind’s eye it came off as looking like her watch wasn’t working fine or she wasn’t seeing properly and she abandoned that in favour of returning to the phone.
Just at that moment, a blue BRT bus arrived at the stand and she spied him get up from where he sat and her heart sank. He was going to take the bus. So all their pseudo-flirting was just a waste. She glanced at her watch again to mask her disappointment. 7:45 a.m. Clearly she wasn’t getting to work early today. In spite of her disappointment, she watched his movement as he stood. He hadn’t moved towards the bus. Instead, he was walking…..wait he was walking towards her! She pushed away a few more imaginary strands of hair from her face and scrolled furiously down her phone gallery till she was out of pictures. He was indeed tall and she felt her a heart begin to do a silly flip flop.
He was just some few steps away from her now and although she had her head bent over her phone, she could sense that gaze again and feel his presence.. Her heart raced as she wondered what he would say. Would he use one of those cheesy, pick-up lines she had heard too often from a lot of guys who had a higher opinion of their physical appearance than reality showed or was he going to say something magical that would take her breath away? Like Allejandro in the telenovella she followed so assiduously on Telemundo when he first came across Carla Rossa Estevan? She was so caught up in her thoughts that her brain hardly registered hear the cries of the conductor on a ‘Danfo’ announcing her destination; “Oshodi! Oshodi!.” Oshodi can wait, she thought. He advanced closer and she smelt his cologne.
“Hi!” He said, a shy smile lighting up his face. He looked even more handsome than he had looked from afar. “Hi” wasn’t exactly the magical words she wanted to hear, but they would do for now. She quickly composed a cheery yet slightly flirty “hello” in response and was about to put on the performance when she heard a masculine voice from right behind her;
“Hey! Wazzap? Tolani’s brother, right?””Yes!” he replied, bypassing her completely and leaving her cheery yet slightly flirty hello stuck somewhere between the back of her throat and her lips. “I wasn’t sure it was you but when you turned this way, I knew it just had to be you. How have you been? It’s been ages…”
She swallowed the hello whole and shoved her phone into her bag with a loud hiss. To think she had been thinking it was her he had been staring at all along! Mtcheew! She pushed away an errant strand of hair – for real, this time – and stalked off down the road.
Now where would she find a bus to Oshodi?