‘Raindrops’ is a short story co-written by myself and a friend of mine. His website link is —-> https://uniquedavies.wordpress.com/ Please visit his page. Also, make sure you like both posts.😉
Your actions are like a raindrop; it falls into the pond making ripples and then its over.
The sound of his indicator prevailed against the deafening sound of the downpour. It had occurred suddenly. The client would not make it in the heavy rain. He adjusted his seat and reached for his tab, He might as well catch up on Twitter gist. He was distracted by an impatient banging on his car. He craned his neck to find out what was happening. He noticed a woman drenched and waving wildly in the rain. She pointed toward the lock of the car door. Could she be the one? He picked his phone and waved it, requesting to know if she was the one he spoke to. Her shoulders dropped in resignation. She began to gesticulate frantically pointing at her right temple with her index finger severally, to postulate a malfunctioning of his brain. He unlocked the car doors. He would have to dry the seat before his next request he thought to himself. She got into the car and shut the door with a bang.
“Good afternoon, ma.”
She gave him a pointed look.
He met her eyes in the front mirror. “May I begin the trip, please?”
She stared at him long and hard. “Don’t let me call you stupid! She erupted, I was in the rain for how long? Five years? It took you ages to let me in. Now, you are asking if you should start the trip. No, please. Let us go outside the car and play ‘ten-ten’….mtcheew ‘Oniranu’ ”
He remained unfazed. “Please accept my deepest apologies.”
She didn’t let him finish. “I have a meeting! I have a meeting! I am supposed to meet someone it took three months to finally fix a meeting with! First, the rainy season decided to make a comeback, and then you happened. I get to go for the meeting looking like a wet rat just because my Uber driver lacks common sense. You know what? Just start the trip. Start! And get me out of here!”
He would ordinarily have been upset, but it wasn’t just worth it. Today was going to be a bad one. This was his third ride of the day, and it seemed all his clients were in terrible moods. By the end of the day, he was sure he would be a brainless creature. His first rider called him slow, the second called him daft, and the third thought he lacked common sense. He let out a resigned sigh. “Would you like some music, ma’am?”
Their eyes met in the mirror. Well, if looks could kill, he would probably be six feet under. He put on the radio and tapped the steering rhythmically to the music playing.
“It is either you let the radio do its job while you do yours or you just turn the damn thing off.”
He stopped tapping the wheel immediately.
Thirty more minutes and this would be over.
* * *
Thirty minutes passed, and the city traffic coupled with the bad roads made the Uber trip longer than the estimated time of arrival. The rain kept drumming against the steel of the car. The wiper blades were working away trying to keep the windscreen clear but that did not help to improve visibility.
What was meant to be a 40-minute drive was getting to an hour and they had not reached the drop off destination.
The display time on the dashboard was reading 14:53.
The client kept hissing and fussing every time they got to a traffic light or the vehicle movement slowed.
“Oga, don’t you know any shortcuts?”
“Sorry Ma, but this is the fastest way”. He tried to reassure her.
She hissed again.
“How far are we?”
He looked at the trip planner.
“It looks like there’s some traffic ahead so about another 20 minutes.”
“This is rubbish!”
He did not respond but he agreed. He hadn’t planned to spend this long on the road and for one trip. He was hoping to complete at least 10 trips in the day and so far he had only done 3.
He watched her slam her fist to her forehead. Rocking in the seat and checking her watch.
“I’m going to miss this meeting. I’m going to lose the contract. I’ll be finished.”
She buried her head in her lap.
“Don’t worry Ma. We’ll be there- “
“Don’t worry! If I lose this, I won’t even have enough money to pay for this Uber trip that’s taking me forever!”
He glanced from the rear mirror back to the windscreen and back at the mirror again. He was getting worried himself.
“We’ll be there soon…”
“Just leave me and drive please.”
By the time he pulled into the parking lot of the office building the display clock on the dashboard was reading 15:16
The lady didn’t wait for him to say his rehearsed goodbye, she just dashed out of the car.
He turned back to see if she had left anything in the car. She had not left anything of value, but she had left his seat wet.
He really hoped she’d make her meeting. He did not want to be slapped with a bad review after having to endure her bad attitude.
He sighed. He needed the toilet and he needed to clean his wet seat, or the next client was sure to complain, and he had had enough of that for the day.
He drove his car into one of the shaded slots in the car park. He retrieved the cleaning cloth from the boot and car seat spray. He opened the passenger door and got to work with cleaning. 10 minutes later he was done. The car smelt fresh all he had to do was leave the windows down for fresh air and for the seat to dry out some more.
He put the cleaning items back in the boot and was heading into the building to ask to use the toilet. He was two feet away from the entrance when two men stepped out of the front door.
A young man stepped out first. He was holding a jacket and briefcase that probably belonged to the older man following closely behind him.
And behind the older man was his client. She had not made it out the door yet. She seemed to be chatting about something, but the older man was not paying attention.
The older man gave him a brief nod and the stopped suddenly. He looked familiar. The older man gasp.
“Mr. Agwu!!” He was just as surprised.
The men shook hands.
“It’s been a while…” The older man tapped him on the shoulder.
“Not that long, Sir, just 3 months.”
“Wow. How are you? You look good! What are you doing here?”
“I’m fine sir. Thank you, sir. I run an Uber business now, so I just brought a client.”
He nodded to the lady. Half of her body was still in the building. Her hand held the door open. He was the middle man.
“You’re doing good for yourself.” The older man commended. He then moved closer to his friend and switched to his local dialect.
“Don’t mind this lady. We were to close a deal and she was late.”
Michael found himself defending her “Yes. There was traffic because of the rain. She was so uneasy in the car, I thought she would attack me.”
The men laughed.
The lady stood silent. Probably in shock.
Michael continued in his dialect. “But I think she really needs this.”
The older man looked at the lady. She had a puzzled look on her face. Her eyes begging for a second chance.
“Okay, Ms. Durotoye. I’ll give you another chance. You know I’m a man of my word and I value punctuality. If you can’t deliver on time how can I trust you with very time demanding projects?”
“I’m really sorry sir I really did plan to get here on time.”
“No excuses Ms. Durotoye. You need to always plan for the worst case”.
He turned to the Uber driver.
“All right Michael here is my card. Call me. We need to catch up”.
“Thank you, Sir”. They shook hands again.
The older man ran off into his car. It was drizzling now, but the sky was still dark grey. Signs that the rain was not stopping anytime soon.
Michael nodded to the lady as he passed her to get into the building. She followed him with her gaze but did not say a word.
He came out of the building 10 minutes later and she was still standing by the entrance. He was going to ask if she was okay, but she spoke first.
“Thank you. I don’t know what you told him, but you just gave me a second chance”.
“It’s nothing”. He protested.
“It’s not nothing oo. I wasn’t exactly nice to you.”
“I guess it comes with the job”. He laughed. She smiled
“I am sorry and extremely grateful.”
He nodded. “Any reason why you’re still here?”
“I think my app will tell me my Uber driver is one minute away.” She dangled her phone and pointed to the car.
He smiled. At least she’ll be a happy client this time. Maybe even a 5-star review. He was counting on it.