Joe stole another glance at the beauty seated beside him in the Uber. She’d begged him to allow her to ride with him and split the fare because she was late to work. He didn’t have to ask her what she did because the security guard uniform she wore told him. He stole a closer at the name tag and it read “Gifty.” Nice name he thought silently.
The Uber driver said something but he didn’t hear. He saw her smile and felt jealous. He listened and realized the driver was introducing himself to her.
“Wait, aren’t Uber drivers not supposed to get amorous with their clients?” he couldn’t resist asking.
“So a guy can’t introduce himself without you thinking anything untoward is happening,” she asked. He turned to her in surprise so his new flower could talk and she had such a sweet voice too.
“Oh no but I was getting jealous because he made you smile.”
“That’s corny,” she laughed.
“Well, boss, she is a very beautiful lady so I don’t blame you at all,” the driver said with a chortle.
“Haha,” Joe laughed now tongue-tied. He didn’t know what else to say.
“So why don’t you rather make me smile?” she asked gently.
Like a flood, all the jokes he had in his repertoire came out. For the next 15 minutes, he made her laugh so hard that she had stitches by the time she got to her stop.
“Boss,” the driver started but Joe cut him off by saying, “it’s ok. I’ll pay for the trip.”
“Oh really?” she asked, delighted.
“Yes. I’ll get in touch soon.”
“Sure,” she said and walked towards a junction.
The driver sped off and looking through the rearview mirror asked, “boss, how you go reach am?”
Joe was so lost in his musings that what the driver asked didn’t register for a moment.
“That’s what I was trying to prompt you on earlier but you only remembered the money.”
Joe made him drive back to the direction she headed to but they saw no sign of her. There was no clinic or hospital in the vicinity for them to check. Joe called himself all kinds of an idiot for forgetting to take her number. He’d told her he’ll get in touch. How did he think he was going to be able to? He consoled himself with the fact that maybe she hadn’t wanted to be reached out to because if she had, she might have opted to give him her contact herself. It was small consolation but didn’t do his ego any favors.
He reached the school he taught in and gave the driver a hefty 30% tip. The elated driver wished him a good day and left.
It was hard to put the memory of his nurse out of his head. He had really connected with her and liked her from the first glance so it galled him that he couldn’t reach out to her.
A MONTH LATER, he finished washing and took a nap only to wake up with a text message which read, “This is Richard, your uber driver from a month ago. I found your nurse. Her contact is attached and she said she forgot to take yours and wants to be friends.