The rain was pouring and I had no umbrella, I was soaked from head to toe. Why didn't I listen to my father when he warned me to bring an umbrella this morning?
"Damn you and your stubborn ways Tameka" I scolded myself.
Here I was stuck underneath a lonely bus stop at ten o'clock on this wet Tuesday night. A few vehicles drove by but none was kind enough to stop. I was told the local buses stopped working at eleven but I'm guessing because of the bad weather they decided to call it an early night.
"Just my luck" I mumbled.
I wasn't able to call a cab or anyone for that matter because along with everything else my phone was also soaked and wasn't turning on anymore. There was no way this type of bad luck was normal this had to be some sort of voodoo I thought.
"Hey, you need a lift somewhere?" I heard a male voice asked and I didn't even give it a second thought.
"Yes please" I responded and I jumped into the car soaking wet. "Oh my God, I'm sorry for wetting up your car" I said apologizing to the gentleman who was kind enough to rescue me from the storm.
"It's okay, I'm also wet, gonna have to get it dried out properly in the morning" he replied.
"Thank you for your kindness" I told him as I extended my hand "I'm Tameka" I continued.
"No problem Miss Tameka, I'm Leonardo"
"Nice to meet you Leonardo"
"Same here Miss Tameka"
"I've never met a man who called me Miss Tameka before "
"Really now, well there's a first for everything ma'am"
"My mother's ma'am " I rebutted.
"Well, where I'm from Ma'am is a term of respectful or polite address used for a woman, so I'm sorry if you feel offended"
I thought about what he said and felt like such an ass.
"You're right, I'm sorry"
"No need to apologize, such a shame people these days are not use to kindness and polite behavior"
I didn't respond because he was right, but people hardly called women ma'am or miss these days unless you were their boss or conducting business.
I turned my head and stared at him, he looked like forty something years old, Caucasian who had a nasty scar on his right jaw. He wasn't cute at all, not that I was admiring him or anything, but his facial features were definitely not it. He looked tall and his clothes were messy, he probably was a mechanic by the look of things.
"So Leonardo, where are you from?" I asked, trying to make conversation.
"I'm from Brooks Park" he replied and I was instantly curious. This man lived a good distance from here, what the heck was he doing in Meadowsville I wondered.
"Brooks Park? what are you doing on this side of town?" I asked hoping he wouldn't think I was being rude or inquisitive.
"I came to visit a friend of mine, was having a few drinks and catching up on old times when it started raining cats and dogs" he responded.
"Okay, I'm glad you were here because I would still be stucked under that darn bus stop getting soaked in the rain cause people on this side of town are not kind at all" I told him as I wiped away the water that dripped from my hair and onto my face.
He turned up the heater in the car a bit and I was grateful, I was in the rain for a long time and was really cold.
"So where are you headed Miss Tameka?"
"I live on Appledim street, you have any idea where that is?" I asked.
"No ma'am, but you can give me the directions"
"You sure that's okay, I don't want to derail you from your journey as you do have a long way to go and its late enough as it is"
"Its fine, just give me the directions...I'll get you home."
I entered my address in his car's Google maps and didn't argue, I needed to get home as I knew my dad was worried and waiting up wondering if he should report me missing.
For the rest of the journey I found out he was a forty five year old mechanic (as I had suspected) with no kids and he lived alone. He met in an accident when he was eighteen that left parts of his face permanently scarred. The drive was a bit long so to kill time I told him a bit about myself as well. I was a twenty two year old who lived with my dad, and landed my first job as a pastry chef at the local cake store a year ago.
Google maps alerted us that we were at my destination and I was so happy to see my house, the rain by now had eased up and I saw my dad standing on the patio waiting for me.
"Oh dad's out, he's such a worry puss" I said and rolled my eyes.
"He's a good father, that's exactly what I would've done if my daughter was out in this weather" he replied with a smile.
I didn't want to seem ungrateful so I told him to give me his number so I could call and check if he got home okay, of course he was reluctant and I had to dig deep to persuade him. He finally gave in and gave me one of his business cards. I told him thanks again for the hundredth time and excited the car.
"Who was that?" My dad asked as I walked up and gave him a hug.
"That was a gentleman who saved me from the rain and gave me a lift home."
"You accepted a lift from a complete stranger?" He asked, I could tell he was disappointed.
"Daddy, it was either that or being stuck underneath a bus stop while being soaked in rain water for God knows how long.
"All this could've been avoided if you had just listened to me from the get go"
"Yes Daddy, I should've listened, but I didn't and I got stuck in the rain but see me here, fine and all dry thanks to the nice gentleman" I pointed out.
I didn't wait for him to respond I went inside and went straight to my room. I was tired and needed to get these clothes off me.
I stripped myself and headed for the shower, washed my hair and scrubbed myself from head to toe. I came out, dried my hair and braided it in two. Lotion my skin and put on my favorite night wear then I remembered I was to call Leonardo like I had promised.
Sitting on my bed, I dialed the number and waited for him to pick up. It rang and rang but no one answered. I decided to try five minutes later, but until then I'll go get something to eat as I was very hungry.
I entered the kitchen and saw my dad eating pizza, why did I even think he would cook something. My dad was lazy with housework but he was a great cop. He was Captain of his department and an overprotective father. I wasn't allowed to have male friends until I graduated high school, he and my mom got divorced when I was fifteen and she ran off with her new boyfriend. It's been three years since I last heard from or saw her. She said she was finally free from my dad's twenty five year bondage and boy was she loving it. Like myself, she wasn't allowed to have male friends and only a very few females were lucky enough to come to our house for dinner a couple times. I understood why my mom left, no mature woman should live like that, it was supposed to be a marriage and not a hostage situation. I, on the other hand had no choice but to endure my dad's behavior. Luckily for me, after years of practice I had finally learnt how to deal with him. I would zone him out whenever he was getting too annoying. He would be talking and my mind would be miles away into another time and space, thinking about aliens and weird creatures, zombies even.
"I thought you would've cooked something?" I said as I took three slices of pizza from the box.
"I thought you would've been home in time to prepare a good home cooked meal" he clapped back.
I didn't bother to respond, I took an orange juice from the fridge and headed back to my room. Removing what used to be my phone from my pocket and just as I suspected, It was soaked, completely destroyed, I could even see the water inside the screen.
"Great!" I said, rolled my eyes and threw it in the dust bin.
Netflix and chill with myself was gonna be it for me tonight, turning on the TV I found my favorite series 'Desperate Housewives'. I've watched it over and over and was never bored or annoyed, it was safe to say I loved this show.
I finished my pizza and juice and was about to go to bed when I remembered I was to call my good Samaritan back. Picking up the house phone again, I pressed redial and just like the first time it rang without an answer.
I really hoped he didn't give me a fake number but I remembered he gave me his business card so fake was a no no. I prayed that he was okay and made it home safe though as I would feel so bad if something was to happen to him. It would be all my fault because if he hadn't stop to offer me a lift, he would've been long gone on his journey.
"Think positive Tameka, he is fine, nothing happened" I told myself trying to push away all the bad thoughts that were trying to come at me.
I was about to go to bed when the phone rang and I quickly answered.
"Hello, Williams' residence" I answered.
"Uhhhh, Good evening, Leonardo here, I'm returning some missed calls from this number"
I was happy when I heard his voice.
"Hi, it's me Tameka, I was just checking to see if you had reached home okay like I promised I would" I told him
"That's awfully nice of you ma'am, as you can hear, I'm fine, made it home safe and sound" he replied
"Thank...." but he cut me off,
"Miss Tameka, you've told me thank you over twenty times tonight, I got it, you're most welcome" he said sounding annoyed.
"Okay, glad to know you're safe"
"Yes ma'am, now have yourself a good night" and he hung up.
I knew I thanked him enough already but I still felt like I needed to do something else, but what?