It was past 8 o'clock, which meant that the bus to my house, the 4a no longer ran. I would settle for catching the 4 which dropped me about a 20 minute walk from my apartment.
On the ride downtown, I started to think of my Ecuadorian friend, how good he would be to a girl who loved him. They would talk about paintings and go on day trips to Tel Aviv or the Dead Sea, spending the day swimming and lying on the sand, eating sunflower seeds. He would probably have a pet name for her in Spanish that would end in "ita". He would try hard to make her laugh.
As we passed the central square, near my old apartment, I looked out the window and there he was! Soaking wet, in brown leather jacket, walking in circles in the empty square, looking like there was some bad internal dialogue going on. The bus stopped at the light and I almost stepped off, ran over to him and said "Hey! It's me! I was just thinking of you and there you are! Forget about this afternoon - I was in a horrible mood. I think you are so wonderful! Let's go home and drink more tea and dry off."
As the bus pulled away, I realised he probably still thought I lived at that old apartment (he had not been to my new one). And that he was thinking about knocking at my old door, soaking wet, like in a romantic movie. And then I was glad I had not gotten off the bus. He would have seen it as a sign. Wouldn't you have?
A few stops later I got off, and started the long trek to my apartment. It was raining really hard now. The odd car would come speeding up the street and send puddles airborne in my direction. I was shivering and drenched to my underwear. My new boots were filled with water. I was fantasizing about a hot shower and my pyjamas when a cab pulled up.
"Do you want a ride?" "I would love one, but I have no money." "No problem. You look like such a poor thing, I will take you for free."
I am usually very careful in life. But sometimes my instincts can get trumped by discomfort.
He asked me to sit next to him in the front seat. He reached across my stomach to make sure my seatbelt was on. And then he drove in the wrong direction.