It was one of those days when you wished that you could stay indoors. It was steaming hot. The early morning rain seemed to have had no effect at all. The sun came out in all its glory and steamed the environment.
My regular pick-up was unavailable but had offered the advice that I should have no problem getting to my appointment.
There were plenty of other hire cars available. All I needed to do was come out on the road and flag down a hire car, and for a small fee, I would be at the appointed destination in no time.
I did as was advised, but on this day the yellow cabs seemed to be using another route. I waited for about three minutes and there was no yellow cab. Strange! The Gods must have departed me, for there were usually a lot of yellow cabs using this route! But not today. Perhaps, the heat had something to do with it.
The heat was getting to me a little. A young lady came out onto the road. She was immaculately bedecked in a black leotard. In this heat, I thought she must be crazy. Beneath the leotard she wore a pink blouse. It provided a lovely contrast but must have added to the heat. On her feet she wore gym shoes with white socks to complete her ensemble.
I said good day and she smiled. I asked whether she was waiting for a yellow cab also. She said not really, any hire car would do. She said she was late for the gym. I asked how far away it was. She said two corners. Just as I was about to ask why she needed a vehicle for a ride two blocks away, she stretched out her hand.
A white car came screeching to a stop. Without as much as a look in my direction, she opened the rear door, got in and the vehicle took off. I wondered whether she would take a ride back after her workout or whether she would simply walk or jog back. It must be the weather that forces someone going to the gym to prefer to take a cab rather than simply walk.
Just then I noticed approaching in the distance a similar vehicle with “H” number plates. I imitated the action of the young lady and the vehicle pulled up alongside me.
The driver was young. He was dressed in a jersey and jeans. He seemed more preoccupied with the music that was coming from his deck.
I indicated my destination. He said nothing. He did not offer to open the door. I presumed though that he was waiting for me to get it. I did not know whether to sit in the front or the back.
He offered no help, just kept nodding his head from side to side in rhythm with the music.
I took the front seat and off we went. Suddenly he departed from the main road and began to navigate through a number of cross streets. I began to worry. Where was this guy taking me? Without wishing to indicate my worry, I simply repeated my destination. He said nothing. He continued to dart through the side streets.
Beads of sweat began to appear on my forehead. This time it had nothing to do with the temperature outside. It had to do with fear. I began to wonder where this guy was taking me. My fears raised like a tidal wave when he again turned another corner, darting in and out of side streets.
I did not recognize the buildings. The place seemed strange. Where was this guy taking me? Had I made a mistake in getting into this vehicle? All those questions flooded my mind.
I told myself to be calm. It would not be wise to panic in this situation. I looked again at the driver. He was still nodding to the beat of the music. He seemed oblivious to my worry.
I was just about to ask him whether we were using the right route when he stopped. I looked around and to my great relief discovered that we had actually reached my destination. I could not believe it.
Relief caused the question to roll off my tongue. I asked him why he had taken such a circuitous route. Why did he not use the main road?
“Too much traffic lights!” he said. “This route is shorter and quicker.”
And to think that at one stage during that drive I presumed that I was being kidnapped. Shame on me! Must have been the heat!
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