The Ink Well Fiction Prompt #6: Five things that happen to a person on a very bad day.
For a lady striving for financial freedom and independence, Bisi never went to the office late. She was always the first to arrive, just as the security and cleaners were wrapping up their physical and tech sweep of the office. It seems today will be different.
After a Sunday evening of wining and dining with her girlfriends late into the night, Bisi set her alarm for 6.40 am instead of 5.40 am mistakenly. At the blare of the alarm, she sat up straight, turned, and fumbled with the alarm before it shut off.
She sniffed and looked around her cosy room. Funny, the sun was up already and some rays had slipped into her room through a slit on the window curtain. She turned to look at the clock, cursed, and jumped out of bed into the bathroom.
Bisi always prided herself on being a modern lady who did not believe in any superstition or nonsense the people in her village filled her ears with whenever she visited them.
Rushing into the bathroom, her left small toe hit the cupboard close to the bathroom. "Oww!", she howled, held her left leg, and hopped around, as a sharp pain pierced her brain from the impact with the cupboard.
Then she remembered as little tears stained her eyelashes. An old wives tale, maybe, that when a person hits his or her left leg against a hard object or a stone, it's a bad omen. It was going to be a bad day.
No, Bisi shook her head and gingerly dragged herself into the bathroom. Turned the water tap and nothing came out. There was no water! That had not happened in a long time. She blew out air from her lips and looked up at the ceiling, admitting her bad day had started.
As the elevator took her up to the third floor where her office is, the doors swung open and Bisi stepped out, immediately colliding with a hard chest as hot coffee spilled on the breast area of her top. Bisi howled yet again as her handbag dropped to the ground.
"I am so sorry! SORRY! Oh no!"
"What is wrong with you?!" Bisi exclaimed at the top of her voice as she gave the culprit a once-over. She pinched her beige-colored satin blouse, pulling it forward a bit to prevent it from sticking to her chest. She did not want the stain to pass further to her underwear.
Her heart lurched a little. Before her stood a stunning, handsome young man. He stood about six feet, three inches above her, dressed in a wine coloured polo shirt and blue jeans with denim sneakers. She wondered amid the coffee chaos, "who wears casual clothes on a Monday?"
"Who are you?" Bisi asked, staring daggers at him to hide her growing admiration.
"I'm so sorry. My name is Samuel, the new temp". The young man kept apologizing over and over. He held out a handkerchief and Bisi snatched it. That's when she noticed the dimple on both cheeks. Gosh, he's beautiful. She thought. She stared him down and ran into the visitor's convenience close to the elevator doors.
While wiping off the coffee stain, her colleague walked in. "Bisi! I heard what happened? Oh no!" Ima exclaimed while inspecting Bisi's ruined blouse.
"I have to go back home and change," Bisi said. "The stain is too obvious, makes me look dirty. I can't appear like this for the marketing meeting with Glanville Enterprise"
"True, dear. I reckon you have to go back and change. That's like another 20mins?"
"I'll try and make it back on time. Please explain to the boss." Bisi pleaded.
"Sure thing. Go, go."
Seven minutes in the cab made Bisi antsy. They were stuck in the middle of heavy traffic that did not seem to move. Bisi sighed and hissed over and over, shifting continuously on her seat. The driver kept checking her via the rearview mirror, wondering how a pretty lady like this could get so worked up over the traffic. Well, he wouldn't blame her. Lagos traffic is the worst.
Bisi chewed on her lower lips furiously, admitting to herself that the superstition is for real! From hitting her toe against the cupboard, to the unexpected coffee accident and to now stuck in traffic which is guaranteed to get her fired when her boss finds out she was not yet in the office. Her anxiety increased.
After twenty minutes and with the intervention of the police and traffic wardens, cars began moving slowly as the traffic lessened. Bisi's phone shrilled, singing Carly Rae Jepsen's popular call me song.
The driver spared her a look again in the mirror as he navigated his way in the traffic. Bisi frowned at her phone, seeing her landlady's phone number. What does this old woman want now? Bisi thought to herself. She picked the call.
"Haaa! Bisi, do you want to spoil my only property that I intend to leave as inheritance for my beloved grandson?"
"Um, w-wait ma. What happened?"
"What do you mean 'what happened'? Water is all over the place! You left your bathroom tap opened."
Oh. My. God! Bisi, exclaimed as she covered her face with her hand and ended the call. The driver shook his head.
Bisi watched as water trickled out of her apartment, dripping into the one directly below hers. She pushed her key in, entered and could not close her jaw. Her sitting room rug was soaked in water thankfully only the things on the floor were soaked. She trudged through the water into her bathroom and shut the tap.
Bisi was cursing, sorting her things when she heard a knock on the door. She hoped to God it was not the nosy landlady. She had already assured the old woman she would reimburse her for any damage. What did she want now?
Bisi snatched the door open angrily and came face to face with the dimple-cheek beautiful office temp right outside her apartment with her colleague, Ima. The rescue team was here but she did not expect pretty boy as well.
"What is he doing here?" Bisi asked Ima, feigning a bit of anger but deep down she was grinning.
"C'mon Bisi," Ima implored, just as Samuel 'pretty boy' held up his hands.
"Um, please. Don't be mad. I asked to come help you. This whole incident is all my fault."
Samuel laughed because Bisi would not stop whispering sweet nothings into his ears. They stood on the balcony, holding each other as they reminisced about the supposedly bad day that turned good - they met each other and fell in love. It's been seven good months of getting to know each other.
Sometimes, those old wives tales may be true.
I hope you enjoyed reading this story. Sorry if it's too lengthy. I chose this prompt because some days turn out bad like Bisi's and I wanted there to be a good thing even in the midst of the bad, regardless of the superstitions!