I clutched the scarf around my neck, tightening it a smidgen. White, cold, flaky stuff was falling with no rhyme or reason. Intermittent flurries, not sporadic enough to prevent a million of them from landing on my freshly straightened hair. I didn’t care. There was no time to return to the office for the umbrella. I had just an hour during lunch to walk the half mile to the bank, complete the transaction and return to clock in at 2:00 p.m. Sharp.
It was not chilly, just disagreeably damp. I made a futile attempt to zip my jacket. This week my bust was not budging. I clasped my hands instead.
The hallway coat closet needs re-inventorying before the month is over.
I walked past MARTA, up Lenox Road towards Peachtree Street. I am a master walker. Right, left, right, left. A gentleman ahead of me branched off towards the slanted cobblestone walkway leading into the Lenox Building. A shortcut. I followed. He seemed to slow down.
I kept walking. Left, right, and then! My left foot skidded on the slick surface and propelled forward. My right leg responded in humble genuflection like both knees do, when I visit my god-daughter’s Catholic church.
Here I am, almost prostrate on Lenox Road across from Ruby Tuesdays during a busy lunch hour. The gentleman drops down next to me, picks up my stupid handbag and looks in my face.
"Are you okay?" Mortified, I do a mental check to make sure I am ok.
"Yup." I notice he is not taking off with my bag, but handing it to me. Perish that suspicion. Perhaps I should attend my god-daughter's church more regularly. "Thanks."
It will be hellish walking back.
As if on cue, the gentleman remains at my side, ready and able. "It's very slippery out here." He scrapes his rubber-soled non-slippery boots on the cobblestones in demonstration.
I should have changed into my sneakers before I left the office. So what if they looked funny with my mid-length woolen skirt. I kept my brand new sexy boots on. As a result, I looked funny falling.
Like a future ballerina attempting a half split. Quite dignified compared to the Grand Expose in Nairobi a few years ago...
I know it's happened to you.
Copyright © Hana Njau-Okolo 2008. All Rights Reserved.