As soon as I alighted from the taxi, rain clouds surfaced and darkened the sunny afternoon. I scuttled into the banking hall to finish the deposit before the cloud releases its bullets of tears.
I walked across to the writing platform and got a deposit slip. As I reached into my pocket for my pen, my fingers met nothing, perhaps it fell off in the taxi. So I turned to the elderly man beside me to borrow his and found him struggling with the form he had at hand, he dressed in an Igbo attire with a red cap adorning his head which signified him to be a man of title. Perhaps age is telling on his tired grey eyes. “Excuse me Chief, do you need any assistance?” his eyes brimmed with relief, “yes my son.” So I took the form and pen from him and under his direction wrote down the required. “Thank you for your help my son,” he patted my back as I passed the form to him. “Please let me borrow your pen,” I requested. He gave a nod of approval. I filled my slip in a rush and returned the pen to him at the customer service point where he now sat, then strolled to join the queue at the teller side.
Before long it got to my turn. “Good day ma’am,” I smiled at the teller, she returned the smile and received my transaction. Her spotless white shirt competed with the brightness of her smile, her silver rimmed medicated glasses and neatly packed hair augmenting her glitter. She obviously enjoyed her job, she handed me my receipt saying, “do have a nice day and thank you for banking with us,” “have a nice day too,” I replied.
I marched out the banking hall like a man with a medal of honor. Just as I set foot outside the door, the flood gates of heaven opened up, and the rain dropped in heavy pebbles. Is mother nature trying to pull a fast one on me? I had finished my transaction and could imagine myself enjoying a good nap under this nice cold weather. Defeated, I slouched back into the banking hall to wait it out. I took a seat next to the Chief from earlier.
After some minutes of endless boredom, I peeked through the window blinds if the rain had subsided, at least slight enough to allow a nimble run to the taxi, but because of the tinted windows and the darkness outside I couldn’t clearly tell, I had to step out to have a proper check. On reaching out, the rain appeared to be subsiding, perfect timing, but immediately it went up again, my smile gradually turned pensive. Oh boy, I became tired of waiting, the drainage systems overflowed and the other side of the road got flooded like Noah’s story is about to repeat itself.
The thought of pulling my shoes and tip toeing under the rain crossed my mind, but doing that required morale, the guys beside me did not have the same idea as they waited patiently for the next break. I didn’t know if I should go back in, stay outside with the guys and wait for the next break, or march ahead into the rain. I was still debating in my mind what course to take when one vibrant young man emerged from the banking hall, he took off his black Armani designer suit and flung it over his shoulder, bent down and pulled his quite expensive black pair of Italian shoes, after that he folded his trousers to knee length. My decision was made, just the morale I needed, if this guy had the temerity to go under this rain with his designer wears, how much more me. So I too, took my mundane blue sneakers off, folded my denim jean trouser and marched into the rain with him, the others can continue their long wait.
We both walked towards the gate, or so I assumed, because with my fingers on the handle my courteous self wanted to let him go through first, but when I turned back I stood alone, he sat in his black Mercedes, peering for something. After a while he jumped back out with slippers on and a file under his arm. He ran back into the banking hall. My mouth ran dry as my eyes widened in disbelief. Drenched in shame and rain, I walked on, swearing never to blindly follow anyone ever again.