The first time he entered the office and saw her at her desk he thought she was the loneliest person ever. She looked melancholic. From the rumors in the office, books were her only friends. He tried to speak to her but she barely noticed. She always found one excuse or the other to avoid him.
Though she wished they didn’t, they saw each other more often since Julius always chose her to be his critique. They always had one thing or the other to discuss about work. Naa Dromor always kept it professional.
“Let me take you home”, he said as he tried helping her up. She stood slowly, clinging on to him. She didn’t say anything to him, neither did she resist. She was cold and scared. The only thing she wanted was to leave where she was at that moment. Nothing else mattered to her. She held on to him tightly. They crossed the street and stood under a canopy in front of a mini-mart. He was holding her so tight to help her keep her warm. No guy had ever come that close to her. It made her nervous but she stood still.
He stopped a taxi which passed by and they sat in it. He asked her to give directions to the diver and she did. Due to the rain, there was heavy traffic so the driver took a shortcut, which was almost twice the distance home.
The wind had stopped and it was drizzling now. There were no more sounds of thunder and lightning. She was calm now. She was in Joshua’s arms. The first guy she had ever had that close contact with. She hadn’t noticed earlier but he was dripping wet and shivering. That explained his shriveled voice. She felt his heart pumping against her cheek. She felt uneasy so she withdrew.
“Are you okay? Don’t worry, you’ll be home soon”.
“Thanks”, she uttered her first words that evening. He nodded.
Joshua smiled to himself. He realized that he was feeling good about the situation. He hated it when someone around him did not talk much. His sole aim was to always make those around him happy. He was the most likable person with the brightest personality.
“Why do you hate Mr. DeGraft?” Joshua asked.
“I don’t hate him. I hate his work. He is a horrible writer. He takes excitement and livelihood out of writing”. She blurted out.
He laughed loudly. This was the first time he had heard her speak out about something not related to work. She smiled. The first smile he had seen too.
“I see you worship writing”.
“Writing is my life so I hate it when people mess with it.”
He nodded. “You are quite interesting. Not as shy as I thought”.
“I’m not a shy person. I just don’t like company. I would prefer to be alone. I believe more than one is a crowd”. She looked up at him and smiled again. “You are also an interesting person”.
She asked the driver to stop when she reached her gate. She turned to Joshua. “Thanks. Take care of yourself. Goodnight”. He nodded and waved at her. She stood there till the taxi disappeared into the night. She smiled again and went up to her house.