So do you take a shower in the morning?
I was a little taken aback by the sudden intrusion of privacy. We were neighbors alright, and we worked in the same building. Yet what kind of a connection demanded an intimate question like this? For a moment, I wondered if I had body odor. Not that people ever complained I did.
Well, yeah, I do.
I wondered what was so good about it. We were walking together to take that bus to the department.
So are you going to take the shower again?
Now? Would you?
Well, I don’t know.
What was this guy up to? Irritation waned, and I had started to feel a little scared. Suddenly, the road ahead looked desolate. I could not wait to get to the bus stop.
You know what? I would be taking the shower. So you could take it with me, he offered suddenly.
My jaws dropped, and I stopped dead in my tracks. He did too. Why was the guy telling me all this in broad daylight, managing to look super cool and unperturbed? He was even smiling at me. He didn’t look drunk. He didn’t look stoned. Then what?
What did you just say?, I asked, trying hard not to lose my calm. Carefully, I squinted in the sun to look at his face as he repeated his offer again.
Would you take the shower with me?
I frowned as I read his lips. I wanted to give him the benefit of doubt.
Shower? It was his turn to look confused now.
You mean? Please say it slowly?
Did you say the s-h-u-t-t-l-e?, I asked slowly and carefully, reading his lips all the same. I even pointed to the bus stop a few steps away. You mean the white bus? The one that takes you to the medical center from the department?
Oh yeah yeah!. His face lit up. Would you take it with me?
With this, I heaved a sigh of relief. Accents can be funny. Asian accents, more so.
Ever since, every morning we have been taking the shower together. The shuttle I mean.