'Can I have a sweet taste of your mouth?' she says.
No reply comes forth. She is getting frustrated.
'Can I have that sweet taste of your mouth?' she repeats.
'Eish!' he exclaims frustratingly.
He looks around and realises that he is not the only person in that convenience shop, let alone the only man.
He points his head towards the calling female body.
She does not know what to do next. She does not know if his pointing of head her direction is a yes or a no.
She plucks courage and asks him: 'Are you scared?'
He smiles and reply: 'My lips are cracked and dry. You wont stand them. Unless....'
'Unless what?' she thrusts into his mid-sentence.
'I'd like to be with you for the rest of my life,' she continues. I've never come accross a man like you in my life.'
'I've heared all that before and, women have left me broken both spiritually and financially,' he replies. I hope you know what love is all about and, what you want to get yourself into.'
'I'd like to carry your child. Don't tell me you're so hurt that,
you've become afraid to share a bed with a woman.'
'You're so adulterous in speech. Only a sick man could avoid answering your questions. I've never heared such truth in my life. I feel like running.'
'Run, coward. Be like most men who run away from their manly responsibilities.'
'I'm not many men. I just am not used to talking openly like this.'
'I've told you before and I'm going to tell you again; I've never met a man who could make me whole like you. Do you have a girlfriend?'
'What's the reason behind that question?'
'A love proposition.'
'Methinks you're trying to say that I'm gay.'
'Picture this; If you and I become one,we'd be one step ahead than couples with neglected babies.'
'Here are my phone numbers call me after three, tomorrow. By then, I'd have given your love proposal some thought.'
'Don't thank me, I'm the one who should be thanking you because, besides I being surprised by how things panned out for me at this shop today, at least I've found love.'
He leaves the shop still looking at her. Nearly hits a revolving door still looking at her.
She is looking back at him too.
Not 'til a finger nudges him on the shoulder and a deep voice says to her;
'You, come to my office, now!'
'Okay,' she replies taking off rubber gloves from her fingers.
After she enters her managers office, he tells her to sit down on a chair opposite his desk.
'Lee, do you really knows company policy?' he asks her.
'Of course I do, Jones,' she replies. For over a decade I've never seen any of it being adhered to by either,
Patience, you, I or any of our petrol attendants. At times I've caught you laughing while some of my male colleagues touched my rear, now what company policy are you talking about?'
'I'm sorry. I should've said privacy instead of policy. Customers shouldn't get the idea that they could talk about either of us about sex, you know?'
'I know. What I told that man, comes straight from my heart.'
'What about our own fears as your colleague that getting too cosy with customers may cause jilted lovers to come rob our store?'
'I haven't given a thought much to all of that but,
where then could any of us find love?'
'In the streets after work.'
'I love that man. For him I've broken company policy but, I believe that you've your work cut out,
if you don't get deep into our workplace's harassment policy. I've also come accross you touching some of our seniors inappropriately. I admit I'm wrong. So should you.'
'You know what,'
'You're fired. After this day, you should never ever set you foot in here ever again.
And don't expect this company to pay you any cent. Do you here me?'
She angrily walks out of his office. Takes out a cigarette and a lighter from one of her pockets and
lights it in full view of startled customers.
Her colleague is as surprised as her colleagues.
Seth's phone rings incessantly. He is in a taxi back home.
It must be her, he thoughtfully says.
He pulls it from its pouch and says; 'Hello?'
'Im sorry to inconvenience you at this time,' she replies. I know the time and day I'm supposed to call you. Something painful has happened, I've been fired for showering you with my love and my affection. Please come over here now if you could because that maybe, may well save me my job.'
'Hold on, because I'll be that in no time.'
'Thanks, my love.'
Jones mops the floor himself.
'What's going on?' Patience asks him.
'I've fired that stubborn colleague of us. I warn her to stop making friends with customers she tells me about how what she told the male customer comes from deep within her heart. She refuse to retract her statement and talks about things we do when we're happy. Touching our colleagues. Are you afraid of touching too?'
'No. it depends what type of touching it is. Rehire her before she lets out all our secrets. I'm afraid we'd walk naked on the streets.'
'What do you mean?'
'Without any dignity, whatsoever. If you go on and punish her, you'll also going to lose your job. The case she may open, may find itself all over the news because such things as workplace physical harassment cases are very few if not very far in between.'
He wipes sweat off his forehead and dips the mop harshly into a bucket and angrily walks back into his office.
Seth duly arrives. Gets off the taxi and looks like a man who is ready to fight for his country. Like all soldiers should, you know.
'Where's he?' he barks at her.
'At his office upstairs,' she replies.
He grabs her hand.
'Do you know where it is?' she asks him.
'No,' he replies. Where's it?'
' Come, I'll show you.'
She says all that him still holding her hand tight.
In less than ten minutes later, they emerge all lovey-dovey. Even kissing again before a stunned Patience, and a smiling Jones.
Just like he was told; he likes smiling when bad things happen. But is openly declaring love for someone a crime?