Today, a part of me became the stranger I met.
Hi, ” his deep macho voice echoed to me.
I flashed a fake smile,
As he smiled back, muttering more words.
I did not pay attention to the words he uttered,
For a stranger, he was.

He moved forward to give me a hug,
With the warm smile on his face that says, ” we’ve met.”
I felt my chin blush redder than beet-root,
I was flushed with embarrassment,
He kept smiling at me, ignoring my rumbled face.
Even so, a stranger, he was.

My life has been comfortable,
Sheltered beneath the protective shield of my family’s love.
My life was predetermined for me from the moment I was born,
And, the world became so big when I was not with them.
My parents advised me to never talk to strangers,
And the hunt for a suitor for me has already begun.
In front of me is a stranger with the warmest smile I have ever seen,
Nevertheless, a stranger, he was.

I have never been ambitious,
My parents’ words were gospel.
I longed for a continuation of the comfortable life they gave me and prepared my mind to be satisfied with whatever they considered the best for me.
I had no great passion in sight, no sorrow either.
I looked forward to my future with less enthusiasm,
Until; I met him.
However, a stranger, he remained.

As he hugged me,
I got locked down with mixed feelings.
I should push him away, give him a slap, or yell at him.
These thoughts ran through my head, yet; I couldn’t let go.
“This brother knows how to hold a sister” I said to myself.
Who told him I loved to be held like this? I continued.
He smelled good and I could tell he just had a clean shave.
Yet, a stranger, he was.

He broke off the hug wearing that lovely smile.
Hi, I’m Michael, he said.
We boarded the same flight from Abuja to Lagos.
I could barely remember him,
Mama warned me against strangers.
I’m sure I didn’t notice him on the flight.
Fortunately, he remembered me.
But, a stranger he remained.

The first thing I noticed about him after the clean shave and cologne, was his eyes.
They were bright, hazel and filled with energy.
He wore versatile and comfortable and looked stylish,
With a warm smile and confidence to wrap it up.
Oh, did I forget to mention, he’s tall.
He wasn’t feeling like a stranger that much as I watched him closely.

He looked at me and said, “Thank you for being nice to me. I thought you would embarrass me.”
He was very appreciative.
My face lit up like a million watt bulb and then; he winked at me, and I felt my face flush.
I am not used to people, winking.
“I’m glad,” I muttered.
Wondering what next.

“The weather looks good.”
“Would you like to have a cup of coffee with me at the cafeteria across the street?” He said.
“Ye…,” I found myself almost saying, but stopped when I remembered, my parents advised against strangers.
“I won’t hurt you; I promise,” he said.
As he noticed the sudden change on my face.
“One cup of coffee won’t hurt anyone,” I muttered.
I’ve never gone on a date before.
“Is this a date?” I muttered to myself.

“Do I say yes to this strangers request?”
“Is he still a stranger?”
“I feel calm and he seems nice?”
“Is it too early to conclude?” I muttered to myself as I searched my heart instead of my head for answers.
He gave me that look that says, “Can we go?”
And I gestured with my hand, “Lead the way.”

“Are we going to be friends?”
“Is he going to say something wrong and scare me away?”
“What would my parents say?”
“What do I say to them when they come to pick me up?” I asked myself as we walked to the cafeteria.
I do not have all the answers now,
But what I do know is, “he’s the perfect stranger.”

Photo by Pablo Montes.

Whitney Edna Ibe is the Executive Consultant, Life & Mental Health Coach, and Writer/ Editor at Whitney Edna Ibe Consult (Blog),, The Social Talks,, and Mental Wellness Society International. She is in charge of consultations, services, and implementation.

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