I Almost Stole a Kiss From a Passenger
Why You Should Look Before You Kiss
One day driving in Santa Clara, I almost received a kiss from a total stranger.
Passengers occasionally get into the wrong rideshare car. It happens when the bars close, and everyone has had way too much to drink. Once I picked up a rider late one night, confirmed his name was Ryan, and realized after driving away his name was Brian. Needless to say, I received an irate call from the correct Lyft driver, who gave me a tongue lashing.
This situation was different, as the incident happened at 4:00 pm, at the Westfield Valley Fair Mall on Stevens Creek Blvd. I pulled my Toyota Prius to the back side of the mall, waiting for my next passenger, James, to come out. Many of my pickups are here, consisting mainly of employees, tourists on vacation, and fashionable locals.
Absorbed in my emails, I was killing a few minutes until my rider arrived. The sudden opening of my passenger door startled me, and three shopping bags dropped into the back seat. The front passenger door opened, and a baby blue Kate Spade purse appeared on my front seat. Fascinated, I watched as the items were unusual for a person named James. Who was this mystery shopper? I waited patiently to find out.
The owner in question was an attractive Asian girl, in her mid-to-late twenties. She dressed smartly, in a short black dress and heels, accentuating her long legs and athletic figure. She tucked her dark hair neatly in a ponytail and her makeup was flawless. Bright red lipstick completed the look, that of course matched her perfectly manicured nails.
The girl was both assertive and deliberate, as if she had gone through this procedure many times before. This confidence would quickly fade in the next few moments.
With eyes closed, she sat down in the passenger seat and leaned in my direction for a hello kiss. I sat there with an ear-to-ear smirk on my face, waiting to see if she would open her eyes. As she continued her forward motion, I just had to interrupt the amorous gesture.
“Hello, a ride for James?” I said in a very amused tone.
She abruptly stopped. We were staring at each a few inches apart, much too close for strangers who just met. It was pure comedy, at least for me.
The startled girl then went through two quick emotions, both extreme and animated. The first was confusion, obviously not recognizing the voice and face staring point-blank at her. I can only describe the second expression as terror. The blood drained from her face. Three shades of white. Casper the Ghost white.
The conversation went like this:
“Oh my god, I am so sorry!” She said totally flustered. Her voice cracked as she said it.
“I'm assuming you are not James?” I said laughing.
“I am SOOO embarrassed. I thought you were my boyfriend! Oh my God, I am really sorry.”
“No worries,” I said laughing.
“No, I am really sorry!"she exclaimed.
"It's no big deal." I calmly said, trying to reassure her.
She pulled back and fumbled for her purse. In her disoriented state, she also reached for the door handle, but managed to grab neither door nor purse. At that exact moment, a Prius pulled up next to me, identical to the color and year. At the helm was a handsome driver wearing dark Ray-Ban sunglasses. Looking cool and collected, he could have been part of an ad for GQ magazine. His window was open, he had a big smile on his face and was directly facing me. She sheepishly looked at him, and turned even whiter, if that was possible. He looked at my lit up Lyft amp, then at her, and started to snicker.
"If you don’t take her, I will." I said to him calmly.
He waited a moment and said, “Nah, you can keep her.”
She shot him a vicious "evil eye”, apologized again, and grabbed her arsenal of bags.
“Have a good day,” I said to her boyfriend.
He winked at me and replied, “You too!”
The girl got into her boyfriend's car, and as they pulled off, I could still see her arms waving in animated explanation. He was laughing hysterically.
In good conscience, I had to stop her from embarrassing herself. As someone who transports strangers around, you have to act professionally. There's a certain amount of trust passengers rely on. There's also a fine line between having fun with a rider and being a "creepy" driver. A few minutes later, James showed up for his ride. Despite the mix up, I had a permanent smile on my face the rest of the day.
I bet that cute couple had a very interesting conversation on the way home!
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If you liked this story, please read, Is That Pepper Spray?
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