Sweet Nothings!

He looked into my face, turned away, and stared again. I wondered what it was he was searching. Whether he found it. Whether not. I tried to make out from the way his eyes scanned the lines of my face. How did I look to stranger eyes? His gaze rested on my lips. Maybe the birthmark on my upper lip had caught his attention. But that slight secretive smile that played around his lips suggested otherwise.

I should have felt offended. But I did not. Here I was. Traveling on a train. A crowded bustling train. Poised in the aisle across a stranger, who was making no attempts, whatsoever, at disguising his intentions. But no. I did not at all feel offended; uncomfortable yes, for I was standing too close to him, breaching his personal space and so was he mine. But not offended. If I have to be honest, I was actually enjoying the hide-and-peeks.

And all this crossed my mind while he curiously stared into my eyes, for what may be called, a bit longer than a cursory glance. I couldn’t help but smile and flushing at this unfamiliar outrageous attempt, I looked away. Attention, of any kind, is not something I am used to. At 5 feet, I barely register with people at first. So, this ethereal curiosity had my heart by storm. Although, there I was struggling for leg space while trying hard not to brush against his knees, in my mind’s eye, I was away, in an open roof cafe, sipping coffee, with him seated beside me.

The mere idea of having coffee with someone unknown made me feel guilty of a crime. What crime, I hardly knew. If he could read my mind then, he’d probably assure me that it was nothing. That it was just normal to feel this way, to want to get to know someone better, outside of marital confines. I heard a voice calling and realised it was my heart. I looked back at him and he smiled. Maybe he knew about the somersaults my heart was subjecting me to. Perhaps, he was enjoying the sweet nothings just as much as I was.



Asha Seth