(Image courtesy: Google)
I saw her first on my way to work. My car was stuck in the heavy traffic block that was not uncommon in the area where I lived. I was mindlessly drumming my fingers against the dashboard when I saw her standing near the window of the local guest house. Something about her caught my eye. Yes. It was the bright red dress that she was wearing that made me look at her twice. That and the cigarette in her hand. As much as my city claims to be a metropolitan, a girl smoking and that too during the bright morning hours was something that was still looked down upon.
She stood, leaning over the balcony, smoking. Wearing a bold halter neck dress, she was someone you would look at twice. Perhaps she felt me staring and turned her head in my direction. For a moment, I felt like a kid caught doing mischief. She looked pissed off at my intrusion but smiled at me a while later, all the time continuing to blow smoke rings at me.
A part of me wished to freeze time, then and there. It was like life around us had paused as we stare at each other. A logical side of me sent warning bells in my head. This girl was not one to be messed around with. This girl in the red dress and with an almost finished cigarette in her left hand. This girl whose eyes spoke a thousand stories. Of waking up terrified at midnight. Of screams that went unheard. Scared. Alone.
I could picture her in my arms, I could visualize taking her out to dinner. Holding her hand while we sipped wine together. On a full moon night. Walking with her along the beach as the waves formed lacy curls around our ankles. Of taking her back home and making love to her all night. Of waking up next to her and drinking scalding hot coffee and warm buttery toast with her in bed. I want to tell her how much she means to me. And that I want her to be mine. Forever.
My dream was broken as a middle aged balding man came from inside the room came and stood next to her in the balcony. He put his hands around her casually. He had a pot belly and the mere sight of him near her disgusted me. My betrayal must have shown on my face as she snubbed out her cigarette butt with her heels. Gave me an apologetic smile, took the man's hand and took him inside. The traffic started clearing and it was time for me to move on.