The lights turned red. The traffic halted. In a dark blue business suit, he was standing on the other side of the road. He was wearing a bright red tie which sparkled on the white cream shirt like a cherry dressing on a vanilla cake. He was murmuring something, for obvious reasons I could not hear, but at least could read from the movement of his lips. His expressions ranged from surprised, relieved to frustration. Two light blue colored headphone cords running from the sides of his face, across his neck met at a point close to his Adam’s apple to merge into a single light blue cord that went further down and vanished near the side pocket of his dark blue trousers.
The lights turned green. The vehicles emerged from the standstill traffic like a water flowing through the gates of a dam. Like an athlete hearing a gunshot, people rushed to reach the opposite side of the road. He started to walk casually in a carefree attitude, conflicting his business attire which suggested otherwise. Every step he took in my direction, the rhythm of my heart beat increased until it reached an uncontrollable tempo. I thought, “What if he hears it?” The time stopped as the moments turned into minutes, may be even longer. People were no longer walking at a fast pace to reach their destination. The noise of the surroundings was muffled by the pulsating beat of my heart, which then sounded more like drum beats. His eyes met mine finally yet, like an unfinished quest, my curious eyes kept looking into his eyes deeper, perhaps to explore some mystery. Our motions slowed down to a point where we were just standing in the middle of the road, as if it would hold the time as well. But it did not. Everyone else started to walk past two of us, few staring at us, few ignoring this sight.
A distant screeching sound grew louder and finally brought me back to the reality. A car was honking all this while, waiting for me to move aside the road. I glanced at him, hoping he would turn around and walk with me to the other side. By now the noise of car horn had become unbearable, I quickly turned around and walked towards the same place where I was standing initially. After crossing the road, I looked sideways in the hope that even he would be there. But he was not. He too had walked back, alas all the way back to end of the street. The traffic lights turned red. People began to cross the road. I stood there, my eyes watching him until he disappeared along with the road at the turn.
Image by cjelli