Photo Credit: Susan Spaulding
By Neel Anil Panicker
“Are you a spy?” Or, worse, are you a stalker”? Or,…”
‘Hey…hey…hey…wait a minute. Hold your guns. What did you just say? Me__spy? stalker? Have you gone mad or what?’
Esther looked at the man who stood an arms length from her, and wondered.
He looked pretty decent, she thought. I mean who wouldn’t if he sported short cropped hair, had a sweet assuring smile and was conservatively dressed in casual brown tee and jeans. A welcome contrast to the long haired unwashed hollow eyed junkie look that men in their early twenties sported to go with with their hippie bohemian temperaments.
For an instant she felt ashamed of her outburst; then reminded herself that she was in the middle of a jungle and it was perfectly natural of her to feel a tad scared and react the way she had to this stranger who seemed to have dropped out of nowhere.
Nevertheless, she felt an apology was in order.
“I am sorry. I didn’t mean so. It was just that I wanted to be away from the city for a while. You see I was busy cutting wood, hoping to carve out a chair from it when you came. Plus…”
Esther looked at the handsome face smiling at her, and suddenly she felt very reassured, and blurted out, “Plus, ever since I parted ways with my Ex I have turned a little paranoid, suspicious too. I feel…”
“I feel you need a new friend. And here’s me___ Name: Rohit; Age: 22; Disposition: Friendly and fun loving. As for the rest, we have all the time in the world to get to know each other, don’t we?”.
Though slightly taken aback, Esther just couldn’t stop herself from reaching out to the extended hand.
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