By Neel Anil Panicker

“Leave me alone,” she snapped, juking around around him on the sidewalk and hurrying away with a quick clack of the heels. The explosive suddenness of the gesture, rude as it were, left Hari a wee bit more than shame faced.

Furtively, like one who had been caught red handed with his hands on the till, the 19 year old shot a quick 360 degree sly glance, his eyes scanning the choc a bloc market square for any familiar face. Luckily, he didn’t spot anyone he could term as even of remote acquaintance.

There were just the quotidian baker’s dozen comprising the usual, harmless suspects—a motley group of harried suits out to grab a quick luncheon bite, and maybe catch up on some salacious gossip about the new hottie in town or bitch about the lascivious boss whose roving eyes had zeroed in on her.

Nothing worrisome, whispered Hari to himself as he heaved a sigh of relief. But why was she behaving in such an unladylike, utterly obnoxious manner? And that when barely a day ago, the very same beauty in stiletto had whispered into his ears the dream words that when a man hears sends a chemical reaction in him that traverses down a deep area wedged between his inner thighs?

As Hari pondered over this, nearly working himself to a maddening frenzy trying to figure out what had so annoyed his gorgeous girlfriend of four years so angry, the penny dropped. A sentence from some inner part of his near deadened brain hit him with the full force of a ten tonne hammer.

“You ignoramus, nincompoop idiot! Today is her birthday!!!” The last word smashed through his ears, an ear splitting scream, its reverberations traversing the length and breadth of his by now tremulosuly shaking six foot frame. Without thinking, Hari ran towards the direction Anjali had taken little knowing that his would be an exercise in futility as the ‘love of his life’ had decided to move on—both, literally and figuratively.


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