Thursday, April 28, 2022

Turn Off!

 The park was not too crowded today. Just some seniors and a few people walking their dogs. Anita sighed and sluggishly plugged in her earphones. She started playing her usual playlist and began jogging, cursing Nita under her breath. Nita, her roommate had signed her up for a trek the next month. It was mandatory that she run at least 3 to 4 kilometers everyday to build stamina. She detested exercise in any form.

As she jogged, panting and puffing, she shifted her focus to the people around. A south Indian uncle brisk walking in his mundu, a harried woman running behind her son riding his bicycle too fast…and just like that, out of nowhere he cut across her path and started jogging ahead.

Tall, dark, strong built and good shoes. Shoes were important, somehow. Strong calf muscles, she thought to herself. She was sure she couldn’t catch up with him, so she decided to turn around and run the other way hoping bump into him, and get a glimpse of what he looked like upfront. Part out of curiosity, part for SOME entertainment while she endured this torture of running every day.

Rugged face, sharp features, kind eyes and a slight stubble. Impressive!

The next morning, getting up early and getting dressed didn’t seem so tedious  anymore. Did he throw a casual glance at her today? Did she sense the slight curve of a smile playing on his lips the other day? 

Colors looked brighter, people happier….the wonders hormones could do!!

It felt good! She often smiled to herself while at work. Hummed a happy song sometimes. There was a skip in her step. She took extra care getting dressed each morning. A little make up. Not too much, though. She didn’t miss a day of jogging at the park since then.

One Monday morning, she didn’t see him jogging. Her face fell, disappointed. She jogged around the park, but he was nowhere to be seen! Just as she was about to turn back, there he was, sitting on a bench not too far away. Her heart did a double flip! He was with someone, in deep conversation. And as she watched, he slowly unzipped his blue backpack, unwrapped an energy bar he extracted from within, gingerly tucked it into his mouth, and threw the wrapper on the floor.

Anita turned around, and ran the other way. The next day onwards, she jogged at a park a couple of kilometers away from this one.

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