It was a nice morning. Sun out, birds in the trees. At least he suspected there were birds in the trees. He sure couldn't hear them over the sound of the traffic. Rush hour, commute, cars zipping past him every second. He enjoyed this morning walk to the drugstore. His dad sent him out for ciggies every day. He'd used to hate waking up this early to get them for his dad but now it was the high point of his day. He liked feeling like he had somewhere to go, something to do. Liked studying the other morning people. There was the usual crop of runners - the serious ones with iPods stuck in their ears, the couples also very serious, egging each other on, the panting amateurs who'd probably just begun and looked like they would be having so much more fun snuggled up in bed right now. Then, there were the power walkers. Stepping briskly, hair in perfect ponytails, dressed in appropriate walking clothes. Mostly stay-at-home wives he suspected. Squeeze in a walk before the ten o' clock manicure. He grinned at his own sexist stereotyping. There was a girl walking towards him now. Bag slung across her shoulders, over her back. Looked like it was full of books. Probably a student. Yeah, she was making for the bus stop with shuttles to the college. She seemed happy to be out here this morning too. Not in a hurry (those shuttles came every 15 minutes if he remembered right). He saw her look up and notice him. An involuntary frown fled across her face and he saw her look around. She seemed nervous. She started walking faster, holding onto her bag tightly. When they were almost abreast she veered off the walkway onto the grass verge, so wide a berth that he almost for a second felt like a leper. Managed to walk even faster. He could almost hear her sigh of relief after she'd walked past him. He turned around to look at her. She turned around at almost the same time, still clutching onto her bag, still walking fast.
Maybe he should just get himself some white skin.
Note: Red Choli Waali goes on a Junket coming soon to a blog near you (this blog, that is, exclusive rights and all). Stay tuned, peepuls.