He rushed out of the bathroom. Five past nine. Gosh! He was late.
He couldn’t miss meeting her today. It was an important day at work, but she was his lucky charm. He glanced at the clock from the corner of his eye as he brushed his hair.
9:15!! Time was flying today…faster than it usually did. But then time always played these sly games with him every time he had to meet her. Conspirator!
He couldn’t be late today, no. She hardly ever waited for him. She had left him and gone alone in the last two days. He couldn’t make it three days in a row. No, he just couldn’t.
The wall clock seemed to be glaring at him, as he began to hunt for a decent pair of socks. 9:25! Shoot. Why did hostel life have to be so messy? He made a mental note to clean the room up and re-arrange his cupboard. Grabbing his bag and the keys, he raced out of the building.
9:28. He was too late for his daily share-a-cab routine, he realised. He’d have to hail a private cab. Over-budget by Rs.10 early in the morning, he thought. Sigh. These calculations always played at the back of his mind. He hated it.
He briefly glanced at the sea that he was used to seeing. Perhaps the only posh thing about his hostel was its location. He couldn’t help but think about her as he continued gazing at the vast expanse of blue water on his left. Honestly, her usual maroon-red dress code was so repetitive. He was bored. He hoped to see her in another attire sometime.
9:35! Oh no! This Pizza by the Bay traffic signal always played a foul game with him. Hmpf. He’d have definitely jumped the signal had he been driving, the angry thought occurred to him. Maybe that is why he wasn’t, he smiled to himself.
9:37. He was racing against time. As he waded through the sea of office goers at Churchgate station, his head was throbbing, too. Will she be there, or won’t she? Will she? Won’t she?
Running past the overly crowded ticket counter, he stopped abruptly to look for her. Panting, he was trying to suck in all the oxygen he possibly could. But the strong aroma of coffee made it so difficult for him to breathe. His shirt dripping with sweat, he stood there. Defeated. Still panting. Bending to hold his knees.
She had left.
ANNOUNCEMENT: Andheri ke liye 9 bajhkar 38 minute ki 12 dibbon ki jalad local aaj deri se chal rahi hai. Yaatriyon ko hone waali asuvidha ke liye hume khed hai. (The 12 coach fast local for Andheri, leaving at 9hrs and 38minutes is running late today. Inconvenience caused to passengers is highly regretted).
He couldn’t believe his ears. But as he narrowed his narrowed eyes, he saw a purple train slowly approaching platform number 3.
Purple? Not bad, he thought.
She was late today.
He whistled his way to the platform. He would reach office on time, after all. He was a happy man.