‘Yes, yes, give me a minute, will you?’ With great difficulty, Sonali maneuvered her hand inside her purse, pulled out a ten rupee note and handed it to the conductor. She was packed tight like a sardine between an elderly gentleman and a heavily made-up lady.
She really should’ve caught the 8:30. If only she hadn’t got into that last minute argument with her son about not drinking his milk. It was getting increasingly difficult to breathe and to top it all, such a sultry morning! Forget about a place to sit, she barely had space enough to stand!
Gradually, she became aware of something rubbing against her back. Or was it someone? The thought froze her. She turned slightly to see a bespectacled, gangly young man right behind her. Who would’ve thought! Such a sincere looking fellow too! The vague irritation she’d been feeling all morning, finally distilled into rage. Bringing a menacing look into her eyes, she chewed out the words, ‘What. Are. You. Trying to do?’
The man immediately flushed; could barely meet her eyes — signs of guilt, clearly. Still, he managed to blurt out, ‘Madam, kindly adjust. You can see it is a crowded bus.’
‘Adjust? You bloody pervert! How dare you? Behave or else…’ — she left the threat hanging in the air for maximum impact.
Others turned to eye him now, surprised and shaking their heads at how deceptive looks could be! What a disgusting fellow!
By now the man looked like he was going to burst into tears — ‘Madam, if you are so delicate, you should better stay home.’ He probably intended to deliver those lines with a flourish but they came out all whiny and pitiful.
He seemed so crestfallen, that Sonali began to have second thoughts. Puzzled by his reaction, she arched around to have a better look behind her.
Her fears were confirmed.
The young man was holding a slim briefcase in his hands and it was the edge of the case that had been rubbing against her.
Have you ever mistakenly berated someone? 🙂
This post is the eleventh in a series of 26 posts that I am writing throughout the month of April as part of the A to Z challenge 2016.