I sat across from her on the yellow line of the Delhi metro. I was on my way to my workplace in the heart of the largest vegetable market in the city. It was almost noon, I was drowsy. She had boarded three stations ago, standing for a while in the corner until she managed to find a seat, luckily opposite to mine. She looked 25, but could have been younger or older; I am not a good judge. I was distracted by her appearance. She was voluptuous, with extra generous curves and very fair skin. Dressed in jeans and a loosely fitted shirt, she sat staring into her phone, conscious of all the eyes pinned on her, including my own. The air was heavy with sweat and masculinity; she looked diminutive, almost non-existent, in comparison.
I couldn't take my eyes off of her. I was constantly drawn towards her neck. Concealed partly by her open hair, adorned with an expensive-looking chain, it seemed to be playing hide and seek with my eyes. I was hooked. The neckline of her shirt sat tentatively on her sizeable breasts. Desperate for a glimpse of what lay underneath, I found myself wishing she had sat beside me instead. She had caught my gaze a couple of times already and had stared back at me questioningly. But I was clever enough to look away and act innocent. I'd wait for just a few seconds before affixing my eyes on her again. She was awfully pretty: how could I be expected not to feast my eyes on her? And clearly she was enjoying the attention; she kept brushing her hair behind her ears and adjusting her top self-consciously. She was in on my intentions, and that realisation spurred me on.
For the third time, she looked up from her phone and caught me staring at her. She looked irritated, or was that a look of impatience? I wondered. Maybe distant gazing was not her thing. She seemed restless. She certainly had to be aware of the effect her clothes and her body were having on me. She would not be travelling in the general coach in those clothes if she had expected anything better. I considered getting up from my seat and standing next to hers. I would get a much better glance down her shirt from that vantage point, while also satisfying her need for proximity. That thought made me smile.
I had been busy conjuring up mental pictures of her breasts when I felt a rude push: an old hag had just parked herself in the seat next to me. Brought back to my senses thus, I realised my gaze had unconsciously been glued to her torso this entire time. I looked up at her face: she was staring daggers at me. I was instantly puzzled by her reaction. What had I done wrong? As I sat there wondering my next move, there was an announcement for the next station. She got up, clutching her bag tightly, and made her way towards the door. But all of a sudden she stopped, and I watched in a confused daze as she turned her steps towards me. Crossing the short passageway that separated us, she flashed the sweetest smile any female had ever given me. I looked at her expectantly and, the very next moment, felt a sharp stinging sensation on the left side of my face. My jaw had been struck square in the middle with near-inhuman force. I couldn't see clearly; my head was beginning to swim.
It took me a while to become aware of my surroundings again. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught her retreating figure on the platform as the metro sped past. I looked around and suddenly felt the heat of countless pairs of eyes affixed on me. I felt diminutive, almost non-existent. Turning exceedingly self-conscious, I fished out my phone from my pyjama pocket and sat staring down at its blank screen.
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