Stranger Tides – A Short Story

With a mind always at work wondering about his idiosyncratic view of life, he ignored everything he heard- with every word she was pouring her heart out to him. The way he had his stern steady gaze on her face, she could tell his penchant for listening to her day-to-day stories will never wave off, and she had in the past imagined a life with him.
Looking at the crepe dress she wore tonight, he thanked Almighty that women don’t feel cold even during snowy nights.

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He wondered how would being a comic strip character feel like. He wanted to read her thought bubbles, not listen to her careening about her boss and there was that. He imagined a cartoon face for the love of his life; red was her color. She would flaunt off an electric red roll neck blouse in the comic strip and maybe a black mole on her chin. His train of thought was stopped when he heard someone’s footsteps in the lonely alley. He came back to the present.

A stranger, donning a mauve undercoat and a beautiful brown hat with a prominent crown and taper, passed by a bit too closely past them, now walking just ahead of the couple – with an intention to eavesdrop their conversation it seemed. The cynical self he was, he checked all his belongings as calmly he could.
The interrupted daydreaming now paved the way to words like “…we have had a great thing but I don’t see a future with you, now that I’ve been asked to work on a new project in Seattle…”

He looked by her side to discreetly eye the silhouette he assumed to be a man, but the voice was feminine and eerily familiar. He knew something was going on, something didn’t add up.
He looked at her darling in an endeavor to warn her, conscious of not alarming the stranger to his suspicion. “Honey, want to listen to a similar story..?”. He couldn’t complete. He was aghast, partially mad at himself for not having figured it out sooner. He froze right there. She stood by him guiltily eyeing the tears he was trying to stop. The stranger turned around.

It was her, it was her voice he heard which he assumed to be of the stranger’s. She was with him now. She was building up the material for breaking up and he missed out on the reason. He would perhaps never know what went wrong.

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