The face I was looking at invoked strange feelings somewhere deep inside my heart. The part of me that I thought was dead. I felt emotions looking at the gaunt, despondent features of the man’s face.
I tried ticking them off in my head, these emotions. Sadness, regret, sympathy, empathy. I wished I could help the man sitting in front of me somehow. The man looked not depressed but soulless. His eyes were empty, his expression lifeless.
What sorrows had the man seen in his life? What had caused him to come to this state?
He was well dressed, his semi expensive trousers well ironed. His chestnut brown hair was gelled meticulously to perfection and tied in a graceful ponytail using a red pony band.
Minutes passed as I kept sitting on the park bench, inhaling the sweet wafts of the damp earth and grass. As the cool drizzle kissed my face, I saw the man take out his packet of Marlboro Reds and press the filter to his chapped lips. The ambers burnt to life as he inhaled the toxicity of his cigarette.
Fate was not on his side. He had only twice exhaled out swirls of grey smoke when the pleasant drizzle turned abruptly to pattering rain. He muttured under his breath and threw his cigarette to the side.
I couldn’t take it any longer. I knew if I didn’t ask him what the reason for his dilemma was, I would keep pondering upon it for days, spinning stories and daydreaming at work about this charming man.
I ran towards him in the rain, trying my best not to splash into the freshly formed puddles.
‘Excuse me sir?’, I asked, as the raindrops continued soaking me to the bone.
‘Yes lady? How can I help you?’, he replied, shocked at my sudden confrontation.
‘Umm.. I couldn’t help but notice, you look quite worried about something.. and.. this was a stupid idea.. but I’d keep thinking about you for days.. and well.. could you please tell me what exactly is the nature of your discomfort, if you don’t mind?’
He smiled at me slightly, then slowly replied.
‘Mere twitter pe followers nahi barh rahay’.