Crowded Streets

Walking down the streets. Ducked heads. Desperately averting gazes.

But then that’s how I met him. Quick strides. His snapback covering half his face and his hand hiding the grin, covering the other. He was walking along with his friends, and I alone.

Walking alone had become a habit that I had been unable to wean myself off. The solitude gave me a high that no company with any friends ever could. And in these quotidian walks, I found myself analyzing people. Those fake laughs over a call that they were waiting to hang up on. Or the quick steps; the unease in being the subject of public scrutiny. All such quirks of people did not go unnoticed by me. Probably because I myself was waiting to be noticed in this world that was so oblivious of my presence.

But then, I spotted him amidst the crowd. The gleaming eyes and the beaming smile. And as our footsteps gradually bridged the gap between us, my insides felt like a meadow of butterflies and wildflowers. But I knew meadows thrived much better in secret.

So we just walked past each other; he paused his conversation with his friends. We just looked at each other. Not uttering a single word, yet saying so much. That is how I lived my five second love story.

I hope that one day, while venturing along a crowded street, you meet a stranger. A stranger who has a future that, unbeknownst to the both of you, intertwines with yours. A stranger who has similar words as you. A stranger who turns life with you into poetry.

~Ritika

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