The Shadow of a Woman




I stood at the entrance of my gate, the morning still sleepy and the street looking like a freshly made bed, cosy and inviting. It wasn’t sunny but there was no trace of rain in the sky either and for the few brief minutes I had nothing to do but wait for a Rickshaw to appear. My thoughts wandered and a random piece of conversation from the previous night popped in my head, it was a long conversation so as that particular part replayed itself in my head, I wondered why it came to my mind uncalled. It was a compliment, actually a little more than that, but it wasn’t for me. It was a woman he had been with, many years ago, but his voice revealed more enamour that he probably intended or wanted to express. When I heard it, it felt like a faint prick, an almost nothing, it was so many years ago I told myself. I convinced myself that it meant nothing. Yet this was the first thought I have this morning. Gorgeous, he called her. I do not recollect him using that word for anything or anyone else before. Not even me.

Suddenly the sky became overcast and in the matter of a few seconds, the empty concrete road was alive with large drops of water nudging it awake. The raindrops slamming against the grey concrete caught the morning light and twinkled like stars that have forgotten their way back home.

Within seconds, I was drenched. I fumbled to get my umbrella out and avoid looking like I swam to work, but it was too late, the damage was already done.

Finally, as I stood soaked in my clothes, a lone Rickshaw came towards my direction in a mockingly slow speed. I jumped in, the tasks for the day obediently lining up in my head. The queue looked long and I sighed for I would now be haunted for the rest of the day by the shadow of a woman.



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