I finished my refreshments and left the auditorium in a resolute manner. I tried not to talk too much on my way back abiding by the classic advice on absorbing knowledge. I even skipped the regular practice of plugging in my earphones as I took a seat in the metro. The train had begun its run while my mind was still a participant in the seminar I had just been a part of.
I figured I must have been either looking too stubborn or too much involved with myself that every new passenger skipped the one seat besides me. “Works for me!”, I thought and continued to engage myself in the speculations. Three stations had passed already, mine was at least thirty minutes away. With this assurance, I sunk in the seat with every passing remark in my head. A lady with her daughter, probably entering college life, had taken the seat on my left.
It looked to me as the most courageous act of the day as opposed to all my fellow co-passengers. She waited a few minutes and then asked if I was returning from some college fest. I had barely opened my mouth to speak that she began whining about the admission processes in colleges these days.It was at least five minutes later that she realised I had not actually given an answer. I replied politely, “No.. Just an event.”
The train stopped at the next stop and the lady with her daughter departed waving a smile at me. Just as they stepped out, a guy boarded and chose the seat besides me for his journey. I noticed he had passed several glances at me before sitting. I felt he was just another man seeking my attention or probably had intentions to creep me out. It has become an everyday phenomenon, after all.
One stop, next stop, next stop.
I started feeling uneasy by his unwavering gaze at me. I decided to face this head on. I wondered that the planned face off will be easier in a public transport facility. By this time, I had finished making my entire argument in the head followed by me reporting the harassment.
Just to be sure, I decided to deboard randomly. I realised if he was a stalker, he would be following my departure. As I took off, he waved at me through the glass of the train signalling towards the sticker on my sleeve.
It was a usual sticker carrying the name of every participant in the seminar. I stared at it for a few seconds, and began a hysterical laugh as everything began falling in place. There was my picture with rain-soaked hair clicked at some weird angle that my face looked bee-stung. And if only things were not already worse, the black and white touch did the rest!
#notallmen #metrodiaries #inherentsuspicion #postaweek