The first look

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[Flash fiction is an umbrella term used to describe any fictional work of extreme brevity, including the Six-Word Story, 140-character stories, also known as twitterature, the dribble (50 words), the drabble (100 words), and sudden fiction (750 words)]

He had arrived late to the party that day, not that it was anything new. The parties were so boring. Same old people, same old chatter. Where was the need to rush and be on time? He made it a point to be late and leave early. The food though was usually good. That was not really good for him. Watch what you eat, his personal instructor at the gym reminded him daily. To hell with that, he muttered under his breath as he helped himself to some of the fried snacks from the laden plates going around. Samosas were his weakness and these miniature ones were out of this world.

She stood at one end of the big hall surrounded by a small crowd. The hall itself was crammed with people in all their evening finery. Her midnight blue silk sari with its silver zari border became her. Her long dark hair tied up in a twisted bun, showed off her perfect back in the low cut blouse. In spite of the air-conditioning she felt herself perspiring. This was all new to her and she felt overwhelmed. She hadn’t failed to notice how heads had turned when she entered with Rajan and Sunita. Eyes seemed to follow her wherever she went. After all she was Rajan’s choice of heroine in his latest movie. Sunita and she were childhood friends.

He popped one last samosa into his mouth, laughing at some stupid joke of Jay’s, and then all of a sudden his breath caught in his throat. He saw her standing at one end of the hall. She looked so ravishing. What a beauty! He noticed her innate confidence, the swan like neck, so gracefully held. The woman standing next to her – wasn’t that Rajan’s brand new young wife Sunita? – whispered something in her ear and she laughed throwing her head back. Her eyes looked so full of mischief. He was mesmerized. He tapped Jay on the shoulder impatiently and asked, “Who is she?”

When the crowd around her thinned a bit, through the gap between the heads of the remaining ones, she saw him. His back was to her, and then he turned to say something to the man standing next to him. She felt as if her heart stopped briefly. He was so handsome, like some prince from the stories her grandmother told her. It pained her to look at him, so good looking was he, and yet she couldn’t take her eyes off. The perfect toned body only added to his charm. For an insane moment she imagined herself in his arms, opening the buttons of the pale shirt he was wearing and running her hand on his chest. She took deep breaths to calm her racing heart. Sunita was giggling into Rajan’s ears. She waited for them to finish, and then nudged her friend. When Sunita turned to look at her, she asked, “Who is he?”

That was how it all began. Everyone’s waiting still to see how it will end. Happily ever after say some. Unhappily ever after, say others. Time will tell.

© Shail Mohan 2020