She ran her fingers through her hair. The long, artistic fingers played a tune against the strands. He was twenty minutes late and she was nervous. She hadn’t been on a date in years. “Just be yourself,” her friends had advised. “You’re beautiful,” her mother had said. But she felt like something was wrong with her. “Who dates at 40?” The question taunted her. Her thoughts were interrupted by a fifty-year-old gorgeous man who had specks of grey in his hair. His smile told her that her mother had been right.
“Should we turn to the right or the left?” She didn’t know. “Is it a house or a building of flats?” She had no idea. “Who else will be at the party?” She shrugged. He was getting exasperated. One more try. “How long have you known them?” She said she wasn’t sure. “Then why are we going to this thing?” She squeezed his hand. “Because you were bored at home.” He almost laughed.
The roll of the drums drowned out his sorrow. The strong odour of alcohol made his nose itch. His plate was empty minus a piece of roti. They were busy gobbling their food. He wore his usual torn shorts and four-year-old faded tee shirt. His right sandal was broken. They wore their new outfits, changing them day and night. His wife and child slept restlessly on the pavement, wishing their hunger would go away.
He said he loved her. She knew that he was her world. Whenever she thought about him, a message would pop up on her screen. “I love you,” he’d say. Or it would be, “What are you up to, baby?” She felt positive energy each time he reached out to her. She knew this was it. It wasn’t a surprise when he popped the question that sealed them together.
The feline child was sleepy. He had been napping all morning and all afternoon. His paws were in the air, his belly proud and chubby. When evening beckoned, they tried to wake him up with the sinful odour of fish. He didn’t even sniff. They brought milk under his nose. He didn’t bat an eyelid. As he snored away to glory, everybody wondered if he would ever wake up and go outside for his long stroll. Then the chicken broth woke him up.