Two Strangers At It!


He stared at me; I stared him back. Our eyes got locked. And he continued to stare at me, and I felt a little uneasy and started roving my eyes here and there, still aware of the fact that he didn’t follow my action, his stare unflinching.

We were sitting at a medical clinic on opposite rows, waiting for the doctors’ call. This was a multi-specialty clinic, and so the patients were in the common lounge for doctors of various departments. In all probability my staring stranger was not in the queue for my doctor.

After sometime I stared back at him to check the status; to my dismay he was still staring at me. My uneasiness gave way to plain resentment now. I must know why.

I stood up, went over to his side and sat down in the vacant seat next to him. He now looked at me with interest, his face beaming.

“Do you know me?” I asked him, showing my anger.
“In fact, a friend of mine with sharp features and a pointed nose,” he began; “resembles you. That’s why your face caught my attention... I’m now sure you’re not him.”
“He is your friend, you say, and you took such a long time to confirm! Your behavior is just not right.” I cried.
“Oh, I’m very sorry for that. Please pardon me...you’re a good person, I really like you now. Please forget what happened. Tell me Sir, do you stay nearby?” he sounded truly apologetic.
Mellowing down a bit I replied, “Yes, within a walkable distance. What about you?”
“I also stay nearby...Hey! We could just turn out to be neighbors!” he said excitedly.

Then the conversation veered to locations and houses; people and markets and of course various local issues and problems. About half an hour later the stranger’s name was called. He stood up immediately. “Thanks a lot, friend! You know, waiting is a tedious job, you must find a way out to enjoy!” said he with a benign grin and turned towards the doctor’s chamber.

Now I could stare only at his back; however, I continued to do so till he vanished inside the cabin. Then, I allowed my lips to crack into a very tight smile, really making an effort at that; I didn’t want to invite more stares.


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