“And up next is the hot favorite of the season — Nikhil with the slew of his latest songs!”
The crowd roared in welcome. He was her current favorite singer. She was in love with his voice. And his face, too. But voice more. And then he walked onto the stage. She wasn’t crazy enough to try and leap across the stage security but she was crazy enough to get up on the benches and cheer for him.
When he started singing, her friend pulled her down on the seat again and they started swaying to the voice. The rawness, love, passion in his voice that she heard sent her tumbling in a world of her own. Her friend jabbed her in the ribs. She tore her eyes from the stage and looked at her companion angrily! The friend just nicked a look towards a group of boys sitting a few feet away. Some of them randomly had their cell phone cameras focusing in their direction arbitrarily. Some randomness.
She caught one of them looking at her and when they caught eye contact, he looked away not losing the smile.
The smile seemed eerie.
The paranoia triggered.
She had countless incidents running through her head. Nikhil’s voice had been pushed to the background to the constant stream of chatter of safety, security, and self precautionary measures she had heard in the 24 years of life! She chided herself for having come without a male companion.
Any direction she looked, any smile she caught, any stray look she saw, made her heart sink lower. She crossed her legs. Sat upright. Lost her smile.
A Look Is All It Took.