He silently walked back home from work. It hadn’t been a good day.

The street seemed noisier than usual. The sound of honking cars more annoying today. The evening gloomier than every day.

He couldn’t wait to reach his apartment, make himself a cup of black coffee and doze off into the bed that could only fit one person.

Lost in his thoughts, he went on walking subconsciously when suddenly, he bumped into someone. Ready to vent out all his frustration at this slight carelessness, he turned to face the person in anger.

But just like a hot iron rod cools down in a tub of cold water, he melted.

One look at her and the world suddenly seemed different. It suddenly seemed so much better!

Her long hair wildly waved behind her as she turned to face him, her eyes apologetic. She seemed in a hurry to not have seen him but she waited long enough to apologize.

But he didn’t care for the apology. All he wanted to know was who this woman was! He seemed frozen.

She looked at him with a concerned expression.

She – I’m really sorry. I was-

He – What’s your name?

She was taken aback by the abrupt interruption.

She – I’m sorry but you’re just a stranger.

He – But I have to know. Okay so tell me anything about you.

She – Like what?

He – What’s your favorite color?

The question seemed a little silly to her but she smiled kindly and answered anyway.

She – The color of hope; bright!

He was so dumbfounded that he didn’t think of what he said next.

He – I would then expect you to wear a brightly colored dress instead of a white saree.

She looked at him with an expression of extreme sadness and slowly walked away.

A widow’s favorite color couldn’t be hope, could it?

Author: Zainab Haji

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