Ram was waiting in line to pay for the groceries he bought when the old woman behind him started talking to him. He was not one to enjoy conversations, especially not now that his mind is on other things as he had a deadline to finish and he only has about five hours to finish the whole article. But the old woman kept on talking to him. Wanting to be courteous but irritated at the same time, he answered her in short sentences. But that did not deter the old woman. Finally, he paid for his groceries, but she still stopped him.
“Young man,” she said, “Please help me with my groceries. I’ve bought a lot, you see, and my niece is waiting by the car. I can’t possibly carry all these things myself!”
Cursing silently, he nodded, his mind still on his deadline. On top of his worries to go home and start with the article, he was now praying that the cashier do his job quickly so he can help her load her items to her niece’s car. At last, she was done paying with her groceries. He took two of the bags but found out too late that she had a lot more to carry.
“Are they all yours?” he asked, miffed.
“Yes,” she answered sheepishly, “My niece is home, and I wanted to cook her a special dinner. I guess I got carried away and bought a lot. Most, I probably will not use anyway.”
“Well, let’s go then,” he said.
As he was carrying what seems like a hundred bags, they went to the parking lot. A car was waiting there for them with a young woman about his age sitting behind the wheel.
“That’s my niece,” the old woman said proudly. “She’s really beautiful. I want you to meet her.”
He grunted his reply. “Beautiful or not,” he thought, “I have a deadline to finish.”
When they approached the car, the young woman got out to help them load the groceries. And yes, she was indeed a very beautiful woman.
“Beautiful, isn’t she?” the old woman persisted, especially when she noticed the stunned look on his face.
He nodded his response. She really is beautiful.
“Mathu,” the old woman said, “This young man here is very kind to me. Come and meet him.”
Mathu approached them, extending a hand.
When Ram took it, it was soft. “Well, to hell with the deadline,” he thought as he felt the stirrings of emotions he never felt before.