by chance.

by prasanna   Jan 8, 2023

Happenstance—the way you turn the corner at full speed,
bumping into me, spilling an armful of books that we both
quickly resolve to pick up from the floor on the account
of rain. I hand them back to you without taking note of any of the titles,
making eye-contact was intimate enough. You, me, the bumbling
man on the phone, oblivious to the rain pour into the bus shelter.
He’s only concerned only with the man on the other end of the phone
who won’t accept $2500 for the CRV he’s selling, to which the man rattles off a list of problems with the car that needs to be fixed: the timing chain needs to be replaced,
it idles rough, brakes need to be replaced,
and the air-conditioning is blowing warm air.
We pay little attention to that conversation, and let the tension impregnate the
silence. I try to catch a glimpse of your books to feign a reason to make
small talk, but stop myself at the risk of catching your gaze again.
You take the first step, “do you know when the bus will
be here?”, you ask in the softest voice I’ve ever heard.
The man breaks from his conversation,
“I see it, it’s coming” and resumes
haggling—"$2800 then”.


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