A Beautiful Stranger

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“I am not the usual kind and I am not looking for the usual kind,” were the lines that made me turn my head. And considering how lazy I am, I would have rated it nine out of ten on the scale of efforts I made to poke my head into someone else’s conversation. The voice belonged to a young man sitting with some other boys in the group. He was an average looking guy with a slightly dark complexion, black hair, brown eyes and the outline of a slight beard covering his face. Even after observing him for a good ten minutes I was unable to decipher that what was so unusual about him, because there was nothing in him that caught my eye apart from his words, which now seemed nothing more than a string of lies.

 

I was sure he had read some romantic stuff that he was now using to charm the girls that were seated adjacent to his table and were giggling at his witty words. Soon I lost my interest in what he meant but before I could submerge myself again in the thriller that rested on my table, there came another, “Beauty lies in the eyes of beholder.”

 

This time I almost scoffed at his choice of words, the hard decision was to point out who was dumber, him or the people admiring him. I decided to move outdoors rather than suffocating myself with the noise of giggles and applause but rather I made my way to the library, as it would be the only place that wouldn’t turn into a fish market.

 

After half an hour, when I had finished reading the novel, I decide to roam around and find something new to read for this weekend. Though romance is not something I am very fond of, I thought of giving it a try. As I reached the shelves containing those books, I saw him there with at least three books in his hands.

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“Perfect place for a perfect specimen,” were the words that I muttered under my breath.

 

Unfortunately, I heard him say, “Excuse me, what did you just say?” I realised that the words had not just been audible to my own ears but were loud enough for him to hear.

 

“Nothing,” I said in order to avoid an argument, but his next words irked me a little more than usual.

 

“But I thought I heard something along the lines of perfect,” said that cocky idiot. “Oh, well I think melody also lies in the ears of bearer,” I mocked.

 

He stood there silently, clearly at a loss of words. I smirked at his silence as my win in this purposeless tug of war but as soon as I turned, his words made me halt.

 

“You are no different from others, I thought you would be less judgemental as you looked like the one who hates people who judged others. But well, appearances are not the only thing deceptive. If one jokes around doesn’t mean one’s a flirt and one uses tags from an artwork didn’t mean one is flaunting. It simply could be one’s nature, but people like you who think they are above from society just because they have a different interpretation of literature or art than what others have, I think I have knocked the wrong door. Yu are not what your articles are. You are just as fake as your pen name Miss Ayesha. Goodbye, and next time, try to write something real, with a real name.”

 

His words sucked the air out of my lungs, he made me realize of how low I sound, he made me realize the difference between loving myself and being a narcissist. I didn’t try to stop him because there was nothing wrong with the way he felt or there was nothing I could do to control the damage to make myself feel better. And at the end of the day I found myself quoting, ‘the truth is always bitter.’

 

I never saw him again after that day, but I realized that he truly was unusual, he was a beautiful stranger.

 

 

~ Shivangi Bolia  | Edited by Afreen Zeb

 

 


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