I could see the flames of fire leaping in his eyes. The hungry flames leapt higher trying to fly away with the winds to destinations unknown, on journeys more romantic. The gleaming eyes sent a chill down my spine even as the heat from the flames was making me swelter. I walked away from the man quivering, his words repeatedly playing in my mind. “I will burn you like those leaves if you ever see that boyfriend of yours again. I’ll forget you’re my wife.”
He fumbled in his pant pocket. Nothing but a kerchief. Coat pocket. A gum wrapper. Irritated, he threw it away. Inner coat pocket. He found a stick finally! Wiping his brow, he keep his kerchief in his pant pocket again. He lit a match. He saw the flames lick the lips of the stick. The orange embers lit up the stick. He took a drag! Leaning against the pole, he let out the smoke. He felt his anxiety slipping away finally.
She lit the stove. Blue flames leapt up. She kept the match box aside. Placing a pan on the stove, she added a little oil to be heated. Her son was coming back after a good, long six months! He had called her this morning and told her. She wanted to make his favourite food – at least one of it. A trickle of sweat ran down her neck. It was getting hot in here. The Sun was scorching outside. She wished her one room house had a fan that worked.
They stood together in front of the corn cob seller’s stove. Time had wrinkled their skin, but couldn’t wane their love. Thirty seven years ago, when they’d gone out on their first date, a roasted corn cob was all he could buy her. Thirty seven years later, when he could afford to give her so much, she still wanted to celebrate with just a roasted corn cob and him. “It reminds me of where we actually come from,” she says. The air was chilly. She pulled her shawl tighter. The seller saw her movement too. He silently squatted on the ground and continued roasting and pushed his chair towards the lady. She sat on it and warmed her hands from the heat of the bright and shining coals as her husband lovingly looked on.
P.S.: Would any one of you be gracious enough to come up with another word I can work on?