She stood there eloquently, waiting with perfect poise and an unflinching stature. I sleuthed behind her, watching vividly.  She waited, unflustered by the gaze of pedestrians, who wondered who she was. Not perturbed by the sullied glances of businessmen, who wondered how much she’d cost.

This petrol station in Behala hadn’t seen such splendour, since its first oil truck came, the day when fresh marigolds garlanded its gates. I studied her in awe, searching  for any hint of imperfection. Such beauty, here and now must surely be a fallacy; I pondered. Flawless she was. Her white skin glistening in elusive monsoon sun, like a freshly moulted serpent.

Her back facing me; I clumsily jockeyed to catch a glimpse of her face. Alas! There was someone with her. Was he her man, or her chauffeur? I couldn’t tell. This beast of a man, with soiled shoes and a slovenly demeanor, whispered into her ears. He pressed the ignition, she purred, he grinned, they then drove off, leaving me angry, jealous and hapless. Then, for an one eternal second, I saw her face.

I looked around me; life was back to normal. The miscreants had stopped staring, the crows and honking cabs resumed their cacophonous concoction. I was late for work. Bill Wither’s hummed “ain’t no sunshine when shes gone” discreetly in the background. I paid the petrol bill and drove away. Chaos was restored to the Monday morning.