I am a thirty-five-year-old young woman working for a software company.
People have called me self-centered and egotistical. I call them jealous Jacks and grudging gargoyles.
Why wouldn’t I be narcissistic? I have always been a topper, right from kindergarten. I am good at whatever I do. I am a senior executive at my company and a good conversationalist. I sing well, dance gracefully, and am a good conversationalist.
Whatever qualities I may have, my good looks make me popular among the opposite sex, and I am mighty proud of it.
AND OH!… I always get hit on by the guys. From schoolboys to old uncles, everyone ogles at me and flirts with me. Unlike the other girls who make an issue of it, I enjoy the adulation. Don’t look so shocked. I don’t mean to say I go around sleeping with random people. It’s just that it gives me immense pleasure when guys notice me and chat me up. I feel upset if they ignore me. (That happens very rarely, though).
I was taking the overnight train for a conference. Even though I am eligible for air travel, I enjoy train journeys.
I settled into the window seat of the train with the magazine I had bought at the railway station. I waited eagerly to see who would occupy the opposite place. I knew that the other two seats in the first-class compartment were unoccupied.
Just as the train was leaving, this young man hopped into the compartment, checked for his seat, and came to sit right in front of me.
I pretended to read the magazine and surreptitiously checked him out. He seemed to be in his mid-twenties. Maybe he was going for a job interview. He was handsome, well-built, and debonair-looking and had a distinct aura about him.
I noticed that he was covertly looking at me. I wondered what he thought about me.
Very casually, I pretended to stifle a yawn, left my magazine on my seat, and went to the washroom to look at myself.
My face shone even in the rusty mirror, lit by the overly bright yellow bulb. I smiled at my image to check if my dimples showed. I suddenly noticed a few grey hairs. Carefully, I pushed them under with my fingers and smoothed my thick dark hair over.
I returned, retrieved the magazine, and settled back daintily into my window seat.
He had his phone out and was browsing.
I kept the magazine down and looked out the window, admiring how the setting sun colored the sky into a fabulous pink.
I suddenly felt his eyes on me. I pretended to be looking out, even though I was fully aware of him.
I knew he was going to start a conversation with me. I was wondering what his gambit was going to be. Hopefully, it would be some new pick-up line.
He leaned towards me with a friendly smile and said, “Aunty, can I borrow the magazine?”
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