“I love this shade of red!” Maya beamed happily as she applied the colour to her lips and pouted for a selfie.
Click..click..she went, clicking selfies on her phone, least bothered by the onlookers. Oblivious to the man standing behind her, carressing her dupatta, she admired herself on her phone camera, turning her face this way and that to get the perfect profile.
Tonight, she would pop the question to Amit, she mused as she smacked her lips after applying another coat of the lipstick. Pouting and winking into the camera, she was lost in thoughts, unmindful of the world around.
Her friend, Ria, was jabbering away about her new boyfriend, and the guy behind her had now shifted his attention to Maya’s hair and was feeling its softness between his grubby fingers, but Maya stood, unheeding, peering into the camera at her painted lips.
Her new job, her new house, Amit…life seemed perfect, she smiled, cheerily.
It was only when a finger brushed against her neck that Maya shrieked and turned around.
The face she saw smiling at her jolted her out of her reverie and she dropped her phone and the lipstick that moments ago had held her attention.
The misshapen face, just inches away from her own, reeked of cheap alcohol and cigarettes. The grimy hand that had played with her dupatta, now reached out to tuck a strand of her hair behind her ear, and a deep voice resonated, as if from somewhere far away.
“Hey, Maya. How have you been, my darling? Long time, huh! That charming smile is still intact, I see,” he whispered, inching closer.
“And, those lips…ah, strawberry red, luscious, desperate for a kiss! How long has it been since I tasted that sweetness, hmm?” he winked as he touched her arm, his fingers now curling around her wrist.
Her face, which moments ago had been a shade of pink, was now all white.
Her heart fluttered like a caged bird: nervous, scared for its life, desperate for an outlet to fly away to freedom.
But he stood blocking her way, looming large like an evil shadow ready to devour the peace and happiness of her world.
The Amit, whom she had forgotten when she had found her Amit’s warm embrace, stood between her and her freedom.
Would she escape, like the last time, or would she give in?
This post is written for #FictionMonday, hosted by my friend and a talented poet, Vinitha Dileep of Reflections.
This week’s prompt: SHADE