I walked as fast as I could. Got inside the apartment and locked the door. Still breathing heavily, I tried to comprehend the strange events in the last 20 mins. I tried to put different pieces of my logic together to see if it makes any sense.
Its been quite sometime since I had gone for swimming. I decided to go today even though it was cold. There were very few people in the pool. By the time I had my shower, even they were gone. I was alone in the pool. Great! Not every day you can have the whole pool for yourself. Three dudes, who were smoking, were sitting outside the pool, accompanied by three girls. I started swimming.
Did I hear something? Yes, I heard it more than once. I stopped and looked around. One of the girls was telling something to me. "Your swimming trunks are cool". What? The black trunk with small green circles I was wearing, was actually pathetic. May be she is trying to make fun of me. Thats okay girl, you can be mean, but you cannot irritate me! "Oh Thanks", I replied, faking genuineness as well as I could. The plump girl who commented was at least twice my size(let me call her "Bad Taste Belle" or BTB for easy reference) I call her "Belle" because her friends looked outright scary!
After sometime, all those dudes left the pool. I swam for some more time continuously (the water was pretty cold, so stopping in between was not the best idea) I could hear BTB's friends making lot of noise, I could easily make out that they were looking towards me and making some comments. It was getting darker and the noise was increasing. I finished one more length and came out of the pool. Even the girls got up and started to leave. I avoided looking towards them.
"Hey, can I have your phone number?", BTB was showing the black mobile in her hand.
"Sorry, I don't have a phone". Thank God, I had not got my mobile to the pool!
"Oh okay", she seemed surprised. She could not understand how a person can survive without a mobile. "Hey, you are looking sexy!"
What??? Is she drunk or drugged or plain dumb? She looked as if she could be any one of those. How can a person who never exercises and eats unlimited butter nan and panneer butter masala ever look sexy to anyone? But, who cares! If I had to choose between a true comment and a nice comment, I would pick the latter ;)
"Oh thanks", I was still surprised. On my way out, one of her scary friends even said "Good night".
As I started walking briskly, I started sweating even in that cold weather.
Had I given my phone number, the next call would have been about "Your place or my place?". Don't tell me that I am just imagining. She was definitely not asking my number to discuss about servlets or country music!
I just imagined myself tied by a rope to her cot. Did she have cocaine with her? Or ice knives in her refrigerator?
The Indian Embassy could have got a call about me the next day - not because the visa or I94 got expired - but the man himself!
What if her scary friends had drugged me and dumped me somewhere on the freeway?
All these may seem too far-fetched imagination, but the lonely swimming pool, the bold plump girl and her scary looking friends were enough to frighten anyone.
I had trusted my "instincts", instead of "basic instincts" ;)
And I am still alive!