The Right and the Wrong Umbrella
It was raining cats and dogs. On top of that I had flu and fever. But it was imperative for me to go out, and public transport was my only option for that place.
My navy blue umbrella had turned inside out when I used it during the last deadly storm. What should I do? I wondered.
Giving me her hot pink umbrella, my mom said to me, “Who’s going to see it anyway? No one will be out in this bad weather”
I took it and walked slowly against the opposing rain that was made worse by the harsh wind. As I entered the long pathway towards the train-station, I heard footsteps behind me. Then came multiple whistles followed by lewd comments.
“Out on your own, baby!!”
“Let us join you, will ya?”
For a moment it confused me. Then I looked up at the pink brolly and smiled. They were teasing a lone woman.
I decided to fool them by acting like a scared damsel, trying to walk faster with staggering steps. This went on for a while. While they continued their chase, soon they got more suggestive and vulgar. Then all of a sudden, one of the guys came up front, probably with intention for some cheap gesture.
I stopped and turned back. Then popping my eyes at them, I patted on my chin and the coarse stubble.
Lucky me. Despite my mom’s reminders that my unshaved face makes me look older than my twenty years, I’m very lazy about getting rid of facial hair that I’m genetically so well endowed with. Well, at least today I ended up looking like a toughie that I am not.
Scared by this change of game, the loonies ran away. I chased them uttering filthy words that I had never spoken before.
The episode became the talk of my community. A pink brolly draws men to women. I wonder if that is the reason why so many women in my area have now started using big black umbrellas, the kind that men use. A lone woman’s strategy to keep prowlers away.
Copyright © 2015 Alka Girdhar
This flash fiction was written for: Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers hosted by Priceless Joy. The photo by Etol Bagam.
Now posting my story for Flash Fiction with Ronovan Writes Challenge 7.