She sat there with a large box of KitKats. It was a multi-pack, with maybe twenty or so pieces. Her knapsack was on the floor and despite her Western attire, she had the red and white bangles of a newly married woman and a long, deep sindoor streak to go with it.
We were at our boarding gate, and as was the case with most passengers, she too had an expression of oblivion that comes when you are enroute. Neither here, nor there.
I looked at her briefly and went back to my book. The next time I looked up, the KitKat box was open. There were two empty wrappers on the seat next to her already and one KitKat piece in her hand.
One after another, empty wrappers kept getting neatly placed on the side as she continued to just stare blankly at nothing, and mechanically ate the chocolates.
I wondered what had happened before this moment. Had her husband come to drop her off? Or perhaps the husband would pick her up on the other side of the journey? Were the chocolates the final taste of freedom, the savouring of what was left of it or were they numbing down a niggling pain?
The boarding was announced. We all got up to check our “zones”. Mine was called out. As I headed towards the gate, I looked back but she was gone.
The box was left behind on the seat. There were still a few unopened KitKats inside.
Like pieces of an unfinished story.
*This piece was written in response to a writing workshop prompt by Unboxed Writers.
Duhita is a starving writer who rarely finishes any writing that she starts. It may be the hunger. She is always hungry. Aside from the fine art of procrastination, Duhita has been in the business of understanding consumer behaviour/ design thinking/ innovations for over a decade. If incentivized well enough, she can even have a conversation with a tree.