They were walking alongside the beach, at 6AM. Sheila had never felt at ease with herself, let alone with someone of the opposite gender. Here she was, strolling with a man she met 24 hours ago.
They were a day old, and she did not have the faintest idea as to how she ended up walking side by side with a man who was a relative-stranger.
Murad found her mesmerizing. He thought long and hard of their encounter. It was as if the universe had brought this upon them. His thoughts lingered on her ravenous hair, and crimson brown kohl rimmed eyes. The rising sun brought out the gold and crimson specks in them and when she smiled she could hardly keep them open.
He knew she was special, they had been together all night and had ended up at Long Beach. Never had the horizon looked so prepossessing as it did that morning. The sun’s rays traced the waves as they crashed against the sand.
Sheila turned towards him and smiled, her eyes meeting his.
“I don’t fit in” she said, matter-of-factly, as if she had gone over it multiple times in her head and was just waiting to break it to him.
“It’s okay, you don’t have to. The best ones never do.” He took her hand in his and looked at her intently.
She looked at him, bemused but not quite. She wasn’t accustomed to sensitivity, not the sort that didn’t come with a price.
They walked along the wind swept shore for what seemed like an eternity, leaving footprints in the sand.