Renyi saw the array of sweets arranged in front of him. There were plenty to
choose from and he was mystified as to which one to select. He ogled at the
rainbow-colored wrappers holding sweet treasures within each bite. He licked his
lips as he paused over the green-foiled chocolate mints resting on the bottom
He felt around his trouser pockets for his money but grimaced quietly
when he realized he had taken out a scrunched up bus ticket from yesterday
instead. He turned around and saw Krish, the notorious school bully, standing a
few meters away from the entrance. He had his hands tucked inside his pockets
and his mouth was in constant motion, chewing gum and popping it every few
seconds. His huge physique seemed compressed in that tiny shirt of a uniform
with the buttons bursting from its seams. He kept staring at the fancy red car
parked outside. For an alarming moment, Renyi wondered if he was going to
Renyi quickly turned left at the aisle and moved into the toiletries lane,
not wanting to be spotted. He walked down, eyeing the soaps and brushes and the
various deodorants assembled in neat rows. Some had 'offer' tags hanging from
their necks, with prices that still seemed exorbitant to Renyi. He went around
putting the bottles into different places, engrossed in causing disarray in
their perfect little world.
He walked on following the streams of ribbons and flower-shaped bulbs that
dangled from the ceiling. Their greens and reds got him excited as he remembered
the Christmas party at Roland's bungalow two weeks ago. They still had not taken
down the decorations in various parts of the shop.
He saw the clothes stacked on racks and rubbed his shirt self-consciously.
Seeing that Krish was nowhere to be seen, he moved quickly in a half-ducking
position to the cashier's counter. He paused, watching her move back and forth
as she stacked the magazines neatly on the rack, counting and stacking the
separate piles. Renyi eyed his favorite minty chocolate, imagining the fresh
mint and cocoa flavor invading his senses at the first bite.
He brought his hands closer to the counter, swallowed consciously and in a
flash, hid the chocolate between his palms. He quickly tucked it into his pocket
and felt his heartbeat slow down. He reveled in the
thrill, a new experience.
"Hey!" a familiar husky voice rang through the air. Blood drained from his
face as he stood frozen to the spot.