“I thought you’d never come!”
“It’s a Saturday morning. It’s a big enough deal that I have woken up,” Aria mumbled, sleepily.
It had been yet another day past their last meeting, but it felt like it had been almost two weeks. Gul had reached their meetup location at exactly 5:00am.
“So, why do you need to catch a 5:15am bus from across the street every day?”, Gul inquired.
“Neat observation skills, Sherlock. You might be a smarty pants at your university, people like me settle for the more regular jobs.”
“So what exactly do you do that requires you to work this early in the morning? A paper route?”
“Yeah, the bus makes it so much more convenient to throw the newspaper bundles around, across multiple blocks.”
“You started it, thought I’d play along. You might not have noticed yet, but I’m very good at playing along.”
“That, you are. So you’re going to continue being evasive about what your background really is, huh?”, Gul demanded.
“Familiarity is an overkill, mystery is the real thrill.”
“And early morning banalities are almost tranquil.”
“So, if you’re not going to tell me anything about yourself, I wonder what we can even converse about,” Gul probed, looking puzzled.
“That’s the thing with most people these days, isn’t it? You can just not strike up a conversation with someone without getting to know them. “What do you do for a living?”, “Where are you from?”, “Are you committed?”, “How are you feeling, this fine morning?” And the worst of them all… “What’s up? How’s it going?”. People have become so immune to the last one, it’s just a replacement phrase for “Hi” or “Hello”. No one even bothers to answer!”, Aria advocated.
“Good to know that, apart from enforcing feminist agendas, you also like to pull apart other societal conventions.”
“I’m all for bringing about a good change into the society.”
“So are you some sort of an activist?”
“Well, keeping aside the fact that you’re still trying to analyze who I really am, I guess I’ll humor you for a bit. Yes, I am involved in a few social causes. In fact, I urge you to join me. We have a meeting on Monday at 6:00am. Join us, if you’re free, which I think you are. You spend way too much time at this park you know.”
“Hey, it’s a cosy spot! Nice for some alone time,” Gul justified.
“That’s true, but don’t linger around too late in the evenings. You are intimidating enough, but the boogeyman doesn’t know that yet.”
“Also, how do you even know?”
“I have my sources.”
“Have you been spying on me or something?”
“No. I just guessed. All it took to confirm my suspicions was you admitting to them. You’re a very easy prey Gul.”
“Umm. What kind of causes do you support again?”, said Gul, perplexed.
“You’ll find out. Monday. Don’t be late, the bus leaves exactly at 5:17am from the bus stop across the street.”
*** Read part 4 here. ***