Their eyes met as soon as she walked into the waiting room. Surprisingly she felt uneasy. She averted her gaze immediately though she felt the urge to keep looking. Even after looking away, she could feel herself being scrutinized and somehow she seemed to not mind it!
Her appointment was at 10am and she was on time, as usual. The secretary asked her to wait saying the doctor was seeing a patient and there was one other patient waiting and that she could go in after that other patient was done. She chose the couch near the doctor’s room even though it was facing the row of chairs arranged in the centre of the waiting room. On most days she would have chosen a seat in the last row so that she did not have to face anyone else. But today was different.
A few people were scattered around in the central waiting area, awaiting their respective appointments. This was a common waiting area and there were nearly six doctors consulting in the rooms connected to this room. As she waited her thoughts went back to that gaze which had met her earlier. Casually she looked around and realized that she was still being watched. The ‘stranger’ had shifted seats and was now sitting straight opposite her couch on one of the chairs and was steadily looking in her direction. There was the hint of a smile when their eyes met and she had to look away once again. Feeling slightly embarrassed she turned her attention to the doctor’s secretary and prayed that her turn would come up soon. She wanted to return the gaze but decided not to. Something was happening and she was not exactly sure if it was good or not.
After about 20 minutes of stolen glances and suppressed smiles, it was finally her turn! Once inside the doctor’s room she forgot everything else and focused on explaining the problem to her doctor and listening to his advice. Once she was done, she marched up to the secretary’s table and waited for her to confirm the fees with the doctor. After paying the fees she started walking towards the elevator and then suddenly remembering the ‘mysterious’ stranger she turned quickly in that direction to check if that person was still there. And their eyes met yet again. This time she held the gaze for a while and then smiling slowly she turned and walked out of the room.