She grabbed an apple on her way out. Slamming the door behind her, she ran to the elevator trying to escape the small windy opening in the corridor that invited the cold. It was already late. The cold dreary morning outside was splattered with sporadic rain. She grabbed her jacket closer to her while waiting for the elevator.
‘Aah! Why does it have to be so windy? It is so cold!’ she spoke to herself. Her eyebrows got closer to each other and a distasteful frown appeared on her face, much like the weather outside.
With shaky legs, she moved closer to the door of the elevator. Finally, the elevator was here. As soon as it opened, she darted right in almost scaring the tall passenger inside.
The apple was crunchy. She munched and munched, and the morning rush showed in her bites. The other occupant watched her chomp away from the corner of his eyes. She suddenly felt the bright chartreuse scarf she was wearing. It sure could brighten up the insipid morning outside.
The elevator stopped.
On her way out of the emergency exit, she tossed the seeded core of the apple into a bin near an apartment door.
‘Whoever kept a bin here is a thoughtful fellow,’ she said to herself and walked out.
The day ahead was so full of debris for her that she could have filled that entire bin with it. Needless to say, she came back and slept off.
The next morning was a late morning again. She hurried to leave and grabbed an orange on her way out. She peeled it in the elevator and dropped the peel in the same bin on her way out of the emergency exit.
He yawned and opened the door to check for milk bottles. A strong whiff of ripe oranges struck him. He looked around and saw the peel of an orange in his precious wide-mouthed vase near the door.
‘What! Again?!’ his eyes were big and the last traces of sleep had dramatically vanished. He remembered that just a day before he had taken out the core of an eaten apple from inside the vase.
He looked around hoping to see someone to rant to and exclaim his surprise at the ignorance of the moronic person who used his decor as a trash bin.
The dull blue colored vase was part of a curator’s collection that he had fancied and bought from an art exhibition. It was wide mouthed with a lesser bottom, and this shape was precisely what he had liked about it. He loved ornaments for his home, and he had hoped that this vase just outside the door would set the ambience for his guests when they entered his crafted museum of decor that he called his home.
Only that his hopes and dreams were dashed by a moronic individual who was atrociously using his decor as a trashbin!
He decided to wait for the miscreant the next morning.
Keeping in mind his own eccentric timings of going in and coming out of his house, he calculated that this art-crime was being committed in the morning hours. He would wait.
He would definitely wait.
All night he was up fearing that he would not be able to wake up early morning and grab the culprit by the collar. He worked, ate a packet of noodles, worked again, and planned to keep the door open from 5 am. Tired of working, he switched on the television.
Morning rush. Morning rush, she talked to herself. Scuttling around in the house, she got ready to leave for work. She opened her refrigerator one last time to pick up a crunchy fruit but didn’t find any. She grabbed a banana and slammed the door.
He woke up with a startle. The television was on and he had slept on the sofa. It was bright outside.
‘My vase! My vase,’ he screamed and ran to the door. He pulled it open and was horrified to see a banana peel inside it.
Somewhere a lion clenched its teeth and growled. It was inside him. Seething with anger he picked up the peel and threw it away aiming the trash bin in his kitchen. It fell on the floor. He thudded to the kitchen, lifted up the peel, and tossed it again into the bin.
That night he slept and woke up sharp at 5 am. He rushed to the door and kept it open. He sat on a chair next to the door with his laptop on.
An hour passed. No sign of the criminal.
Another hour passed.
He was slowly getting impatient. The elevator next to his apartment had started to get busy. He could hear kids, elders, babies coming out of the elevator but no body walked out of the emergency exit just adjacent to his apartment.
Suddenly, he heard footsteps arriving towards the emergency exit. He straightened himself and braced for a fight.
She walked towards the exit and by way of a three-day habit was just about to toss the core of a pear into the bin when she saw him sitting at the door. Her right hand was still in the tossing position when he screamed.
‘So, it’s you! You drop garbage into my vase every morning?,’ he thundered.
As if the morning rush is never enough for her, she was startled at the holler.
‘What are you talking of? Vase? What vase?’ she replied.
‘This, this vase,’ he said, pointing to his piece of decor.
‘This is art, and not a trash bin.’
‘I’m sorry I don’t understand. This is art? I thought it was a bin. If it is art why is it not inside your house?’ she was quizzical.
‘I can keep my decor anywhere. What made you think this was a trash can?’ he fumed at her.
‘Well, it is standing in a corner with a huge open mouth. What else is it supposed to be?’ she answered with a nonchalance that could defy the monotony of the life of the vase.
‘You’re atrocious!’ Thundering more than ever before, he pulled his piece of arty decor inside his house.
Wham. The door slammed on her face.
It opened even before it had closed completely.
‘You mean you can dump garbage into anyone who stands with an open mouth?’ he asked.
She seemed terribly upset with the question.
‘Anyone? You mean people? Yes I will, if someone stands in a corner with his mouth open, I will toss garbage into him’ she replied in anger.
The door slammed, and did not open a second time.
The emergency exit door opened. She breathed in fresh air, thought about the episode, chuckled and walked off.