Karim was scared. He didn’t want to leave his father’s side, with so many strange faces around at the train station.
The March sky was overcast; the weather windy.
Karim was kept warm by his red and green chequered hoodie.
His father wanted him to play, but Karim just would not step away.
Priya walked in, in her pink dress, holding her father’s hand.
She was as old as Karim.
She didn’t seem to mind the strangers.
She smiled at Karim. Her father saw that.
“You can play with him if you want,” he said, walking to stand beside Karim and his father.
“Yes,” she said.
Karim walked towards her. Their fathers saw the two four-year-olds getting ready to play together.
“What is your name?” asked Priya.
“Karim. What is your name?” replied Karim.
Priya led Karim to a broken bench underneath the overhead bridge at the station.
The bench wasn’t fit for adults, but the two of them could squeeze themselves over its unbroken edge.
Tilted as the bench was, Priya and Karim slid down and fell on the ground one over the other.
They both laughed aloud.
They knew what to do next: use the broken bench as a slide.
Karim’s father could not believe his son not minding the strangers anymore.
The train arrived.
Karim’s father went to get Karim.
“Bye,” Karim told Priya.
He boarded the train with his father. Priya was looking at them through the window.
They waved at each other, as the train began to move.