All she had to do was go get a bar of soap. Walking was the easier part; no eyes would meet hers. She could feel her heart beating faster as she stood at the door of the supermarket. The aisles beyond the glass doors seemed to loom larger than life, consuming her whole. The grey sky didn’t help either.
“Excuse me, please.”
She jumped at his voice. The delivery guy pushed the trolley past her, and entered the store, disappearing behind an aisle.
Just as she decided to turn back, she felt something brush against her leg. She looked down to find a fluffy, black and white cat, bunting her and purring. She noticed her big whiskers and dilated pupils, and also a collar.
“She seems to love you, my dear. You alright?”
She turned around again. This time, it was an elderly man with a well-behaved, large black-and-white husky.
Picking up the purring cat, she asked, “Is she yours as well?”
The old man smiled. “Yes, dear. Her name’s Poppy. And this boy next to me is Storm. Your accent seems different. Not from here, are you?”
“No, I’m from India. I just moved here.” She squeezed Poppy and dropped her next to Storm, petting him as well. He wagged his tail.
The old man blinked slowly, nodding his head. “I’m sure you’ll find Indian items too. I’ve seen several kinds of lentils in the Asian aisle. Have a good day, sunshine.” He then looked at his pets, adding, “You two wait for me here, alright,” and walked into the store.
Poppy and Storm settled themselves on the pavement by the store. She noticed a faint, yellow glint on the glass doors. She turned to the sky.
Avni smiled and took a step toward the glass doors. They opened up for her.