That windy night, my partner and I were coming home from a friend's place. Weekend dinner followed by marathon chitchats made us a little late. We were overfed and dizzy.
We took a rickshaw. The aged rickshaw puller kept on chewing betel leaves at the same pace he paddled.
Our rickshaw entered an alley from the main road. The alley seemed almost quiet and dim with no streetlights. To break the silence, I started talking to my partner about a special dish from the menu, but he preferred to be silent.
We crossed the local police station. Almost at home. Before you can say knife, two shabby-looking men came out and blocked our rickshaw. The slow pace of the plot has become a thrilling midnight mugger's story in seconds.
One man had a similar kitchen knife I bought last month from the new market. Still, for a few moments everything stopped: the rickshaw, our breaths, the wind.
All I could hear was the rickshaw puller's chewing sound of betel leaves. It served as the background sound effect of the climax sequence of a film, the title which I couldn't remember.
One of the men's lips moving and his hands gesture toward our wallets. I was deaf in shock, nothing I could hear. I found my hands in my bag, after their orders, to get my wallet out.
Meanwhile, my partner, known as the husband, has already handed his wallet to the mugger, as it seemed to be the safest choice. He hastened me to give mine to them as soon as possible.
While my hand touched my wallet in the bag, it also brushed against my key ring. That very moment I remembered the paper spray I had once attached to my key ring as a safety measure. As soon as I felt the existence of the pepper-spray bottle, I realised I had the power to turn this story into a piece of action. So I did that.
I closed my eyes and sprayed.
I heard someone start howling in pain. I was very pleased with my victory over the muggers. I was also thinking, in my eyes closed, about how I would brag the story to my friends and colleagues.
"Look before you spray, woman", some known voice screamed!
I opened my eyes to see three things.
My husband's wallet was on the road. The muggers fled away. A few passersby were coming to our rickshaw. My husband was howling, rubbing his hands against his eyes.
Oh, for the month I've set a new goal. I have to practise my spraying skill to be precise. Only practice can make a woman perfect.
But I lost track of the genre of this story. I wondered if it was a tragedy or a comedy.
Who cares about the genre as long as there is a happy ending: the wallet has been saved.