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Joined: 03 July 2005
"Wow the weather is amazing today. Oh I love sitting in this park … the trees, the flowers it's all just so beautiful and clean" said the young man lying on the park bench. He was an ardent nature lover and spending time in this park was his favourite pass-time. You would always find him in this park ….. riding his bike, feeding the birds, taking photos, studying, and just relaxing. This park may as well have been his home.
"Thudd" out of nowhere a glass juice bottle had landed on the grass near the young man. He jumped up to see who had thrown it. He looked around but the only people he could see in the park area around him were a young woman who was jogging and a little girl and her parents who were picnicking.
"It must have been the little girl ….. kids just don't understand that littering harms us all" thought the young man and he headed over to the family.
"Excuse me is this your bottle?" he said to the little girl.
"No Mister ….. we don't use glass bottles like that – we use the plastic kinds that you can use over and over and over again" said the little girl.
"Is there a problem" asked the little girl's father
"No no I just thought that maybe you had thrown this bottle on the ground over there"
"Oh no that isn't ours and mister …. Littering is bad ….. we don't litter because it makes our world dirty and bad" answered back the little girl scrunching up her nose.
The young man smiled and extended his hand to the little girl for a shake. "Thank you sweetheart ….. I wish everyone would understand that …. And I'm sorry I thought you did"
The young man smiled at the family and turned around to walk to the bench.
"If the little girl didn't throw the bottle …. Did that young woman jogging throw it …. I thought people my age would be more aware of these things …. No no maybe there was someone else I didn't see." He started to look around again to see if he could figure out who had thrown the bottle. But the young woman was the only person he could see nearby. He walked over to where she was stretching.
"Excuse Me" he repeated … but he noticed that she had a headset on and was chatting away with someone.
"EXCUSE ME" he repeated for the third time only this time he was loud enough to get the young woman's attention.
The young woman stopped talking and stared at the young man. He was cute. She knew she was gorgeous and assumed that he probably wanted her number. She had been through this so many times. She looked him over from head to toe and said "Yes" expecting him to ramble a little and then ask her for her number.
"Is this yours?" asked the young man holding up the bottle.
"Huh" the young woman was confused. Was this guy really asking her about a bottle
"I asked if this was yours"
"The bottle? You're asking me about the bottle?"
"No I'm asking you if the park is yours ….. of course I'm asking about the bottle …. I'm holding it up to you while I'm asking aren't I?"
The young woman started to laugh "Oh My God …. You're asking me about this stupid bottle ….. wow ….. yeah its mine … so?"
"Ha ha ha ….. I'm so glad I was able to make you laugh ……. Too bad I didn't say anything even remotely funny"
The young woman was starting to get irritated now. She didn't have time for this. "Look I don't have time to argue about my ownership of this bottle …. You can have it if you're so interested in it"
"You know what I don't have time for this either …. But I'm making time to tell you that you're a highly irresponsible citizen of this city …. And this world"
Now they young woman was very irritated "What the ….. look I don't know what trip you're on but you don't have any right to speak to me that way nor do you have any right to waste my time with this frivolous stuff …. I'm a med student and I have a thousand things to do and listening to your lecture isn't one of them"
"Excuse me …. I have a thousand and one things to do and sadly for you giving you this lecture is one of them ….. do you realize that a little girl who's probably only up to your knees has more sense than you do?…… Do you realize that people like you are not only ruining what our parks look like but are also harming the world. It is so sad to see that a young educated woman like you has absolutely no understanding of the consequences of these disgusting actions."
The young woman couldn't believe what she was hearing. Was this guy for real? He was lecturing about throwing a glass bottle on the ground – "what a nerd" she thought "probably has nothing else to do in his life" and she started laughing at her thoughts.
The young man stopped talking and stared at her incredulously "Are you laughing?!?! ….. Why on earth are you laughing …… how is the fact that you're polluting the earth we live on funny?!?!?"
" I'm laughing because I guess you're one of those hippie poet types aren't you …. You don't look like it from your clothes but but the way you're going on and on about this it sure seems like you are – alright whatever like I said I don't have the time for this"
The young man took a step closer to the young woman and said "Ohhhhhhh okay …. I get it …… well you're right about one thing ….. appearances can be deceptive"
The young woman stopped laughing and took a step back.
The young man grabbed her hand and smacked the glass bottle into it "This is your bottle …. Find a proper place to dispose of it" …….. He took a step back and made a move to walk away but stopped and turned around again. "You said you were a med student …. Well that's funny ……. You're studying how to save lives ….. but your actions don't really show that ….. do you realize that the glass bottle you threw could have shattered and hurt someone or started a fire in the blazing sun and someone could have been hurt in that fire … so I guess the med school you go to teaches you to how to hurt people and then teaches you how to save them …. amazing" he shook his head and laughed.
"How dare you …" started the young woman but was interrupted by her phone vibrating.
"Hello … yes this is Anjali Gupta speaking ….." she paused as she listened "oh so the orientation session is today … but it was supposed to be tomorrow was it not …… oh okay this afternoon …. I'll be there … thank you"
She turned back to where the young man had been standing to have a go at him but realized that he was gone. She was so angry. How dare he talk to her that way. She threw the bottle down on the floor and went to pick up her jacket from the bench where she had left it. From the corner of her eye she saw a little girl playing with her parents and the things the young man had said to her came back to her "You're studying how to save lives but your actions don't show it ….. the glass bottle could have shattered and hurt someone …"
She went back to where the bottle lay and picked it up. She looked around and saw a recycling bin and tossed the bottle into it. She stood there for a minute remembering the young man. He had been cute but odd. He had been so passionate about her littering. She snapped out of her dream and said to herself "Anjali … what on earth are you doing …. Are you seriously thinking about that guy and what he said? … Hello …. Orientation …. Did you forget about that …. Girl you did you're good deed for the day now get going." Although she laughed at herself and started jogging to where her car was parked, she couldn't quite let go of what had just happened to her. Who was that guy and why did what he said make sense to her?
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