He said nothing when he entered the room. I was passing the best of my razors back and forth on the strop. He took a seat quietly. Only traces of beard were present on his face. He was looking into my eyes; his eyes calling me. It was the fourteenth time in a single week that he had come for shaving in this salon.
I stopped my work. The time for duty had come. He was staring at me as I approached him. A slight smile appeared on his face. His face was good to look at. His body was better. But then people like him kept coming to this saloon. This was the only salon in town were all the staff were females. I was sure the same reason brought him here, more number of times than needed, that brought everyone else. That was the reason why this salon had only women working in there in the first place. We were twelve women there. And I wondered sometimes, how he always managed that I be the only one available whenever he came.
I applied the shaving cream. I didn’t need to ask him anything. We had developed some kind of mutual understanding. I knew he was still staring at me. I never liked men staring at me. But he had been different from others; different since the first day. Today however seemed a day, more different from others. He looked so nervous today, and yet he had a never-before-observed feel about him. His eyes wanted to convey something to me. And the thought of that sent a shudder through my body.
His face appeared cleaner as I approached the end of my job. I looked into his eyes, and before I could know, I was smiling. A chemistry was developing; or had it already developed? But I knew all this was going to vanish soon. As soon as he would know who I was. I was sure I would refuse him before he could do so. But I was sure of something else. I was already in love with him. And yet I could never tell that to him. I could never speak a word.
My job was done. He sat there clean shaved. He sat there silently. And then suddenly there was a movement. He had taken out a piece of paper from somewhere. He wanted me to read it. I knew this was the time to decide. And I did decide. I took the paper from him. If that was going to be a proposal, I knew I had to answer in negative. I was not sure if I should read that.
The next moment I was reading it. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I read that. And as I finished I could see tears in his eyes too. He had proposed to me and I had accepted. I had accepted to be his wife. And there had been no need of even a single word.
On our wedding, my father overheard someone saying ‘isn’t she the girl who worked at that salon in front of the town hall? I heard she is dumb; can’t utter a single word. Who agreed to marry her?’. ‘That man has an extra feature, he is deaf as well’, came back the reply.