Everyone has that one overprotective friend. And Krithika had Preeti.
"It's a bad idea" screamed Preeti.
"Huh? Why?" Krithika asked innocently.
"Why are you going out with a stranger?"
"Well, there are two reasons. One - he is not a stranger. Two - we are not 'going out'."
"No, seriously. We follow each other on Twitter"
"So, you haven't met him before?"
"We have chatted with each other many times and with common friends too"
"But how do you know he is not some freak?"
"Hmm. He has 1274 followers. Not all of them can be wrong, no?"
"But, how do you know he is a good guy? Do you know anyone who knows him personally?"
"Well, we have a lot of common followers"
"Only Twitter based common friends, right?"
"See what I mean? This could be a trap"
"Oh please. Calm down Preeti"
"All I'm saying is this - Never ever go out alone with strangers"
"Ok MO....M" Krithika replied stressing unnecessarily higher on the second word.
"I don't deserve that. My mistake for caring. Do what you want." Preeti slammed the door as she walked out.
Krithika finished some final makeup touches and left. In the auto, her mobile beeped. It was Preeti - "Just be careful" it read. Out went a quick reply - "Don't worry, I'll be Okay. And I'm sorry"
The auto dropped her off at the empty football stadium. "Who meets at a stadium when there is no match scheduled?" she thought to herself and walked in.
She sat at one of the seats, looked around at the vast emptiness and waited. She got her phone out and checked his follower count again. She read out "One thousand two hundred seventy four" aloud.
She checked her own follower count next. She saw 1179 and sighed loudly. She mentally noted that she should go home and find out the two people who had unfollowed her since morning.
She heard him from behind her. "Hey. Are you @treetopgirl?"
"Yeah. You must be @vishn_u". She was wondering how she didn't hear him coming.
"Yes. My friends call me Vishnu"
"I'm Krithika. Hope you didn't think my name is treetopgirl"
They both laughed nervously at that non-joke and fell silent.
She interrupted the awkward silence with "How many followers do you have?"
"1000 something I think. I forgot. Why do you ask?"
"Nothing specific. Just curious, that's all"
Then, the topics shifted from common followers to hashtag meanings and then to twitter celebs and finally to Twitter gossip. After an hour of meaningless babble, relaxation set in.
As they got comfortable with each other, the alertness was gone and the vulnerability was evident. The gun came out swiftly and was pressed against the forehead. It was too late to react - the shot went off and the body collapsed on the ground.
The killer got up satisfied. "Nobody. NOOOOBODY can have more followers than me", she mumbled and walked away into the night.