It was a nice and cool day. He had been looking forward to such a time for long. Pleasant weather on a day off from work was the best combination for a trip around town.
Thus, with a strange but pleasant sense of expectation he walked down the street to catch the afternoon bus that would take him to the city centre.
He was still a few feet away from the bus stop when he stopped still in his tracks. There amidst the deserted bus stop, right in the center of the bench he saw her sitting. He could feel his heart skip a beat and then speed off on to the third gear.
He was in a dilemma. Should he walk up to her ? But he was unsure of her reaction towards his presence in an otherwise deserted surrounding. He stood still trying not to breath fast to check if she had already noticed him.
He didn’t move for a couple of minutes. Time was running out. A bus would soon come along. And then he would lose her. And he didn’t want to be left with just a glimpse of her. Something that had become so common over the past few days.
He moved towards her gingerly. He was sure she had noticed his presence. He slowed down still more, but didn’t stop. Just as he was within a few feet from her, she snapped her head to look at him. He froze on the spot, trying to get a grip over his breathing.
Their eyes met for a brief moment. Then she looked away. Though she didn’t get up but he could sense she was nervous too. This gave him loads of relief and a sense of courage he had never felt before.
He took one step towards her. She looked back at him again, trying to judge his intentions. He tried to muster a smile, but failed miserably. He stopped again, looking nonchalantly down the road as if expecting the bus.
She still didn’t react. Though she appeared a bit disturbed by his presence. Maybe she was making up her mind.
He could feel her presence so near to him. With a swift wind blowing across the road, sweeping the dead leaves along, he could see her stiffen up a bit. It was the first time he had been so close to her. He felt mesmerized by her fairness. She looked even more beautiful from up close.
He realized that it was now or never and took a deep but quiet breath. He took two more soft steps and slowly sat down on the bench right beside her. He could feel his heart thumping in his chest, and its sound reverberating in his ears. He felt steam escape from his ears, while it felt impossible to breathe in.
He looked at her from the corner of his eye. She was looking away from him. He felt his throat go dry. He licked his lips and swallowed twice. She was deliberately ignoring him. The last thing he wanted was to scare her by anything he did.
But the next moment he decided to try his luck. He slowly moved his hand and touched her on her back. He dared not breathe expecting a reflex reaction from her. And not a pleasant one at that too.
As soon as she felt his hand on her back, she snapped back to look at him. He looked at her, into her eyes. Immediately, he saw a questioning look in her eyes. Out of nowhere, he managed to bring a faint smile to his face.
She was still looking at him without any hint of acknowledging the friendliness in his touch. She expected him to remove his hand and her intense stare gave the impression that she meant business.
He took off his hand, while expecting her to rise and walk away. But all she did was to look back down the road. He couldn’t believe his luck. Was she opening up to him ?
With his heart racing at the speed of knots, he moved his hand and kept it on hers. He had only imagined what touching her would feel like. But this was real. And it was intensely amazing. She felt so soft.
He suddenly found her staring at him again. But this time he didn’t let go of her. He smiled at her reassuringly. He noticed that her eyes had gone wide. Maybe she was trying to judge his intentions ever so quickly.
She suddenly straightened up and he felt that she was going to get up and walk away. But instead, she came closer to him and pushed herself into his side. He couldn’t believe it. He looked at her, into her eyes. And he saw that she trusted him.
He put his arm round her and felt her warmth on his skin. He had never thought that he could ever be this close to her. He wished that time would stand still for ever.
He was brought back to his senses by the sound of the bus that had stopped right in front of them.
“Hey mister… wanna board the bus ??!” Shouted the driver across the open door.
“Uhh.. no. Thanks !” He replied back.
“Fine. No problem.” Said the driver. “And a nice cat you got there…”
And the bus sped off…
(Picture Credits : Google Images)