The bus stopped few meters ahead of the spot from where I hailed it from. I ran towards the bus in fear of missing it again. I had been waiting for the bus since an hour and was already feeling irritated. I jumped inside the bus and found the only place to sit behind the driver seat. Being crammed between luggage increased my irritation. I had to go home this weekend. I always prefer to travel on Friday evening but this was Saturday morning. I had to reach home on time. My parents had arranged a match for me for marriage and we were all going to girl’s house to see her. I had always been skeptical about arranged marriages but now that I was fast approaching the dangerous milestone of being thirty and none of my relationships had potential to be something else, I had to agree to my parent’s plea and agree to venture the unknown territory of arranged marriage. I had not been able to shave, or even sleep properly. I silently cursed my boss and one my colleagues for keeping me in office on some stupid escalation and then it happened.
I looked in that direction and kept on staring at her. She raised her eyelashes and before she could look back at me, I started staring at my shoes. I suddenly became conscious of the fact that she was looking back at me and didn’t want her to catch me staring back at her. I felt her looking out of the window. Her tresses flowing with the breeze outside and her eye lashes battering with the windy breeze because of the moving bus. She looked remotely disinterested in everything around her and kept nervously looking at her cellphone. Could she have a boy-friend? Or was she engaged? She definitely didn’t look like someone already married. But I also observed that she was not pressing any buttons or tapping on her phone. Nor was she speaking on phone because her lips were stationary.
I never saw someone so beautiful and so serene. She looked innocent in front of so many people around. I felt the urge to talk to her. But there she was seated three seats away from me. All the thoughts of what awaited me when I reached home gone, I noticed her every move. The way she untied her hair and brushed her fingers inside them and then the way she tied them again. The way she opened her bag and took out water bottle and then take a sip or two. The way she nervously took her cellphone in her hands and after only few taps put it inside her bag. Suddenly she looked up. I was staring at her and our eyes met. I saw her lips twitch about to form a smile but then that about to smile turned into frown and I promptly looked towards my shoes again. After a while she dozed off. She was looking like an angel with half closed eyes and her head lolling to a side. She felt a jerk with the bus passing over a speed breaker and straightened up with a swiftness and tapped her cellphone again. She was probably checking the time. I also checked the time. In few minutes I would be reaching my destination. I wondered where she was going to. And then as the bus conductor announced the arrival of my journey’s stop, I stood and collected my luggage. I saw that she also stood up and started to carry her luggage. I had this whooping feeling that we both were stepping out on the same place.
She stepped out of the bus. Some kind of fear started to creep inside me. I won’t be able to see my angel anymore. I would not be able to talk her ever. I had to control myself now and stop thinking about her. I checked my possession and instinctively looked at her again. She walked near the pavement and hailed for an auto rickshaw and mouthed the address. Somehow I knew where it was. I had forgotten where I was but I knew where I wanted to be. Although we were parting our ways but if I heard it correctly, we were going towards the same destination.