The bus moved at weltering speed, trudging on the sloppy terrain surrounded by the mountains and quaint village, offering a stunning view of the ravine flowing at night. A head buried in the Kindle and felt woozy, slouched on the seat and stumbling at the same pace as the bus trundling on the rocky terrain. He yanked on the seat and held on to the steel handle as if hanging to a cliff. The bus stood at a standstill for few seconds and screeched like lightning in the dark.
He slumbered on the seat and felt something moving in rifling burst at the edge of his shoulder’s length, feeling like balloons popped in the sprawling forest he played as a child. A gentle, feminine and soothing voice called out, Riyansh. The child was running on his tiny, naked feet chasing colorful balloons flocking past the huge tree and jettisoned towards the azure blue sky.
In a spiraling movement, a hand stroked his shoulder and Riyansh jostled at the sight of an angular face sitting next to him, a mocking smile and smoldering eyes in a slim body wrapped under a green skirt. “Excuse me, will you?” she says. He muses, “You are kinda welcome.” “I mean, sorry to disturb your sleep but you were bent on me….not very comfortable, you see,” she warbled.
Riyansh was struck by her beauty, confidence and elegant composure, thanking the stars and moon for this chance encounter. He wore his funniest hat, “Sorry. Now, you won’t be uncomfortable now that I am awake seeing green all over the place,” he winked. She stared straight and compelled him to apologize again, “Again bad joke like the smart phone typo,” he playfully said.
She winced and turned her face away. Twisting hair locks, he loquaciously asked, “Which village you are from?” The girl smirked, “As far as I know, Mumbai is not a village”. “Riyansh,” he introduced himself to save face. She hesitated, “Anika.”
“You have beautiful eyes,” he flirted and she beamed. The bus bumped and she tripped over him, lips meeting accidentally. He was gobsmacked. Anika uncomfortably said, “Stranger-man Riyansh! Don’t think too much and no one saw it in the dark. Don’t get ideas.” She didn’t want to look stupid. The bus stopped for five minutes at the Terminus.
Anika scampered in the dark and he followed her with a warning, “It’s the night and don’t venture too much.” She was amused, “Why? Are you a ghost warning me about your friends?” He wouldn’t let the moment slip and simpered, “Hey! I am not following you. You can never know! There are wolves at night and we are still in an unknown village.”
“Why don’t you walk ahead? I will follow you and looks like you are well versed being the wolf in the pack,” she said. He walked an inch in front of Anika and went into Mannequin mode, striking an SRK pose with hands flung in the air.
She flitted past him and waded aimlessly in the dark, standing on the edge of the deserted road facing the bus terminus, untying her long hair fluttering with the sudden, gentle breeze and looking like a hippy in the white shirt, blue denim and Reebok sneakers, face wearing a colorful gaze. There was something about Anika’s face, the glint in her eyes and face lightning up, the enraptured smile lending a shade of mystery. Riyansh felt a thumping heartbeat and dashed to cross the road towards her. In the fleeting seconds, she pulled his hand and dragged him to the opposite end of the road, under the kiosk, inching closer and pressed his chest. Lips pulled together. She guided his hand beneath her white tee and traversing under her bra. Every inch of the mouth explored and saliva dropped as Anika’s mouth smothered on his lip, inside and outside like a taste of sponge cake. Riyansh hand lay on her waist and pressed on the back, lip on neck. She licked his neck like a sip of beer and nose stroking as if it’s a morning ritual. Their bodies were glued together, caressing each other’s skin, at times with thunderous force and the next moment loosening up with fingers interlocked, touching on the skin lightly and ticklish sensation spurting in electric wave.
Riyansh’s heart almost stopped and they pulled apart from each other. No question asked. Sheepish smiles and grinning faces. Anika wore a sensual look on her lower lip, a softness hiding the smile. She was walking on the elongated road without uttering a word and he ran towards her. “Hello! What’s wrong?” he was confused.
She took both his hands, “Listen! I just broke up with my boyfriend and not looking something serious and carrying the load of a new relationship is scary. I don’t care whether you are dating someone or single. So chillax babe and it’s not like I am interested to keep Karva Chauth for the rest of my entire existence on earth. Live a long life with good laughs, smooch and the booze, Okie,” Anika winked.
“Oho! It’s not that am into hot pursuit. The bus stand is on the other side and not on this directionless road,” he pretended to be unaffected.
She was amused, “Ok! Baba! I promise to come back but want to take a lone walk. Now, close your eyes and shall be back.” Riyansh protested but hid his face, sitting on the pavement, counting two minutes. He opened his eyes slowly and looked furtively ahead. Anika has disappeared. He was restless and walked back towards the bus. It has already left. He stood alone at the bus stand, surrounded by a dog licking its claws and a lone man splaying on the floor under the shelter.
To be continued