I started running towards the bus as it was about to leave. Finally, I caught up the night bus at the last moment. The lights in the bus were dimly lit, and somehow I could locate my seat, the unlucky number 13.
It was a single seat, which I deliberately choose to ensure some privacy during the whole night journey. I didn’t even looked around to see who all were there in the bus.
The bus soon left the bus station and geared up to its normal speed. The cool breeze started brushing through my face, and soon I was lost in the fast moving lights outside the window. I started concentrating on the black shadows of building, trees which crossed me hurriedly. I was alone, no one recognized me in the bus, nor did I wanted anyone to recognize me. I wanted some moments of my own, in my own world.
But, soon some people started talking loudly in the bus, maybe to outsmart the engine sound. And when that became unbearably loud, I decided to put my headphones and listen to some songs. Yes, best time to listen to Kishore Kumar, and his all time hit romantic songs. I increased the volume so that I could not hear anything else. His soothing voice was all I could hear now. And soon I did not even realized what Kishore kumar was singing, as I dozed off.
My sleep got disturbed suddenly, something brushed through my face. I opened my eyes, to realize that her hairs were all over my face. She was sitting in my front seat and has slanted her seat quite a lot, and with the wind blowing through the window her hair was falling all over my face. Now, I was in a fix. All the bus lights were off. And I can’t even call her to take back her hairs nor I can push them on my own. So funny !!! I just wished that the bus stops somewhere so that I can ask her to tie her hair or do something so that they don’t fall over my face again. For the time being I shifted my face to a corner and tried hiding from her hairs, a hard fought battle started though.
After some time, the bus stopped in a regular stoppage, the dinner break. But I had a set agenda, as soon as people started getting up from their seats and lights were switched on, I too got up from mine hurriedly. Her face was still in the shadows created by the baggage cabin above the seats. Anyway I was not much interested to see her face; my intention was only to solve the issue of her hairs. So, I told her the problem in a slight rough tone. She was humble enough and immediately asked for apologies in a soft voice and said that she will take care of it from now on. I must agree that her voice was quite pleasant.
Since I normally don’t have food outside in these shabby places, I took out my cigarette pack and went far away for a lonely smoke. After burning two cigarettes hurriedly and putting enough of tar inside my heart, I came back to my seat in the bus. I noticed her seat was quite upright now but empty. Well, quite satisfied, I prepared for my private sleep. And before the bus could even start its engine, I was in deep sleep. I didn’t even realized, when she occupied her seat.
It was only at around 6 am in the morning, I woke up. As I opened my eyes, just from the corner of front seat I saw her watching outside the window, lost in her own thoughts. Oh my gosh! she was so cute and beautiful. I was instantly attracted to her. What a fool I was, I got angry at myself. I didn’t even looked at her face yesterday night? And why the hell I talked to her so roughly? I could have introduced myself or asked about her. Maybe we could have become friends. May be I could have met her afterwards. May be ….
The bus stopped and I saw her getting up from her seat. She took her bag, and looked towards me. She paused for a moment, looked straight into my eyes. I thought she wanted to say something. There was some unsaid emotions in her eyes, some expectations, something….. I waited. She didn’t said anything, nor did I. After a long pause, she turned, left and got down from the bus. I kept looking towards her till she became invisible, she didn’t looked back even once.
Why did she looked at me like that? What she wanted to say? Did she felt something for me? Was she also alone like me? Who was she? Did I failed to recognize my soulmate?
I could never find the answer…