He was in the office, busy with the code that needed to be delivered today; hardly had he got up from his seat. The promise he made her was still in his mind, he had to be home early. He tried to finish his work as quickly as possible. He was working on the last task, writing a formal communication to the onsite coordinator informing the deliverables are ready and steps to execute them. As he rechecked his mail with great satisfaction he pressed the send button. It was 5:45 pm; he hurried to catch his 6:00 pm bus. As he got out of the office he noticed the atmosphere, it was cool and it had started raining, rains are just perfect it was not too heavy, perfect enough to set the mood! He enjoyed his stroll till the bus stop. As he took a window seat he looked around, there were some people running here and there to save themselves from getting wet. He looked at the other side of the road, there was a group of children playing in the pool of water that was formed along the road side, and they were happily jumping in the pool and enjoying the drizzle. He wished he too could just go there and enjoy with them, he too wanted to relive his childhood moments. There was so much happiness on their faces. He was lost in his thoughts when the bus started picking up speed. The green trees looked like they just got their color; scent of the soil that he inhaled brought a new freshness in him. He was enjoying nature at its best and had forgotten all the office worries, the hectic day he had spent to meet the deadlines, everything was gone, he was fresh, it started getting dark.
Soon he fell asleep feeling the cool wind. He woke up by a screeching sound that the sudden application of brakes created. He was baffled and wondered what happened for some time, regaining he understood, “This rainy season brings lot of accidents too with it” he pondered as he looked out through the window. “Ohh my stop is nearing” he thought, he got ready. To arrive at his stop the bus had to take a U- turn, He was sitting at the right hand side window seat, the bus stop at the other side of the road was visible, he could see her, she was standing by the bus stop shade in the crowd at the bus stop. Part of the crowd but still so distinct that she always managed to get his attention, He daily longed for this view, Today as his bus was approaching the bus stop he saw her, she was wearing a light yellow Punjabi suit, she might have not been prepared for rains so he could make out as she was wet. She was shivering, she tugged her hair at the back of her ear and continued to wait, water drizzling from her half wet hair, She was holding the folder she carried close to her heart. As the bus took a U turn, he got up and went to the door making sure he does not miss any moment, as he came to the door her eyes caught him, She too kept looking at him, they had an eye contact till the bus took the U turn and stopped at the stop.
As he got down from the bus he opened his umbrella, they were still looking at each other. He went close to her and offered her his umbrella; she politely denied and started walking. He followed her pursuing her to accept his offer,
“You might catch hold” he added to make his argument strong.
“No, I won’t, It’s not raining heavily so I can reach home safely.”
“But you need to be prepared for rains you see, falling sick these days, you cannot afford.. ” He tried to catch up with her speed.
“Yes, I will be.. ” She assured, increasing her pace.
“So are you sure you don’t want the umbrella?” To which she just nodded and kept walking.
In a sudden gush of wind the umbrella swept from his hands and it was swept far away within few seconds. He just shrugged and ran to catch up with her. As she looked at him she enquired, “Where is your umbrella?”
“Ohh it got carried away in the wind… ” She gave him suspicious looks questioning “Really?”
“Ohh yes, really, I don’t want to get sick… ” he answered her question.
“I know all your tricks boy.. ”
“I know all this is for a cup of coffee… ”
“No no… not really, seriously… ” He told her nodding. In no time it started raining heavily, he ran to take shelter under a shop roof, and reaching there he saw she was still walking, he signaled her to run and be quick, but she was enjoying the rain. She even walked slowly. He just kept looking at her happy face, water drops dripping over her face. Soon he joined her too and they were playing as the kids he saw earlier on the roadside, no worries, no tension, just living for the moment. Soon they realized people giving them HAVE YOU GONE CRAZY looks, they regained themselves and soon started walking towards the home. As they reached, she got the keys and opened the door, he followed her and they settled down..
She brought him a Kurta pyjama and asked him to get comfortable while she prepared the coffee. As she came with the coffee she handed one cup to him and sipped the coffee from her cup,
“Even if you would have not got wet, I would have prepared the coffee for you… ” She assured. “You don’t need to get wet daily in these rains now for the cup of coffee”
“Ohh GOD seriously, you think I get wet for this cup of coffee? ? ” She just nodded in affirmation… “You are mad, today I got wet just to get my hair dried from you” he said sarcastically handling her the towel… “Otherwise no one cares for this kid you know” he said trying to be childish as he kept his head in her lap. Without saying a word she smiled to herself and started drying his hair… “Rainy seasons are always so romantic. Rains though bring discomfort, they are enjoyable. They make us feel nostalgic!! May it be the childhood memories or the memory of your first love. Even today I remember the first day when we walked in that single umbrella, both were half wet from the other side. Just because you did not want to carry an umbrella all day and you barged in my umbrella…. That day is still so fresh.”
“But now I carry mine and you don’t like to carry yours, See I have changed Im a good boy now, but You have become a bad girl.”
“Umm seriously, you feel I’m a bad girl? If I carry mine how will you care for me?? How will you run behind me carrying the umbrella asking me to join you? How will we relive the first walk we had in a single umbrella huh? ”
“Ohh, so all this for… ” She blinked naughtily and they sipped coffee looking into each other, lost in their world.