A single strand of her brown hair fell out of her bun, its blue colored tip tickling my face. She could sense it but she continued to drive the scooter silently. She was relishing the cool wind blowing on her face. She drove faster, greedily, to soak in more, not wanting to leave even a bit of it untouched. It was her zen moment, unadulterated, unfiltered and seemingly eternal.
I could only gaze at her mischievous strand, observing its jive over the smooth white skin on the curve of her neck. I ducked myself behind her, not sharing her enthusiasm for either the cool breeze, nor the long winding road of the hills. At that moment, nothing enticed me greater than her hair, her scent, her warmth, her presence. The beauty of the fleeting surroundings was lost upon me.
She negotiated a bump on the road roughly, unsettling me. I lurched forward, my beard grazing her neck, causing her chain of thoughts to collapse. Suddenly reminded of my presence, she eased the speed and glanced behind to check if I were okay.
‘I always thought it was our greatest strength, knowing each other completely. Yet, you kept this one big fact out’, she lamented a little sadly.
The drive was calming her considerably, diminishing much of the anger with which she had set out. She deserved this sudden outing now, this long ride. We were drifting apart emotionally owing to our busy schedules. As it occasionally does, life coughs up a few nasty crumbs from the past to make you realize it can hurt your present too. The only way is to go through with it entirely, clean up and start afresh together, every time.
I said nothing, words could not have comforted her as surely as silence would. I moved a little closer, letting my chin drop on her shoulder.
‘Go away. It pricks’ she growled and shrugged me off.
‘Adrita, I always wanted to tell you about it. I was only waiting for the right moment.I never wish to hurt you. You do know that’
The road suddenly went downhill. She let go off the accelerator as we sped down the slope, cheering out loud through the free fall. The grand old trees lined on the sides, rustled as we crossed them, as if approving of her little crazy act. This reminded me of the Adrita I had met in college, the calm, emotional girl with a hidden streak of wildness.
The slope ended, turning into a straight smooth road, which mirrored our present state, tranquililty.
‘You are very smart. You know how to appease me. Distract me with long rides or delicious food and make me forget all your issues.’
‘Well, Did you not know? I am quite experienced at that since college.’
We both laughed out loudly as we raced along the long road, like little children, without any worry, without any pain and grabbing all the joy the world could offer.
I wrapped my arms around her, hugging her tightly, relishing her warmth.
The vehicle screeched to a halt.
‘I swear I am going to kill you! ‘, she shouted.
‘That beard pricks. You better shave! Else…’
All it takes is a long ride, together.