It was raining heavily. The moon and the stars were nowhere to be seen. It was a dark and gloomy night, filled with rain. The streets were mostly empty. Only once in a while, an odd crappy bike zoomed past. I could hear the sound of raindrops hitting the roof, leaves and windows in a crescendo rhythm. I had always enjoyed the sweet sound and smell of rain. The sweet smell of soil on a bright and warm day, after a night of showers. When I reached to close the windows, I could see an apparition in the dark. There was a girl. Soaked, wet and shivering.
“Meera! What are you doing here?” Vineet huffed as he hurriedly came out of the house.
Her soft face made his heart melt. How could he resist himself from loving her more and more?
“Hi!” Meera turned around to give him a wide beaming smile. Tiny raindrops were kissing her cheeks, her lips, and her eyes. She wiped her face and looked at me. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. She was divinely beautiful. As beautiful as a goddess.
“Come on girl! Let’s go to my place. It is nearby.” Vineet said in a pleading tone.
“No! I am alright!!” remarked Meera hesitatingly.
“But I can’t leave you alone in this rain! You may catch a bad cold!” Vineet said even as he unknowingly raised his hand as if to protect Meera from the relentless rain.
It was a good feeling, to save her from the falling rain.
I closed my eyes. My head went into a flashback to the first day when I had met Meera. Suddenly, a stunningly beautiful girl entered our chemistry class. I had loved everything about her. But I had kept it deep within myself.
The wind picked up suddenly. I was dumbstruck. I opened my eyes slowly and came back to the present. I was tossing in my ocean of thoughts. There were many unanswered questions. How come she is here? When did she come to Shimla? Why didn’t she call me?
But these questions had to wait awhile. We had dreamt to spend our best time together in each other’s company. But things just didn’t work out. I had least expected to run into her like this – in the middle of a rainstorm.
Now she was in front of me. Like a dream come true. I was lost in her big, beautiful eyes – those were my world once. I looked up at the sky to seek answers to my questions. But I was only hit by the falling rain, battering my face. Nevertheless, I was happy. Everything was glistening as the rain had painted them in fresh dark colours.
“Let us go,” Vineet told Meera. She let him lead her to the next road, where Vineet ran a few steps ahead and unlocked a door to a house.
“Come in and make yourself comfortable.”
“Wipe yourself,” said Vineet handing her a soft dry towel. “Come on Meera! You can tell me everything. We are friends!” Vineet exclaimed.
“No Vineet, its alright” Meera replied gloomily. She wiped herself and sat on a couch near to the fireplace. “Thanks!” She replied. “Show me the kitchen. I want some warm water. I will fetch it for you too if you want some”.
Vineet smiled and replied, “Make some tea as well when you are warming up the water.” He switched on the light and led her to the kitchen.
She felt a strong sense of jamais vu – a strange feeling of familiarity in the kitchen.
She made a strong cup of tea for both of them.
The odour of burning wood in the fireplace triggered several long lost memories in my mind. Years back we used to hang around in our college days. She always ended up making a hot cup of chai and toasted marshmallows, in the fire, while recounting endless spooky tales.
I was looking at her overwhelmed with these memories, as she arranged the cups of tea in the tray and served it. She came to me and sat in front of me. I gazed at the flames dancing in the fireplace.
I caught a glimpse of her sipping tea and with the curiosity killing me, I blurted out, “How come you are in Shimla?”
“My aunt lives here!” She replied. Sometimes during my vacation, I make a short trip to give her company. She is all alone after the death of my uncle. She is brave enough to handle my uncle’s transport business all by herself.
“So we had been now living apart for three years. What about your studies?” Vineet said, “It’s fine, almost over, the internship is left”. Meera responded. A long uneasy silence separated us.
Everything was still. It seemed the room had become warm. It filled with Meera’s heartbeat as it answered mine. Her breath whispered her love for me as I exhaled mine in return. Her face had a shining glow reflected from the burning fireplace.
Suddenly, I jumped, offered my hand to her and exclaimed, “Let’s dance!” She smiled and that made my heart skip a beat.
My stomach had a million butterflies fluttering. A piece of soft lilting music filled the room as we started dancing.
She surrendered herself to my arms. I could feel her hard breathing against my chest. I thanked God. She is mine. Still…
Meera came closer to me. I took both her hands into mine and slowly made the dance moves. As the flames danced too, the warmth of the room made us cosy. She moved her hands and placed them around me as I gently held her waist.
“Well this is good! Isn’t it?” I winked and smiled tenderly at her. Meera blushed as her white cheeks became flushed pink. I pulled her towards me from her waist.
It was like two beautiful souls in love while the rain lashed outside. It was a vision of dark grey blurry sky outside the windows. The tipping sound of the rain. The world might not have existed now. I wished the time to stand still – in a moment of pure bliss. We moved around and I gently felt wet tears on my shoulder. The tears were for the years we were apart. Her eyes mutely told the endless tales of lonely days and nights we had spent away from each other. A lone tear rolled down her cheek. I brought my lips close to her cheeks and kissed away the tear.
She closed her eyes as I pulled her closer. My lips gently touched hers. I loved her smell of soft perfume and wet body. And in that moment we kissed deeply and passionately. I pinned her against the wall and pressed my body against hers as she tightly hugged me. We kissed for long – almost an eternity.
The sky, the clouds, the moon, the stars, the rain, the night – all ceased to exist. A loud cacophonic sound suddenly sprang near me.
I opened my eyes flabbergasted.
Ohh! It was a dream! The sun had risen up in the sky outside the window. It was bright warm sunshine and there were not a speck of clouds in the sky. I grabbed my phone and snoozed the alarm. Meera’s face flashed on the screensaver. I scrolled to her number to WhatsApp her about my vivid dream. “Yeello a–aa—h baby I love you!” A sleepy baby voice of Meera mumbled on the voice message!