Thursday, 19 January 2017

Traveller - Part One

It is 7 o'clock in the morning, winter. I feel cold, and have sneezed a few times. He's late. Mindlessly, I call him once. He doesn't answer. I just keep sitting there, I have no other option anyway.

My fists are cold, so cold that I don't feel them - numb. Same with my feet. I really need him to come as soon as possible.

"Dude, you're coming or no?" I text him. Last seen today 1.06 am. I am afraid he's still sleeping.

It's 7.20 now, I am thinking of going back home and sleeping again. As I make up my mind to finally get back home, the screen of my phone flashes.

"Bunny calling." Finally.

He says he will be there in five minutes and hangs up. And he really comes in the said time.

I climb into his car and the first thing I see is that he's shivering. He's dressed in a white t-shirt, a blue jeans, paired with a black leather jacket. He's wearing a cap - black, too - with Bob Marley written on it, twisted on one side.
"You have been waiting in this cold?" He asks, with an expression on his face that I cannot comprehend.

"Yes." I say, not knowing what to say any further.

"It's so crisp. Interested in having tea?" He asks, still shivering.

"Uh- I don't drink tea. You have it though. You really seem to need it right now." I say after a little thought of I don't know what.
He drives to a nearby tea stall, and buys himself a steaming cup of tea. He gulps it down within the blink of an eye, and asks me where I want to go.

I am clueless, as I tell him that I have no idea, and that will be happy to accompany him anywhere he goes. I just want to talk to him.

He adjusts his cap and thinks for a moment. For the first time, I look at him attentively. His cap reveals a strand of his hair. He has mild traces of beard that covers his jawline, and his eyes are smaller than I thought they were. He rubs his hands over each other and asks me to hop into the car. I do.

I notice a camera on the backseat of his car. He's busy in driving and none of us says anything for a little while. The music is playing loud, and I realize none of us would be able to hear if the other one says anything. I stay quiet.

When the song ends, I ask him, "So are you ready?"

"Yeah!" He says, with enthusiasm filled in his voice.

We again fall silent.

I keep stealing glances at him, he is so immersed in mumbling the lyrics of the song he claims to love, while he says he's gonna track down the lyricist and tell him how much he loves the song and ask what inspires him to write and that how can someone write this good. I just keep listening to him.

All this time, I am firm on one belief. He is not what he shows. He hides more than anyone knows. I have to know him. I have to know him. A few times I have conversed with him, he has seemed pretty sapient. I want to know what lies behind that wisdom.

We reach a lakeshore. Getting out of the car, we face the lake and let the cold breezes tickle us. I'm nonchalant, while he's restless as always. He steps back and rests himself on the front of his car, and looks at me. I stand facing him, not knowing what to say, where to start from. There's so much to talk.

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