A first date – journey

I had taken the auto to reach the pick-up point in the evening. I was carrying a relatively heavy bag on my shoulder considering I was going to spend only a few hours at Hazel’s house. But, it was a long journey plus I was traveling at night so taking a shower and getting fresh at her house was a part of the plan. The winter had forced me to carry a jacket too so I had everything in my bag including a couple of Ts, jeans, towel, undergarments, toothbrush and other essentials and much more. The snacks, the sweets and water bottle too were there making the mag more heavy.

I hadn’t packed my daily medication pills as I didn’t want to look deceased in front of Hazel’s family. I knew she was aware about my medical needs but again you try to avoid things that make you look weak and I did exactly the same. Catching the cold and getting a headache along the way were the last things I wanted that day.

I reached the pick-up point early at around 8pm. The bus was scheduled to arrive at 8.30pm. While standing at the sidewalk of the road, I was not only waiting for the bus to arrive but also Hazel’s call. I was expecting her to call me and ask my whereabouts. I don’t know if that was normal or it was just me, expecting more from her. I didn’t get a call from her at that time which made me think upon my decision to put so much effort into making it happen, our so long awaited first meet up.

“Did she really want me to visit?” my mind questioned.

The bus arrived on time but I boarded it with little less excitement. The disconnect between us at that time had affected my excitement very badly. I decided not to text her to inform that I boarded the bus and was on my way to her place.

I found the seat comfortable as I sat on it. The very first thing I looked for was the phone charging point and to my bad luck, it wasn’t in working condition. A few minutes later I came to know that you cannot turn the AC off at all. The chilling cold AC and damaged charging point caused great frustration to me. I had to give up on my plan to listen to songs to save the phone’s battery. I didn’t want to be in a situation where I would not be able to contact Hazel after reaching over there. So, I put my phone on power saving mode and decided to sleep in sometime.

I called mom to inform that I was on the bus and won’t be calling her again as I will be asleep throughout the night. I spent some time looking at the speeding vehicles outside the window. I then browsed through social media feeds for sometime. I didn’t listen to any songs as my excitement had turned into disappointment due to Hazel’s disconnect which I felt wasn’t normal.

“She should have atleast texted me to ask my whereabouts. She is like this most of the time. She just doesn’t care.” I complained and finally decided to sleep.

I was enjoying my sleeper coach seat but the AC located over my head made sure that I didn’t get the proper sleep. I was struggling to find the right sleeping position so that I didn’t freeze. I kept turning left and right for some time and finally pulled my jacket on my face to avoid the cold air coming from the AC. I felt a little comfortable in the warmth of my jacket so I closed my eyes again to sleep.

The thoughts of me being at Hazel’s house started running in my head. How will she react upon seeing me? How will our first meet-up be? What will we talk about for hours? I had hundreds of questions running in my head and I was visualizing us talking to each other even before reaching there. It was a matter of minutes that my thoughts were completely taken over by Hazel. I revisited the time we had first met online and our story had begun.

Pratik Akkawar

I am occasionally a poet, blogger and an amateur writer, trying to put my thoughts into words and sometimes words into poems.

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