Her eyes wandered off, leaving the book in her lap deserted. Her eyes looked, unseeingly. She saw neither the huge buildings and houses, nor the luxurious shopping malls on the way. What she did see, though, was that leaf about to fall off on that majestic tree. That white puppy, wagging its tail, running off to the unknown. The trees as they awoke and greeted each other – a greeting heard by her ears only. That bird, the sun shining off its beautiful grey-brown body, flying past hastily. She gulped in the fresh morning air greedily.
A last glimpse in freedom.
The bus took a sharp turn and she had to grasp the handle bars to maintain her balance. The bus conductor turned around and faced her suddenly.
“Do you have a bus card?” He asked harshly. She nodded dumbly.
The bus stopped suddenly. A few girls alighted from the bus. The ones who were standing sat down quickly before the bus started again. She closed her eyes. She didn’t want this to end. Because if this ended, then that would begin. And she did not want it to.
She tried hard to hold on to this moment. She tried her best to stop time, somehow. Somewhere, somehow, she would be able to. She could but she couldn’t. Somewhere in space, perhaps, time would listen to her. All she needed was the speed of light.
She opened her eyes. The trees on the canal bank flew past her. She knew the next turn would be the last… for now. A sigh she had been holding in for so long escaped her lips.
She looked at the time. Half-past six. The roads were almost empty. She wished desperately that somehow when they reached the college, she wouldn’t have to go in. Instead, maybe she could roam around these road ways, discovering places she did not know before, exploring the unknown, the adrenaline rushing through her veins…
The bus was stopping now. Her friend tapped her shoulder.
‘Let’s go. This is campus 1 and 2,’ she said softly.
She nodded. And then got off the bus. It had begun.