Sushma being the good girl she is, woke up early to leave for work. I and Priti packed bags to shift base to the Social Rehab backpacker’s hostel. Priti couldn’t keep her food down. I think she threw up most of the brunch. This is why I am an ardent advocator of herbs and vegetation. No toilet seat hugging and no next morning regrets.
At Social Rehab, scrabble progressed and so did his steps. He sauntered in casually, unannounced and sat next to Malvika. I assumed he was her acquaintance and a mighty fine one. He sat across me, crossed legged like the rest of us, giving me the perfect view to scan for his features. Allure dripped through his sharp face, giving way to a very dark beard which was somehow in stark contrast to his dusky face. Black framed glasses cased his eyes. His eyes – try to look at places and don’t want to be caught. Everywhere his eyes looked, seemed like a theft of sight. They just didn’t want to be caught. A blue pullover hid his orange t-shirt. I don’t remember what he wore past that because his face never let me look away.
His beautiful face attracted me and I tried hard not to look but…
His manhood of a beard would raise and give way to wrinkles on his dark-hair-laden cheeks, every time he smiled. Perfect white teeth set in order would flash but all would fail to match his eyes.
Deep set liquid molds of charcoal with a thick underlying line of weariness danced and teased the onlooker. They challenge you cunningly to dare and look through them to read the mind. They struggle to agree with the smile. And yet when looked at carefully, would tell a different story – one of mischief.
A later inspection and prodding would make his hands my favorite. Fingers promising tenacity and a good grip, very articulate. Probably his three favorite pastimes would have figured his hands such.
Everything about him seemed to be in a rush. Lips incessantly breaking into grins, hands agitated and restless at the loss of a job and eyes frantically picking up every nuance – every nuance of me?
Apart from clicking pictures and thin-crust pizza, Scrabble gave way to more board games and given the bunch of pansies we are, we decided to watch The Shining. The movie ended at half past five in the morning. By then we were exhausted and all my bones were aching. We got up to go to sleep. I asked Dusky-so-sexy if he was leaving for home. My intentions, to be very clear, were one of concern. It was late and everyone was tired. It would have been better for him to stay back and leave, later on. Of course, I had no idea where he would sleep but then courtesy came upon me and I asked.
But all calculations screwed up when he said he would leave.
I think I have this perpetual bad luck with pretty guys. Remember the time how Adorably-forlorn-face said NO to me on the first night we met? Well, here we go again. Invitation declined, again!
My tired bones cuddled myself under the Social Rehab blanket and went to sleep thinking, what if he had stayed back. Well, that is something you’ll never know and neither would I.
P.S. There are two sides to every story and I know both.
P.P.S. You would have to wait for it