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  • The bus was leaving; they had to make a run for it. It was the nearest point to the falls. If they missed this one, only God knows how they’d get back.
    Walk for hours.

    It was a rickety bus, packed, strong body odour, kids crying and bright clothing mixing and mashing up the identities of strangers traveling together.
    He saw some space at the end. They moved there. The bus jerked and near collided with oncoming hill traffic. She held on to the handles at the back of the seats. He looked at her concerned. He asked if she was OK, with his eyes, she smiled a yes.

    They stood together facing each other. They became aware of what seemed to be a hundred pair of eyes staring at them. It was as if their personal gaze had become a safe haven against the invasion of the rest of the world. He looked around menacingly at the other men staring at her, until they averted their eyes. She found all this eye drama very amusing. So he’s marked his territory, she thought and smiled or maybe it’s some act of chivalry.

    They were near strangers and yet it suddenly seemed they had spent lifetimes together. That he had always known her and she, him. Their histories didn’t matter. They were caught together in an eternal moment. And in his eyes, he had tucked her away; she had found herself in a new universe, where he held her hand in silence and gazed deeply with a forlorn desire. How do two unknowns become so known to each other in a moment, she thought. Was it pretence, a role play? Was it her imagination or was it for real?

    The bus came to a sudden halt, everyone pushing and shoving; they took their time and as they got off, he held out his hand since the steps were steep. And soon enough she found hers intertwined with his. It felt right, it felt natural. And together they kept walking in silence. Relishing the connection, feeling the soft velvety ripples on their hearts cascading through to the shores of their entire being.
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