Swati felt relieved. Finally, some freedom.
She’s fifteen after all, not five. What sense does it make for her mother to accompany her everywhere she goes, at this age? An argument between Swati and her mother regarding this is a routine affair in this household.
Today is that special day when for the first time Swati’s persistence brought her victory against her mother. She finally (grudgingly though) allowed Swati to go to her coaching centre alone. And she was washed over by a sense of relief. Who wouldn’t want to avoid being taunted by friends for once, for a change?
Swati was still relishing the taste of freedom from her seat in a bus, when she saw him. He was one of the not-so-lucky passengers, who had to stand with the support of overhead rods. As she watched him her eyes became roundish and a whisper escaped her lips, “Yuvvy!” He was tall, with a brawny built and yes, he did resemble Yuvraj Singh-someone Swati could die for. It was not until their eyes met that Swati was able to look away from him. And then it happened.
“Screeech!” And the bus avoided a deadly accident. Everyone in the bus fell on each other. (Swati didn’t fail to notice that Mr. Yuvvy almost fell on a girl beside him) The traffic police sprung into action and stopped the bus. Inside the bus a competition ensued among the passengers for reaching the nearest exit. Swati jumped off the bus, while she valiantly refused to admit to herself that the tiniest twinge of disappointment that she was feeling had anything to do with the young man on the bus.
The hint of a smile still curling her lips, Swati boarded the next bus. This one was very crowded. Swati was sweating as she stood jostling with the guy just beside her. The bus braked at a traffic signal and the guy almost fell on her. Swati turned to let out an angry rebuke and stopped. Mr. Yuvvy was right there, looking at her, smiling. Swati felt her cheeks redden (“Why on earth??”) as she quickly looked away.
Swati was running late for her coaching class. She almost started running as she hopped off the bus. So she only half-heard the first “Excuse me madam” and didn’t realized it was she who was being address. She slogged along until she heard it again, and this time she looked back. Yuvvy was there, smiling a tentative smile.
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