Sat, 07 Dec, 2019

The Known Stranger

By Nisha Dhungana

‘Oh! I’m late, my boss is gonna yell at me.’ I was trying to fit in my favorite jeans as i complained about being late. Well, it is not a new thing. I am a night owl, I stay up late into the night and sleep until the sunlight strikes my eyes and am always late for work.

I quickly dressed up. ‘Oh my hair, why doesn’t it make itself.’ I was frustrated by the difficult struggle of making my dry, frizzy and curly hair look a little non dry and frizzy. “Why do girls need to have long hair, huh?” I made an expression of disgust. I quickly went upstairs, grabbed some food and rushed to bus stop.

“Why do I never stick to my principles?” I make plans everyday of getting up early, doing some exercise to make my fattened belly a little slimmer, reading the novel I planned on finishing a year ago (by the way I haven’t started that yet), taking enough time to get ready so that I do not look like the stupid guy like every day, getting early to work, etc. But every day I end up saying, ‘I should have fun not boring principles surrounding me up’ and repeating the same stuffs again.

I finally got to the bus stop. I used to work at consultancy at Ghatthaghar which is almost a half an hour ride and let me tell you the bus that goes to the place is very limited and I need to wait almost an hour every day to take a single bus. “I wish I had a scooter.” I complained once again. What relief, the bus arrived and to my surprise, the bus had enough empty seats. I was delighted to have a window seat. I plugged in my earphones and enjoyed a little moment of satisfaction I barely get.

“Beauty queen of only eighteen………..” Adam Levine of Maroon 5 was singing on my earphone when the bus stopped. My eyes stopped wandering on the view of the most beautiful human being I saw in my entire life. My heart started pounding harder and I could feel my mouth getting dry upon this instance. He was tall, with the perfectly cut body which looked even more attractive on the black V-necked t-shirt he was wearing. The short black hair was beautifully raised up with his long and slender hands. He carried a brown bag that rested in his broad back. I could not get my eyes off his beautiful face that held the sweetest smile.

I felt a little shy when his eyes accidentally met mine. The seat next to me was empty. He spread his beautiful smile at me and slowly came near my seat. I tried to pretend of not being influenced by him when he rested his body on the seat next to me. I could feel my heart skipping its beat and my hands shaking on the rhythm of my heart. The bus headed its way and I was trying hard not to faint of nervousness. I was sitting next to the person whom I think will never be seen again but who made me go crazy with his attractiveness. Oh I wish I could know him, his name, his address, his phone number, his thought, and his interest, his everything.

I tried not to look at him because I knew if my eyes met his then the feeling that raised up in his sight would no longer be hidden. What the hell was happening to me? I never felt the way before. Yes, I have been in relationships and I have seen attractive person before but him, I don’t have a hint what’s magic in his face that is driving me insane. My heart was not in the mood to take the normal beat. I could not stop myself and looked at him. I realized I was listening to some music by seeing the earphone in his ears. I may have looked for too long, he turned his face towards me, oh those grey eyes, I could swim in the river of this grey gaze.

“Hi”- he said.

I was now in awkward situation. I wanted to reply to his ‘hi’ but my mind was already unconscious of his approach.

After a long pause I said “Hi”. (Hi? My voice sounded so stupid.)

“So where are you going?”

“Ghattaghar, I work there, you?”

Hmm, at least I would know where his destination was.

“Oh I just planned to stop at Koteshwor.”

“Oh!” I said because I could not think of a word to continue the conversation.

I returned back to my position of pretending to not be influenced by his presence and him back to listening to song and moving his head on its beat.

“Okay I think my stop has arrived.” He said almost after 10 minutes of silence.

I felt like being struck by lightning. I knew the situation will arrive soon but still I felt like the person I have known for decade and who was the most important part of my life was leaving and I did not even know if I could ever see him again. I could not even say “Ok”. The feeling was so strong, I could feel my eyes shading the water of agony upon his departure. Such a pain it was. I know I didn’t know his name or even his identity but the attachment to the stranger I saw 15 minutes ago was the strongest among all. My destination arrived and I headed towards my office but the feeling inside me was ruptured so rapidly that I tested the sweetness of love, deliciousness of attraction, bitterness of departure and sourness of emptiness that surrounded me after the known stranger left the hole in my heart without even having a hint of it.

It’s already almost a year now but still I haven’t felt the way I felt upon his sight. I go through the same route at same time every day, I wish to see him again every single day but he never shows.  I know it seems like attraction but I am still waiting for the same feeling to happen again. I am and will be waiting for the sweet smile to flash upon me again, the dazzling grey gaze to strike my eyes again and the beautiful voice to flow through my ears again for the one more time.