"Holy shit, I am late," a 21-year-old boy said while looking at the time just after waking up in a messed-up room. Dirty clothes were lying on the floor, which should have been in the laundry basket. Also, some textbooks, along with travel brochures, were scattered across the study table.
After 30 minutes, "Breakfast is ready, Aakash" says that young boy's mother who is in her late forties. There were some wrinkles across her forehead.
"Thanks for the breakfast," Aakash said after eating and then added, "Bye mom, I am off."
Outside, wind was blowing through the trees, and the rustling of leaves was audible. Some of those tree leaves' color changed into brown. There were red and brown leaves all over the road. In such a season, a white knitted lightweight sweater was looking perfect on him.
At the college gate, "where were you, Aakash?" asked a young, beautiful girl. Her midnight black straight hair, which flowed up to her shoulder, was giving perfect contrast to her white floral print woven sweater.
"Sorry, I overslept. My sweetheart Tanya," says Aakash while giving her an intimate hug.
After a couple of minutes in his arms, "enough with your public display of affection, we are already late for the exam,"
After 3 hours, outside the examination hall
"Finally, my exams are over" Aakash breathed a sigh of relief.
"Yeah, so what now?" Tanya asked.
"Let's celebrate your birthday in the beautiful town of Mussorrie," Aakash said while telling her about the entire trip he planned as a surprise.
"Aww, so sweet," she said as she affirmed and both of them left for their house to pack luggage for their trip.
On next morning, "Are you ready" Tanya asked on a phone call from Aakash as she arrived at Aakash's house in her black car.
Aakash placed his bag in the back of the car and sat in the front seat. They both went on the trip. But they didn't know it was going to be more than just a romantic trip.
They crossed many towns in their journey, some of them with tall buildings and some factories from which smoke was coming out and some of them with large farms and clear air, till they reach a hilly region. From the hilly region, roads became curvy and inclined. Towns that were frequently coming were now coming in less frequency. Beautiful hills that even barred clouds to move across them replaced those tall buildings. There was dense forest on both sides of the road with beautiful flowers and other trees. Birds' chirping was only increasing the beauty of the scenario. The fly-over, under which vehicles were moving, has now been replaced with the bridge under which rivers with shallow but fresh water, so fresh that you could even see their bottom just by a glance, were flowing and rocks that were exposed above the flow surface could be visible.
Suddenly, Tanya took a right turn which took Aakash by surprise "Why you took the right turn when the way to Mussorrie was straight"
"Navigation showed another path. This is a shortcut which will take less time by 5 hours" she said and added, "We will reach by like in the evening".
This path was the same as the previous one. Nothing was out of place. Everything was going great.
After a couple of hours suddenly, dark clouds were coming, carried by angry winds which were eager to take over the sky. These clouds engulfed the sun and all of its light like a beast that devours its prey. Lightning flashed all across the sky and its roaring sound of thunder oppressed everything under the sky. It was as if Zeus was enraged and wanted to punish that person.
The bright day has now turned into an ominous night. An avalanche of hailstones along with raindrops fell from the sky. Difficult to drive in this atmosphere, Tanya stopped the car and said, "We should stop and wait for this storm to be passed away"
To which Aakash affirmed.
They both took shelter under an enormous tree. Mountain on the opposite side, which was visible, was now nowhere to be seen to Aakash as if hailstorm destroyed it. Instead of thinking about it, his focus was on the beautiful girl on his side, who was also looking at him. In their eyes, a burning passion could be seen. His heart was beating faster and faster as her face move towards his face and her tongue was in his mouth. Her lips felt soft like a flower and gave a warm sensation in that cold weather. At that moment, in his mind, he felt like a god, above everyone else.
Just after a couple of minutes of such a passionate kiss, maybe even Zeus was envious of Aakash over such a goddess like beauty Tanya that he threw his thunderbolt, from the sky, to have struck down that tree, under which those two lovers were passionately indulged. Still, in that dark storm, lightning struck down a tree, creating a sense of terror in both of them. The howl of wolves and croaks of ravens amplified that terror in their heart so much.
"Shall we leave? I don't think it is safe here." Aakash asked in fear
To which Tanya replied," yeah, we should. "
They continued their journey after their brief halt. The whole noon and evening have passed; they should have reached Mussorrie by now. There was not even a milestone for their destination, let alone the town itself. The horror continued to rise in their heart as they move ahead. The whole road was barren, not a single vehicle was ahead of them and not a single shop was on the roadside.
In such darkness, a bright light coming from miles ahead looks like the light at the end of the tunnel for both of them. After 3-4 kilometers, they stopped at a small and only food joint on the whole route for some snacks and refreshments.
Aakash and Tanya sat at an outdoor dining table at the food joint. On one side of that dining table, there was a vast mountain and on the other side, a deep valley, as if it has no end. "What you like to order, sir?" the waiter asked in a voice that has no resemblance to a live human. As if he was a corpse taking their order.
At having some snacks, Aakash went to pay the bills on the cashier counter and asked "how much is the bill?"
"800 RS, sir," the cashier said in the same dead tone.
"Is this the right way to Mussorrie," Aakash asked him.
"Yes, sir," the cashier replied.——
They resumed their journey around 9:00 pm. While in the car, Aakash looked outside the window. He could see nothing except darkness outside.
After 3 hours, they reached their destination, Mussorrie, at midnight. They took the key to the house that Aakash rent for their trip from the office. Aakash was shocked when he looked at the time on the clock at that office.
To be continued...
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