The rain did not stop pouring and they had to rush to the sheds over the far end of the lake where the fishing boats were kept. Cele on the horse with the guy on the bike in lieu.All three of them crowded under the shed roof along with the boats.Out of all the scenarios of their next encounter which played in her head, what were the chances of something like this happening.
None of them uttered a word and the rain was making all the noise around them beating down on the metal sheets above. The sky was still dark so that meant they could be stuck here for a while. As she was sitting on the end of an old wooden bench since Naaz was standing tied to its other end looking at the rain outside. Cele was trying to steal glances at him sitting on a make shift stool out of an old oil barrel staring at the lake filling up with rain drops. He looked a little pensive and bored from his profile. Cele wanted to take a closer look at his face. All that she could see now from the side view was a straight slant forehead marked at the end by thick brows with long lashes, she wondered what color his eyes were while eyeing his rugged jaw marked by a shadow of a light stubble . He wore a dark blue checkered shirt with jeans almost too casual she thought. He didn’t even bother to dress up. Not that it was a date. They had not prr decided to meet here. It was by chance, she sighed internally. Who was she kidding! She had wanted to meet him and there was no denying that. From the moment she heard the rumble of his bike on the road her heart had stopped and her head had become cloudy like the sky. As the clouds above them had decided to wait no more to pour out their contents Cele had no option but to lead the horse to turn along the path by the side of the lake till they reached the sheds. The guy had also followed them to the shelter and put his bike against the wall uttering no word. He had however looked a few times at her when Cele was pretending to calm the horse stroking gently after dismounting. Also he did not sit down on his barrel until she found a space to sit on the bench first. As much as she acted oblivious to the fact that he was sitting only a few steps away from her, his presence in her world definitely was the only thing in her mind.
Finally she took a deep breath and blocked her head. “Hey!” She sounded too loud and eager to her own ears.
“Hi” he said as he turned his head in her direction.
“My name is Celestie” she said and looked up at him.
He looked into her eyes, holding her gaze and smiled “I’m Jim.” She had finally given in and he knew it now.It made her feel warm, his voice and his eyes.
It was so sudden like the breeze that a sense of familiarity and comfort engulfed her. It was somewhat a bit frightening for her, hence, instead of smiling back she averted her eyes to look down at her shoes.
“So you were out on a walk?” He asked cautiously.
“No, I was going to my friends place actually. I thought I should pick her up for college.” Cele was not sure yet as to how much she wanted to share.
“Oh, I finished college 2years back.”he replied.
“Its my last semester.”she said.
“Yeah.Good.”he said ending the topic for now.
Not to let the conversation die out before the silence creeped in again Cele prompted another round by asking “so, what did you study?”
“I did business and marketing. Had a job which I left finally to come home. So what about you, what next?”
“I do have an acceptance letter to a buisness course next fall, still a few months to decide. Its that or taking up an internship and start working.”
He got quiet for a while and then looked at her “You should go ahead I think. With that course I mean. More you study more options you have. If you want a better career growth I mean.”
“Yeah I will probably.” She felt good knowing how genuine he sounded when he said that. As if he wanted her to focus on her professional life and was actually interested in her life and dreams.
Their conversation thinned out like the rain which was now very light as the clouds were scattering off to their next destinations.
“Your friend must be waiting for you”
“She did not know I was coming, I was out on a walk just to give the horse some exercise” Cele was honest this time.
“I must admit I don’t want you to leave. But I hope we will meet again hopefully.Soon.” This time he got up and walked to where she was sitting.
Cele also got up and together they walked to the horse. He helped hoist her up by lifting from the waist, being a perfect gentleman without his touch lingering on longer than needed.
“Tomorrow?” Cele replied looking into his eyes. Hazel would be her favourite color from now on.
“I would like that. Really. A lot .” he was smiling now.
“So, Same time Celestie”
“Yeah. ” she could not mutter any other word after hearing him say her name.
“Like a date” he said and stepped back forcing her to end this lovely morning with him.
“Maybe.” It was then she released her smile back at him and took off after waving a goodbye.
She did not know that he actually stood there for a long time even after she was out of his sight.