I made my way tentatively to the bus stop and sat down. As the bus pulled away slowly, I wondered whether I should have done what I did. I stayed rooted to spot even though I knew I was being stupid. There was no guarantee that he was going to show up and even if he did, what would I say if he asked me why I was here.
Half an hour passed and there was no sign of Dhruv. For no reason whatsoever, I could feel tears gather at the back of my eyes. I felt like an idiot. I couldn’t even start to understand why I had gotten off in the first place. I picked up my bag and wondered why I should do next. The next bus would arrive only after half an hour.
I couldn’t make up my mind, whether to cut my losses, grab an auto and leave or to sit there and wait for some god forsaken reason. I know the choice seems obvious now, but it didn’t seem like that to me.
Ten more minutes passed, then twenty. The bus rolled along on time and I got in it, averting my eyes from everyone.
“Hey, you had to stay back extra hours too?” I turned around in surprise and there he was, with a big pile of books in his hands, his hair in a mess and a big smile on his face.
“Let me help you with that.” I said, taking the books from his hand, unable to control the reciprocating smile on my face.
“Thanks, I’ve dropped them a zillion times already. It isn’t really easy for me to pick them up you know.” He said, indicating towards his cane.
I collapsed on the seat under the weight of the books he handed to me.
“Uff! What are these for?” I asked, surfing the titles.
“Oh nothing, just some study material.” He sat down besides me, placing the cane next to the window seat where I was sitting.
I rolled my eyes, what a geek.
“So why are you late?” he asked once he had settled down.
“Oh,” I stuttered, “Nothing, just extra practice.” I lied easily. There was no way in hell that I would tell him I had waited for him.
“Really??” he peered at me. “I think you’re lying.”
I almost gasped. “No I’m not!” I said defensively. How had he known? Maybe I just didn’t look tired enough?
“What were you doing at my stop? Were you waiting for me?” he asked softly.
“No!” I denied vehemently and looked out of the window.
“I think it was very sweet.” He said kindly. I didn’t know what to make of the tone. I half turned towards him.
“But I didn’t.” I said softly, refusing to meet his eyes.
He laughed a little, “Well, if you did, it was very sweet.” He stopped for a moment, “A little silly, but sweet.”
“I didn’t.” I knew what I was saying and the expression on my face were totally contradictory. I didn’t care. I was feeling positively giddy with joy that he could take one look at my face and tell when I was lying.
“So how was your day?” he asked, changing the subject.
We chatted about how our day was and everything else under the sky until my stop came.
“Will you be able to take all of this on your own?” I asked as I handed him back his books.
“Actually, half of them are for you and your friend. You know, sample questions and the works. I had them lying around.”
“Oh, thanks.” I took the books from him, “You’ve been so helpful.”
He smiled, took my hand in his, “You’ve been a big help too. I know you don’t realize it. But thank you.”
For the second time in a row, Dhruv had left me utterly confused with his last words.