One winter evening as per my schedule I went for an evening walk to the bookstore beside the traffic point. The sky was clear and blue which perfectly dissolved with my heavenly track suit.
After a long journey I finally reached. I stood outside the store in a classical superhero stance with legs apart and both fists on my waist.
'Hmm...so here I am. My favorite bookstore which is only the best among the rest of the stores in this city,' I said joyfully.
I pushed the door to open and entered the store.
'Welcome sir,' the store employee humbly greeted. I'm a very well-known and a regular customer, apart not many bookworms are seen and because of which I'm a respected client.
'Good evening,' I greeted her back and the old owner, spreading a smile on my face.
'What are you going to buy today? Thriller? Romance? Mystery? Non-fiction? Oh! Oh! Shall I show you something new?' she asked enthusiastically.
Without any delay my eyes turned over the book-shelves and started hunting for its prey. Unaware of what she said, I unconsciously replied,
She grabbed my wrist and pulled me along with her. My eyes were still on those book-shelves.
By the moment we were in the corner of the store where the new bundles of books were unboxed and no one was around to see.
'Hey listen! Won't the old owner scold us? I mean it's not a public space to enter, right?'
'Nope. The old owner is my grandpa and beside you are our regular customer. So, I trust you.'
The room was quite small and dark, stored with lots of boxes and few shelves containing bundles of books in them. Neither there was enough space to roam around nor well ventilated.
'Well, how long are you going to hold my wrist like this?' I unwillingly asked her.
She looked my face with a question mark and moved her sparkling eyes down the wrist.
For a moment there was a complete silence, then all of a sudden with a blushed eruption she released my wrist and her face turned into a giant red tomato.
'Ssh...! Ah...sorry sir.'
I truly regretted for my words. Till then I noticed the smell of books which was packed inside the small room. I inhaled so deep wishing to consume the books in my lungs.
'The books!' I replied to her defensive question. 'By the way, won't you show me those new books? I wish to return home early,' I added.
Her question was defensive as I'd even noticed her perfume fragrance.
'Mr. Gentleman. Let me introduce you some bestsellers in the world of fiction.'
She picked up the tiles of all the new bestsellers and kept them down on the floor. Then she showcased them all one by one.
She talked about books with so much passion that I wanted to be nothing but the characters she had so insanely fallen in love with.
Even Shakespeare would be spell-bounded to describe her enthusiasm.
We were closed in a small room with doors shut, unaware of the world outside. We had never interacted so closely.
I, personally, noticed her in fine detail- lightly pink toned lips, sparkling eyes of heaven, round cheeks as she smiled, sassy hair styled covered by a pink winter cap.
Before she could realize my attention I immediately looked to the other side.
'Are you even listening?' she yelled.
I held my breath to sudden and pointed my finger on the top of a shelf, 'Will you please show that book over the top of the shelf?'
She looked up and lifted her hands to reach for the top. She tried hard but gave up.
'Listen, come over here and bent on one knee. I'll step on the other thigh to reach the top."
'Seems like little pony need help,' I teased her as I bent down on one knee and moved my left palm of trust towards her.
'What? A little pony?' she reacted with a smile.
I gently held her left palm and placed my right palm on the back of her waist so as to support her to climb on my thigh.
I could see her innocent smiling face as she stood on my thigh, supporting herself on the shelf. My breath was getting heavy with passage of seconds.
My eyes rolled from her eyes to her lip along her neck down to her waist. I realized how attractive she was! I couldn't help myself staring at her.
I could feel the rhythm of her breath as my left palm had been placed on her belly by now.
'Okay, I've grabbed the book,' she said looking down at me. Holding her breath she patiently said, 'You can now remove your palms from my waist, sir.'
I was mesmerized by her words when I realized a tight hold of my palms on her waist. Just at the moment I died of guilt and embarrassment. I was sure she felt uncomfortable. After she climbed down I pleaded for her forgiveness.
I was extremely embarrassed by my act which I didn't intended to do so.
'O no! I didn't mean to cross the line. I didn't know how it happened. I beg your pardon for temptation,' I bowed thrice for her forgiveness.
'It's okay...okay. I understand. You didn't do that intentionally. It happens sometime,' she said in a calm tone but her expressions didn't seem like.
'I swear I'll behave respectfully next time. I again beg your pardon miss Jyoti,' I assured her.
'Okay I forgive you but remember your words,' she reminded.
'Sure I will. Thank you for your kindness.'
'Hmm,' she nodded. 'So...Is this the book you want to purchase? "Tell me a story" edited by Ravinder Singh.' she added it while flipping the pages.
She handed me the book and said, 'Head to the counter and pay the bill. In short time I'll be there after placing these books back to their shelf.'
'Can I be any help?' I asked timidly.
'You've helped me enough,' she immediately answered with a frowned expression.
My heart began to pound tremendously. I was thinking whether I had been forgiven for my misbehavior. No other options were left but to agree.
'Okay,' I replied with guilt.
I reached the counter, paid the bill and without turning back I left the store.
Meanwhile she reached the counter, submitted the data and asked permission for a leave,' Grandpa, I'm leaving for a food store nearby and I'll be back in thirty minutes.'
'Okay! my child. Return soon before night,' the store owner advised her while arranging an account data in his laptop without paying any attention on her.
'Don't worry grandpa,' she convinced him childishly and rushed out of the store carrying her bag on her back.
I was walking along the road, still drowning in guilt when a sweet voice of her calling my name relieved my soul and turned behind to see whether that voice was my imagination.
'Abraham!' she cried as she was rushing towards me. She finally completed her marathon after so much of physical suffering. She stood in-front of me panting and breathing deeply.
'Now that is rude. Don't you know how to treat girls?' she scolded with a tired frowned face.
The situation got tensed and I didn't know how to reply to her new mood.
'You should have at least waited outside the store. Then there wouldn't had a need for me to run,' she explained while wiping her sweat with her handkerchief.
Preventing an eye contact from her, I hesitatingly asked again,
'Have you forgiven my temptation?'
'Yes. And don't overthink of your guilt. Sometime these physical sensations arouses and humans perform these sensations into actions without a single thought even if they know it is a wrong action,' she convinced cheerfully..
Even in the amidst of city noise, there was a romantic silence only which we were sensing. A beautiful and a calming one!
The warmth in being with her melted the freezing cold of the winter. I wished to freeze the time to spent whole moment with her.
She looked at me surprisingly, walked pass by me and turned back.
'Hey, won't you help me to buy dinner items?'
'Yeah, surely I will.'
'By the way, New Year will enter in two days. Do you've plans, Abraham?'
Just as leaves born in spring, our understanding for each other will bloom. New Year would enter in two days hence the beginning our new relationship.
Hope the coming year would bring fortune on us.