Alternative Title: A World Without Straight People.
(Please don’t judge a book by its cover. Please read the story. All characters in this story are fictitious)
This is the third installment of a multi-part series. Read previous stories here:
Time never moves at the pace we want. The moments we relish, the moments we enjoy pass by in a jiffy. The moments we wait, the moments we feel desperate, move slower than a turtle. For the tenth time, Sruthi checked the time on her cell phone.
The meeting was to happen at 5:00 AM at the train station close to Sruthi’s apartment. She had been preparing for the past few days. She had picked a lovely blue color Salwaar Kameez, knowing blue is Dhanush’s favorite color. In the past two months she had learned a lot about Dhanush, from his favorite color to the school he went to. All thanks to the countless hours they spent on the internet.
She remembered their very first internet chat.
Dhanush: “How are you?”
Sruthi: “Fine. You?”
Dhanush: “I am fine. Thanks”
Moments of silence.
Sruthi: ” So?”
Dhanush: “You tell me”
Sruthi: “What can I say?”
Moments of silence, again.
Sruthi: “Why did you look at me like that in the airport?”
Dhanush: “You don’t know why?”
Sruthi: “Are you like “that“?
Dhanush: “Yes. You?”
It was a funny conversation. Once they confirmed they both were like “that“, it became easy to open up. They started chatting regularly.
It was Sruthi’s first trip to Iran. Dhanush has been living there for the past four years. He was a senior engineer at a big oil company and lived a few miles away from Sruthi’s apartment. From the day they started chatting, he had been persuading Sruthi about meeting in person.
“No. That’s risky. I have never met any online friend in person before.” Sruthi kept refusing. But inside, she too wanted to meet him. As time passed, they grew closer and felt comfortable with each other. Sruthi finally gave in.
They both had roommates, so meeting at either of their homes wasn’t an option. It wasn’t safe to meet at public places. Last week, while they were chatting Dhanush suggested they could meet at the train station close to Sruthi’s apartment. “There won’t be a single soul there at five in the morning. We will get enough privacy and it is safe.”
He was right. For as far as her eyes could see the place was empty. It was still dark. Occasionally, a train would pass by the station bringing light for a few seconds. The silence and emptiness combined with the cold early morning breeze, created a romantic atmosphere. Sruthi checked her cell phone one more time. It was 5:00 AM now.
Where is he? Why is he still not here? Sruthi dialed Dhanush’s number on her cell phone.
“Hey! Where are you?”
She turned to her right still holding her phone to her ear.
“Left, to your left” he said.
She turned left and there he was! She saw his image ten feet from her. The same image she saw for the very first time at the airport. Six feet tall, the same charming face, that sexy smile…
Sruthi was excited. Her heart jumped with joy.
He waved his hands and started walking towards her.
“Hey!” she said and started walking towards him.
They met exactly in the middle at five feet. Both their faces were now basking in glory and could barely hide their excitement.
“Wow!” exclaimed Dhanush.
Sruthi was shy. She smiled nervously.
“The smile that kills” he continued looking at her, eye to eye.
They both stood there for a few seconds looking at each other. They needed those silent moments to take it all in.
“So?” asked Dhanush
“Are you like “that“?” Dhanush asked, grinning.
Sruthi burst into a huge laughter. “Yes. I am like “that“”
Now Dhanush couldn’t control his laughter and he joined her in mirth.
He then said, “Alrighty. Come on. Lets sit there.” and walked towards the stone bench that was near by. She followed him. They both sat on the bench. Sruthi was visibly nervous. Dhanush turned back and started searching for something behind the bench.
“What? What are you searching?” asked Sruthi with a confused face.
“I am looking if Aishwarya is hiding somewhere. She might come in any minute and sit between us!” he chuckled and made a naughty face.
“Oh no! Please. Not again”
“Who knows? She might show up. You better not leave any gap.”
He winked at her, pointing at the gap between them.
Sruthi giggled and moved closer to him. He extended his hand towards her and very gently, took her hands in his, crossing their fingers. It was warm and cozy. Sruthi leaned her head on his shoulder. They both were now looking at the blue, dark sky.
“Wow! I was dying to see you!” he said in a low voice, leaning close to her face.
“Me too.” Sruthi pressed her hands on his gently.
Now Dhanush’s lips were searching for Sruthi’s lips.
Then it happened! All of a sudden, a strong streak of light appeared few feet away. The light was immediately followed by a disturbing noise. “Grrrrrrrr. Grrrrrrrr” It appeared to be from a vehicle engine.
Sruthi panicked “Who is that?”
“Shit! Police!” Dhanush screamed and untangled their hands in a hurry.
“What? You said this place is safe…” Sruthi’s voice was shaking in fear.
“Okay. Relax. Please don’t panic”
“How can I not panic? Oh my god! I should not have come here. Oh my god!”
“Stay calm. They are coming towards us, we can’t run. It will be obvious.” Before he could finish, two motor bikes came and stopped in front of them.
Two police men got down from those bikes and stood in front of them. They appraised Sruthi and Dhanush scanning them from top to bottom and then they looked at each other.
“Well bro, look what we have here!” One said to the other with an evil smile.
“A man and a woman! Unnatural sex, bro!” the other policeman smirked and started laughing, with a nasty look on his face.
Fear froze Sruthi’s brain. Her body started shaking, visibly.
Will conclude in Part 4.