“So, how was your experience on your first day?” asked Dev out of curiosity while smoking and rolling the metal spark wheel of the lighter with a raspy sound.
"Night shift is actually a little, you know … . Uncomfortable, I (Vatsal) said, slightly drowsy, "But considering...."
"But considering how much money you get, it seems fine, doesn't it?"
“Also. Saturdays are the sole focus. On different days, I've typical shift."
"Exactly", said Dev, "It is truly extreme for the initial not many days through. Then you get used to it; everything becomes basic and simple… and exhausting as well."
My watch showed eleven o'clock at night, which was literally making me more anxious because I had never seen a bus while we were standing at the bus stop.
"Do you think we will ever be able to get home?" I inquired, "I mean it is extremely late."
"Where are you from?"
"Sworry, close to Germany."
With an upsetting grin he educated, "Indeed, I don't think there is any Germany transport after 11pm. Sorry! I assumed you were heading for Barmish.
I was extremely disappointed by his words. It was the most terrible that could occur after the day's long, rushed work.
We saw a bus coming just then, and it was obviously Dev's way back home. As it got close, the headlights illuminated our faces before coming to a stop directly in front of us.
He advised me to return to the office, spend the night there, and return early to the bus stop before I boarded the bus because the bus service to Germany was scheduled to resume at six in the morning. Even though the word "good" seemed like sarcasm for the worst night of my life, I waved him goodnight.
So, in the end, I was standing at the Belgium bus stop, which was eventually a no-man's land at that very moment, all by myself with my brown bag. Then my perplexed psyche chose to stroll back to the workplace after a snapshot of serious reasoning as though I had been given great many choices.
Coincidentally, I should concede that it was actually a wonderful country nighttime perspective on the second seven day stretch of December. On my right were vast paddy fields, on my left were small pea fields and a few houses. As I made my way toward my office, the surrounding area seemed a little hazy, so I could only make out a few bleak images of trees. This area of the city more resembled the countryside, appearing to have been neglected. The moon was my only friend who quietly assisted me. I was being stared at by one or two owls perched on the branches of the trees. They hooted and looked at me with wide, round eyes, as if they were gods from another planet smiling at me and pitying me. Except for the owls, the only sound that disturbed the stillness of the night was that of the crickets. With a deep sigh of despair, I checked my watch and saw that it was ten to twelve.
My skin was chilled by a hazy breeze on the spur of the moment. It began to create a hazy, eerie atmosphere around me due to its mystic quality. While the lights slowly approached me, I could hear the rumble of a bus. I saw the word "Sector 17C" written on it when it got close enough and slowed down. Similar to this deserted land, it resembled a small, green, ancient machine that had been forgotten. The whole thing looked like a huge tin can with a few small holes all over its body. When I found out, though, that it was heading toward Germany, I was overjoyed beyond measure.
I quickly boarded the bus, which began rolling once more, breaking through the stillness of the night and jerking all the way due to the rough country road. There were around five or six exhausted travelers looking half-dead very much like me. I removed the headphones from my bag and plugged them in to listen to music with my eyes closed.
A quarrel erupted suddenly, with an elderly man taunting and yelling at a young woman, breaking the complete silence. She was attempting to object. However, he was constantly accusing her of something and yelling at her to keep quiet.
"What's wrong? If it's not too much trouble, quit quarreling at 12 PM." I yelled, "The day's frantic work is enough," annoyed. Put an end to whatever it is.
The man's overall appearance was devious due to his faded skin, musty clothes, and smoke-gray hair. After hearing my last words, he gave me a gunmetal-colored glance while grabbing the closest seat in a way that made me feel disgusted and irate.
The conductor, who had been asleep throughout, awoke suddenly and asked, "What happened? Why such a large amount this commotion?"
I responded, "Nothing, just take that fare," and with that the situation was managed.
I realized that I knew the woman when she turned to face me. Since I was in college, she had been one of my closest friends and my oldest.
What a pleasant surprise, Vatsal! While seated next to me, she spoke in a soothing voice.
Surprisingly, I said, "Richa, and it's been really long." I haven't seen you in like three years.
I've always adored her voice, slender eyebrows, and glistening skin. Her sharp, inquisitive eyes were straight at me. Her shoulder-length, coal-black hair was falling. With her blurred green salwar-kameez and concealed yellow scarf, she was looking lively and wonderful.
“Hmm. Adequately long. She grinned at me and said, "Never thought we would meet in this way." Take a gander at you… your look has totally changed."
"So is yours. I was practically not ready to remember you", I said and we both chuckled very much like past times. Her holy messenger white teeth were glimmering at me occasionally.
In a forlorn evening meeting an old companion in an old transport didn't seem like the most horrendously terrible night by any stretch of the imagination. Furthermore, talking about our thoughts and reminiscing about past experiences made us both feel good inside.
"So, what are you doing right now?" I pressed.
"Lots of nothing. merely instructing in a primary school. Give tuition at times. I have to work a lousy job on Saturdays to pay for my mother's medications.
"Why, what occurred?" I questioned.
"Her kidney is blocked by a stone. Although not serious, doctors advised performing the procedure within a few months. After that, everything will be perfect.
"Oh, what's up with your father?" I inquired.
“He was struck by lightning and died about a year ago.”
"I am sorry."
"At first it was troublesome you know. However, things are now in order. I'm also thinking about quitting this job after this month, when I get my last paycheck.
I've set aside sufficient cash for my mom's activity.''
Then, at that point, we stayed quiet briefly. Despite the fact that her circumstances were not ideal, she was a strong individual.
I notice that off-kilter elderly person's dead aloof eyes were fixed on me. At the point when our eyes met, he eccentrically turned away. I started becoming irritated by that person's behavior, but I had no idea what was wrong.
Her inquiry, "What about you?" broke the silence.
"As you can see, I am exactly the same.
An executive at a Belgium call center. need to put in more time on Saturdays. So, I'm here.
"Do you still write? Are you still doing that?"
"Well, obviously. But these days, I read more than I write. Might be absence of motivation."
She giggled strangely and implied after hearing my final words. I wish you get your motivation very soon. Alternately, you might write about us!
“Us?” I asked in a strange way.
She replied enthusiastically, "Hell yes, of course," adding, "Just think, like meeting one of your oldest friends in such a strange place... Talking about old times...pretty awesome, isn't it?"
I said to her, smiling, "You never give up your excitement. It's amazing." Do you?”
“Never!” "So what about your that girlfriend?” she asked with a grin. Is it true or not that you are hitched?"
“No, you don't remember when you said she wouldn't last long? Same occurred."
She chuckled, "Told you she was a naughty girl. But don't worry; you'll get a better one.
"How about you, too?" I pressed.
"You know that I score zero in relationships." She said so.
My watch showed twelve o'clock, and I was about to descend in a few minutes.
"Richa, would you give me… " I stammered.
“What do you want?”
"I mean, I was thinking, you know, if you'd like to talk sometimes other than on Saturdays!"
I was unable to comprehend why she did not comprehend my meaning. As a result, I erroneously gave her my phone number written on paper.
“Oh! You're simply asking my telephone number!" she snickered and immediately removed the versatile from her sack. The corner of the screen was cracked. She called me back, though I had no idea how she typed my number on that cracked screen.
“You know that you are very poor when you ask a girl for her number?”, I was teased, she said.
I grinned being a piece humiliated and got down from the transport offering her goodnight.
I never regretted working the night shift after meeting her that night [end of first chapter, beginning of second chapter]. Rather peculiarly, it felt sort of reviving.
I tried texting her a few days later to inquire about going out occasionally, similar to when we were in college, but she never responded. Even when I tried to call her, her phone was either switched off or unreachable.
I found myself standing at the Belgium bus stop once more after a few days, just like on Saturday. I was all by myself standing there because Dev had already boarded his vehicle. I didn't worry at all this time because I knew there was still a bus to my destination. However, I checked my wrist every five to ten minutes. With each passing second, it seemed like time was going slower.
The little green grandfather bus finally showed up on time. I was lost in my own thoughts while occupying the same location and plugging in the headphones, not paying attention to the world around me.
After a few minutes, I felt something strange in my mind that I couldn't put into words. I didn't know how long had passed. Consequently, I took a stab at checking the time, yet shockingly, it was not on my hand. My phone was taken out of my pocket. I heard an ear-splitting thunderous sound as the surrounding area suddenly glittered with a sudden flash of fork lightning. I felt a sudden jerk, and the phone fell out of my hand. The screen was shattered. I looked through the window. Outside, it appeared to be a terrible storm. Before I might consider how a tempest like this was conceivable In a particularly odd season, the driver began yelling, "Brakes gone! The brakes are gone! making me anxious. I tried to get up and do something, but I felt like I was stuck to the seat and frozen. My mind just went blank because I was so terrified. On the bumpy, deserted road, the bus was speeding along erratically. It abruptly veered to the left, shattering the window glass and probably hitting the sideways rocks as it trembled down the road. The shrill sound of the metal screeching against the road was all I could hear.
Richa woke me up just then. I had the impression that everything I had seen was vivid, horrible dream. But when I realized that I had been dreaming and sleeping through all of this, it seemed ridiculous.
I saw that it was past ten o'clock when I glanced at my watch. I then gave her a smile as I tried to act normally.
"Are you alright? You're sweating profusely! She inquired.
I saw that strange old man stare at me once more for no apparent reason. Once more, his awkward expression began to annoy me.
She asked again because I did not answer Richa's question. This time I answered, "Indeed, I surmise… I'm fine. It's just an odd dream."
"Shouldn't something be said about?"
I couldn't help telling the whole story when I saw her curious eyes. She laughed loudly after hearing me, making me feel a little embarrassed. In any case, her grin had an honorable appeal generally. It might help you forget all of your fatigue or stress.
She laughed at me and said, "Well, you could write your story on it," which seemed like sarcasm.
I said it would be a terrible idea, and In addition, it was dreary, strange, and scary.
"In some cases significantly more peculiar things occur", she said with a grin which I felt somewhat surprising.
We laughed and smiled for a few minutes as we talked about the good old days. The bus was moving in the usual direction. It was dark outside at night. The main light source that somewhat affected the obscurity was the moon.
Hey, I once tried texting you. But you didn't respond," I said.
I kept saying, "I called you also, even I think you picked it up, but I couldn't hear anything from your side," as she didn't respond immediately.
This has been going on for a few days now. Recently, I seem to have some sort of issue with my phone, as you may know. Most likely, it was astounding that her Telephone was in any event, working with such break on its screen.
“Hmm. I suggested that you need to fix it right away.
Yes, I will, yes.
Because it appears that the majority of people who work late are from nearby cities like Germany or Belgium, the bus only stopped once or twice to pick up passengers. There was no one actually stepping off. As a result, getting close to Victorious was quick. As we got ready to say our goodbyes, I noticed that she had a bruise on her right hand. It appeared to have a serious wound. I likely didn't see this prior.
"What is it?" I asked demonstrating the injury.
"Oh, that's just... Nothing.... It was only an accident long ago. Nothing serious'', she answered reluctantly, "a few scars never took care of away I assume". I couldn't ignore the sense of pain in her last words.
“Hey! If anything bothers you, feel free to speak with me, okay? She had, in my opinion, been dealing with a few issues. She had not yet disclosed something to me.
"Better believe it, I know", she answered.
The bus then arrived at my stop. Telling her that we would meet again one week from now, I got down the transport.
[End of the subsequent section, presently the start of third chapter]
Next Saturday, when I arrived at my office, Dev let me know that he needed to go to Mercury for some work given by our chief. He had previously intended to leave the work early, yet after this additional work, he couldn't resist the urge to ask me, "Hello, Vatsal. Listen.”, He stated, "I must arrive at my uncle's house in Germany by ten o'clock." However, because of this task.... He exhaled.
I was aware that Saturday's office work was not particularly demanding. Therefore, I offered, "Maybe I can manage this office today." You go any place you want to completing the job the manager has given."
His face appeared to be smiling. Man, thanks! He smiled and said, "I owe you a treat." He left early at six in the evening for Mercury, which was about thirty minutes away by bus.
Eventually, around nine o'clock, everyone had left, and I was working alone in the office. Dev, on the other hand, was supposed to take the bus to Germany and probably party afterwards.
Yet, the time elapsed by rapidly. I soon found myself waiting for the ancient ride alone once more at the Belgium bus stop. However, it was a new moon night. Because there was no sign of any light to help illuminate the pitch-black night, the surrounding area appeared to be extremely dark. Everywhere, there was complete silence. Even the cricket's noise was somewhat muffled.
Finally, just as in previous days, my tin can ride appeared on tike. When I got up, I used the same deat and plugged in the headphones as I always do. I felt like a huge weight had been placed on my shoulders, and I was exhausted. Additionally, there was headache, which exacerbated the condition.
I received a call from Dev at that very moment.
“Hello! Dev, what's the matter? I pressed.
I had trouble hearing what he was saying. All I could hear was a strange, unintelligible noise that may have been caused by a signaling issue. In these rural parts of India, there is always a problem with a bad network. I had a go at ringing him back two times, yet it didn't associate.
As usual, Richa got it at crystal. But today she looked down. When I inquired about it, I discovered that she was also worn out and exhausted.
I hurriedly tried to spot that irritated, awkward old man, but I was unsuccessful. His nonattendance furnished me with a feeling of unwinding.
She was staring out the window while remaining silent for some time. Then, at that point, she mumbled, "I wonder you recollect?"
What do you remember?
She whispered, resting her head on my left shoulder. The woods are beautiful, dark, and deep, but I must keep my promises. She exhaled as if she were thinking about something.
I said, thinking back to Robert Frost's line, "And miles to go before I sleep."
"But you know, the wind of circumstances!" "Sometimes you just don't get to walk miles," she said with a sad expression on her face.
I replied, looking at her, "Well, true... you can't control the wind, but you can adjust your sails." Her face showed a faint smile.
"Doesn't it seem to be… . I'm referring to this moment, sort of like a "Meeting at Night"? She asked inquisitively.
I was astonished that she kept on discussing sonnets. I laughed at her and said, "It appears that you are in a poetic mood."
Yes, but please respond.
You are aware that such things do not occur.
“What? Secret romance?
“No. The entire idea of love, as we read books, read poems, or watch movies, I'll adore you until I pass on, and, surprisingly, after death' or 'I meet you once at the mists'… such things appear to be over-sensational.''
"Why is that so?"
"Because practically it never happens, and it's odd that people believe this lie," she said.
"How can you be sure? She responded with a warm smile and said, "Sometimes even stranger things may happen."
I didn't know how long I talked after that, but I finally fell asleep because I was tired.
She shook my hands as if in panic when she suddenly woke me up. I felt as though someone had pinched my brain, and I was having a severe and sudden headache. The pain had blurred my vision, and the sounds around me seemed to be echoing. I could hear her calling Vatsal to wake up. You need to get down. Your stop is here. Now! Get up!” She sounded like she was screaming at me, possibly because she was under a lot of stress and terrified of something I didn't know. Because she was so close to my face, I could appear content. Most likely, I saw comparative scars on her brow as I had proactively seen on her hand, however I was unable to tell with conviction.
At that exact moment, an unexpectedly raucous voice said, Calm down! Your final stop is here. After that, it yelled, "This is entirely your fault! He ought not to be present. You were informed the very first day.
It was that awkward old man, which surprised me. When I saw him suddenly standing right next to me, it temporarily frozen me. Who on earth was he? Why did he show up? Why was he speaking with us?
I couldn't figure out what was going on, and I was completely baffled.
As a result, I asked slowly, "What's going on? Is all that okay?"
'Sorry, son!' You don't have a place here", murmured that off-kilter individual.
"You must lower yourself. Now!” Once more, she yelled.
When I got up, I noticed that the bus was at a standstill and was not moving; it might be waiting for me to get off. The bus's lights were dim and occasionally flickered. There were six to seven people seated with faces devoid of any trace of blood. They were all silently staring at me. My heartbeat gradually increased due to the strange atmosphere.
"However, ", before I had the option to say anything further, she pushed me towards the entryway.
While I was venturing down the steps, my telephone began ringing-it was Dev once more.
I noticed a remarkable shift all of a sudden as the fresh air outside the bus eased my drowsiness and headache.
“Hello!” I stated answering the phone.
Can you hear me, Vatsal? Dev replied, "Yeah."
The transport motor turned over thundering. Richa waved goodbye through the window and said, "Take care!"
I waved at Vatsal and inquired as to why he had called. The bus began to move. Shockingly, her face looked somewhat dusty and hair turned into a piece messy inside a second.
"You said, there was a transport towards Germany around 11 pm. I came to before that… yet there is no transport after 10 pm that way." Dev said in one breath
"What… What refuse?" In shock, I yelled.
"The locals at the bus stand stated that a bus had previously left at eleven a year ago,"
"What on God's green earth… ."
Dev went on quickly, "An accident happened last year, and only a few people died." Furthermore, the transport got annihilated."
The last thing Dev said made me feel dumb. My mind was constantly making unsuccessful attempts to create a meeting out of it, and I was unable to decide how to respond. I was immediately anchored to the spot because I was numb. It was one of those interesting jaws dropping minutes when one could feel shock, dread, fear, and shock-everything simultaneously. It seemed like everything was a terrible hallucination.
"I couldn't finish my work on time," Dev kept saying. When I got to the bus stop, half past ten, I turned around and tried to find the bus again. I was calling you constantly..." Despite its distance, it could still be seen. I could see it trembling and recklessly travelling on the rough road from the motion of its rear red lights. I only started hearing the phrase "Stranger things may happen" over and over in my head. Once more, the encompassing sparkled with the blaze of fork lightning with an outrageously terrifying clearly sound. Although it was unclear whether it struck the bus or not, this time I observed the bolt's spark landing somewhere close enough to it. My vision went back to pitch black as the red lights vanished instantly.