Her eyes were wide open with fear. She wanted to scream again, louder this time, but her voice was not responding to her brain. She had frozen still, staring and pointing towards the window. A movement near the window distracted me and I looked there. One of the longest serpent I had ever seen had made it’s way into the hut through the window and was poised in a rather artistic pose bang in front of Ruhi. “Dont move an inch” I whispered slowly.
In one swift move I grabbed her arm and pulled her towards me. In another, I grabbed the trek pole lying in the corner and pushed the snake out of the window. Just as the snake was hit it made a last attempt to dig its fangs into one of us. Scared at the sight of a snake reaching out for her, Ruhi closed her eyes and held on tight. The snake had left, but Ruhi continued to hold on. The room was dimly lit and the only light in the room was shining on her. Confused on whether to hold on to her tightly just as she was holding on or to let go. I did not move a muscle. She opened her eyes and looked up at me. Her eyes had tears filled in them. She was scared and trembling. The tears left her beautiful eyes one by one and rolled down her cheeks falling off her cheeks onto my hand. I reached out to wipe her tears. She closed her eyes and just held on.
Wrapped in a warm blanket Ruhi sat near the fire we had lit. It kept her warm and hopefully other wild inhabitants of the forest away from us. The rain had entirely lost its force. It was just a mere trickle but enough to keep the temperature close to freezing. I was shivering. The only warm jacket that I had was now wet and hanging from a hook inside the hut. It had fallen into a puddle of water outside the house during the hustle with the snake and blame my idiocy, I did not have the presence of mind to pick it up. She had seen me shaking like a dry leaf. I was trying to get as close to the fire as possible without letting my clothes catch fire. I was close to believing hypothermia was the order of the day. Just then Ruhi stood up and took a couple steps towards me. I watched her move. She came close to where I was seated and sat right next to me.
The night was quiet, apart from the one off mountain owl hooting in the distance. Stars were intermittently visible. The pole star however was shining bright to the north. That gave us the relative directions. She inched closer, probably expecting me to say something. I kept my focus on the fire although her presence was prominently being felt. She was not shivering but was shaking, probably nervous. “Cold ?” she spoke in a very low tone. I looked at her and nodded blowing warm air into my hands. The flames of the fire were shining in her eyes. She almost had a natural eyeliner running over her eyelid. It was defining her eyes so well. The glow from the fire had kissed her skin. The reflection made it shine brighter than it was during the day. Her hair was shabby but tucked away behind her ear. The lonely lock of hair that was loose, constantly interrupted my eye from getting close to her eye and answer a few questions that were embedded. Large dilated pupils dotted beautiful shapely eyes that blinked in a beautiful rhythm. Selective stares towards the fire, to the distant stars and back at me felt like a ballet performance happening in perfect sync. The shape of her brow added an artistic touch to her face. Just as I was about to loose myself, she hesitantly opened out her arm under the blanket and threw the blanket around me. I looked back at her, she gave me a blank stare. “Pull it around” she said. It wasn’t a very huge rug. Just enough to keep one person warm.
Clumsily I tried all the moves to wrap us both but gave up in the end. She realized it wasn’t working. “Come closer” she whispered. I inched cautiously towards her till I could feel her touch. Pulled the rug around but there was still some gap and the winds made sure we shivered. She put her hand around my shoulder and pressed up close to me. Her hand moved from behind my back across my shoulder and and around my neck. She was closer to me than I could have ever imagined. I swear I would have broken into a sweat. She was lean for sure but had a squarish frame that had managed to hug me tight. Her body was providing the additional heat I needed. A survival technique used by mountaineers and trekkers. Suddenly I felt her move closer. Her lips were close to my ears. I could feel her breath in my ears and her heartbeats on my body. Her heart was beating fast but mine had almost raced away to twice the normal pulse rate in less than a few seconds. Her warm breath was tickling my earlobes but her hand around my neck made sure I didn’t move.
I heard her dry lips part, she slowly whispered into my ear “Don’t get and funny ideas, I am trying to keep you alive”. My eyes snapped open as she backed away a little and I continued to warm my palms against the fire. I looked at her trying to steal a glance. Her eyes pierced mine, a wry smile broke the shape of her curvy lips, and she winked at me. My heart started beating again. Just as I was about to turn away, she held my face and planted a kiss, squarely on my lips. Time stopped. I was lost in the mountains. I was lost within myself. It was magical.
(to be continued)
“this story is an piece of fiction and recreation described by the author. There is no resemblance to any event of the past”. picture ownership belongs to the owners as they are not taken by the author and he takes no credit for it.
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