A faint trembling voice broke the monotonous hum caused by the heavy downpour. My eyes lit up. I looked frantically in the direction of the voice. It came from a direction approximately a hundred feet away from the spot where Ruhi had fallen. It was really faint and unclear till i took a few steps in that direction. I saw a shining light it came from Ruhis headlamp. Quick descend into the ravine brought me at a step in the black rocky gradient of the mountains. A bunch of wild berry bushes decorated the step beautifully. The bushes had cut her fall i realized as i saw her lying there withering in pain. “Its broken” she cried “My foot, its broken”. I bent over and looked at the damage, it was swollen like a tennis ball.

Teary Eyed

She stood up on her own, I placed her hand on my shoulder and placed mine on her waist. She was in pain but managed to give me a look and glanced at my hand. “Try walking” I said to her. She limped a few steps and stopped. “I cant walk” she said. It was still raining and the ground was slippery. She sat down, with tears in her eyes. I was tempted to look at her beautiful teary eyes but did not want to make it look so obvious. She had caught me once and this would make me look like a fool. There was no other option, I hoisted my backpack on my back and picked her up in a firemans lift rescue pose. She let out a cry but I guess it was more in revolt of me picking her up than her foot troubling her. I didnt have the time to ask or explain as the rain was getting heavy and we were standing on the mountain edge almost waiting for another catastrophe to happen.

“Put me down right now” she said as I was about to put her down under a large tree. I did not utter a word. Just then i noticed something unusual around her legs. She saw me looking, and tried covering her legs with her backpack. She was dripping wet and bruised. Her beautiful face was scarred a bit on her right cheek along with her elbows and a torn right sleeve. I assume she landed on that side. My attention went back to her legs, above her knees near her thigh. She was nervous. I moved closer slowly moving the backpack out of the way. She resisted my move and held my hand. “Stop” she said. I took out my army knife from my wasit pouch and switched on my head-lamp and shone it on her thigh. She turned red in anger “Pervert” she yelled. “Don’t come any closer”. I opened my knife and pointed it to her thigh.

“Shut Up and look here”. Just under her thigh were two dark black leeches stuck to her skin sucking away her blood. “Slimy Blood Suckers” she yelled as her focus shifted from her foot to her thigh. I heated my knife slightly and placed it squarely on the leeches causing them to release hold and fall to the ground. She kicked them both only to wither more in pain. Her thigh was covered in blood. Leeches had diluted the blood prevented from forming a clot. I placed my hand on her thigh plugging the wound with my thumb. She froze like ice. I realized what I had done when I saw her eyes tight shut lips bitten under her teeth. I thought of releasing my hold but did not.

A strange silence had grown between us. We weren’t looking eye to eye. I had tied a pieces of a crepe bandage that was in my medical kit around the wound to stop the loosing blood and another piece around her foot to give it support. My hands were covered in blood and so was my Tee. I wiped my hands and washed my tee as it was. The tree under which we sat was a large Oak tree, not the usual Oak but the mountain Oak. This tree has a thin but long trunk and a slightly dense bunch of branches and leaves high above. The ground below it was rather dry along with a huge rock that we used as a bench to sit on. The sun was about to set and we realized we had to move on. The trail was about to get steeper as we had hit a fairly mountainous terrain. She was in pain and was feeling pretty low. Our walk was slow and slightly tedious as I kept holding her hand in order to provide support. She had insisted on carrying her backpack herself.  At tedious passes against steep rocks she would have to lean on me, transferring all her weight on to my body to ease the bruise on her foot. I had to respond by pushing her up the rock without making my presence felt, obviously embarrassing her. Each time she came close I would be lured by her hair and focused eyes.

In about an hour we had walked across the ravine and had reached the other side. While I had lowered myself to get Ruhi I had seen a small hut on the other side. It was fairly dark, our head lamps were on. We looked for the hut in the hope of finding shelter for the night. We crossed a small brook than ran down the hill swiftly. I paused and washed the mud on my face and arms and moved ahead holding Ruhis hand. She was comfortable with me holding her waist by now and focused on keeping her weight away from her foot. Across a small group of trees we spotted the hut. A simple hut made from mud and clay covered with dried pine tree branches and leaves from nearby trees. The hut had one mid sized door and a rather large window that could double up as a door if it hadn’t had wooden branches. A huge squarish beam supported the roof and doubled up as a hanging arrangement to hang trekkers backpacks, wet clothes etc.

I waited outside as Ruhi changed into dry clothes. The temperature had dipped and the rains had lowered in intensity. We were ascending the mountains so this was obvious. The trees around the hut were fairly old and had been through a lot of rough weather as it could be seen from the bark of these trees. The clouds cast a magic spell by lowering into the valley in front and weaving a white blanket right infront of my eyes. Just as I was about to loose myself in this captivating sight I was stunned by a loud scream from Ruhi. I rushed into the hut without realizing she was changing clothes to see Ruhi standing in the dim light of her headlamp that was hanging on the beam above clutching a wet white cloth around her body looking at the window with fright. She didn’t take her eyes away from the window and I didn’t take mine away from her body.

(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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