Here is a small excerpt from my upcoming novel THE CLOCKMAKER. Hope you enjoy it.
It had started raining since the evening. A heavy downpour followed by drizzle. With the onset of the monsoons it was predictable. It was chaos everywhere. The routes were jammed due to water logging on the streets and the traffic came to a standstill in a short while.
Vicky was waiting for Kavya in the parking lot. He knew it would be difficult for her to drive back to her house in her scooty in this weather. So he waited there to help her out.
Kavya came out of the institute in a while. She was very upset to see the chaos on the road. It was already late and she didn’t want to keep her mother worried at home. She called her up to inform that she would be home late due to the traffic.
She pulled her bag above her head and ran to the parking lot. She was almost drenched by the time she reached there.
“Damn. How am I going to make it to Noida in this weather?” She cussed.
“May I help you?”A voice asked from behind. It was Vicky. He had gathered a lot of courage to say those words to her. His heart was racing fast as he waited for her answer.
Kavya turned around and saw a guy standing. His nervous black eyes were the first thing she noticed. It matched his anxious voice. She remembered seeing the guy in the class. One of the back benchers. She dismissed him immediately saying, “No. Thanks,” and turned back. She started her scooty and drove off without giving a second look to him.
Vicky sighed as he watched her go. “Damn! How stupid I looked?” He said to himself and started laughing. “You need lessons from your old man again,” he reminded himself. His Nanu had been of great help to him when he set out to make his first girlfriend at the age of thirteen. He started his bike and trailed Kavya which he often did without her knowledge.
Kavya couldn’t reached very far. The route she usually took was completely jammed due to the rains and there was no sign of relief any time soon. Most of the people were already reversing their vehicle. So Kavya also thought of doing so.
She took a right turn and didn’t notice the speed bumper ahead. Before she could apply the brakes she lost her balance and bumped into a standing vehicle. The impact threw her out of the bike on the water logged road.
The vehicle was a brand new car and the impact broke one of its tail lights.
Kavya stood up shivering – more from the shock of the accident than her wet clothes. She was drenched completely and her hands and knees were bruised.
Instead of helping her, the driver of the car, she had bumped into, got down and started arguing about the damage done to his vehicle. The poor man was concerned that the car owner will deduct the damage from his salary. People started gathering around and it terrified Kavya more . She was so terrified that she hid her face in her palm.
Vicky reached there in time and found Kavya panic stricken amid the crowd. He didn’t lose a second and took the situation in his hands.
He got down from his bike and yelled at the crowd, “She is with me!” Within a few strides he stood right in front of her.
Kavya heard a familiar voice. She opened her eyes slowly and was curious to find a guy standing in front of her with his back towards her. His broad shoulders shielded her completely from the crowd.
“I will take care of it. Just don’t worry.” He stated.
Kavya remembered the voice. It was of the same guy in the parking she had met a few minutes ago. But his voice sounded so authoritive now.
He spoke something to the driver and he went away without saying another word. The crowd too disbursed immediately.
He then turned back to face Kavya. “Are you alright?” He looked concerned.
Kavya looked into those eyes once more but could not hold his gaze for more than a few seconds. She was ashamed of her rudeness earlier. She nodded looking down.
Vicky bent down and picked up her bag from the road. He looked around for her scooty. It stood a few meters away. Someone in the crowd might have picked it up. He went to check it. He started the engine and it roared. He looked at Kavya who was still standing there where he had left her. The rain water washing off the mud stains off her fair skin. He then noticed that she was shivering.
He came over to her and took off his rain jacket and offered it to her.
“Your scooty is fine.” He informed her.
Kavya remained silent. She knew she couldn’t make it home alone but she didn’t have the courage to say it. She started weeping.
“Damn! No! What happened? I am sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you anyway.” He was confused.
Between her sobs Kavya said, “No I am sorry for my rudeness. Please take me home. I can’t ride my scooty.”
There was silence for a moment.
Kavya wasn’t sure anymore what to expect and Vicky was speechless hearing her words. How much he had waited for a moment like this and now he was zapped. He could feel the blood draining his ears and cheeks red as his heart raced.
Then she heard him say. “Don’t worry about your scooty. I will get it picked up by my friend. Come on lets go.”
Kavya followed him quietly to his bike and pillion rode the entire way to her house in Noida. Nobody spoke in between. They spoke only for directions.
Kavya was still in shock and Vicky too cautious of her nearness to him. And it drizzled all the way.
When Vicky stopped the bike in front of her apartment Kavya got down and throwing a small, “Thank you,” behind her ran inside without looking back.
Vicky stood there watching her enter the building. He looked up towards the sky and a smile swept his lips while the rain drops splashed on his face. He started the engine and biked all the way home in super speed.