RedPaper.in – Short Story
By: Ayush Verma | RedPaper.in
“The train bound towards Huda city centre is going to leave from platform no. 1” was ringing on all the speakers and Saransh somehow believed the call was made exclusively for him. Already running late for his class, he dashed towards the first coach just catching the gap between closing doors and the platform with his trailing leg. He made it just in time when the lady on the speaker reminded everyone to “Mind the Gap!”.
A brief pause and a deep breath later he finally managed to stand up straight. Just as he tried to move towards the end of the coach a soft voice caught his attention, “Hi! Are you okay?” At this point, Saransh was more than okay. Trying to think of a witty response while being magnificently awkward he responded- “Hi, how are you?”
Realising what he had just blurted out, Saransh begged for the floor to swallow him whole. But luckily his lame, “Hi, you are how?” broke the tension between the two and they burst into a maniacal laughter. After a formal introduction and the knowledge that both were heading the same way, Manvi suggested if they could find two adjacent seats in rush hour. Saransh knew that they were destined to meet and started the seat hunting.
As the train stopped at the next station, an elderly couple got off. It was meant to be! They looked at each other and smiled as they sat down for what was going to be one of the most memorable metro rides of their lives.
From the set off, they were comfortable with each other, discussing hobbies to passions and interests. Both initially late for class, had lost track of time as they continued to talk. From discussing their love for dogs to showing each other some funny memes, they did it all. They ran out of things to talk about; but ended up discussing that how even though they’d been talking for so long, it felt like they’d just begun.
While Manvi scrolled through her phone looking for good songs she noticed a smile on his face. “Why are you smiling?”, “I’m just glad I was late for class today. That, I had to rush in to get on this metro, almost tripping over the gap that led to the coach you were on. I’m just happy to have met you!”
Saransh knew he’d found a new friend but he wasn’t sure if that’s where his feelings ended, as “friends”. As the train neared his station they exchanged numbers but couldn’t get themselves to say goodbye to each other, so instead they just smiled as he got up to deboard. Saransh was lost in thoughts wondering if Manvi too, was thinking about the gap between being friends and something more.
As the doors in front of him slid open, his question was answered – “Mind the gap this time Saransh! I’ll see you tomorrow!” Manvi called out from behind.