Journey Beautiful Then Destination

Submitted by Harita Rao to Contest #6 in response to: Write a story about two people in a long-distance relationship, driving to a location mid-way between both their cities.... view prompt

In front of Henna were the approved applications of her dream college in Paris. She applied for this college of arts last year too but her age limit was the barrier and instead she got huge amount of money as her painting was the most beautiful in the exhibition. That painting was depiction of her heart and before leaving the country she wanted to go to the place that was background of her winning display.

"Yugul, I have to go on a long road trip.So, prepare yourself accordingly by 7 in the morning.You got it?"she said to her driver while packing her bags.

"Sure,I will be ready. But if you can .."replied Yugul but he couldn't complete his sentence as phone was disconnected by Henna. He was a little bit angry but he decided to remain calm as although they were of same age she was the capable one and also the one who employed him when no one was hiring him because he was too young as a driver and experience is must for such a job . His license was certified one but lack of experience and no proper resume was stressing him. He was in desperate need of money and she hired him. Probably, that's why he had to limit his pride to himself. He couldn't even ask her for a few days off to visit his hometown.

In the morning, Yugul was lodging bags in the car while Henna was helping him. They both sat in the car while Yugul was driving the car she sat beside him instead of sitting behind.

"Have you ever heard of Chitkul?"she asked him.

"Do you mean the Chitkul near the border, in the mountains?" asked Yugul with sudden happiness.

"Yes,you know.Wow ,that's good.And the reason of your overflowing happiness is..."she asked with curiosity.

"That's my hometown where I wanted to visit but couldn't as you were always so busy" he said with relieved smile.

"Like seriously,that is really awesome.I mean I had no idea.Give me high five"she said with smile on her face as she raised her hand high.

"Ah,yes."and he also raised his hand but wait,it was the first time she was smiling in front of him.And that high five was so unpredictable that for a movement time stopped for him. Henna reminded him to start the car and he came back to his senses. He started the car, took a back turn but still a little bit lost. They never talked much before their words were limited to address and destination only. It was not like he was shy to girls but Henna always looked so distressed and hopeless to her that he couldn't start a talk.Many a times he wanted to ask her the reason of her sadness but again he was not in position to cheer someone else.But today the destination is very far and the large and busy roads of metro city are left behind with very less traffic now,he decided to start the conversation. More importantly,her smile was too adorable for him to resist her anymore.

"I always wanted to thank you for hiring me when no one was ready to due to my age and also wanted to know the reason for it,I mean if you want to tell."he asked while wondering if she will reply or not.

"You tell me is it right to not to hire someone because of age limit"she asked probably for changing the question.

"No,but still it's not only about age.Like,you know driving is something pretty much concerned to your life so..... "

"Seems like you want me to regret my decision. Are you forced or what...."

"Oh...no..not at all.I was just curious and also I had no idea to what to talk about"he said while Henna got a call.

"Yes,I confirm my admission and will also pay the fee right now.Yes thank you."she disconnected the phone while trying to do something on her phone"Oh shit,there is no network.I think we have to stop at a cafe as it's mandatory to pay fee today only."

"Okay,yes.I will stop if I will spot one."he said with a confusion like he was trying to ask something but then again he gained courage "Fee for what?"

"I had applied for the college of arts in Paris and I got the approval this year only. So,I will be leaving right after this trip of ours."With these words Yugul stopped the car with sudden brake and it seemed to him like his heart had stopped too."Here is the cafe,I will be waiting here only."

"Okay,then I will be back."And she left the car .Yugul was left alone trying to sort out what is wrong with him."Why I am so sad that she is leaving? I never cared about her and suddenly what's wrong with me? Relax,relax,why Yugul why you are being like this? You were going to left the job next month,right? So,why you are so panicked now?"he was asking himself."Do you like her? But how is this even possible.You don't know anything about her and you are saying you like her. Wait,is it because she is pretty today? Does that mean she is not my love at first sight but I fell for her suddenly and now with every moment I can't help but like her more."He was still talking to himself and then he saw her coming outside of cafe.

"It's all done.But what should I do I am having mixed emotion for this"she said with her eyes focused at papers in her hands.

"Mixed opinion regarding what?Paris?"

''Yes,I mean I wanted to go there desperately because for some reasons I wanted to escape out of my present scenario so when I came to know that I got cash prize instead of admission because of my age limit,it was a sort of disappointing last year."

"So,that was the reason you hired me because you were denied as your age was the barrier?''he said trying to distract his mind from the argument he was having with himself.

"You can say. I got the money but I didn't knew how to drive and for some reasons I was afraid to learn too. But also with the denied admission I got many invitations to events and meeting which I had to attend so I needed someone.I was preferring a woman in her forties but when there were no applicable lady instead of going with an experienced man I decided to go for you."she replied with a sad smile on her face.Seems like she wanted to say more but confined it to herself.

"And your mother was totally against me."he said with a smile to cover his true emotions.

"She is really concerned about me like all mothers.Hey,we are finally on mountains. Oh...it's so beautiful. Isn't it?"This time she was really happy.With beautiful mountains and puffy white clouds with not so sunny day and pleasant wind, the day couldn't be more beautiful.

"It is so nice and I feel like I am getting a warm welcome. Should we open the window and switch A.C. off?"He was equally happy as her now.It was a pleasant evening and the streams of water glittering in the mountainsides was making their roadside trip lively.

"Let's have some music"and she turned the F.M. on.With the music another side of her was visible as she start singing with weird hand move"But when you smile at he ground it ain't hard to tell....you don't know,oh oh....that's what makes you beautiful."

"Hey,you are singing."said surprised Yugul.

"Am I not allowed to?I am that much bad?"with a cute expression she asked.

"No,I mean you know that I am surprised.You sing so beautifully but the thing is you never sang before in the car and that made me feel so nervous for apparently no reasons."he replied in very fast tone.

"That's because I am feeling so much better and lively today.I don't know it's this place or you or whatever but this trip is like a blessing.Anyways,is my singing really good?"asking this she started singing with weird dance moves again.

"Your singing is nice but you dare not show your dancing skills in public unless you are in a comedy show." he replied and they both laughed and sang together. They decided to stop for some refreshment and to ask for hotel nearby as it will be tiring to drive whole night for only one person.So,they stopped near a small stream on a small road. Yugul went to shop with car parked a little bit far as road was too small and Henna started clicking pictures near the stream. Meanwhile, some strange guys appeared and started annoying her and snatched her camera. On the very occasion,Yugul came and took the camera back and with rapid action punched the guy having the camera and grabbed wrist of Henna and ran to the car which was parked a bit far. This time the heart beat altered again and it was Henna who fell for Yugul in that little moment. But she had no time to care about her emotions as they were being chased by two cars now. In those steep mountains, chasing continued and every time they took a turn inertia scared them and then the car slipped.But fortunately or unfortunately it was not theirs but were of those who were chasing them.They didn't notice but chasing took place for long and it was too dark now and so it was not safe to drive anymore.

"Are you okay?I am so sorry for driving so fast although you were scared but you see we had no choice."he said while trying to calm her down.

"It will take some time but yes I am fine.I really am.And also thanks for saving me earlier."and she was struggling to speak with her face all red and blushy.

"Alright,then.But what should we do,google is not working here?Should we drive a little bit more to find a place?"he said while starting car once again .But Henna stopped him abruptly "No,we should not.I don't have good memories of driving at night in this area." They didn't talk much and slept as they were both tired and confused.Next morning they wake up and first thing that came to their mind were their hidden feelings for each other.

"Good morning, isn't the morning glorious?"said Yugul adjusting himself while straightening his back which was paining due to sleeping in wrong posture.

"Morning is beautiful indeed but seems like your back hurts too"replied Henna.

"It's hurting a little bit. It will take us almost 2 hours to reach our destination as well as my home so should we have light breakfast at a place nearby? We passed the night with help of cookies only."he said while searching the google again.

"Sorry,for keeping you hungry."as she said it her face could be seen covered with sadness and eyes filled with tears.

"Are you alright?What made you sad?Please tell me."he asked worryingly.

"I don't know.I don't know as it had been a very long time since someone asked me why I am sad."she said while tears poured down her cheeks.

"You always seemed so sad to me. I always wanted to ask but never was able to.But today you have to tell me or you can say you can share your pain with me.Now,please tell me."he asked with faith in his eyes.

"You know people used to ask me if I am alright but when I udsed to say yes with a fake smile they never bothered to ask me more but you asked me and that is what so emotional for me "she said with sudden smile and asked to stop the car as there was a restaurant in front of them."Let's go and talk inside."There they talked about food and the place and about the people sitting nearby and about everything except the one they wanted to talk about.They went back to the car to start their journey once again.

"Last night you drove so fast but still so carefully and you were so good.Somehow you made me feel choosing you was not a bad decision but tell me how can you be so perfect and that also in the mountains with so many turns and steeps."she asked curiously.

"My father was an ambulance driver and ambulance in this very area are very few so my dad used to have a very tough routine. Because of such dangerous roads accidents are not rare,so my dad barely used to get rest so sometimes when he used to be very tired I used to drive with him sitting beside me.That made me a driver with experience which I couldn't display anywhere because at those time I didn't have my license.So,it was illegal too."he replied recalling past.

"By any means your dad used to call you Robin or Ruby"she asked with surprising expression.

"Robin,he used to call me as I used to wander in the forest with free spirit,but how do you know?"he asked, more surprised.

"You know there was a landslide last year near the Fuji Lake View,I was the victim too...."she was telling when she was interrupted in between by Yugul.

"Wait,was it you who's head had major injury and was referred to bigger hospital later on and whose dad..."his voice slowed down"dad died on the spot."

"Wish I could say no but my ill fate it was me.That day me and my dad were returning from Chitkul,where we enjoyed a lot. On our way back I had no idea that my life will be changed like that. We were able to escape from those heavy stones but eventually lost balance and got into accident.I passed out that moment and when I wake up I saw a man trying to get me out of the car and as much as I can remember because many people were injured no one was paying attention to us and then your dad started calling your name Robin. I wanted to ask about my dad but I was unable to speak and before I could saw your face clearly my eyes closed again. I could hear that you were too shocked seeing my condition and then someone lifted me, probably it was you who carried me."she replied with her eyes stuck out of window.

"Oh my God, It was me but at that moment I couldn't see your face as it was covered with blood.A lot of people were injured ,such a rush was there.It was all horrible but thanks to dad we saved you."he sighed.

"That means we met before but at such a bad timing. Maybe that's why when I saw you I felt something that made me hire you.I lost my dad and my happiness and that is why whenever I used to see someone of his age ,i used to mistook that person as my dad due to my head injury and also because of shock. At that moment I wanted to live for my mom but wanted to die too.That was one reason why I took you in.I had no interest in life so I chose thinking that it would not matter even if I get into accident and other reason I went for you was that feeling that strange feeling I got when I saw you."she wiped her tears and asked"what about your dad,how's he doing? I have to thank him."

"Due to stressed working conditions,he fell ill soon after your accident.We were short of money and I tried to do all I could but my bad luck I lost him because of cardiac arrest."saying this he started crying."I am going home but there is no one who will be there to welcome me.Because my mother passed when I was too young ,he loved me both as father and mother."Henna wiped his tears and they came out of the car as heart of both of them was getting heavy with every passing second.

"My mother has always been a very busy person.Both of my parents used to run business together but it was my dad who used to spend time with me while mother used to focus only on business. You know my mother was clearly against my passion for painting but it was my dad who taught me that it's not the profession which has reputation or not but us. He told me that if I chose painting as my future I has to be best in it and become the most reputed artist of this era.That was the only reason I decided to apply for the most prestigious college of this very field. I sent them the painting I made when I was in Chitkul last year with my dad, my most precious memories.Memories of my good time when I also used to laugh a lot and that is why I wanted to go there before I left the country but a lot happened with me in this trip." and then she get interrupted by the call.

"Although, all that time was sad but now with her I am getting attached again."Yugul said to himself "Should I confess to her when we reach Chitkul?"

"Yugul,I won't be able to go to Chitkul now"she said with a low tone"I received a call from the college and they want me there as soon as possible so you have to drop me to nearest airport and then after visiting your home you can return to city in car later on."

"It's too sudden."he said with disappointment.There was so much to say but both of them decided to keep it to themselves.Their was silence in the car but it was too noisy in their heads.They were talking to themselves only.

H:It was because of him I smiled after so many days and also it was him who saved my life so it really is not a big deal if I love him.

Y: She and I are connected by past and also she helped me when no one was there for me so will it be really a big deal if I confess to her?

H:But is it alright to love him even when dad told me to care about reputation and also when I am leaving for other country.

Y:She will leave in a few days so even if she says yes distance would tear us apart.But will it not be easier to forget about her when she will be gone if I confess to her?

H: I don't know if he has any feelings for me .Maybe it's me who's getting overwhelmed by the situation.But thinking logically,would I be able to say yes if he confess?

Y: No,never it would be possible for me to ask her. Especially, when I know we are same but our background is totally different.

H:It's not like someone will stop me so why I am that much worried and why I can't focus on present?

Y:At present,even if we both like each other there is no way we can be together. Everyone knows her as a renowned artist and what I am.More than her I will be embarrassed.Do you think it's a romantic movie or what?

H: It's not possible right.Our story is so much similar to roads. Bigger status represents roads of big cities how they are divided into four lanes or six lanes or exclusively one way.

Y:Small background is very much similar to small roads where there is no divider of any kind. We must have some relationship between us for that we met and separated and met again yet to separate.

H:Our relationship has a lot of division and invisible long distance.Putting it all together we have a deep relationship with invisible long distances and simply we have a long distance relationship.

Y:When we already have a relationship between us confession is the only thing left. Doesn't matter if the road is divided or not, it is bigger or smaller journey must continue.Yes,I have to say this.

"Thanks for making me smile and worrying about me. I don't know if what I will be saying is wrong or right but I will say it now"Henna said with a deep breath and then continued "I don't know if it was from the day you grabbed my wrist or from the day I saw you when I selected you or was it when you saved me, from whenever it is but I feel I want you as my partner in the trip of rest of my life. I don't know if you will choose to be with me or go by yourself but still I will ask can we be together?"

"This was the question I was supposed to ask you.Yes....a big yes I want to be there for you by your side forever and ever'' he replied and continued with tears of happiness'' You know what you were always sad and that used to hurt me I remained worried for days when you got into that accident even when I had no idea it was you and since we started this trip of ours you are making me fell for you again and again."

Both of them heard and said what they wanted to and at the airport they were going to separate just after they heart united truly.

"Although,I don't need a promise but still you have to take care of yourself in Paris until I complete my graduation here for what I had decided to leave job earlier."he said still holding her hand.

"I promise, but you also have to take care of the fact that those invisible distances of ours are finished, so for now we have to tackle with these visible distances.We will be able to maintain our relationship,right?"henna asked. "Sure enough, our relationship is too deep for any sort of separation."he replied.

Their journey was the time period when they were falling for each other which was more beautiful than their destination which was eventually separation.






















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14:14 Sep 10, 2019

I love mountains and it has been long since I visited there. For many reasons road trips of mountains are best and I miss them.

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