With the first ray of morning light he started his journey to next campsite. He left his bags to be carried by his group and started running on the trails. It was a cold morning, the winds blew dry. Fresh dew on grass looked like small pearls scattered in the valley. He was sweating heavily and wearing only one layer despite extreme cold.
He had never spent a moment without her and the thought of leaving her alone in the wild gives him goosebumps. He remembered those moments when he used to come home from office and she used to hide inside home, which always got him worried. When he could not find her anywhere she appeared out of nowhere and gave him a tight hug from behind, which always ended in a great smile in his face.
After an exhaustive stretch of endless meadows, crossing numerous streams and boulders. With the first glimpse of campsite his heartbeat increased and all the blood rushed to his legs. He was hopping over boulders like he was practising it from years. Finally he reached campsite and asked around for a little girl with a horse and horse man.
There were so many camps, it looked like a small town. Most of them arrived late in the night due to storm so it was hard to get information about girl. There was a local Kashmiri Family living at that altitude. A old man pointed towards a lake, which was slightly higher than campsite. He rushed towards the lake.
And their she was, a little angel playing alongside the lake with horse, unaware of the worries of him, unaware of the world and its problems. He ran towards her shouting her name and lifts her in his arms hugging her tightly. The girl pushes his sweaty face away unaware of the fact that his face was not wet due to sweat but tears. - all characters in this story are completely fictitious.
" I don't want to leave you. I will go with you." She requested to him.
He said " No you are too tired to go on foot. Take the horse and I will meet you on next campsite." And then the clouds started gathering in the sky hiding the sun, and sucking all the light from this world. Cold and dry wind starts blowing which is making his lips and tongue drier. He is thirsty and exhausted but still his speed is continuously increasing. He asks his group to maintain speed, pointing to the storm that is covering whole valley.
The first drop touched his nose. Everybody wore their ponchos. But storm is getting worse with heavy rain and wind. Now everybody can see worry in his eyes. It's hard to go any further due to muddy and slippery trail. One person consoles him that it's okay she must have reached the campsite by now.
That night was very long for him. Weather was clear and it was a beautiful sky filled with galaxies and stars. But he was restless hoping that this must be a dream. He could not sleep but only think about her.
to be continued...