Five-thirty, he parked near the Sultan Park by the west wall in the hope of meeting Bilqis Adam. A bunch of girls posed by the SES gate. One of them was Firasha that he figured by judging on those thin legs. Muaz rolled the throttle and reached the gate.
“Don’t you want a lift?” he intervened.
“A-a!” she shook her head.
“Get on! I will drop you home,” Muaz passed her the silver helmet and she did not take it.
“I’m waiting for Marie.”
“Go girl!” uttered a student, “Take a ride!”
“Don’t drop me by the gate!”
“I won’t,” settled Muaz, “I’ll drop you by Majeedi Magu corner.”
She put on the helmet exposing hairy underarms and buckled. Placed a foot on the pedal and jumped on the backseat from his right to sit sideways to dangle both legs on one side. In a manner, girls took this position for decency.
“Are you set?” Muaz checked, “Hold tight!”
He kicked off. She grabbed with her left arm, her books on her lap holding with her right hand. Muaz raced up Chandni Magu avoiding puddles of water and turned to Majeedi Magu. He zipped pass their corner splashing water on pedestrians.
At that point a girl is helpless. She cannot jump down from his motorbike without scratching those lovely knees. At one point he went over 100 km per hour.
At the end of Majeedi Magu, he turned south on Marine Drive and arrived at Lonuziyaraii-kol in a minute. He stopped by the promenade.
Five-forty, close to sunset, this venue came alive with footballers in the pit, girls on the court playing bashi and another group engaged in basketball. Strollers on the road and kids running around, lovers on the promenade and surfers on the waves. Bikers in pairs and joggers on sprint, kite fliers with wooden spools and weather-beaten tourists. A cool breeze and colours changing in a cloudy sky.
“Why are we here?” she asked jumping down. A pleated hem blowing in the wind to reveal her small bums and little red panties. Thin legs appeared like two pencils and white tennis shoes with socks rolled to ankles.
“Come on!” he undid his helmet and hung on the mirror. He placed her helmet on the other mirror. “Watch the sky!” he offered his hand, “We’ll have some fresh air.”
Her fingers were soft and cold. They crossed the esplanade to the southeast tip and sat down on the prom. In the chilly wind, in the brine that stink and in the spray of spindrift, they listened to the winnowing waves crashing on the rocks beneath their feet like hundreds of hooves thundering along the ground.
“What was going between you and your cousin?”
“My boyfriend,” corrected the girl trying to keep her hair from blowing in the wind.
“What happened that day?”
“My dad came unexpectedly. Mom told him and he kicked the door open.”
He barely heard her voice in the windy clamour, “You were naked in bed?”
“Did you guys do something?”
“You have very nice legs,” he remarked.
“I know. You don’t have to tell me!” returned the shy girl.
“What? I can’t hear you!”
“You do not have to tell me!” she repeated. Truth was, she felt those hot legs appealing to herself while in bathe beside the trees under the sun and by the well in the open-air shower garden.
On the breakwater promenade there were three elevations; a front level facing seaward, a water collecting groove bedded in the middle and a metre high wall facing land.
Firasha crossed her legs placing one knee over the other, trying to sit tight on her butts on the low stone, holding together in that little white dress gone up from the rear as she sat with her back on to the amblers. Her eyes roving. A declining sun reflected on their back.
“Do you like to go to cinema?”
She sighed, “I can’t go.”
“How about a music show here in this park?”
“My dad won’t let me go!”
“Can’t you cheat?” he frowned.
She thought for a moment, “I don’t want my boyfriend to know.”
“He won’t know anything.”
“Tomorrow night I must go to school to wait at the gate. It is our school’s Tenth Anniversary.”
“Tomorrow night then!”
“Let’s go home! It might rain any moment.”
The sun had gone down and beacon lights lit the coastal road.