Shreshta Gupta: The Great Adventure

I couldn’t wait to reach home. Work had more exhausting than usual and all I wanted was to snuggle up and watch reruns of Doctor Who. I desperately needed a break.

As I was driving down an empty stretch of road, I suddenly caught sight of a man up ahead, a hitchhiker looking for ride. As I came closer to where he was standing `I contemplated whether or not I should stop and let him in the car. The selfish side of me insisted that I continue on my way, picking up a hitchhiker would only delay me and I’d reach home much later than I’d like. But what if no one else stops? What would happen to the hitchhiker? I was getting closer and closer, I needed to make my decision quickly.

I slowed down the car and opened the door, sighing as I waited for him to get in. Well, there go my plans for a relaxed evening. “Thank you so much for stopping. I was beginning to think I’d never get a ride. My name is Alex, by the way,” he said with a slight grin on his face.

“I’m Anna. So where to?” I asked.

“Don’t worry, I’ll tell you how to get there,” he replied mischievously.

I just nodded in response to acknowledge that I’d heard him. I carefully observed him through the corner of my eye. He had handsome features, light brown wavy hair, striking blue eyes and a permanent smile. I guessed he was around my age, late twenties.

The road continued straight with no turns so I kept driving, all the while wondering where he needed me to drop him off. We continued to converse and I learned that he was one of those “in love with travelling” kind of people, always looking for adventure wherever he went. We were quite opposite to each other, to be honest. I preferred to stay home and read a book or watch my favourite tv show whereas all he wanted was one thing–constant adventure. He wanted to face new challenges every day, well, at least that’s how he put it.

“Why won’t you just tell me where you’re going?” I asked rather impatiently.

He looked at me with a curious look before replying, “What if I told you that I don’t know? What if I said that I have absolutely no idea where I’m going?”

“I’d say you’re crazy!”

“Well then call me crazy,” he smirked. “I’m on an adventure Anna! I don’t have everything planned out to the last detail, but that’s the best part.” he said with a gleam excitement in his eyes.

“Well you better figure it out fast; I need to get home soon.” I said, not knowing how to reply. He was silent for a few minutes.

“Why don’t you come with me? Let’s just keep driving, you can accompany me on my great adventure!” he said with a wild grin.

“Come with you?! Are you out of your mind? I have a job, I have responsibilities. I can’t just leave! Besides, even if I wanted to, I don’t have clothes or money,” I said exasperatedly.

“So we’ll stop at an ATM, and as for the clothes, we can buy them wherever we go,” he replied.

“And what about my job?” I asked.

“Simple, quit,” he said.

I pressed on the brakes in shock and the car came to a quick stop on the side of the road.

“Woah! Why’d you stop?” he asked surprised.

But my mind was racing so fast that I wasn’t able to answer him. Quit my job? No! I can’t! That’s absolutely crazy, what was he thinking suggesting that?! I have a life here. I’d have to be mad to just leave out of nowhere. Besides, I barely knew this guy! I couldn’t possibly just run away with a stranger.

But we had somewhat gotten to know each other, hadn’t we? And it’s not like I’m particularly happy with my job, or my life for that matter. Maybe it’s time to stop reading about crazy adventures in the numerous novels stacked on my bookshelf and perhaps go on one of my own. But what if it goes horribly wrong? This idea has a great potential for disaster.

“Anna?”

“Okay. Where to first?”

 

Sreshtha Gupta is fourteen years old and studies in Class IX in Pathways School.

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