We entered the hospital.
“Sir, doctor wants to meet you.” Said one of the nurses near the operation theatre.
We went quickly towards the ICU.
“There’s a good news. Your mother can be discharged now. Her health is good. However, she needs rest.” The doctor said assuring me about her good health by tapping my shoulders.
“Thank you so much.” I replied feeling a little content.
We shook hands and the doctor left. I looked at her.
Just the same. Beautiful blue eyes, plump cheeks and pale pink lips…. Still so different.
Eyes held down as if in guilt, lips silent, expressionless. Not even a smile!
“That’s a pretty good news….” the voice startled me making me look away from her.
“Oh Dad… How come you got to know about this?”
“Doctor informed me. Let’s take your mom home.”
“Umm… Yes, why not!”
This voice awakened me.
“Hello dear… Thank you so much for the care and support.”
“No uncle, don’t mention that. I liked being here, but I will now take your leave.”
“Oh sure.. Should I drop you?”
“No uncle that’s fine.. I live nearby in lane 10”
“Still. It’s dark and cold outside. Varun, you take care she gets home safely.”
“Yes… Yes daddy if she allows so.”
I turned my gaze towards her hoping for a yes.
“Thank you so much uncle.” She smiled and went towards the hospital exit.
Not even looked once. Perplexed, I stood there, unable to understand what she meant was yes or..
“Come” she said looking back.
Yes, it was a yes!!!
I waved back at dad and followed her.
Is he coming?
“Here is the bike.”
I looked towards him. Our eyes met.
“I guess I can go safely. You… you need not give me a ride.”
“It’s my responsibility. Let me worry about it.”
He put on his helmet and indicated me to sit.
I boarded the back seat of the bike.
“Shall I start?”
The bike shot off with a jerk instinctively making me fall over him till I caught hold of his shoulders. He looked behind.
“Are you okay?”
I kept silent. I was so near to him… his face. We kept looking at each other. The rattling of the bike made me aware and I backed off sitting straight. As the bike rode down the street, the air started to get chilly. The nipping weather and chilly winds made me grab his waist with both my hands. I drifted closer towards him taking him in my arms. I enveloped his back. I closed my eyes, feeling his warmth.
“Which one’s your home?”
It felt as if I almost took a nap.
Waking up from your dreams or waking up from your desires is one and the same thing. It almost leaves you uncontented. Making you face the bitter truth of reality.
“14-D”, I said getting apart from him.
He parked the bike just in front of the deck of my house. I got down on my legs.
“I am sorry. I don’t know when…”
“Shhhh…” He stopped me in between.
“Why are you doing this to me?” He asked disappointed.
“What? I don’t know when I dozed off. How it happened I just don’t know..”
“You know what I am talking about. Don’t do this to me please.”
“I don’t understand what are you saying… I need to go.”
Just then came a familiar voice from inside, a figure started appearing, not so visible in the unlit deck.
“Oh my dear, you came. I was waiting for you.” My mom came speaking from the deck itself.
“Who’s this boy?”
“Mom, meet Varun, my friend, whose mother got a heart attack today and the one who dropped me here.”
“Well thanks a lot dear son, this icy cold nights make me worry about my little daughter..”
“Mom…. I am not little anymore” I said frustrated.
“It’s my pleasure Ma’am to drop her home safely. After all she was with me all the time. I should be grateful to her instead and so I am.” He chuckled.
“Why don’t you come and have coffee with us? Come inside. Palak take him home. I just need to go to Ms. Sharma’s home. I will be back in a few minutes.” She said directing me inside.
“No. It’s ok, I should go now.”
I took hold of his hand,
“Come” saying softly.
Palak lit the place leading me inside while still my hand held in her’s. A pair of stairs led to the deck.
The deck was a real palace type interior, designed beautifully. It had cream colored sofas with brightly colored cushions placed over them on the boundaries of the rectangular shape. It was surrounded outside by a garden. Some decorative plants added to the beauty of the deck.
She led me in her living room.
Captivating she was, even though so weary and messy the day was.. she was no less than magic!
Hypnotized by her beauty…. I drew her towards me allowing her inky dark hair to mask my face, making her slip into my arms.”Varun… I will bring you coffee.”
“No.. I don’t want that. I want something else.”
“You know what I desire for..”
She kept mum. She was in my arms, her face not even an inch apart, her beautiful eyes looked just into me. I gently brushed my lips against hers, feeling her warmth, her breath, her intoxicating aroma while she kept her eyes closed. ￼Warm tears hit my nose, coming all the way through her eyes. She was crying. I moved my face apart. Her face held down, tears falling from her eyes, made me feel so miserable… wondering what wrong deed I did to her.
I quickly took her in my arms hugging her real tight.
“Palak… Why are you crying? I am sorry if I..”
She kept her forefinger on my lips.
“Stay silent. No, it’s not because…. you kissed. It’s because… I couldn’t help myself from feeling so… But…”
“I love you too….Palak”
“But I didn’t say…”
I kept my forefinger on her lips.
“But I know.”
Drop by drop, tears ran down her cheeks. Her finger and my finger still on our lips.
I took off mine and grabbed her tightly, kissing her passionately.
I kissed her tears. I kissed her eyes, her cheeks, her forehead, every inch of her face.
“I know you do too. But I want to hear it from you”. I said drifting apart still holding her by waist.
“I love you…. Varun. I love you so much.” She said while diving into my chest.
“I did feel so much attracted when I first saw you, so jealous when I saw you with Palak (Ms.Kapoor), so intrigued when I was with you. I feel so lost when I am with you, lost in you. That’s all I have to say.”
All felt so splendid all of a sudden. She is mine. I got her, my love.
I gripped her by her shoulders, releasing her from my arms.
“Why were you crying?” I asked wiping her tears.
She settled on the sofa.
“I don’t know. I felt like my life will turn upside down if I confessed. I thought of the chances of rejection. I didn’t want to lose you, especially after what all happened in the passage.”
“How childish of you! How can you even imagine that anyone on this earth can reject you?” I chuckled.
“You are the most beautiful girl I have ever met so closely. Fear of losing you is deep in my nerves. Yet I dare myself to love you, whole heartedly.”
“You can never lose me. Not even in your dreams.”
“You are my everlasting dream.” I said giving a shy smile.
“I need to leave now, dad might be waiting. May I?”
“You should, even if I don’t want you to.”
“My hard luck.”
“I love you, bye”, she said while heading towards the deck.
I kick started the bike, putting on my helmet,waving back at Palak, in despair.
She waved back at me and gave me a flying kiss.
I love her so much..
I drove down the lane, her frame getting more and more dull, in the dark, making her invisible finally.