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Akhshey was the first to wake up.
He was an early riser and by some strange laws of the body clock, he was up even before the alarm went off. It was a peaceful night with a slight humming sound of the refrigerator in the corner of the room; its small LED indicator giving off adequate light in the room and make it look like a romantic setting.
Dipa’s arm was over his chest, as she slept peacefully next to him.
He glanced sideways. She was looking beautiful in her sleep with the tone of her skin glowing in the dark. Her long open hair spread onto one side of the pillow. The contrast between her flawless skin and jet-black hair made her look even more beautiful.
He glanced at his wristwatch to check the time. There were still 15 minutes for the alarm to go. He did not want to wake up Dipa from her sleep but his hand automatically reached out to caress her face. In her half sleep state, she felt his hand and pulled him closer.
“Is it time?” he mumbled.
“Not yet. You can sleep on some more time.”
“Mmm…..” she pulled him closer, moving up slightly on his pillow.
“I think every morning should start this way, with you in my arms”, he lifted her chin and kissed her gently on her lips.
She opened her eyes, smiled and looked at his face.
“Yes, my darling….forever”. She mumbled, grasping his hand and pulling it to her lips for a kiss.
He got closer and they lay like that in their own little world, until the alarm set off.
“Time to get up, I guess,” he said.
“Yes, every good thing comes to an end”. She smiled.
“This is not the end yet, my sweet Dipa”, he kissed her yet again as she tried to make sense out of his statement.
“I will make you some tea”, she said hesitatingly after some time, not willing to get out from the cozy comfort of his arms.
“I don’t need anything else right now”.
She got up finally and made her way to the washroom for a quick routine before she went to the kitchen to make tea for him. He got busy folding the mattress, clearing up the living room and started packing up his stuff for the move.
“Hey, the tea is just right”.
She just smiled back, “thank you”
“You are so perfect, you know”.
“Says who, Mr. Flatterer?” she was teasing him as they locked the main door and made a move towards the car.
He took the wheel and was quiet for a while. She looked at him but he pretended to be busy watching the road.
She realized he was not himself and instinctively knew he was thinking of something.
“Anything bothering you”, she asked.
He looked at her. “No, nothing”.
“You seemed to be distant for a while, may be thinking of something”.
“Any guesses?” he asked, surprising her by his question.
“No idea. Maybe you were thinking of our last two days”.
“In a way, you are right. I think these were some of the most beautiful days of my life”
“I never thought we would get so close from being just telephone friends”, she agreed.
He was quiet for a moment while negotiating a crossing. Then looking at her asked, “You did not know? Well, I always knew that we would be close”
She was surprised at the certainty of his statement.
They drove for some time in silence again. As usual, he was holding her hand while driving. Then abruptly, he stopped the car on one side.
“Now what?” she asked, surprised.
“Nothing”. He replied looking at her. “I just wanted to kiss you”.
In the early morning chill, the touch of his lips on hers was something else. She wanted him so much.
“Easy, Mr. Akhshey”. She whispered, through his kisses. “Although it is early, we are not alone on the road”.
“Does it matter? Can’t a man kiss his wife?” he smiled at her as he drew away a few inches.
“What’s that now?” she was surprised at his sudden expression.
“Should I repeat?” he asked with a half smile. “I don’t mind repeating again and again- can’t a man kiss his wife?”
“This is not a telephone conversation Mr. Akhshey”, she laughed.
“I am serious”.
“Serious about what?”
He took her hand in both of his, brought it closer to his lips, and as he started kissing it he surprised her with ease with which he said, “Will you marry me, Dipa. I want you to be with me all my life”.
In response, she was speechless for a moment and then tears started flowing from her eyes.
“Now what? Please do not cry. Did I say something wrong?” he asked wiping her tears softly with his fingers.
The tears would not stop, as he started kissing her.
“I thought you’d never ask”. Finally, she said. Then added, “two days with you have made me realize what I have missed all my life”.
“Okay, so please don’t cry now”, then trying to be jovial once again he added, “So what is your answer, your Highness”?
“Of course I will, Mr. Akhshey Verma, my very own prince charming”. She said happily through her tears.
“Strictly speaking, I am more of a king’s age”. He laughed loudly.
“To me, you are always my prince charming”. She kissed him on his lips. “I never knew so much happiness existed in life.”
In reply, he just pulled her closer in his arms.
“So now since I have proposed formally and you have agreed, I would make plans to be with you as soon as I can. I think we will have to do a lot of serious discussion during our next telephone conversation”, he laughed as he started the car.
“Yes, is going to be a big change in life of me and my daughter. So we will plan it well”, she said. Then added, “And for once you won’t be flirting on the phone”.
“Don’t be too sure”, it kissed her hand. “I will flirt with you all my life”.
“I look forward to that too”, she said.
“So now we live happily ever after?” he smiled at her as she asked.
“Yes, so now we live happily ever after”, see echoed happily.
At the airport, he insisted that she should not get down from the car and should drive away without waiting for him to go inside. He hated departures, he said.
“I don’t want you to go”, she said, as he stopped the car.
“I don’t want to go either and leave you even for a moment”, he pulled her closer and kissed her. “I’ll be back soon to take you with me”.
Surprisingly, his eyes were moist too as he tried to looked away to avoid her noticing. However, she had already seen the strong bond of affection that was making him emotional.
Quickly, he hugged her one last time and got out of the car as she changed places and sat into the driver’s seat.
“Go now”, he said.
“No. I want to see you till I can”, she was adamant.
As he walked away, at the main entrance of the airport lounge, she watched him until the last moment. Her eyes were foggy with tears as she pressed the ignition. She remembered the saying which he had once said during the telephone conversations “snow flakes in summers is a miracle that happens only sometimes in the lives of a lucky few.”
He was so right. It had happened in their lifetimes.
Come back soon, my wonderful summer snowflakes.
SNOWFLAKES IN SUMMER *
Snowflakes in summer are experienced by a lucky few,
You came into my life and took away those feelings, blue.
The incomparable joy I feel when I look into your eyes
Makes me feel the snowflakes were just sent for me and you.
The sound of your voice, the touch of hand,
Your lips on mine, our hearts beating anew.
The sweet blessing of your love in my life,
What more could I want other than you.
These light n white snowflakes, so very different I know,
I watch them dance together; they spur my love to grow.
They awaken my spirit, my sleeping soul it sets free,
Amidst this snowy silence your heart speaks just to me.
Comfortable silence all around me feels like paradise, true,
Forever keep me in your arms while the snowflakes fall for me and you.
* The Poem courtesy: Kainaaz