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Dipa woke up early. In fact, she wondered if she had even slept. It was still dark outside. She preferred lying down in the warmth of the bed for some more time. In her half-asleep state, her mind went back to the events of the evening. She had never imagined that she would get Akhshey home on the first day of meeting him, but everything had gone precisely as if predetermined by some unknown clockwork mechanism.
Akhshey seemed to be prone to taking things in the sequence they came based on his last-minute instinct, she thought. She was sure that he had not planned anything and yet everything seemed to have fallen into place, as he would have wished.
She focused at Sanjana sleeping next to her. Her hand went out and caressed her head sweeping the curls away from her forehead. She was a beautiful child and deserved full attention and love of a father. The spontaneity with which Sanjana had become close to Akhshey had surprised her and made Dipa even more aware of this fact.
She had left them sitting on the sofa next to the TV as she went to the kitchen to heat up the mini meal for Sanjana in the microwave and work up a bowl of soup for herself and Akhshey.
“You can use the washroom to freshen yourself till I come back,” she said pointing towards the passage.
When she returned, she found him still holding Sanjana lovingly in his lap, as he narrated something, which she obviously was finding very interesting and was paying full attention, her little arms crossed around his neck
“Hey, what have you been cooking?” Akhshey asked when he saw her coming with the tray. “I’m not at all hungry.”
“It’s just a bowl of soup, I wonder if you will get anything when you go back to your place.”
“Who talked of going? I’m not going anywhere!” he protested.
“Is it?” she said, mocking a surprise. “Well, you are sadly mistaken, Sir”. She laughed, “as soon as you finish the soup, I guess you would be leaving as it would be Sanjana’s bedtime.”
“We shall see”, he retorted, with a smile.
“Are you sure its going to be your way ? I think we should give some veto powers to this little princess here,” he then added, hugging Sanjana close.
“She seems happy. What have you two been talking when I was away?”
“Oh, nothing,” he said. Then what he added surprised her. “It is somewhat confidential”.
He then whispered something in Sanjana’s ear, who immediately started giggling.
“What did you tell her now?”
“As I said, it is somewhat confidential my dear Dipa?” he said, putting down Sanjana who went to the dining table to have her meal.
“What is this confidential stuff, may I know?” Dipa asked once Sanjana was out of the earshot.
“Oh that? Come near and I will whisper into your ear too” he smiled.
“I hope it is nothing crazy?”
“Why don’t you find out for yourself ?” he egged her.
She knew it was something crazy yet she took a chance and came nearer as he put his hand on one side and whispered in her ear, “I love you.”
“Stupid!” she laughed. “I knew it would be something like this. Do you mean to say you said the same thing to her?”
“Of course not.” he was teasing her.
“Relax, I’m not going to run away with her.” he was smiling, then after a deliberate pause added, “you see, that is what I plan to do with her mom.”
They both laughed.
“You look beautiful when you laugh”, he said.
“Flirting again?” she smiled. “Thanks anyway for the compliment, and May I say the same for you”.
After finishing her meal, Sanjana went to her room. Dipa excused herself saying that she had to tuck her in.
When she came back, she realized that he had gone to the washroom. She looked at the time; it was getting late and he must be hungry. She was sure he would not get anything to eat by the time he reached his room. She ought to make something for him.
Moments later as she was busy in the kitchen, she heard his footsteps behind.
“Now what are you doing? I said there was no need.”
“It is late and I am worried you won’t get anything to eat when you go back.
“And do not worry”, she added. “It is hardly any problem for me. Making a few Dosas; I know you like them”, she smiled at him.
As she spread the Dosa batter on the hot plate for cooking, she felt his closeness as he came nearer and hugged her from behind. She was almost expecting it.
“You are the most beautiful woman in the world,” he said, almost in a whisper as his lips gently caressed her cheeks.
She could feel the warmth of his touch all over her body as she looked up and smiled. “How do you expect me to cook if you hold me like that for too long?”
“I love you,” he replied, simply.
She put the gas on simmer and turned to face him. Inching up on her toes, she kissed him gently on his lips and said, “Now be a good boy and go watch TV. I have almost finished”.
“Let me stand here and watch you” he said and added with a straight face “I wish you had kitchen stairs handy”.
“Now why would that be?”
“It is much easier and longer than being on the toes”. He laughed out.
“Wicked! And I thought you were serious” she smiled thinking of the implied situation.
By the time they finished dinner, it was almost midnight. It was after a long time that she had been awake so late and it reminded her of her younger days when she was about to be married and often thought how her evenings would-be with someone she loved. Somewhere down the years that dream had fizzled away. She was glad it was back again even if what just an evening.
“Must I leave?” he asked, breaking her thoughts.
“Yes, please. We will meet tomorrow, won’t we?”
“Yes, of course. Why don’t you and Sanjana have lunch with me? I believe they have a fairly decent buffet. It will be an outing for you and even I won’t have to depend on taxis”.
“Okay, we’ll fix it up in the morning depending upon Sanjana’s school programme. I will have to talk to her class teacher if I have to pick her up early.”
“Right then” he got up. Then hesitatingly, looking into her eyes, he said, “I wanted to tell you something”.
“I liked the feeling when I was kissing you. It was the perfect expression of happiness I could imagine. Made me feel young and nice”.
She looked at him, then said “I loved the feeling too”.
“It makes me want to kiss you all the time”.
“I too feel the same. But…..”
“I’m afraid I will not be able to control myself if we did it again”.
He smiled and became quiet for a moment. Then said, “Okay anyway, we have tomorrow to look forward to”.
He hugged her at the doorstep and went away leaving his warmth behind.
She got back to the present when her maid rang the bell. There was so much to do, and so less time. Where did it fly ?
As she stepped out of the bed, in her heart, she knew it would be a perfect day.
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(To be continued……..)