Ram: Soumaya you stay here in case she comes back and if she does make sure you call me… I will go and search for her she couldn’t have gone far.
Ram drove around frantically, searching left, right and center for his wife. Slamming his palms on the steering wheel countless times as he drove, cursing himself for letting the most important person in his life get away. Half an hour passed by in the blink of an eye as Ram’s eye desperately sought out for Priya refusing to blink. He pulled the car over to the side of the road, halting abruptly as he screamed slamming his head down on the steering wheel, “WHERE ARE YOU PRIYA? I NEED YOU!!!” Tears squeezed out from the corner of his eyes as he shut it tightly; her memories occupied his lens like a bittersweet slideshow that seemed incomplete and rather short. He wanted to create more memories with her to add to his cherished collection but it would only remain a futile wish without her and he was not about to let that be the case. Motivated by his selfish wish to have her, he sat up in his seat with a jolt and rougly brushed his hot palms across his cheeks while he gave himself a pep talk, “Sitting here and crying won’t do you any good Ram. You have to find her. You spent 5 years without her, that’s enough separation for a lifetime. Don’t let another 5 minutes pass by without her by your side. Time is sly Ram, it can turn 5 minutes into 5 years and the realization of this leap hits us only after the fact, when it is too late to act, to late to get those potentially beautiful moments back… You know this Ram; you’ve been through this before… Those lonely nights wondering, “what if Priya were still in your life? What if you could’ve protected her from going to jail? And the thought that will be the death of you is when you look back at tonight and wonder, “What if I joined her for dinner on the terrace…” His conscious jerked back into action after his subconscious stumbled upon the word, “terrace”… “Terrace, Terrace,” he repeated as he scractched his temple trying to recall it’s significance. “Shit that’s it” Pushing the clutch down he shifted into first gear and drove off to the beach; the same one where he had taken Priya to count stars after the terrace idea had flopped.
The stakes were high, his love was on the line and he had bet all his chips of this location… Guess tonight lady luck was on his side as his eyes absorbed the sight of his ladylove sitting on the sand with her knees bent, her arms wrapped around it and her head resting upon it. He ran towards her faster than he had ever in his life for anything let alone anyone, igorning the lactic acid build up in his leg muscles that caused a painful burning sensation. Stopping right in front of where she was seated, he breathed heavily as he managed to say, “Priya!” She did not look up at him. His knees dug into the sand as he kneeled in front of her and with his trembling hands he cupped her moist face and lifted it up staring into her red swollen eyes. His thumbs glided across her cheeks wiping her tears as he leaned forward and kissed her on her forehead, the force of his kiss pushing her head back gently. When he leaned back to look at her, he saw that her eyes were shut tightly out of anger. Still cupping her face in between his hands, he sweeped his thumbs across her cheeks once more to wipe away a fresh set of tears.
Ram: I am not sorry for what I have said or done, Priya.
She opened her eyes and stared at him furiously as she pushed his hands away from her face.
Priya: Then why are you here?
She tried to get up but Ram held both her hands pulling her back down.
Ram: no I am not sorry... Because sorry is not a big enough word for me to say right now to express to you how remorseful I am feeling for my actions and hateful words.
Priya: what do you regret the most, your enraged words or your mistake for falling in love with me?
Ram (Ram hung his head low still holding on to Priya’s hands, he closed his eyes and sighed trying to breathe out the anguish that was burning a hole in his heart): Priya I did not mean anything that I said especially that part. I love you and only you… If I could go back in time and change one thing, do you know what that would be? (she did not respond) I would change when we met so that we could have met sooner and I could have spent more of my life with you…
Priya: Baaas Ram! (she conjured up all her strength and ripped her hands free from his grip) For you love is merely sweet words…sweet words that don’t match your bitter ac…
He grabbed her face and leaned forward simultaneously meeting her parted lips midsentence. Isolating her bottom lip as he sandwiched it in between his pursed lips, he drew forcefully. His lips loosened it’s hold on hers as he titled his head to the other side, pulling her face closer to his with ease as he once again sandwiched the other half of her lusciously throbbing bottom lip, squeezing and pulling it gently a couple of times. He completed the kiss with one last tug on her bottom lip and remained within kissing distance as he breathed heavily against her lips trying to catch his breath. She was at a loss for words, trying to regain the reign on her overactive nerves that electrified every inch of her body leaving her wanting more. He must be a mind reader because the very next moment he alarmed her with a gentle kiss on her lips. He began to whisper as his hot breath teased her nerve cells. “Thank god for this cool breeze, she thought, otherwise I would have melted from the heat of his touch” He kissed again, sensing that she was distracted and wanting her full attention, “Priya, now don’t tell me that what I just did was typical of any guy and that my love is confined only to these sexual gestures”. She thought, “DAMN, he’s good. That was my only counterargument in this situation. Ab kya?” The soft kiss on her lips diverted her attention back to him. He whispered once again, “Tell me, how can you possibly compare me to a typical guy? I wanted to do this a long time back but I bowed down to your anger and respected your wish for me to stay away from you. Ab aur nahi… Afterall I am a guy and I do have needs that only you can fufill. But (he lifted her face up and examined the nervous expression on her face) remember, I am not a typical guy because no typical guy can have this nerve-racking effect on your body that I can whenever I touch you.” He backed away, the absence of his hot breath against her lips allowed her to open her eyes and stare anxiously at him. Grabbing one of her hands he pressed it against his chest. She felt his heart beating rapidly against his chest as if it wanted to break free and kiss her palm.
Ram: Mesoos kijiye na Priya, mera dil ke dhadkhan. It only beats this fast for you… And until the day I die it will beat only for you!
Priya stood up and turned her back to Ram, crossing her arms across her chest. He also stood up, confused by the sudden change in her demeanor. A moment ago he had thought that for sure she had forgiven him but now he does not know what to think.
She turns around and holds up her hand in his face, signaling him to stop talking.
Priya (states angrily): Baas Ram!! Who the hell do you think you are? (she puts her hand down and grabs his collar) if you ever talk about dieing or leaving me again (she lets go of his collar) toh mein…toh mein… (She looked around and than straight ahead pointing towards the water) toh mein uss pani mein kood kar suicide karloongi (with that she rested her head against his chest. He heaved a sigh of relief as he secured his arms around her back.)
Ram (kissed her on her head): I love you Priya!
Priya (hugged him tighter): I love you too Ram!
Ram stepped back and held on to Priya’s hands as he stared at her lovingly, receiving the same affection back from her gaze.
Ram: Waise Priya ek baat bolu?
Priya: Haan boliye… Maine apko kaab mana kia
Ram: (smiles) don’t ever think about jumping into the water and commiting sucide. Warna humare baachey anaath ho jayage…
Priya: haw Ram aise kaise? you will be there…
Ram: no stupid… If you jump in the water do you think that I would just stand and watch? I will also jump into save you and woh mujhe swimming nahi ata hain…
Priya: (chuckles): aacha! If you don’t know how to swim than why will you jump in the water?
Ram: I have to try atleast… I have lost you once and know how miserable it was, there is no way I will let you leave me again…
She was touched by his response…He stepped forward to give her a hug but was interrupted by the ringing of his phone. “Oh shit!” he thought as he quickly received the call.
Ram: Hey Soumaya! …Yes yes everything is fine… Haan apki bhabhi is here; we are on our way home… Accha suno… Thank you for everything……………is everybody still sleeping? …. Okay good! You can also go to sleep now; we will talk to you tomorrow… Okay than, Bye…
When they got home Ram ordered Bansi Kaka to bring their food to the terrace and just as Priya had planned they enjoyed a candlelight dinner under the stars. The past five years offered them a great deal to catch up on, which did not allow a second of silence to invade Ram and Priya’s special night. After dinner they headed back to their room still lost in conversation. It was not until they entered their room and closed the door that they realized what might follow. Both Ram and Priya had the same desire that was fueled by 5 long years of built up passion. However, neither of them knew how to initiate their fantasy and fufill their longing for one another.
Priya: umm… I am going to change…unless you want too… I mean if you want to change first…
Ram: uh no it’s okay… you can go first… (She walks towards the change room when he says) do you need help? (She looks back at him, making him nervous as he quickly says) mera maatlab, IF you need help with unhooking your blouse, than umm you can call me, I don’t mind… I’ll just be here, (he grabbed the remote and pointed to the TV) watching TV.
Priya: okay… thanks
She turned around disappointed and walks towards the change room muttering to herself, “nayke aur pooch pooch kai… At the beach you didn’t ask me before you kissed me (she touched her lips and blushed) aur aab bilkul golu hogaya phir se…” He had the TV volume turned down completely, his ears trying to capture her voice that never called out for him. His eyes kept glancing back at the change room waiting for her to walk back into the room. He looked back at the TV and thought, “Yaar, yeh Priya bhi na…Kitni slow hain.” He looked back once more and was stunned at the sight. If his jaw muscles had the flexibility like they show in cartoons than for sure it would have touched the ground. She was wearing a red spaghetti strapped nightgown, which rested just below her knees. Her shoulder and cleavage that would usually be covered up with some sort of floral themed silk robe was now bare and inviting to his eyes. She waited for his compliment and he itched to give her more than just a compliment but he did not know if she would be okay with his intentions. He walked past her biting his tongue and looking in another direction trying desperately to divert his arousal. She was sitting on the bed fiddling with the TV remote, flipping through the channels when he came back into the room dressed in his white kurtha. Noticing him she moved over to her side of the bed and he crawled into bed.
Ram: so what should we do?
Priya: whatever you want to do? (She thought, “c’mon Ram choose wisely, I am wearing this for you”)
Ram: (he glanced at her and quickly looked away thinking, “All I want to do is you… But how do I ask without being rude and what if you are not in the mood”) Maybe we could watch TV?
Priya: (she thought, “Watch TV??? Why did I wear this, he is in no mood for anything. Maybe he is tired, he did have a long day at work”… she pulled the covers over her shoulders, while resting against the headboard) Ram, I just remembered, you had a very long day at work today. You must be sleepy we can go to sleep…
Ram: (thinking: “sleep? You wear such a sexy outfit, how can I possibly sleep) No Priya, I am absolutely fine. I can stay up all night. In fact we should both stay up all night and do something relaxing for the both of us.
Priya: (thinking: “okay so we still have time to get him in the mood. What if we watch a romantic movie, than maybe he will get the hint”) Okay, great idea… Maybe we can watch a movie, it will be fun and long…
Ram: (thinking: “Movie?) Okay sounds good. I’ll go get some popcorn and you can choose the movie…
He goes to the kitchen and gets some popcorn, while Priya browses through his scarce collection of DVDs. Unfortunately there were no romanctic movies. She thought, “why did I expect that he would have a romantic movie? What good would it do for an unromantic guy like Ram, it would just sit in this collection of garbage and accumulate dust.” She quickly chooses a movie when she hears Ram’s footsteps coming down the hall mingled with the scent of freshly popped popcorn. She fixes her hair checking herself in the mirror before she hops back into bed. The movie starts and Ram begins to angrily munch on the popcorn as if it was marathon. Not even halfway into the movie, Priya notices that the popcorn is more than halfway done. She thinks, “Yeh Ram bhi na ekdum golu hain… Watch he will finish all the popcorn, get bored and than fall asleep. I have to do something.”
Priya: Ram slow down please... I don't understand what the hurry is? You said we would stay up all night. But at the pace that you're going, we will be done in 5 minutes.
Ram: (irritated) so, if you’re concerned about the popcorn I can just go make another bag. And besides popcorn might be done in 5 minutes but this movie is 2 hours long.
Priya: (irritated by his tone) Ram why are you getting angry. This was your idea wasn’t it…Staying up all night…
Ram: (irritated) Haan I wanted to stay up all night to do something relaxing… This is not what I had in mind. (He points to the movie)
Priya: oh I am sorry, I did not know that I had to read your mind… something relaxing? Relaxing can imply many things… argh! It’s always so cold in this room; I don’t know why I expect anything else living with an unromantic golu polar bear… (she complains as she stomps out of bed annoyed)
Ram: accha? (he also gets out of bed) My room is just fine…and if you walk around in that sexy outfit than off course you will be cold.
Priya: (says sarcastically) Oh shoot I am so sorry. Maine yeh outfit pehna KM ka bhatakte hue dukhi aatma ko khush karne ke liye hay na? (in an irritated tone) Shayaad woh bhatakte hue aatma khush ho bhi gaya hoga but to seduce an unromantic polar bear is impossible, meri dimaag kaarab tha ki maine koshish bhi kia.
Ram: yeah you are ri… (Pauses as he finally understood what Priya was saying) Wait… what did you just say?
Priya: nothing… (she walks towards the change room) I am going to change have fun watching your unromantic movie and stuffing your face with popcorn. If you need more than I will bring it for you after I am done changing, afterall I have no other use in your life.
She locks the change room door, while Ram slams his palm on his forehead.
Ram: yaar yeh kya hogaya… hmmm now think!! (he slums down on the bed and stuffs a handful of popcorn in his mouth and chews quickly as he thinks)