The weeks flew by and before I knew it a month was over. A very unsuccessful month if you ask me since I had not accomplished even a fraction of what I had intended. Despite this setback, what was more upsetting was the fact that you still slept with Pihu. I mean what was everyone going to think, “they’re married and still aren’t sleeping together?” So I thought if I couldn’t make you come to my room, I will join you in Pihu’s room. There was a sudden urge that overwhelmed me. There was a desire to be near you. But there was a certain respect building up inside of me for you that kept that desire a mere thought, waiting for your consent before it became an action. That night when I decided to sleep in Pihu’s room with you, it was like Ram and I were thinking alike. What happened that night was a cold realization of my true status in your life.
Kush stood by Pihu’s room door. Priya was combing Pihu’s hair sitting on the bed. Pihu as usual talking for the sake of talking, an attribute she acquired from her mom.
Priya: okay Pihu!!! Time to sleep. Silly girl, if it were up to you we would be up all night talking. There, Mumma is done combing the tangles out of your hair (she got up to put the comb away).
Priya saw Kush standing by the door of their room; a smile crept up on her face. She walked towards him and kneeled down in front of him.
Priya: Kush? (pihu’s ears perked up) Beta tum yahaan. Papa kahan hain?
Priya: aur Mumma?
Kush: sleeping in her room.
Priya: Arey, if she wakes up she will look for you and be worried na?
Kush: no I am a big boy, I sleep by myself in my own room.
Pihu makes an agitated face. What was Kush trying to imply that she was a baby? Whatever! she is her mumma’s baby. Despite this bold statement by Kush Priya knew that he too craved a mother’s touch, after all he is just a kid. She was kind if irritated with Ayesha due to her complete disregard for her son. But her hands were tied; until she made amends to her relationship with the family there is nothing that she can do to change Ayesha’s understanding and behaviour towards her role as a mother.
Priya: Wow. Aacha big boy, did you know that staying up this late is not good. If you sleep than your body will rest and you will grow even bigger. (He looks down, she notices that he is not sleepy at all and has something in his heart to say)
Priya: Pata hai Kush when your mumma was your age, I used to tell her a bedtime story every night before she would go to sleep. Do you wanna hear what her favourite bedtime story was?
Kush's face lit up. He was a sucker for bedtime stories and sometimes Ram would narrate stories for him but he really wasn't that good. Ayesha had always been too busy and Kush knew better than to ask her for anything. Priya invited Kush to lay down on the bed and tucked both Pihu and Kush in. She told them the story and both kids enjoyed it a lot, pretty soon Pihu was snoring n Kush had also fallen asleep. Priya also went to sleep next to Pihu, her arm stretched out over both kids securing them. Soon after she fell asleep, Ram came home from the office. As usual he went to check on Kush but was alarmed to not find him in his room. Recalling the incident when Pihu had run away he immediately went to Pihu's room to see if she was there. He was in a state of panic but when he reached Pihu's room and opened the door, the sight before him brought him to peace and it seemed like all his office tensions washed off his body in that moment. He walked into the room, being careful not to make any noise looked at three of the most important people in his life. A serene smile imprinted on his face as he moved towards the bed to give them a kiss. First he kissed Kush who was sleeping closest to him and than he kissed Pihu. Than his eyes looked up at Priya who was also sleeping as elegantly he remembered she did five years ago. Still angered about the turn of events in the past couple of days he wanted to back away. But he couldn't help himself, getting off the bed he walked towards her and placed the sofest, gentiliest kiss on her forehead. She stirred in her sleep cuddling closer to Pihu and Kush. Ram startled by her sudden movement but in his heart he didn't care if she woke up so that she can experience his caring nature towards her, his locked up desire for her. His lips were tried of kissing her picture frame and driven by his heart his lips had dreamt about kissing her soft skin. Deep down inside he knew that he had to fulfill it today not knowing when he would ever get the chance again.
It was already late so Ram decided to sleep with them today, completing this picture perfect moment. Loosening his tie and removing his jacket, he laid down stretching his arm over Kush and Pihu who were sandwiched between Priya and him. Staring into the darkness his mind was actively thinking about Priya and how happy he was that her wish to give life to someone had come true and the reason for it’s fulfillment was him. No matter what stage in their life they were in, he was Pihu father and she was her mother and that is a bond that no force in life, whether it was death or Rajat, could strip them off. But his mind that questioned Priya’s decision to re-marry was in a dilemma with his heart that was still her die-hard fan. It brought anger back into him fueled by jealousy that was only increasing on a day-to-day basis seeing Rajat and Priya together. With these bittersweet thoughts strolling through his mind, his heart gave him the solace that tonight he was with Priya where he belonged. This thought was like a lullaby that pushed him deep into his sleep cycle, where no thoughts or doubts were permitted just beautiful dreams of his beautiful Priya.
Priya and Kush woke up in the morning to the sound of snoring from Ram and Pihu. Ram was holding onto Priya's hand in his sleep. She wished she had never woken up, letting him hold her hand forever so that their paths could never detach again. With much regret, she let go of his hand, he pulled back and Kush got up off the bed and so did Priya.
Priya: good morning Kush.
Kush: good morning? Bade Ma what's good about this morning. Pihu and Papa ruined my sleep.
Priya: (smiles at his pouting demeanor) haan beta. This is what I go through everyday. You know what makes it better, a nice, warm delicious breakfast. What do you want to eat?
Priya: yummmy pancakes. Theek hain beta you go and get freshened up and than bade Ma will make you some pancakes. Deal? (She sticks out her hand and he shakes it)
Kush: Deal! (And he leaves)
Priya: Kush went on his mother. Ayesha's favourite breakfast was also pancakes. And meri Pihu went on her golu Papa (she looks at both father and daughter still sleeping). I will make aloo paratha for her and Ram to eat when they wake up.
She leaves to go get changed and freshened up. Meanwhile, Ram opens his eyes, as he was awake listening to their entire conversation from the moment she pulled back her hand from his grip. The beautiful dream of being close to Priya was rudely interrupted by her action, pushing him back into the reality where he is the farthest away from Priya.
Ram (he thinks to himself angrily): so priya will make Aloo Paratha today? I will not eat!
Ram came and slept with you and the kids before I got a chance too. He was the rightful person to be sleeping on the same bed as you anyways. There was so much love and tenderness in his kiss that he gifted to your forehead. His hand in your hand as you slept looked like a perfect match that my heart so desperately wanted to replicate and replace with my hand. Kush who had been craving for a mother’s touch had his wish fulfilled that night. His first encounter in the morning was with someone other than bansi kaka or Ram. How are you able to be so perfect in each of your roles? I can barely be a good guardian to Cady and Raina. But you were able to shower Kush with the same love that you gave to Pihu. Despite the fact that he called Ram papa you never had any doubt in your mind about the possibility that Ram had moved forward with Ayesha. You didn’t even know that he was Sid’s kid because no one bothered to tell you. No one wanted to talk to you, not even your dearest papa. But you still sang their praises to me whenever we spoke. You saw goodness in everyone and not only did you see the goodness, you brought out the best in the worst kinds of people. People like me! I am proud to have you in my life. Your relationship with Kush made me want to call Cady and Raina to see how they were doing. Dhaijaan was right, talking to them and showing concern was not only fulfilling but it was also their right that I had deprived them off. They lost their mother and father and I was concerned about her mother hurting me. How selfish!!