"Mr. Kapoor?!" Priya ran to the side of his bed, replacing the dupatta with her hand and wrapping it tightly around his weak but determined grip.
"Ma!" She screamed for help, receiving it promptly.
Rushing into the room upon hearing Priya cry out for her, Krishna watched with tears of relief as Ram held Priya's hand muttering her name with short intervals between each call. The doctor, who stayed in the guest room downstairs, came thundering up the stairs with a nurse not too far behind him. Doing his duty as he was hired to do, he assessed Ram's condition instructing Priya to continue holding his hand firmly.
"Can't you be more careful? It's hurting him." She blazed at the doctor angrily taking note that the movement of his stethoscope on Ram's chest was making him wince and grip her hand tighter.
"Sorry M'aam it's routine assessment, it will hurt him because the wounds are quite deep, both superficially and internally. As he regains consciousness the pain will increase initially... Once he is fully alert we will assess his pain and treat him accordingly�But the good news is that he is doing much better than before, in fact he is completely out of danger and I am sure that by tomorrow morning he will be fully conscious. Mrs. Kapoor we will give him another dose of morphine to manage the pain as he is beginning to wake up. I suggest that you stay with him in case he wakes up sooner and becomes stressed about his condition. It is important that he rests completely; his fever has not subsided as of yet so the wounds will take longer to heal as his body fights that. Nurse can you please give Mr. Kapoor another dose of Morphine, so that the pain he is feeling diminishes?"
Priya glared nervously at the nurse who drew up morphine from a vial, dissipating the air bubbles by flicking the syringe with the bed of her nails before she proceeded towards Ram on the opposite side of where Priya sat.
"Please�Be careful�" Priya cringed, as the nurse got closer to Ram, helplessly she began rubbing his hand soothingly.
Ram groaned, gritting his teeth as the nurse squeezed a piece of flesh on his upper arm between her thumb and index finger. She penetrated the tip of the syringe through his skin oozing the drug into his system with one firm push after she wiped the injection site with an alcohol swab.
"Dammit what the hell are you doing? I said to be careful� He doesn't like injections and you did it so forcefully." Priya tyrannously complained, cornering the nurse with her words of displeasure into a situation where she was damned if she did and damned if she didn't. Krishna acknowledged the nurses' vulnerability by mouthing, "It's okay�" and gesturing her to make her exit while Priya was occupied in comforting Ram. As a mother her happiness knew no bounds seeing her son recover and watching his wish being fulfilled in front of her eyes, his wish to have his wife back.
"Priya�Beta�" Krishna stroked Priya's shoulder with a rock on her heart, not wanting to distract her consoling conversation with her son. But there were things that needed to be addressed and time was of the essence. Now that she had almost lost her dearest child, she understood the significance of this statement far to well. Her motherly touch had captured Priya's attention. "Can you please forgive my son�I know he screwed up really badly but he has truly realized his mistakes. I have seen him repent gravely in the past three months. Please, can we let bygones be bygones and move forward? Ram really misses you. Your absence and rejection has been the reason for his many visits to my lap where he cried out his feelings of anguish. Tonight a mother is begging for her son's life, please my dear you're his lifeline. " Krishna's beseeching caused havoc in Priya's soul. Guilt is the worst form of punishment and only few people can effectively deliver it. Unfortunately tonight she encountered a bulk of individuals who employed this very same tactic efficiently in slaying her ego.
"Ma, please don't humiliate me further by requesting forgiveness. I should be apologizing for hurting everyone. It was so stupid of me to forget that the pain I give to one person is pain for an entire family. And therefore, unknowingly I have not only hurt Mr. Kapoor, I have hurt you all too. I am so sorry. Anger is never a good excuse and hate was the only option that I saw fit on my quest to avenge my offended heart. But I never hated Mr. Kapoor, he held the highest position in my heart and maybe that's why it refused to bite off the hand that fed it no matter how much I consciously tried. You know what's crazy in all this? I thought from the moment I left kapoor mansion that I could live without Mr. Kapoor. But I don't know when he became my very breath in the past six bittersweet months that I spent with him. I thought I could live without him, for the rest of my life. But in the past hour and a half I died many times seeing him on the verge of leaving me forever. I seriously want to work on my marriage. To forgive and be forgiven. But Mr. Kapoor is not waking up and when he does wake up I am afraid that he will reject me for the way I have been behaving with him.." She transcribed her love and fear with heart felt words.
"No Beta. Ram will never reject you. I can assure you on that much because Ram truly can't live without you either. See, just minutes after you came, he began responding. If that's not love than I don't know what is. So smile my dear. Ram ko kuch nahi hoga, aap Jo ho unka saath. Now that you are here, I can sleep peacefully knowing that Ram is in good hands and it won't be long before he wakes up." Krishna kissed Priya's forehead, smiling at the serene scene in front of her before she left for her bedroom.
Motivated by Krishna's words of encouragement Priya kneeled on the bed beside Ram, curling her left arm around his neck and running the fingers of her right hand slowly through Ram's thick hair. "His fever has not yet subsided" The doctor's statement was recalled by her mind as the senses on her fingertips grazed his hot skin. Running to the bathroom she dampened a cloth that she had found in the nearby wardrobe, with ice-cold water from the faucet. Much of the night was spent running to and from the bathroom. At first her trips were more frequent but as the night progressed she found herself having to drench the cloth less often, a sign of success. Concentrated on this task, she was not sure when exactly she had fallen asleep but she knew what she saw before she fell asleep, it was exactlay the same sight she was blessed with when she woke up, Ram. A smile dressed her lips followed by a sigh of relief that was triggered by the sound of him snoring boisterously beside her. Using her elbows she propped herself up on the bed and watched as he cutely conducted his orchestra unaffected by her intent gaze. "Good morning Mr. Kapoor." She whispered close to his ears as she srunched the wet cloth off his forehead and wiped it dry with the end of her dupatta. He stirred slightly when she fixed his hair neatly to the side with her fingers, satisfied with the temperature of his forehead, lukewarm.
Priya crept off the bed thinking, "Mr. Kapoor is looking much better now. And the doctor said last night that he would be waking up soon. Ek kaam karti hoon let me surprise him. I am going to go freshen up and than make some breakfast for him." her eyes widened with the anticipation of his reaction to her surprise creating an overwhelming sense of elation in her heart. She treads joyfully towards the change room regaining the pep in her step. Earlier when Priya had fetched a cloth from the wardrobe she had noticed that her sarees were still neatly organized next to his well pressed suits. Brushing her fingers through the grooves of the fabric in his suit she grabbed a royal blue and white saree with rich golden embroidery; the same one that he had gifted to her when she was confused about what to wear to the first corporate party that she attended with him. Being mindful of the time, she disciplined her wandering mind, undressing herself and than sheathing her exposed body in a white towel before she made her way to the bathroom.
Meanwhile, Ram slowly opened his eyes against his will. He was having the most vivid dream about Priya. She kissed him several times and he could still taste the sweet flavor of her lip gloss still dancing on his lips. "Was she really here?" he thought scrambling out of bed unmindful of his wounds until the pain shot up his arm to his shoulder. "Shit!" wincing he shielded his shoulder with his right palm looking down at himself, the incident flashing in front of his eyes reminding him of what he had been through. Leaning up against the headboard he tried to distract himself from the pain unsuccessfully. "Oh god!!" Deciding to get up and splash some water on his face he inched slowly towards his bathroom being meticulous not to create too big of an impact on his already sore body, he took soft and careful steps. At last, he reached the bathroom, cradling his left arm against his belly to secure it, he twisted the knob on the door opening it at a snails pace. His heart beat uncontrollably in his chest, the sloshing waves radiating to his head making it split with pain so great that the sound of the shower had an unfair disadvantage, not being able to reach his ears in time to notify him of Priya's presence. Finally the door opened and the steamy air that instantly fell warmly on his face greeted him. "What the hell! Who's in my shower? At this time?" Ram pondered, grateful for this puzzle that served as an adequate substitute for his overwhelming pain.