Part 7It was a rollercoaster of a day for each member of the family. But as the day neared to a close, ending it on a nice note would mark it as successful in the eyes of the beholder. There was a unanimous hope floating in the atmosphere that no matter what had happened today tomorrow would still be a new day. But what no one could have foreseen, in that moment, was that this day had so much more life left in it.
The wait was getting excruciatingly long for Ram and Sid, who arrived on time at Hotel Grand. They fancied themselves to a drink, sipping on the finest of wines and gazing at their overpriced watches. Sid assumed his brother might be feeling a bit restless knowing his nature as a businessman, which was sheer hatred for those who were late. He sliced the silence to protect his tardy date and her sister, "Bhai" Ram looked at him intently, curious as to what he has to say. Sid fidgeted with the knot of his tie nervously before he pronounced, "They will be here in no time. It's just that there is a lot of traffic on the route that they took." His tongue moistened his lips after he spoke and than he waited for his brothers bashful remark in response to his justifcation. Ram smiled tightly thinking benevolently to himself, "Traffic! If I had a dime for every time I heard that excuse, I wouldn't need to run Kapoor Industries to sustain a luxourious living. Priya is the queen of traffic, there wasnt an event in which she arrived on time." He chuckled silently to himself. "But it's those same imperfect tendancies that once drove me crazy, which i miss the most. Back than I would find reasons to nag but today I would wait all night if you promised that you were coming to meet me." Ram's words, which followed the short silence between the two brothers, was a heavy dose of shock for Sid, "It's okay Sid. Someone special once told me that saabaar ka phaal meeti hoti hain. Plus they're only 20 minutes late. I am sure that they will be here soon. In the meantime, I will just run to the washroom." Ram gave Sid a sly smile marvelling his open mouth reaction before he left their private booth and headed towards the washroom. Almost instantly after Ram left the table, Sid saw Ayesha approaching the booth and stepped out through the halfway parted white curtains to greet her. His eyes continuously wandered in search of her sister.
"Ayesha you look so beautiful" he stated shyly.
She blushed and replied,"Thank you..."
Like a gentleman, he pulled out her chair for her to sit before he sat down next to her. "Babe your sister didnt come?"
"She went to the washroom." She looked around and than looked back at him inquisitively. "And your brother?"
"He went to the washroom as well. Actually he just left for the washroom as you were coming." Sid raised his right eyebrow naughtily as he began inching his chair closer to Ayesha. "It good that they both went to the washroom. This may be the only time during the whole night that we will have any privacy".
Priya came out of the washroom clumsily fixing her shawl once more. Her heart yelped in awe at the most innocent sight in front of her. There was a child waiting in a corner, outside the washroom rubbing his eyes gently with the sides of his tiny closed fist, crying. As if it was a force of nature it was out of her control to ignore this child. She knew that she was tremendously late already but this child needed some assistance so Ayesha, her boyfriend and his brother would just have to wait. In fact if Ayeshas boyfriend did not sympathize with this predicament than it would speak negatively about his true personality, making her decision to accept or reject him as a suitable groom for Ayesha that much easier. Without any hesitation, she walked up to the child and kneeled down so that they were face to face. The child stopped crying and looked at her trustingly while sniffling deeply, which made his tiny nose scrunch cutely in the process.
"Why are you crying sweety?"
"Mujhe bhook laga hain."he whined.
"Arey isme ronai wala baat kya hain? Look we are at a big restaurant, you will find something to eat for sure."
"Obviously aunty�I could have told you the same thing. How can I eat all by myself I don't know where my mom and dad are� I came to use the washroom and now I don't remember the number of the table where I was sitting."Priya was amazed with this little boys attitude and temperament.
"What a unique little child," she thought. "Bilkul Mr. Kapoor ke jaise� First of all he is sad. That to because he is hungry in a BIG restaurant. And than when I offer to help him, he shows me attitude. What's crazy is that our child might have been just like this� golu molu with a temperament just like his Papa."
She hated thinking about him and their mock life together. But she was equally aware of a truth that she kept to herself, which was that under the illusion of his love, albeit a plot for revenge, she lived some of her most precious days of her life as his wife and the mother of their unborn child. Her melancholic thoughts of the bittersweet past were interrupted when she heard someone laughing behind her. Assuming that the one who coughed up the chuckle might be related in some way to this child, she looked at the kid once more before she stood up and turned around.
"Priya?" He stated doubtfully wondering what brought her to Hotel Grand.
"Mr.Kapoor..." She mouthed, thinking how ironic it was for him to have been standing behind her all the while she was lost in her thoughts...about him, about them...If things were slightly different in the past than tonight they would have quite possibly came to this very restaurant together as opposed to staring at each other like strangers. The thought that he was the one who spun this web of conspiracy on the basis of love made her blood boil. She snapped at him in accordance with her anger, "What the hell are you doing here? Have you come to harrass me again? To forcefully shove your falsified love down my throat?"
Ram just stared at her in wonder while she carried on with her angry rampage, some statements just while other just utterly riduculous. He had no desire to defend himself because whatever he said would bounce of deaf ears from this point onwards. She had built up a wall around her heart and tonight he had no energy left in him to punch a hole through to it. In fact, he just drowned out her hateful words and engrossed himself in her beauty. The twinkle in her eyes displayed suprressed love for him, which raged for recognition. Fully shaped, her lips hurled word after word but the hesistation in her delivery of these words made him certain that a part of her tried to make her stop; that part of her which he rightfully claimed, her heart. And no matter how hard she might have tried in these past three months, he knew that like himself, she could not erase his name from it. They say love is a drug and so they're both recovering addicts just waiting for any chance that they can get to relapse on each other. The thought of the unprofessed yet such obvious love for him brimming at the tip of her angry front cracked a subtle smile on his lips, which she wasn't at the least, keen on.
"You're smiling? Beesharmi ke bhi haad hota hain Mr. Kapoor"
He cleverly interrupted, "Aur gussa ke bhi haad hota hain Mrs. Kapoor�"
"Kya?!" She roared. "Mrs. Kapoor? For your kind information, I am Priya�Priya Sharma" she remarked, emphasizing the last word.
Smiling at her innocence, he replied, "Priya Sharma aap thi�but now you are Priya Kapoor." He noticed her eyebrows scrunching together angrily and replied in his defense. "Ahh. yeh main nahi kay raha hoon. According to the law you are still my wife. "He mumbled softly while staring at her intently being careful not to push the boundaries of their gradually developing conversation, "I am just following the law like a good citizen."
"Good Citizen my foot! You are just finding ways to harass me hain na? In the morning it was the media stunt and now this� Kya hua? Is there anything else that you want to avenge? Were you not satisfied when you�"
He intervened promptly, knowing very well that now was not the time to dig up old graves. And besides he did not want to hamper the progress that they made in their fluke interaction tonight, they actually carried out a conversation without any tears or hurt, which strengthened his theory that she still loved him. Now all he had to do was set ablaze the hint of spark that burned in her heart for him against her cold front. "Okay, okay, okay!" he stammered putting both his palms up in front of his chest. "You are right� You always were and you always will be. Theek hain?"The lack of subsidiary in the anger that was still dancing on her face was ample warning for him to change the topic. He looked down at the kid who had now began balling hysterically. Listening to them fighting must have scared him slightly, despite how brave he was acting just a moment ago. Ram couldn't help but wonder, "Yeh baacha na, bikul apke taara hain, Priya. Trying to appear rough and hard to the world but inside you are so soft and sensitive. Like a coconut; a damn zhiddi coconut with the hardest shell ever." He chuckled softly. "No worries, perhaps god made me overly healthy to prepare me for this day only. I am sure Priya, you have met your match as I have met mine."
Priya's eyes were angrily fixed on him without producing the desired effect that she was in search of. He kneeled down and her gaze followed. He wiped away the tears from the child's cheeks and her gaze followed. The child calmed down with this one caring act and her gaze moistened. A lone tear rolled down her cheek as her heart leaped when the scared child crashed into Ram broad chest, embracing him tightly. Priya was just as startled as Ram who spoke to the child while still holding onto him securely.
"Kya hua Champ. Aap toh Big boy ho na?" the child continued crying. "what's wrong Champ, please tell me so I can help." He stated worriedly while slowly rubbing the child's back to sooth him. "Okay Champ, look at me!"
The child hesitantly loosened his grip around Ram and looked at him with teary eyes.
Ram lovingly swept his fingers under the child's eyes cutting off the fresh stream of tears that were about to make it's way down his cheeks. "Now tell me Champ, what's the matter"
Frustrated with crying the child remained silent. Ram continued requesting sweetly, "Champ if you don't tell me than how can I help you? Please tell me�"
Sniffling a couple of times, the child responded, "Why are you and aunty fighting like my mom and dad?"
Ram looked at Priya who was completely emotional watching Ram interact so perfectly with this child whom he had never met and the child equally enticed with Ram whom was a stranger to him. "W-we weren't fighting Champ!"he looked at Priya again, this time begging for her help. "Hain na Priya?"Priya knelt down beside the child, protectively sandwiching him in between herself and Ram. "No C-champ!" She looked at Ram who had picked this cute name out for this lost child. Ram watched her with utmost relief expressed on his face. Priya continued, " We weren't fighting. Uncle and I were just talking and we got into a little argument. That's all Beta�"She was about to carress the child's face but he pushed her hand away angrily and replied, "Jhoot! Both of you are lying. All grown ups teach us children not to lie but than they lie to us and that's so not fair... Mom and dad also fight so much and when I ask them, they lie. I don't like it at all when they fight. How do you think your child would feel if he saw you two fighting? Do you think that he would like it? I bet he wouldnt because i know how bad it feels, like it is my fault that they are fighting." He began softly sobbing again, rubbing his eyes with the sides of his fist for extra effects. Priya and Ram glanced at each other pondering on the same thought, "Wherever our daughter is, she must be in pain seeing us fighting like this." Ram wondered whether this innocent child's innocent words had any effect on her rage. Priya and Ram apologized to the child, offering a bit of solace to his sadness because his sentence demonstrated to them both that a sorry just wouldn't solve it. "Don't say sorry to me." He pouted. "Uncle first you say sorry to aunty. Whenever my mom and dad fight, my dad always says sorry first. Bolo na?" Ram thought, "I have only been saying sorry for these past three months, it hasn't worked than so I doubt it will work now." The child shrieked again, "Bolo na uncle�"Ram nodded in agreement with the child's demand and looked deep into Priya's eyes before he stated wholeheartedly for the millionth time, "Sorry Priya. I am so sorry."
"Thank you uncle!" The child pecked Ram cheeks excitedly with his lips before he turned his attention to Priya. "Aunty now it's your turn. Forgive uncle and say you are sorry also. Mom says that it takes two hands to clap so the fault is not just Uncle's." Priya stared breathlessly at Ram, her heart pounding furiously against her chest, "How many times are you going to say sorry. I already told you that I forgive you and I am also sorry." Ram tried desperately to encode the real meaning behind Priya forgiveness. He searched in her eyes for an answer trying his best to decipher whether the forgiveness was fake like it was in the morning, or genuinely stated. Before he could make out the reality of her words, the child screamed happily, which interrupted his quest. "Yaaay!!" He pecked lightly on Priya cheeks, thanking her enthusiastically and than he continued, "And now the last step for solving a fight." Ram and Priya gazed at him and at each other confused. "Now you both have to give me a kiss�Aunty you kiss this cheek�(he pointed to his right side of his face) and Uncle you kiss this cheek (he pointed to his left side of his face). Okay?" They nodded and began leaning forward to kiss him where they were assigned but he protested. "Not like that!!!!!! Dad says the proper way to kiss is by closing your eyes. So close your eyes and kiss me where I told you to, at the same time. (they closed their eyes following his orders down to the T) "Okay on the count of three� 1� (the kid moved his head back) 2� almost near my cheeks (he smiled mischievously, giggling under his breath as he watched Priya and Ram getting closer to each other) aaand 3�"
He had tasted these lips before; it was a delicacy that he was craving, the best remedy for his lack of motivation. She was unfamiliar with this sensation, so moist yet soft, so rough yet fragile. It unleashed a sizzling stimulation that lit up a direct path to her heart, heating and speeding it up, against her will. Slowly they both opened their eyes, which mirrored a gleam of satisfaction. Still touching, their lips quivered with awkwardness but throbbed with desire that penetrated pleasure deep into every ounce of their body. "What was this feeling and why was it so strong" Priya wondered as Ram rotated his head to kiss a different side of her lips almost as if he didnt want it to feel left out. Ram took full advantage of her nostalgic state of mind. Leaving no room for her to doubt her love for him, showing her just how much he still means to her. The movement was minimal but the pleasure, catastrophic. Unable to take this new pattern of sensation that stimulated her to the core she closed her eyes tightly. Lost in the moment, he felt her tug as she gripped on to his jacket for support. There was an eruption of emotions that tickled every cell in her lower abdomen and all he was doing was kissing the surface of her lips. If simple was this uncontroable than complex must feel orgasmic, she was to caught up to even imagine. Their lips just pressed against one another but it felt like his kiss was equivalent to being hurled in one speed down a 90 feet rollercoaster ride. "Is this the same love that I had for him, shamelessly making its presence? Is this the same love that I swore did not exist for him anymore?" She thought as he continued proving to his love just how much she still loved him...