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Last Chapter 24



@All: Thank You so much everyone for all your lovely comments. I wanted to reply to each one of you but something or the other just kept me away.
Thank you for the patience… its surprising that you people stuck to the end.
God save you people.LOL

A/N before you kill me with your questions, I will answer beforehand- there is no epilogue.Big smile

Finally, we are at the last chapter.


Last Chapter 24


The Tree of Heaven

2 weeks later

“Maan…more…please”
she moaned breathlessly and arched her back to feel him more.

His head rose like the sun, from between her mounds with his signature smirk, “you tire me out these days Jasmine.”

She took in a sharp breath and clutched his hairs tight in her fists making him wince, “you, of all people, must not complain. I am taking my revenge for all the previous times.”

“oww… the revenge is hot”
he licked his lips naughtily.

She raised herself and bit his lips, “it was supposed to be cold.”

“With you around, I should only expect fireworks, Love.”
he leaned in and kissed her hard before walking away towards the washroom, wrapping the towel around his waist. She watched him vanish into the washroom and wrapped the sheet around herself. Her vision had cleared to a great extent but she was still not allowed to go out in bright daylight or look into very bright lights. she collected their clothes and dumped them into the laundry basket, humming a tune. Her eyes fell on her reflection in the mirror and she stopped. She walked closer and dropped her sheet and examined her naked self.

He walked out only to find his jasmine stand by the mirror and run her hands on her scars.

“what are you looking at?”

She saw him from the mirror and then looked back at that ugly mark on her abdomen, running a finger on it.

“Has it started fading?” she asked thoughtfully.

He shook his head, picked up the sheet and stood behind her. he gently wrapped it around her and turned her to face him.

“Give it time Geet. Wounds take time to heal.”

She looked up and back into his eyes. Those words reminded her of something from the past… something very familiar. She raised her hand and caressed his cheek, “the patience wears off at times.”

He opened his mouth to say something but then let it go. he just patted her head with a weak smile and went to get ready for work. She noticed that and wondered if he remembered something that made him upset. She decided to ask him when he got back home but he surprised her with the tickets to fly back home. Her mother was there too and it excited Geet that she would finally get home.

******


The long journey home didn’t tire her out even a bit. If at all, she could even run around the entire mansion and still not feel exhausted. He smiled at her excitement as her hold around his arm tightened.

“You shouldn’t go overboard with all this excitement. You still haven’t recovered completely.” He warned her and she, very conveniently, ignored him. she put on her sun glasses and waited with her mother for the car. Dadima and Naina were there to pick them up and Geet couldn’t help screaming in joy, like a little child. All through the drive back home, dadima kept asking about how she was and if she was still on medication and she gave every detail she could possibly have.
The first question she asked when she entered the mansion was about Priya and the baby.

“She has taken Garv for his vaccine shot. She will be back soon. Till then just go and freshen up.”
Dadima kissed her forehead and let her go.

Maan saw her jumping up the stairs, like a little kid and hugged dadima.

“is she well now?”

“Yes Dadima. Its after such a long time that am seeing her so happy.”

Dadima caressed his cheeks, “Now, go and take rest. And knowing her, she’d be running around the mansion in a while. Just keep an eye on her. I don’t want our surprise to get spoiled.”

She winked at him and left. He rolled his eyes and wondered what surprise they were planning. He knew something was up but even he had no idea what it was.

She had just lied down to relax her back and never knew when sleep took over. A lazy long bath after a long journey had indeed tired her out.

“Jasmine… wake up.”

She rolled over to the other side.

“Geet…Geet..” his soft voice disturbed her sleep and she didn’t want to wake up.

“Open your eyes. Garv and Priya are here to see you.”

That did the magic. She fluttered her eyes open and found him smiling down at her.

“how long have I slept?” she yawned and ate half of her words.

“umm… quite a while. Now, get ready. dadima has called us downstairs.”

She rubbed her eyes, “and Priya?”

“she is waiting for you too!”

She went to freshen up when she looked out, towards the balcony and her eyes widened in shock.

“Its evening already? Why didn’t you wake me up earlier?” she frowned at him.

“You needed rest.”
He answered in his most innocent voice.

“Arrghh… you…”
she wanted to curse him but then she knew there was no point. So, she went ahead and freshen up in a light green chudidaar. He was ready too.

“are you going somewhere?”

“Nope. Dadima has called us to see her in the backyard. Everyone is there. come on.

She stood numb and watched the faces of everyone gleam in the fairy lights. dadima, Priya, Dev, naina, badi maa, her parents…everyone was there, with wide smiles, welcoming her home.

Priya rushed and hugged her tightly, “Welcome back home Geet. You have no idea how much I have missed you.”

She broke the hug and looked at Maan, “and Happy Anniversary to both of you.”

Geet smiled and cried at the same time as everyone hugged her and told her how happy they were to see her and filled her with everything that she had missed. But her eyes looked around for one little life that had made her days restless.

“Where is Garv?” she asked Priya, finally.

Priya smiled and wiped her tears, “Ohh he is just having a bad day today Geet. Got his vaccine and he is cranky.”

“But where is he?

“He is sleeping. Come on. Let us introduce him to his choti maa.”


“Chotti maa..”
she mumbled to herself. A new name! A new relation she was going to begin with that little life.

She almost wept when she saw that tiny two month old stir in his sleep. His face was pink and he looked so beautiful. Priya stood back and watched her kneel down by his crib. She knew how excited Geet was about the baby. She had talked to her for hours describing how he kicked and what all things he made her eat when he was still inside his mother. Geet had literally felt everything that Priya had felt. So how could she not feel this emotional to see him breathing and moving and crying? And this was the reason why she and Dev had decided to wait for Geet and Maan before putting his name on the papers.

Geet looked at the baby in wonder and touched his soft pink hands, cautiously. The baby stirred and wrapped his tiny digits around her finger and stirred in his sleep.

“Hi baby”, she whispered, “how are you?”

The baby’s lips twitched and then he started wailing, looking for his mother. Priya rushed to him and picked him up carefully, rocking him back to sleep again. but Garv didn’t want to sleep anymore perhaps. The moment he found the familiar warmth of his mother, he cuddled more into her bosom and smiled triumphantly.

Priya smiled, “you are one naught boy; pretending to cry to get attention, aren’t you?”

The baby just kept looking through his tiny eyes at his mother as if he understood every bit of it.

“Now, you have someone to give you all your attention. Your choti maa is back home. Be good to her.

She looked at Geet who seemed so dazed with everything around.

“Geet…hold him.” Priya urged and very carefully gave the baby to her.

She was scared at first but Priya instructed her on the hold and when she could, the emotions she felt were inexplicable. The tiny life in her hands looked at her as if he were trying to look for some clue of recognition.

“Your mother is an incredible woman. Don’t trouble her.” she teased. And then Garv cried again, taking offense. The duo laughed and Priya took Garv to feed while Geet walked to others who had brought a cake with a Anniversary message written on it.

Maan watched her glow as she fed him the cake and then to everyone. His Jasmine was finally in bloom.

On dinner table, everyone asked Geet about Garv’s name.

“But I like the name he already has. Garv Khurana… sounds so nice.”

“Bas. It is decided then. Tomorrow I am going to put his name on the papers.” Dev announced.

They sat in the hall playing cards but Maan stayed away. He was busy playing with his nephew, who seemed to have taken a liking to his uncle. He giggled when Maan ran a finger on his forehead and listened to him carefully when he spoke words of knowledge. At times, even Garv put forward his thoughts and opinions through his chuckles and spit bubbles. Geet watched Maan in awe and wondered if she’d be able to bring the same happiness to Maan that Garv brought.

“dii…its your turn now.” Naina’s voice brought her back to reality. She shook her head got back into the game. Of course she would. Right things happened at the right times.

*******


That night, she dreamed of home. She dreamed of the time she was with Priya, Dev, Naina and little Garv. It was their last night in India and she was upset. She didn’t want to leave Garv who by now had known well who his choti maa was. She didn’t want to leave Priya and dadima and her family. Her badi maa was healing, albeit slowly. She could make a few gestures via her eyes and fingers. She understood things. And Geet didn’t want to go back even after one whole month. She wanted to be with her badi ma. She was in her house and Maan was back in KM. Though they were just neighbours, it still felt she had come a place very far from him. she had a flight to catch the next day but she couldn’t sleep. It was way past midnight when she just decided to take a walk in her backyard. The absence of the bakula tree left her with no place to seek peace. She pulled the robe over her night dress and walked towards her most favourite place which now held no fragrance and no life.

She stood where she always did and looked up at the sky. Things had changed with time and her tree of heaven had left her. Died. And hence, been uprooted. How long has it been that it was gone? Had it gone to its rightful master, Krishna? He played his flute under the bakula and enticed the milk maidens of vrindavan. So, has it gone back to heaven, she thought. He created his love story under the shade of the bakula and she created her story under the same too. It saddened her to no ends and wished if Krishna gave her back her Bakula. She left a deep breath and turned to leave. She’d be going far away from everyone the next day. She tripped on something, perhaps roots of some plant and held herself from falling. The moon shined enough above her head to let her see her present from the heaven and she almost cried in happiness. There stood, the tiny bakula, rising from the seed that his mother had left behind as a parting gift to her. she knelt in front of it and caressed its soft new leaves like she would caress Garv in her arms.

She dreamed of the happiness she had felt then and she dreamed of her journey back to the US. Only if it were a dream…but it wasn’t. She woke up with a smile on her face wondering how big the tree would have grown. She looked beside and saw her husband in deep sleep. It was a weekend and so she let him be. she pulled her hair in a messy bun and walked down to prepare breakfast after freshening up.
She brewed his coffee and hummed a tune of her own. the house was so silent and she loved it. her voice echoed in the kitchen and she swayed her hips to the music she was humming.


“Ohh god..”
she jumped at his sudden hug and relaxed immediately realizing it was just her husband. He pushed away her hair to one side and kissed her exposed skin, mumbling a good morning. he was just in his tracks only but his skin was warm. They remained like that, just slowing time a little and enjoying the feel of each other. He rested his head on her shoulder, yawning while she made pancakes.

“why did you wake up? See, you are still sleepy.”
She mumbled, trying to recall the last time they had been so normal, like this.

“I woke up because you were missing.”

She smiled and shook her head. He’d wake up if he didn’t find her beside him. she wondered if he got this habit in the past few months when she had been in such a terrible state. He’d hold her close in his sleep and he’d wake up if he didn’t find her close.

“do you want to eat now?”


“umm.”

She liked when they sat and ate together, talking and teasing.

“I dreamed about Garv today.” she chimed.

“Ohh man, I miss him so much.”
He sighed. He was not at all happy, leaving Garv behind. they had been back in the US for the last three months but Garv had kept their hearts with him, back home.

Geet finished her food and went around, pulling out the curtains to put them in the laundry while he just watched her work, sipping his coffee lazily. She wore her knee length nighty and kept humming her favourite tune. The same Sound of Music that he so despised. The same song that he had forbidden her to sing long back, dressed as a witch.

“Say Geet, do you fancy going somewhere, like a small weekend trip?”

She bent down to sort out the coloured drapes from the light coloured ones and her dress did nothing to cover her dignity. He enjoyed the view she presented and held back the urge to take her back to bed and make love to her like crazy.
She stood straight and turned to look at him, with that weird look on his face and raised her brow at him, realizing well what he might be looking at.

“Trip? Where to?”

He shrugged his shoulder, “Anywhere you say.”

She dumped the stuffs on the floor and rested her hands on her waist, “really? Mr.Maan Singh Khurana, its going to be 2 years to our marriage soon and you still owe me a honeymoon.”

He cocked his head to a side, “but I thought we are on an extended honeymoon since the very first day we came here, Love.”

She didn’t know whether to smile or frown at his statement. So she just shook her head and went ahead to do all that she had planned for the day but not without a tart reply.

“You are so boring.” She twisted her lips.

He rushed to her and picked her up from the waist, making her squeal, “since you complain…”

He carried her up the stairs and she wriggled.

“…I must do something to shut that lovely mouth of yours.”

The moment they reached their room, he put her on her feet and tickled her, making her laugh.

“And yes, you must stop singing that stupid song.”

Her laughter ceased and she looked at him sternly realizing what song he was talking about.

“I hate it.”

“I won’t.” She spit out and walked to open the windows.

“Yes you will.”

“No.”

“Yes.”

“No No No.”

He lifted her up and carried her to the bed for she wasn’t coming to him of her
own free will.

“Yes yes yes.”

She hit his chest angrily, “Stop forcing your will on me, you brute.”

“You know what, I will burn that dvd you have in your collection. I never ever want my children to learn that.” He spoke pushing away the pillows and laying her down.

She frowned, “Not Yours. Our children.”

He looked at her for a second and smiled realizing his folly and slid his hands under her nighty, “yeah, ours. But not that song okay.”

“Impossible.” She clutched his hair and looked at him angrily.

“Grow up Geet. And I don’t understand why are we even having this conversation when we have better things to do?

She opened her mouth to retaliate but he didn’t let her. he pressed his lips on hers and ate away her words.

“ummm…” she smiled into the kiss and closed her eyes. She saw her entire life pass behind her lids and then there was her bakula, slowly growing up. Right things happened at the right time.

She tore away her mouth from his, making him groan and pushed him away, sitting up. He watched her in amusement as she held the hem of her nighty and pulled it off her head. His eyes feasted on the nakedness of his beautiful wife and reached out to take her in his arms. She wrapped her arms around his neck and fell back on the bed, taking him along.

“Give me a baby, Khurana.”
She demanded on his lips and watched his face reflect emotions that she very well related to. He remained still, looking at her with such intensity that she couldn’t help but kiss him.

It took him some time to swallow those overpowering emotions and kissed her gently, lovingly, with tenderness that swept her off her feet.

They broke apart for air and he smiled, looking deep into her eyes, “Are you sure?”

She nodded and then blushed.

“Alright then, but remember, I don’t like keeping things undone for long.”

That tease! She lifted her eyes to see his eyes twinkling in mirth. And she turned redder with the way he just looked at her.

“wh…what do you mean?”
, she found no other way to answer him.

“I mean that we must not stop until we succeed Love.

Her eyes widened in shock, “Nooo…”

He laughed, “Yesss..”

He dipped his head into her bosom, taking in those mounds into his attention. In no time, they were rolling on the bed, moaning and crying and writing in pleasure.

“Stay With Me Like This, Always.” He panted, falling on her, reaching his high.

“Forever With You.”

————————————————————————————-
THE END.
 
 

Chapter 23


Chapter – 23


World Trapped In Time

She counted days like she would count stars in the night sky when she was small. She knew the day would come soon when she shall see everyone. She would see Maan! How long has it been since she last saw him? More than three, as per her calculations. Three months and 2 weeks. It felt like eternities have passed since that accident and she had come a long way but she was still trapped in that time frame. Everyone had moved on since that day. She had healed physically too. But her time remained frozen in the darkness that surrounded her. there was a time when she had opened her eyes in the hospital and has seen the light fading away from her eyes slowly. She had cried and screamed and crumbled down like a mountain would. Her mother was there too; so was her father; but she didn’t want anyone around her then. She didn’t even want Maan to see her. and seeing her so broken, Maan had sent everyone back home, telling her that he would take care of her, all alone. She knew of that. She knew Maan didn’t allow anyone to come to them until she was stable. And only then, he had allowed Naina to be there and the nurse too.

“Now, Mrs. Khurana, just try to open your eyes slowly; very slowly. And if the light hurts, let us know.”

She was in the hospital with her mother and the doctors were doing a preliminary check on her recovery. As much as she had wanted Maan to be with her, she wanted him to take care of his work too. And so, she had somehow convinced him and sent him off. he was slowly getting back to the work he had left mid way and she would never let anything disturb him anymore. She had done enough damage. The least she could do now was to let him go.

Her eye lids felt heavy. She had tried her best to follow every damned rule post her operation so that it didn’t worry Maan anymore. It felt an arduous task to even lift her lids but she did. The first beam of the dim light stroked her and she flinched. She knew the doctors observed her keenly and she tried a little more. She succeeded too but she could barely open her eyes. Whatever little she had lifted her lids closed shut due to the light. She wasn’t acquainted to light anymore and her eyes gave reflex actions. She tried once again and this time, she saw a little of everything but blurred and hazy. Her eyes closed again and she was back in the darkness she had been. Her time froze again. once again, she was a world trapped in time.

“How was your hospital visit today?” he asked over the phone.

“It was good Maan. They said I would take a few days to open my eyes completely. Just to help, Lizzie is here!”

He listened to her and felt happy. How he wished he were there with her when she opened her eyes. But responsibilities had called him and she had sent him off like a brave woman. He knew she wanted him to be with her too.

“Geet, I just want to go back home.”

“its just a two days trip Maan.”

“I’m sorry Love. I so want to be there, with you…”

“You, Maan Khurana, are not allowed home until you finish your work!” she interrupted him in a playful tone.

“Spoken like a typical wife!” he sighed on the other side.

She laughed and he loved that sound. It felt ages since he had heard her like this.

“Yes, the wife demands it!”

“As you wish, Your Highness.” He teased. And once again, her heard that laughter that he had missed for so long.

“Geet, Listen.”


“yes?”

“I am coming home in two days. Just wait for me.” he spoke in a slow and serious tone, making her heart flutter in anxiety. Two days more!

Just

Two

More

Days!

He drove home and found it empty. The house help informed him that his wife and mother were out for a walk. It was dusk and he knew she was still not allowed to go out in bright light. So, she chose the evening to take her walk. He knew from her that she could open her eyes in dim lights but she saw things in blur. He knew she could recognize shapes through her hazy vision and that she was slowly improving. Taking off his suit and tie, he switched on the music player and queued up his favourite tracks and went to freshen up.

Her heart skipped beats noticing his car in the porch. He was home! She would be able to see him. She would see him after three months and two weeks. Once again, her frozen time started to thaw, bit by bit. Her mother noticed the sudden glow on her face and went to get the dinner ready, leaving her alone. And she, with her little hazy vision, walked up the stairs, her heart beats echoing in her ears. She recalled when she first saw her house after months. Just like the last time she had seen it… it remained the same. The same sky blue drapes, the same couch, the same dark wood panelled doors and the same carpeted floor. The time between his absence and his presence had given her ample time to get her vision clearer than before and her doctors had been very happy about it too.

She stopped by the door to her room and kept her hand on the knob. A butterfly danced in her stomach and then it ignited many more such dances. Holding her thudding heart, she pushed open the door but immediately closed her eyes. The lights were bright. She still wasn’t accustomed to the brightness. A faint music echoed and she realized that he had left the music player on. She, with her deftly calculated steps, made her way towards the switches and turned on the dim night lights of her room. The brighter ones were gone and a warm yellow light spread around her.

Maan only played music when he was completely alone and not working. She knew it. he never played music even when she was around. There are things her husband did only when he was all by himself and she respected that. That was his muse. And today, he was playing one of his favourite music.

‘Cause all of me
Loves all of you
Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections
Give your all to me
I’ll give my all to you

She had almost cried when she had seen her room the previous day… and today her eyes fell on the clothes he left on the bed. She had missed this. She had missed him. she ran her hand on his discarded suit and picked it up. The music went on. Her eyes welled up but she didn’t let her tears fall. She pressed the cloth close to her heart and recalled his face; the last time she had seen him. his scent still remained in traces and it almost made her cry.


You’re my end and my beginning
Even when I lose I’m winning
‘Cause I give you all, all of me
And you give me all, all of you

He walked out of the washroom and saw his wife, standing by the bed, holding something. Her back faced him so he wasn’t sure what she was doing. But he saw her stiffen and he knew she realized his presence. They stood like that, time stretching between them like ocean and he felt like he went back to the time when he saw her first, under that bakula tree, facing away from him.

“Jasmine” He uttered.

She bit her lips and closed her eyes shut. She didn’t even have any more courage to just turn back and see him. She felt her energy draining out of her. Wasn’t she excited to see him? wasn’t she begging to the Gods for this time to arrive early? A sob raked her body and she pressed the cloth close to her mouth from crying. She had waited for eternities for this day to arrive yet she couldn’t make herself to face her reality. It was this moment when she realized that her world was still frozen. And she was still a world, trapped in time.

Jasmine…

She went back to the times of the past and shook her head, denying something.

“Look at me Jasmine…” he called her lovingly. And she shook her head again. the time stopped for them but only the music flowed in rhythm.

How many times do I have to tell you
Even when you’re crying you’re beautiful too
The world is beating you down, I’m around through every move

He stepped closer and closer until he stood right behind her.

“Please Geet, show yourself to me.

His voice cracked, telling her of the emotional turmoil that he was in too. She was not the only one.

“No..”
she whispered.

She felt his arms slide around her waist and pull her back, gently in his arms. She shivered and hid her face in his suit. His touch felt so new and fresh. The scent of his soap filled her with sensations she was running away from.

You’re my downfall, you’re my muse
My worst distraction, my rhythm and blues
I can’t stop singing, it’s ringing, in my head for you
My head’s under water
But I’m breathing fine
You’re crazy and I’m out of my mind

He leaned over and kissed her shoulder, “Geet, please. End this. Let me see you. Please.”

His desperation mirrored hers. She wanted to turn back and capture him in her eyes but she was overpowered by her emotions.

‘Cause all of me
Loves all of you
Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections
Give your all to me
I’ll give my all to you
You’re my end and my beginning
Even when I lose I’m winning
‘Cause I give you all of me
And you give me all, all of you

He took the remote and turned off the stereo, giving an abrupt end to the music and turned her to face him. Tipping his chin, he raised her face and found her eyes shut. Her tears glistened in the dim light and her lips trembled.

“Geet, open your eyes Love, don’t punish me like this.”

She hung her head down and then gave up the fight she was fighting within. She cried. She left his suit, hugged him close and cried. She didn’t open her eyes and she kept crying. She cried for the days she had been in the darkness; for the pain she caused him with her depression; she cried for the overwhelming feeling that she would see him finally… and she cried for every damn reason that let them see such days. He held her and he let her cry. She was letting out all that she had held back all these days. It took her some time to calm down and when she was only down to hiccups, he cupped her cheeks and kissed her lips. She cried in his mouth and his hands kept rubbing her back.

“Its over now…” he broke apart and cupped her cheeks. He raised her head so that their eyes would meet, “I am here. And Its Over.”

She gulped down that lump in her throat and felt his thumbs wiping away her tears. It was time. She would end this today and forever. She remained still in his arms and slowly opened her eyes, like a new born baby. She saw nothing but a pair of brown eyes peering back at him. Brown… the color of his eyes! She had forgotten how it felt to look at him in the eye. She pushed away his hands that held her and took a step back. He seemed to have frozen on his feet for he just looked at her with emotions she couldn’t understand. As such she was troubled by her own. she looked at his face…and remained still, like she was seeing him for the first time. Thousands of times she had imagined in her head as to how looked but nothing of her imagination came remotely close to the reality. He was bare on the chest and she took in the view of his olive skin, shining in the light. She had thought to find difference between what he looked then, before her accident, and what he looked now but nothing cropped in her mind now.

She looked up again to his face and in one stride, she was in his arms, running her fingers over his face, his nose, his cheeks, his eyes, his lips, his chin… trying to connect her sensations of touch with her sensation of sight.

“Is it a dream?”, she cried, “if it is, then I don’t want to open my eyes ever!”

He held her palm and pressed a kiss on it, “Its real Geet. It is as real as our own existence.”

“What…what if I can’t see tomorrow? What if I wake up and all this will vanish?”

He held her by her shoulders and turned her towards the mirror that stood beside their bed and rested his head on her shoulder, “Look at us Geet…Do you think I care about tomorrow? Nothing is a dream now. And Nothing will vanish, as long as am here.”

She didn’t know what to feel or think because it felt all so surreal. Seeing her so numb, he pressed a kiss on her cheek, “how long will it take to do away with this brightness thing?”

“A week more may be. I still see things hazy.”

He lifted her up by her waist and she squealed, “wh…what are you doing?”

He smiled and put her down, right in front of the mirror, close enough to make her see things clearly, “Now, Look at us. Do you see us hazy?”

“No.” she whispered and smiled.

She kept staring at their reflection in silence for a while until he lifted her up again, this time in his arms and she gasped, clutching him tight. He carried her to the bed and put her down. She gulped hard, thinking what would come next and held her breath in anticipation but then smiled seeing him lie beside her. he propped himself up on his elbow and looked down at her lovingly.

“Talk to me Geet. And just keep your eyes on me.”

She turned to him and kept her hand on his waist, “My eyes are just for you
Maan.”

“You know what, bro and bhabhi are waiting for you to go home and name their son.”

Her eyes widened in joy, “Really? They haven’t named him yet?”

He laughed seeing her childlike happiness, “Yes. I talked to dadima this morning. They pet named him as Garv but they will put the name on papers only when you are home.”

She raised her arm and played with his hair… it felt eons that she had felt his like this.

“I can’t wait to go home and hold little Garv in my arms.”

“We will go once you are completely fine.”

She twisted her lips, “Am fine now Maan.”

“yes yes, you are fine but we need a little more time.”

He was so glad to see her gaining back her confidence. More than her, he felt like crying; for once, breaking down and letting all his fears out. But seeing her so happy, he didn’t dare to let it out. She would eventually take it away with her love, he knew. They had dinner together, talking and laughing and he just watched her in awe. And when he wasn’t watching, Geet glanced at him, lost in her own thoughts.

It was past mid night and she couldn’t sleep. Her thoughts kept her awake. She switched on her side of the bed lamp and looked at her husband, sleeping peacefully, on his stomach. She wanted to run a hand on his forehead but then her own thoughts stopped her. She got off the bed and stood in front of the mirror. The light from the fragile bed lamp was weak but that was more than enough for her. she glanced at Maan for a while and sighed in relief realizing he was fast asleep.

She looked at her reflection and examined herself. She had fading scratch marks on her elbow and hands. There was one on her forehead, telling her how it had bled from there. they were fading. But there was something else. she pulled up her knee length nighty and tossed it over her head and stood stark naked. She leaned a little closer to examine herself and gasped in horror of the view she presented.

She was nothing but covered with bruises and stitches! The stitches had been removed but the marks were very much there. very prominent. One big dirty mark sat right on her abdomen triumphantly, teasing her to numbness. Her skin had wrinkled there and it scared her. slowly and with trembling fingers, she traced it and pressed it gently. It still hurt. she bit her lips to stop the sound she made, lest Maan woke up and found her like this. She traced her hands over her stomach and stopped at another dirty mark at the side of her ribs. There was another wound, black and fading on her shoulder and cut marks on her thighs. She presented a very ugly sight. A disgusting sight. She pressed her hands over her mouth to stop the screams that remained at the back of her throat. So this is why earlier this evening Maan had avoided her. that ugly disturbing wound on her abdomen had put her in such a state. Her eyes burned with tears but she didn’t look away from her reflection. She just glared at herself. She looked ugly. She skin no longer remained soft and smooth, like Maan had liked and loved. She felt angry and hot tears rolled down her cheeks. Her legs trembled. So this is why…

She felt a sudden pull and then she was hauled into his chest. He covered her face in his chest and hid her in his embrace.

“Why are you not asleep? And Why are you standing here like this?” he screamed at her.

He had woken up, not finding her beside him and he was scared to see her standing naked and like a statue. He didn’t want her to see herself like this! Not today! not when she was so happy. And then the fleeting emotions of her face had scared him more than her surgery. He knew what she thought. He knew she despised herself and he wouldn’t let that happen. So, he rushed to her, pulled her in his arms and hid her face so that she couldn’t see anything anymore.

She clutched his shirt and tried to push him away. She was angry, he could gauge it. she knew he’d be mad at her but she didn’t care. She pushed at his chest and freed herself and glared at him. he was angry, as expected.

“What in the world are you doing here Geet? Come back to bed.”

He picked her nighty from the floor and pushed it down her head but she resisted and pulled it off.

“Geet..stop that.” He warned. But she couldn’t care less. He held her hand but she pushed him away! He glared at her.

“This is why..” she seethed in anger, “So, this is why you are pushing me away… avoiding me. right?”

She had never known a Maan who restrained himself whenever she was around. And today, when she was throwing herself at him, he didn’t even look at her. and when she saw what had become of her, she was angry. Angry at herself that she became so. Angry at herself that Maan wouldn’t love her like he always did.

“What are you mumbling about? I never avoided you. Wear your dress and come to bed.”

“NO!”, she turned back to look at herself in the mirror, “because I look ugly, you wouldn’t come close to me.”

Hot, angry tears rolled down her eyes. She had never known a Maan who held himself back.

“Because I look like this, you won’t make love to me.”
she spoke with a hatred that pierced his heart. he watched her trace her wounds cruelly, digging her fingers there. he clenched his jaws and pulled her hand away, “It is NOT like that!”

“then what is it? What is it that is holding you back?” she hissed with hatred pouring out of her.

“Geet… stop…”

“No. I am not beautiful anymore. I am not the old Geet you desired. I am ugly. And that is why you don’t want me anymore.”

He now knew what had gripped her mind when she saw herself like that. His fears had come true. He had to make her trust herself. She could never be ugly. to him, she was the definition of everything pristine. He hadn’t felt the need to prove that to her until now.

He watched her lips tremble and walked closer to her. threading his fingers into that thick mane of hers, he pulled her close.

“You have no idea how much and in how many ways I have desired you Geet, wanted you bad…so bad until you forget who you are and scream my name until your voice grew hoarse. And You tell me I don’t want you anymore?”

He held her still with his eyes, boring into her. he watched his words take effect on her. he knew well that all she needed was his assurance. That was enough for her to hold on to sanity.

“Did you forget the time when I made love to you in the hall when you still couldn’t see? Your wounds were worse then. But did it stop me in anyway? Do you even know how many times I have dreamed of taking you in; in the rawest ways possible? And you tell me I don’t want you anymore?”

Her eyes held a fire that now burned brighter than ever. She leaned into his touch and kept looking at his changing expressions.

“Then I want you to want me now!”

His eyes grew darker long with hers and she took hold of his other hand and slipped it round her waist, “Want me now and make me feel beautiful Maan.”

His warm palm traced her bare skin, making her sigh in pleasure, “You make me insatiable Jasmine…”

She pressed her lips on his, eating away his words. she knew all she needed was the appreciative glance of this one man and she would be beautiful again. she smiled into the kiss as he took the lead. He was her Midas and she would turn gold under his touch.

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>>For those who are wondering what was the song in the update about, It is ‘All Of Me’ by John Legend. One of the most beautiful songs I have come across.

>> I will be a good girl once more and tell you what is next.Embarrassed

Next: the last par