I heard a small knock on the door but turned around to sleep in peace but when I heard the rustling in the room and the small voices at the door, I sprung up to my feet thinking Tej was searching for my secret chocolate stock in my room. I panicked for a moment looking at the unfamiliar surroundings. I held my head in a hard grip when the previous day’s events, crashed my mind making it work fast than it usually do.
Shit! I’m married!
I searched for a clock frantically and found it on the bedside table. It’s already 5am and I’m still in bed.
And I am a married woman!
A good daughter-in-law should wake up before everyone in house and do the household work herself without bothering her in-laws. My mother’s voice ringed in my ears making me jump into action.
I was running like a mad monkey around the room to find a decent yet simple saree to wear. His mother and mine only bought sarees with heavy designs and stuff which I’m sure weigh a ton.
When I’m in hurry, I’ve this weird habit to forget everything. The same thing is happening to me now. While I’m on my third trip from the closet to washroom I bumped into a 6 feet wall.
In other words, my husband.
Remember the tons of romantic novels we read and it is really happening in your life, Sreesha. You just bumped into your husband!
Just when I thought my day wouldn’t be worse, I’d to bump into him? He held my waist to refrain me from falling flat on my butt.
“Slow down, will you? ” he said, chuckling still holding me. His voice was deep with a hint of sleepiness.
Is it weird to think his voice is yummy?
“I- I… you- late… mother” I stuttered, how can I answer when he was holding me too close to him while his hand drawing circles on my waist. Was it a natural thing for his hands to draw circles on my skin? First my hand and now my waist?
I thanked all the gods for choosing long top to wear yesterday night.
“Why are you looking so pale? Did you had a nightmare?” He asked, frowning a little.
How can someone be this handsome, even his frown is so cute.
Taking a deep breath, I gestured the little awkward position we were in, with my eyes.
When he noticed, he didn’t let go of me immediately. He loosened his grip on my waist first and after making sure I was not going to kiss the ground with my butt he let go off me.
No one said a word, we’re just standing there facing each other. He nervously scratched his neck and mumbled something under his breath.
“Huh? ” I looked at him but avoided his eyes. They are too dangerous to get acquainted with.
“I’ve to go and get ready” Why is he saying this to me? I nodded, confused.
“For that, you have to let go my shirt” he said, with a slight smirk on his face. I stumbled back a little when I realise where my hand was comfortably settled on. I’ve been holding his shirt tightly like my life depended on it.
How can you be so stupid, Sreesha? He is your husband and you’re holding his shirt? What would your mother say when she find out about it? She would probably kill you without asking for a reason. It’s a sign of utter disrespect towards your husband.
“Stop over thinking and wear this- handing me a saree – mom asked me to tell you to wear this saree and go downstairs as soon as possible” he said smiling. I nodded and stuttered into washroom.
Making sure I was all alone in the bathroom, I stood in front of the mirror and banged my head to the wall. And scold myself like I always do when I did something wrong.
When I looked at myself in the mirror, I see myself in a different light. The Sreesha I was looking at was glowing with a small and genuine smile playing on her lips, it had been a long time.
I got ready as soon as possible and left the room to join my MIL to know the tasks I’ve to do in the house. When I reached downstairs, my MIL asked me to pray for god of fire (Agni) and then make a sweet dish.
I prepared Kheer, as she specifically mentioned that it is Karthik’s favourite dish. I did as she said and completed all the rituals.
When I served the sweet dish, she praised me a lot. She said that she loved it. If anyone ask me what I was good at, I would say my culinary skills. I love cooking.
When she made sure I was settled, she left leaving me alone in the house.
Now that I’m free, I couldn’t help but think about my MIL. She is so beautiful, no one would believe she has 25 year old son. She smiles all the time and it was genuine, her one smile can lit a dark room. The way she talk, the way she walks everything screams elegance. I laughed at myself when a thought crossed my mind.
I thought she was royalty.
After our marriage, I didn’t see my FIL anywhere. It was like he doesn’t live here with us.
My MIL made sure I know Karthik’s likes and dislikes. I prepared coffee for him, his mother said he likes his coffee black and sugarless.
His daily dose of caffeine as his mother prefers to call.
When I was on my way to our room to give him coffee, he was descending the stairs. I couldn’t help but admire his every move. With every step he takes, my clumsy heart hammered against my ribcage to free herself from the bounds of my ribs. His steps never faltered, his eyes never left mine, his lips never stopped smiling. He walked with utmost confidence and with a bit of satisfaction in his eyes.
Stop drooling over him, your drool might turn into floods anytime soon my rational side chided.
But have you seen him properly? It was like a freaking model is walking towards us. My heart whispered to my brain.
Stop giving her unnecessary thoughts you stupid thing! Your work is to pump blood not to create unnecessary attraction and feelings within her it scolded again.
I sometimes think my mother was staying in my mind, it always talks like my mother.
Don’t you date compare me with her! I’m my own person it snapped at me.
If somehow Karthik find out the battle between my brain and heart or more like the rational and irrational sides, he would definitely kick me out of his house.
Or he can always book a bed for you in mental asylum!
I sighed. If I didn’t stop now, it would lead to a big argument which I am not ready for, as Karthik is only a few feet away from me looking at me worried.
God, he’s so beautiful! How can someone like him marry someone like you? No offence Sreesha, but look at him and look at you, he’s hot as hell while you? A plain clumsy material which needed a lot of grooming.
I couldn’t help but agree with that annoying voice in my head. why would someone like him will marry a girl someone like me? I’m simple and plain and did not plan to change myself unless I was forced. But I’m sure he could have got a girl more beautiful and prettier than me.
My train of thoughts reached it’s station when a snap of fingers worked as a red flag.
I almost face palmed when I saw a frown graced on his lips.
I prefer to melt a glacier dude! Give me a damn smile It said again. Not my fault if that voice had its own brain.
I almost thought I was a werewolf while I was reading werewolf books in wattpad. Sadly I’m no werewolf. It would have been so cool if I was one.
“Whatever going on in that pretty head of yours ” Karthik asked smiling.
Pretty? He called me pretty!!! My heart did a small hip hop.
“N-nothing” I mumbled, offering the coffee.
“Where is yours? ” he asked pointing at the coffee.
“I’ll have later” I mumbled.
“Will you please have coffee with me?” He asked cutely, making my heart race again.
Slowdown you stupid thing! You’re a heart, not a freaking car to participate in a race!
I nodded making one for myself. When I was seated across him, his eyes were penetrating my every move. I want to snap at him asking him to keep his eyes away from me but I couldn’t, he has every right to look at me.
I cringed when the bitter liquid assaulted my taste buds. This was not the way I prefer my coffee, mine should be sweet and tasty not like some neem leaves juice.
He sighed. When I dare to look into his eyes, I stiffened. His eyes were narrowed at me with a hint of irritation in them. I bowed my head not wanting to witness his rage now.
He stood up and held my hand making me jump to my feet. He dragged me to the kitchen and started preparing coffee himself.
He should have asked me to make one again, if he doesn’t like the one I made. What is he trying to prove stepping into the kitchen? Why would he have to make me feel pathetic?
“Have it ” his voice pulled me to the real world again. I blinked, he was preparing the coffee for me?
Me? His wife?
Taking the cup in my hand, I eyed it suspiciously. The sweet smell was assaulting my nostrils urging me to take a sip. Warily I sipped, the dead taste buds on my tongue became alive.
This is heaven! I sighed.
“Thank you” I mumbled, he was looking at me with a weird kind of satisfaction in his eyes. His eyes suddenly flickered to annoyance.
How can someone change their emotions in just seconds of difference?
“Just because I prefer some thing different doesn’t mean you had to change yours, Sreesha. Either it is about food or people or something else.” He said reaching for my hand. I didn’t flinch or feel wary about his touch now. I somehow know he means no harm….. physically.
“We’re married, Sreesha. You’re my wife, not a slave. My wife, is my equal in everything. You are my other half. You have every right on my life like I’ve on yours. You should not have to be hesitant to ask me anything, actually you have every right to demand me.” He said, looking straight into my eyes with so much of determination in his eyes.
“Do you understand? ” he demanded.
“Why?” I whimpered. “Fath-father said I could not-”
“Forget what your father said, forget about your mother’s wishes or orders whatever they were. You’re not in their house to follow their rules. This is your house, Sreesha. Our house. You have the right to make the rules here. This is yours as much as mine. Everything that belongs to me is yours too. You’re free to make or break rules in here. Please don’t feel like a guest in your own home. Understand?” He said sternly.
I nodded. I couldn’t fight my tears anymore, so I let them fall freely. He hesitantly pulled me close in an embrace and kissed my hair.
My stupid heart did a small somersault.
His hug explains how much he means the every word he said. For the first time in my life I feel secured in someone’s embrace other than Tej.
But the next words from him nearly stopped my heart.
“Pack some essentials, you’re going to your parent’s house”