Neha was relieved when her month old bundle of joy finally closed her tiny eyes.
She glanced at the clock and realized that it was already seven in the evening. Rohan was late today. She tiptoed towards the kitchen for a glass of water, when she heard the key turn in the main door. She stood in her place, glaring at the door. Rohan entered as quietly as he could and gently put the keys in the bowl. Then his eyes fell on her.
“You are late.”
He held his ears and mouthed a voiceless sorry.
Neha just shrugged and walked towards kitchen to have that glass of water. She took her sweet time finishing the glass sip by sip. Even these few moments of solitude and peace were a luxury.
How their world had changed in that one month! There was no routine. She had lost track of time.
She had begun envying Rohan. At least he went to office. Met people. And what did she do? She cleaned the baby, fed the baby, put her to sleep and then did the chores, on repeat mode. She was exhausted, she was lost and she felt like crying all the time. She detested the way she looked and dressed lately. She was sleep deprived. And on and on these thoughts went, making her even more miserable.
Rohan could at least come out and sit with her. She felt he didn’t care for her anymore. She let out a long sigh and got up to check on the baby. The baby was up and Rohan was changing her diaper.
“Look Mumma is here. We were working quietly Mumma, so you could rest for a while”
Rohan smiled at her. “But now we are hungry and we need you. But we will request you nicely. We won’t howl. Right, baby?” Rohan asked the baby playfully. Neha’s heart warmed to see the baby respond to Rohan.
Rohan let Neha settle and placed the baby in her lap.
“I will warm the dinner and set up the plates. We can have dinner once she sleeps,” Rohan suggested, gesturing at the baby. Neha just nodded in response.
Neha emerged from the room after a while to find Rohan waiting. She quietly sat down to have dinner.
“Why were you late?”
“Bala (his boss) wanted to have a word.”
“About?” she asked, eyebrows raised.
“You remember that training in Amsterdam last year?”
“Yeah. You could not go because you didn’t get visa on time.”
“Yeah. So, they are again conducting it this year”
“Is it? When?”
“Mid-May. Around our anniversary”
“Oh,” Neha’s face fell, her voice faltered.
“I declined,” Rohan continued, with a straight face, his eyes fixed on her.
Neha looked up at him, her eyes wide in disbelief. He turned her chair towards him, took her hands in his and then embraced her. Then, he let her cry, gently caressing her back.
“Thank you,” she whispered, after calming down.
“It will happen again next year. That time the three of us will go together,” he said, kissing her on the forehead.
Kshipra Bakre – Gunjikar
Image: Prenatal photo created by wayhomestudio – http://www.freepik.com
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