She felt nervous, sweat broke out on her forehead. She switched off the stove and ventured in the bedroom. Akshat was still sleeping, she made no noise and rushed to the bathroom. She saw the mark on her neck properly and removed her nightwear. There was a mark on her chest too.
'Oh God! What happened? How Akshat had been involved in her dream? No. No, it's a dream,' she thought.
It had happened, he kissed her, bit her, and oh God, so had she. Now what to do, how would she face him? What would he be thinking about her? That she was so shameless. What would he ask her? Did he notice that she was dreaming? She had train of thoughts making her more difficult.
God how would she face him. No she could not, she will not, at least not this morning. She needed time to think about it alone. She had to hurry if he was still asleep, she could get ready and leave before he was awake. It was coward, but she had no choice. She left the bathroom, picked her clothes and got ready in time.
She usually had tea while reading the newspaper then breakfast. Till that time Akshat usually woke up and got ready. Today she skipped tea and breakfast, just grabbed her lunch box and went out. On the way to the door, she told her mother-in-law that she had an early meeting which she had forgotten.
She didn't take sigh of relief till she sat on her office desk. It was humiliating that she had to run away from her own home. How was she supposed to act normal after what had happened last night.
Akshat woke up at 8 o'clock in the morning. He was late getting up, but was not bothered by it. He was relaxed well, he would be, he wondered where Kavya must be? May be in the kitchen. Well, they would get time to discuss last night. Right now he had to get up and ready for work.
After getting ready, he walked in the kitchen expecting to see Kavya. No one was in the kitchen, so he ventured in the living room to find his mother was sitting on the sofa. When she heard him, she turned and smiled, "Good Morning Akshat."
Her son looked more handsome everyday, he was her pride and joy. He looked good in green shirt and khaki pants. "Good morning Mom," Akshat replied still looking for Kavya.
Lata was loving this morning, first Kavya and now her son. Her son's shirt was buttoned up, but she could see the marks on his neck. She shouldn't have noticed it, but how could she miss? He might not have looked in the mirror closely. His mistake, he might have been in a hurry to see Kavya.
"If you are looking for Kavya, she left early. She said something about a meeting. Didn't even have tea," Lata said.
Akshat was not sure if he was shocked or just bewildered. She left early, didn't even wait to see him. Why was she avoiding him? Or was she?
Maybe she was not avoiding him, she had a meeting and forgot about it. But it was so strange, it happened after their night together. He realized he was just standing idle in the middle of the living room and his mom was looking at him. So he just smiled and had his tea and breakfast. He didn't want to make his mom suspicious.
He left for work soon after his talk with his mom, but his mind wandered. He wasn't sure what had gotten into him and her. The night had been, it had been exceptional. An amazing feeling, but what Kavya must be feeling? Did she have this kind of dream often? If yes, why hadn't he noticed them before? Was HE featuring in her dream, as she had never said his name last night. Was it a dream? Or had she been awake? Wasn't their usual encounters satisfying her?
Now in the broad daylight, without her to distract him. He could think on many questions. The only person who could answer was in her office, some miles away.
With all these thought in his mind, he reached office, but he had no mood of working. He called Kavya as soon as he reached at his desk.
Kavya looked at her phone as if it were from another planet. Her phone was vibrating on her desk, Akshat was calling her. She had to answer it, but what would she say?
'Would he ask her about last night? What if he didn't? What if he did?' All these questions gathered and by the time she could pick the phone, it stopped. She wasn't sure if she was relieved or not. Now she have to call him back and make an excuse for not answering his call. She had already lied to her mother-in-law in the morning.
How much lying was allowed in a day?
She was not sure from where all these cheeky remarks were coming. Soon she saw Aashi coming towards her.
"Hey Kavya, how are you?" She asked.
"I am good, you had tea? Let's go have tea. I have missed mine today," Kavya said and took Aashi's hand guiding her toward cafeteria.
"Hey, you don't want your cell, it's dangerous to keep it lying on the desk."
Kavya looked at Aashi then the phone, sighing she picked up the phone.
Aashi looked at her friend, something was wrong. Kavya was never flustered, she was a practical woman, quite opposite to her. But somehow they had clicked and were very good friends.
It had surprised many people in the office. But today Kavya was different, her calm friend was looking a bit frantic.
"Kavya, what's wrong? You are looking nervous." Aashi asked Kavya.
Kavya looked at her, "No. What's wrong?"
"That's what I asked you?"
"Oh. Nothing is wrong. I am fine. Everything is fine."
"Ajay give me tea please," Kavya said as soon as they entered their pantry. They both sat at one of the tables available. Soon her phone vibrated again and again Akshat was calling.
Kavya was not sure what to do, she flipped her phone, but Aashi had seen the caller and she had that gleam in her eyes..
Akshat looked at his phone, why wasn't she answering the call? Maybe she was busy, or was she?
He was blowing out of all proportion, he was never this obsessive. He was sure she would call him back as soon as she could. Then he would ask her, that was the end of topic. That night didn't change anything in their relationship. It was just an aberration. He shouldn't make her uncomfortable, maybe he should just forget it.Yes, that was right. He would just acknowledge last night, and make sure she knew he was alright with her.
Aashi looked at Kavya's face, it had so many expressions that she was sure something was up. There was guilt, surprise, also irritation.
"Kavya, what's wrong? Why are you not answering Akshat's call?" Aashi asked Kavya.
"It's complicated Aashi," she replied.
"He is your husband, he is calling you. What is complicated? Don't tell me you guys had a fight."
"Not now Aashi."
"So how are you gals? Enjoying your free time," said Sudhir, their colleague, an irritating one at that. He always said the most boring jokes, and said the lamest things. Kavya hated him.
"Sooooo. You are having tea?"
Kavya had already had a strange morning, and he was just topping it off. She tried to control herself, but she was stressed.
"No, we are having champagne in the morning. You want some?" Kavya asked him smiling very sweetly. Aashi couldn't control her laugh, but she suppressed it. Sudhir looked confused then a bit embarrassed but left.
"Kavya what has gotten in to you?" Delighted Aashi asked Kavya when she saw Sudhir walking away. Ajay came and kept tea in the table.
Kavya thanked him and looked at smiling Aashi.
"Aashi, I am not sure what is happening to me? I am a mess right now. I made a blunder and I don't know what to do about it."
Aashi looked at Kavya and realized her friend was serious, "What's wrong Kavya, tell me".
Kavya was sure in the morning, she would never share her dream with anyone, but it wasn't a dream and she needed someone's opinion. She trusted Aashi, and knew whatever she said to her, wouldn't be told to anyone else.
"OK. Aashi this is too embarrassing, so please don't laugh at me. I was not going to say anything to anyone, but I need....I need to talk to someone to make some sense of it."
Aashi was still looking at Kavya........"OK. This is serious, let's go outside and talk where no one is going to listen to you."
Kavya finished her tea and felt little bit peace. "Why don't you message Akshat that you are busy in the meeting," Aashi told Kavya.
Kavya nodded and started typing, "Hi. Sorry, left early in the morning, had an early meeting. Little busy today, will talk at home."
Kavya sighed in relief and they went out.
Akshat looked at the message that Kavya sent. So she was REALLY busy, relieved that everything was alright. He started working.
Kavya told Aashi everything except the graphic details of her and Akshat's encounter, but the gist of it. Aashi was a very good listener, she didn't interrupt Kavya. When Kavya finished Aashi just looked at her.
"FINALLY." Aashi said with conviction. "Listen Kavya, you both are adults, still young. There is nothing wrong in enjoying the life, or enjoying each other."
"Kavya why are you stressed about it? It was with your husband, you did nothing wrong."
Kavya looked at Aashi, "I know, I did nothing wrong. But Akshat is all about schedule and rules. I am not criticizing him. But he was clear about his lifestyle, I agreed to it because I understood him. I changed the rules, and if he asked the reason why I changed the rules, what will I tell him? Suddenly I'm a different person. How will I let him understand when I don't know myself."
"Kavya you are allowed to change your feelings and don't feel bad about it. Talk to him. Even he wants to change." Aashi looked at Kavya smiling. "People changed, if your feelings can, why can't his?"
Kavya nodded and looked at Aashi. Was Aashi right? Was he really going to change, be a little spontaneous? Can one night change him, did she want him to change? When she had married him, she had accepted his moods and his nature. He had been upfront about it, she had liked it and accepted it. Now was it right that she wanted him to change just because she wanted something else.
God, she was so confused. What should she do? And did she really want him to change?
Akshat arrived home late. As soon as he entered, he got the smell the food, Kavya was preparing pav bhaji, he didn't particularly like it, but he was okay with it.
The pav bhaji was a typical Mumbai street food. When he glanced in the kitchen, he saw Kavya preparing pav bhaji. He quickly went in their room and get freshened up. He had a long day to think and was sure that the incident was just an aberration.
"Hey," Akshat said to Kavya, she was wearing red t-shirt and black pajamas. She turned and smiled at him, "Hi."
"Are you making pav bhaji?" Akshat stated and entered the kitchen. Taking a glass, he took water from the refrigerator.
"Yes. Felt like it. Sorry, I was busy, couldn't call back. Was there anything urgent you needed to talk?" Kavya turned away from him when she said that. It is easy to lie when one is not looking at his chocolate eyes.
"I wanted to talk about last night, and I was worried you had left early to avoid me," Akshat said while drinking water. It was hot in the kitchen, there was perspiration beads on Kavya's forehead.
"Akshat, I had a dream," Kavya had gathered her courage while stirring the Pav bhaji, so she could avoid looking at him.
"Kavya. There is no need to explain anything. Everyone is allowed to stray from their routine once in a while. I was just worried when I thought you were avoiding me. But I know that was not the case. So don't worry about it." Akshat said while rinsing the glass and keeping it in the cabinet.
"We are married, we did nothing wrong."
Kavya saw Akshat leaving. She felt numb, should there be relief or anger. She didn't know, why was she upset. He made it easy for her. She had been worried about Akshat, asking her all the questions about last night.
Now when he had not asked her anything, she felt cheated. Shouldn't his mind be full of questions, why was he accepting it so easily? Why was she hurting?
She wanted to cry though she was trying not to. Still a tear escaped, she dashed away that tear. She controlled her breath and tears and started cooking again.
'She would face her husband and mother-in-law like there was nothing wrong with her. Tears would come later not now. For losing hope or for looking for hope?' She had no answer to that question.