I was sweating profusely. The indicator of my air conditioner showed 23. Pretty comfortable for a single person to have a good night’s sleep. My neck swayed from left to right as drops of sweat trickled down from my temple to shoulder. My face kept changing expressions from those of despair to fear. My hands laid a tight grip on the blanket that I was using. I felt as if my mind would explode. Such was the ferocity with which I was trembling and one more twitch would land me straight on the floor, which apparently did happen.
I regained my composure, wiped off my face and went to the kitchen for a glass of water. I gulped it. A complete three glasses of water were simply not able to moist my dry mouth. As I started for the fourth, the door bell rang. Not once but twice, one after another. Leaving the glass aside, I had a look at the wall clock. It read quarter past two in the morning. Surprised that someone rang the door bell at such a sleepy hour, I went towards the door. I was shocked to see a red box lying at my doorstep. I looked suspiciously around the aisle but couldn’t find anyone. Being scared, confused and eager to find more I eventually took the red box inside.
Perched on the sofa with lights switched on, I took a closer look at the red box. There was nothing much attractive about it. Desperate to know the insides, I opened the box. And within split second of my opening the box, got sucked into it.
In-between I felt light as if I am weightless. I seem to easily float but with velocity. Unable to understand what was happening to me, I closed my eyes.
In my melee of fear and uncertainty, while I was floating, I felt something soft on my lips. Happened once, twice till it dawned on me that I was being kissed. It was soft at first but grew with intensity as her passion matured. Tastes were exchanged. Probably mine of garlic and hers’ sweet, fleshy strawberry. My closed eyes would have definitely given a ‘pleasantly surprised’ look had it been open. From kissing to exploring the contours of my jaw she kept on her foreplay. I felt relaxed, calmed yet excited. She was soft and aggressive but never let me once feel incomplete, what had become a part of my life.
For once I cared less about my current state and got all lost in the taste of those strawberry applied lips.
My eyes opened up to a soft whisper in my ears.
A completely different world welcomed me as I opened my eyes. There was a huge green pasture of land in front of my eyes, although a bit wavy. The grass gave a sparkling effect because of the dew. Trees of various sizes adorned the view with leaves green and fresh. Flock of birds were chirping to a soft melodious tune and playing under the open sky. The sky was beaming with happiness with a tinge of smile adorning it. On one side there were tiny hills and mountains seen by my naked eye and on the other a large water reservoir. Cool breeze blew down waving at my hair pleasantly. Everything had a soothing effect on my eyes and mind. Such was the picturesque beauty that my eyes didn’t even blink for a second. I was completely mesmerised.
For a moment I was in dilemma whether to just admire the place’s beauty or worry for the place where I am in.
And suddenly the wind began to rock the grass with threatening tune and low…
I don’t know what had happened but the picturesque green landscape had gone from sight and substituted it with a marvellous structure full of white marbles, colourful gems, large mirrors, many windows and lots of artistic designs carved on the walls. I was left agape and stunned. It reminded me of our very own the ‘Taj Mahal.’ You have to see it to believe it. Such was the beauty of the structure.
While I was lost admiring its beauty, I heard someone call my name. I sensed the direction and turned around.
A Fairy with transparent wings, hair as black as velvet night sky, elfin features, agile, thin but muscular limbs, elegant neck, and short hands dressed in a gown full of colourful flowers grabbed my attention.
Fairy: So how are you doing my Love?
Me: (I stammered in shock and continued) K k k ka ka Kavya!? Is that you?
Fairy: Yes, My Love. It is me, Kavya. Yours Kavya! So tell me how are you?
Without answering her, I simply looked in her eyes as tears started to flow. Words became superfluous. For years I was longing for her and now she was in front of me. Coming closer to me, she wiped my ears and gave a big tight hug which seemed like eternity. Uncontrollable, I started to sob profusely. She let me cry my heart out whilst looking at me lovingly. Wiping my tears, I continued.
Me: You know how much I am missing you Kavya? Those moments of care, support and love. There was a time when my day started with your soft kiss, when you called me at odd hours worrying about my late hours at office, when you would wait whole night at the staircase for my return. Moments we shared on that balcony of your home before we got married, moments we shared on the beach, moments when we simply strolled; hands held together, moments when we fought (which later on you made me realize my mistake, a tinge of smile slept out) and those making out after our sweet-bitter fights.
She was listening patiently to my heart’s rendition with moist eyes.
Me: Me: That tension on your face on my smallest problems, that smile in your eyes on seeing my number flashing on your mobile screen, those small fights for the remote control, the lovely face on which I was eagerly waiting to kiss, those lovely photo sessions we had on buying our first DSLR and the moment when we visited ‘Taj Mahal’ and kissed, fully aware of people around us.
As I was saying, I saw her bright face turn dark with drops of tears flowing down her cheeks. But I still continued…
Me: Had I stayed longer with you on that fateful morning, had I listened to you to be together for some more time, had I not received that emergency call and left; things would have been different today. I sobbed.
“Ssshhhhh”, she said wiping off my tears and placing her finger on my lips. She came closer to me.
The smell of nectar felt so strong, immediately attracting me towards her. It was slow. From simple touches, to fixating eyes, to finding path through the bushes and finally settling with lips. The mass being enjoyed, bitten and licked. She seemed like an Aphrodite on a mission. It was like soft music caressing the soul within. Bodies started reacting accordingly as the tune changed from soft to rock.
Beads of sweat started forming on my forehead. I felt a slight shudder. My body started shaking. Rays of sunlight fell directly on my face.
Amid all the action, sweat and shudder, I heard someone.
Papa, Papa, wake up. Its mamma’s birthday today.
Jolted from my reverie, I see her curled up to me, looking at my face, smiling, with a box in her hand.
I was left baffled. And it dawned that I was dreaming.
I woke up, hugged her and took the box from her. I sensed that the box is exactly similar to the one I had received in my dream.
I asked her from where did she got it.
She pointed towards the doorstep and said, ‘from here Papa.’
I felt goose bumps on hearing her. Just as I soaked this news, my phone rang. There was no greeting from the other side, only plain instruction and that too in a slow, coarse voice.
“Open the red box. It will bring you closer to your wife’s killers.”
And the phone went silent.
I felt numb for few seconds before opening. Upon opening, I found out a lot of clues and direct evidences which weren’t clear during that time. I got completely sucked into it. “Time up, you bastard”, I said with grief.
“This can be one of the best birthday gift for her”, I thought.