[Read Part 1 (The envelope) before reading this]
She took out the packet of Winfield Blue cigarette from under her bed. As her long arms reached out for the lighter lying on the bedside table, she thought about Sahil. Then she lit the cigarette and took a small puff. As her lungs got filled with air, Meerha looked at Sahil who was sleeping peacefully beside her. All types of questions created havoc in her mind. Do I really love him? Did I really come all the way to Australia especially for him? "Mmm.. I guess so. But I am not sure" she thought. And then she felt guilt that how she could have thought such a thing. Of course she loved him. "If this was true then why am I being doubtful of my own intentions", she questioned herself. Yes, she loved him.
Meerha again looked at her beloved. She took a huge drag of the cigarette and inhaled the air so heavily that it stirred almost every nerve in her body. She found herself relaxing. Yes, she loved him. Otherwise she wouldn’t have been sleeping with him all the while. If 3 years is not a long duration, then it is not short either. She knew that her body responded to his touch. His eyes still aroused her. She felt an empty space when he was not around. She woke every morning only to hear his voice again. Merely thinking about him made her want more. There was love between them. She wanted to bear his children. She wanted to be by his side when they grew old. She wanted to love him as much as she could. No, maybe even more. They would make a happy family. Thinking thus, she extinguished the remaining one and a half inch cigarette in the ashtray and crawled into bed beside him. She wrapped her arms around him and stared at his sleeping body. Yes she really did love him. Without a doubt..!!
Meerha tried to open her eyes. But she quickly batted the eyelids and shut them when the sunlight poured into her room through the half opened window. Aarrghh...She hates it when Sahil pulls back the cream shaded nylon curtains and leaves the window open in the morning. Angrily, She got off the bed, got into her baby pink sheepskin slippers and wrapped the matching morning gown over her slim body. She could hear some noise coming from the kitchen. She descended the stairs and upon reaching the kitchen door, she leaned her entire body towards the wall, as if her body weight was now supported by the wall itself. She watched him work meticulously. Meerha couldn’t help but laugh when he tripped over the chair and almost dropped the glass full of milk. Sahil, who was unaware of her presence, heard her laughing and sheepishly let out a small laugh himself.
“How is my baby doing today”, he said while putting the glass carefully on the tiled slab and started walking towards her. He hugged her with all his strength.
“Hey, control honey. I can’t breathe”, she said.
“Hahaha. You gotta gain some weight”. Sahil looked at her from head to toe and then said “Come, Lemme cook something good for you.”
“No thanks. Please don’t mess with my kitchen”, Meerha said sternly.
Sahil opened his mouth wide open in shock. “Whaat..?? You gotta be kidding. Meerha, You have no clue how good I am at handling kitchen. I am a good cook”, he said boastingly”. He turned his back towards her and started marching towards the gas stove. “Trust me baby. I am the just too good”, he said laughingly “You know what, when I was in college, all the girls used to say that I would make a good husband. I was called the Lady’s Man, saying this he looked at Meerha who raised her eyebrows and gave him a look that clearly indicated that she wasn’t interested to know what other girls thought about him. And all the while Sahil spoke, Meerha pondered over the million dollar question to which she had no answer. “Why do guys think that they are good with the kitchen? It is a nuisance to have them around". When she was a kid, she herself wanted to get married to a guy who would help her in the kitchen, who would help her pick up stuff from the market, who would help her clean the house. She wanted a man who would help her in all the house chores. But that was when she was a kid. Full stop. That was a dream. Now she found it to be stupid. She would rather get married to a guy who would not interfere with the household work. Now there was a different dream in her eyes. The rooms, the kitchen, the dining hall, the lobby, the balcony, the bathroom and every part of the house would be how she would like it to be. And definitely not according to others. She pictured her dream house and smiled. "Whoa, It's gonna be my house", she thought.
"You will love this, said Sahil and planted a small kiss on her cheeks. She smiled and kissed him back. She had to agree with him. This was the first time they were travelling out of Sydney since she got admission in the University of Sydney. The two months that she had spent in Sydney were way too hectic. With loads of assignments, case studies and presentations on her mind, she could hardly find time to see around the city. But going to Canberra was the last thing on her mind. She was glad that Sahil planned it out. So much for a surprise. Meerha nearly jumped out of her seat with excitement. She turned to sahil and said, "Baby, I love you so much" and opened her arms wide for Sahil to get engulfed in. "I love you too", he said and hugged her back. He pulled her close so that their bodies touched. He bent his head towards her and licked her lips with his tongue. And before she could respond, his lips met hers and with intense passion and involvement and they both took shelter under each others sincere love.
"Sahil, hum jaa to rahe hain, but whats the plan like?", she said when they had finally boarded the plane to Canberra. "Have you thought what we are going to do there or will it come as a surprise as well. You haven't planned anything as yet, have you?
"Hold on, Sugar." He kissed her again and said, "I have planned everything." He looked into her eyes and very slowly he brought his upper eye lids in contact with his lower eyelids motioning that there is nothing to be worried about specially when he was there. "Main hoon na", he said jokingly. "Listen, we will hire a car when we reach Canberra."
Meerha started to say something but he stopped her. "Dont worry honey, I have already made the payment. So dont try to change my mind. Its gonna be just you and me and..."
She stopped him and said, "Please Sahil, dont waste money like this. We could have taken a bus"
Sahil ignored her and started telling her about the place they would go to. "The car is going to pick us up from the airport. I have hired a guy who would guide us through the roads and on reaching Mt Ainslie, we will dump him somewhere. Sahil gave a mischievous look. She could see the glow in his eyes. She knew that he must have promised to pay extra bucks to that tourist guide to leave them all alone. She couldnt help but smile too. He started again, "From Mt Ainslie we will drive through Mt. Pleasant, Black Mountain and the Red Hill. 3 hours we will be together", he said. "All alone"
Meerha was too excited to say anything. She could hear Sahil tell her the entire plan, but she was not listening. She couldnt concentrate. It was just that she couldn't wait to reach Canberra and drive through the serene mountains. She imagined herself with Sahil making love on the lush green grass in the middle of the huge mountains with nobody to disturb them. Nobody...!!
(To be continued...)