They entered the penthouse and Swara inhaled deeply,then looked at Don who was grimacing for some odd reason
‘What’s the matter?’He nodded
‘I don’tknow,I just…I know it’s just an assignment and all.But if we’re going to do this,let’s do this properly’
‘Matlab?’she furrowed her brows quizzically
‘Ek minute’he gestured and went into his study while she paced the apartment.She didn’t feel different at all coming here.
‘Are you tired?’Don asked returning from his study She shrugged
‘I could use some sleep’He bit his lower lip frowning.She was always lying in bed.Walking around the house.Taking strolls in the orchards behind their mansion.This needed to stop ‘Yea, well…you’ll sleep when we get there’he then bent and took their duffle bags gesturing for the door
She stared at him
‘What do you mean?Are we going back?’
‘You could say that’She sighed, and went for the elevator absent mindedly.She was beginning to retreat again.Don just felt it. Whenever he would try and reach out to her,she would slowly retreat into her shell. Much like a turtle.Staring out the window,but not really noticing where they were going,she only realized she was not home when she saw their jet as Don opened the door for her
‘Arre, what’s this?’He helped her out of the car and kissed her forehead gently
‘We talked about this,right? We’re going to do whatever it takes’
‘Yeah,but…’she looked disoriented and then saw Yana and Maya next to Sam in the background.
Maya was sleeping in Yana’s arms.She was quite heavy now,no longer a toddler,Maya was 4 and growing right beneath their very eyes.She remembered the way Don would play with her when she first met Yana and her daughter.She was only 2 back then.
Swara remembered those instances in a heartbeat,and it also made her heart clench.She hadn’t seen Maya in a while… and she knew it hadn’t been unintentional that they hadn’t visited in a long time.Sam and Yana were now living in London as well,but they would go back and forth to Berlin as Yana’s family still lived there.Seeing them there not only saddened her,but also made her realize what they were all doing there in the first place
‘Don…this is too much.We have a life here,we can’t just elope like this’Don shushed her by embracing her tightly and slowly moving the both of them towards the jet
‘We’re not eloping.It’s us. It’llalways be us.We’re just…re-tracing our steps’
‘But what about your tenure?’
‘The university is fine with my taking a leave of absence whenever.I don’t need them,it’s the other way around’
‘But it’s something you actually enjoy doing,I can’t…’
Swara stopped forcing Don to stop as well,but he didn’t let go of her
‘I can’t take that away from you’ she wasn’t looking him in the eye
‘Stop it’ he said,firmly enough but also in his calm,gentle manner
‘You’re not taking anything away from me.You never did.You need to get that out of your pretty little head,sweetheart’
he placed a thread of hair behind her ear gently
‘What about the kids…’
‘You haven’t held your martial arts courses in a long while, Swara…you know that’
‘But I was planning on going back…it’s about time I did… those kids need me,they…’
‘They need you to get over this, to get better’he said calmly, caressing her cheeks
‘Alright?’ he halfsmiled,but she didn’t in return.
Maya started crying,and Yana was trying really hard to soothe her.Swara felt tears building up but she didn’t want Don to see. She loved Maya,she knew how Don loved her as well.He would go visit on his own lately.And she missed Maya,too.She wished she could hold her,if only…Yana had managed to calm Maya down,but she was now cranky and visibly sleep deprived.They needed to get going.When they approached, Maya saw Don and immediately stretched toward him
‘Don uncle!’she cried rubbing her eyes sleepily
‘Shush, Maya,be a good girl now!’Yana whispered to her daughter but to no avail.Maya wanted her favorite
“uncle”and there was no way around it.Yana was casting apologetic glances at both of them and then virtually begged Sam to do something.But there was nothing he could do.The little girl wanted Don right then, not her father whom she saw daily.Swara reached out and squeezed Don’s hand
‘Darling,she wants you to hold her’she said,pretending that nobody knew the real reason why Don was apprehensive he looked back at his wife and she gestured smilingly for him to go ahead and hold Maya.But as soon as she saw the little girl in his arms something almost split in half inside of her.Maya was clinging on to Don so naturally, molding her body to his torso and searching for a comfortable position in which she could possibly fall asleep.He caressed her back and gently ran his hand over her soft curls.It was so beautiful.She couldn’t hold back her tears forever so she quickly said
‘I’ll just get the luggage, be right back’
‘No,Swara,please,let me’Karan insisted
‘You go inside,you must be tired’ he smiled a feint,knowing smile at her as he caught her arm gently,stopping her
‘Ok’she smiled back,it took every ounce of strength left in her body to do so and quickly entered the jet,feeling tears spill Don followed quickly,sans Maya, and Swara had managed to wipe her tears away.But there was no fooling Don He crunched in front of her seat and took her hands into his,kissing her knuckles
‘I promise I didn’t mean for this to be hurtful’
‘I know’she said caressing his cheek
‘I understand,Don.I love Maya too,you know that…it’s just…’He closed his eyes leaning into her caress
‘I promise things will get better. You’ll see.I need you to trust me, sweetheart’he said as he opened his eyes to see her looking at him hurtfully
‘I do trust you, youknow that’‘
‘Then know that I will get us through,this’
‘It’s not your burden to carry…’He shushed her
‘Don’t ever say that.We’re together through thick and thin. This hasn’t only happened to you,sweetheart…and most importantly,I’m the one responsible’
‘What!?How can you say that, what fault could you possibly have had?It’s all my fault’
she started shaking,tears flowing He leaned in and embraced her tightly.They could hear Sam, Yana and Maya boarding the jet Don whispered in her ear
‘None of it is your fault.I’ll never allow anything to make you cry again,especially because of me. I promise.I just want you.I want you to be my darling wildcat again.Please sweetheart,please come back to me.That’s why we’re going to Berlin.We’re going to get my sweet,sweet Swara back,and I won’t ever give up on her’he looked back into her eyes ‘I’ll never give up on you,Swara. This I promise.’
Swara fell asleep during their short flight to Berlin.The fact that she had cried herself to sleep helped.She did it secretly,not letting Yana see. Fortunately,the flight was short and Don couldn’t come see how she was doing as he copiloted with Sam.Once they landed,the sun was rising in Germany.Don woke her up and he didn’t look too pleased to see how sad she looked.Sam and his small family had already left, and now as she put on her sunglasses and stepped out into the crisp German air,she felt totally…different.She couldn’t pinpoint exactly in which way she felt different,though.As they drove to the penthouse they’d shared wonderful memories a couple of years back,she couldn’t shake the feeling off. She realized just how different things were this timeLast time they had come here,she’d been frightened,although eager to go with him to the only country he’d had immunity.Now she looked to her side to see her handsome husband driving impressive horse power after havingco-piloted their way here from London.She felt like reaching out and touching his hand,which looked so tense on the gear stick,but flashes of that same hand caressing Maya’s curly hair came to her rapidly,and made her turn her head and look out the window.Once they entered the penthouse,she felt like crying.She realized something,on the spot.This was where she had been happiest. She wanted to go back to those days and re-live them over and over again.The place had the same unique scent,the same feel,the sun was rising from the same dining room corner,and her heart sank into that very moment.
Last time they had come here all the way from new York,it was late at night.She remembered it as if it were yesterday
Swara sat staring at the walk-in closet,imagining him as he was securing his watch on his wrist. Everything was the same.And yet,it wasn’t.She turned aroundto inspect the master bedroom some more,expecting to let other memories sink in when she saw Don leaning against the doorframe.He’d been staying there for a long while, looking at her.She smiled
‘I love this place.I always have’
‘Me too.Ever since you stepped foot into it and made it come alive’
Her smile reached her eyes this time and she walked towards him
‘I have this weird feeling as if… as if this is home’He frowned questioningly
‘We were happy here.I wanted us to stay that way forever’
‘We are happy,sweetheart.Why would you feel otherwise?’he touched the sides of her arms ever so slightly searching her eyes
‘With all that happened…’He tightened his grip on her arms and made her look into his eyes ‘We are not what happened to us, Swara’She lowered her eyes again
‘When Isaw you holding Maya…I know I behaved foolishly’she shook her head
‘but I just couldn’t bare it,Don.I know how much you wanted that,I know what a great father you would have been-‘
but she couldn’t go on as tears where threatening to choke her.He pulled her into his arms and held her tight.This was the first time she was actually talking about it.
‘You’re wrong’he said,holding her tight
‘All I’ve ever wanted was you, Swara. And I hate what this has done to you. I blame myself everyday for it. If I hadn’t reversed my vasectomy-‘
‘-No, please don’t’ she pulled back, wiping her tears away ‘Don’t say that! I was so happy that day’ she half smiles, remembering how she found out she was pregnant, when she had no idea she could be in the first place
‘None of it is your fault, Don. I am the only one to blame … if only… I should’ve just taken it easy… I shouldn’t have gone to my martial arts courses…’
‘That has nothing to do with it, sweetheart, you know it. You weren’t doing anything too strenuous. Swara, look at me’She held on to his shoulders, crying, and tried to swallow her tears but he made her look him in the eye
‘Listen to me, I want you to never ever blame yourself for what happened’
‘How can I not? Just knowing how much you wanted the baby… just thinking about all the plans we’d made for our new life together… I ruined everything’ she almost whispered her realization and it made Don curse the day he went for that intervention to reverse his vasectomy. No matter what she said, if she’d never gotten pregnant in the first place, she could’ve never lost the baby.
He kept telling her it was not her fault, holding her tight and rocking her gently, soothing her, trying to calm her. As he did that, he remembered how happy and glowing she was while pregnant. Everyday she would blossom into an even more beautiful version of her previous self, and he could not believe how she radiated happiness out of her every pore.Their married life had been exactly how he’d imagined. Nothing had changed, they were still themselves, their dynamic hadn’t altered a bit, and the fact that they had been both busy finding their place into their new lives, bot together and separately, made it all the more exciting to spend whatever time they had all to themselves.They’d had one perfect year before surprising her on their first wedding anniversary with her unexpected pregnancy.
4 amazing months followed, and then, without any warning, their whole world changed.During those 4 months, everything promised an even more perfect life together, if there were ever such a thing. Don had begun holding MBA courses at a prestigious university in London, and while his wife was entering her second trimester, he received tenure. Swara was taking things easy at her martial arts courses, but the doctor advised her to stay active during the pregnancy. She kept busy re-decorating their house, as she always felt it was lacking this and that. Perhaps she never did feel at home there. Or maybe she couldn’t feel at home there anymore since her miscarriage.
When he realized she had calmed down, he took her into his arms and softly placed her on the bed. Her worried look saddened him. She was so reluctant to his touch ever since she’d lost the baby, which was entirely understandable. He realized she would associate any physical interaction with something extremely painful she had to go through. He didn’t want her to pull back into her shell every time he would kiss her or look at her with desire.He pulled back to draw the curtains together. She needed rest, even though the day was just starting in Berlin. He needed to get some sleep as well. But he was’t going to sleep next to her.
‘Sleep tight, alright?’ he bent to kiss her cheek tenderly and caress her hair, pulling the covers over her. He would’ve changed her into a more appropriate attire, like he’d done countless times before, but he knew he couldn’t now.
‘Where are you going?’ she lifted her head slightly
‘Into the guest bedroom’ he halfsmiled
‘Well, isn’t that our assignment? When we first came here, I lent you the master bedroom and I slept in the guest bedroom’ he shrugged, hoping she’d sense his playful tone
‘Yes… I remember’ she smiled slightly. She looked so tired. So sad and broken. Seeing her look like that in the same bed he’d only seen her happy, pained himto no end.
‘I’ll make plans for later’ he winked, careful not to let her misinterpret his intentions. He’d kept his distance for 5 agonizing months,since she’d lost the baby. Their relationship had always been s*xually charged, even back when they weren’t sleeping together. Having that removed from the equation entirely definitely changed their interaction.
As he walked to the guest bedroom, he actually felt better sleeping separately. Sleeping next to her back in London only twisted the blade into his wound. Having her next to him, not being able to touch her without having her flinch and retreat, or look at him with that worried and saddened look, only made everything worse. He kicked off his shoes and clothes and sighed as he threw himself onto the bed. As tidy as he always was, he couldn’t be bothered right then. Maybe this was not a bad idea after all, coming here. At least it got Swara to speak about what happened for the first time. He’d missed talking to her,really talking to her, besides shallow conversation and avoiding by all means to look truth in the face. He removed his wrist watch and looked at the engraving on the back for the first time in a long while
“No matter what we speak, or do,The moments in sweet silence fly…”
He fell asleep determined to get that back for them, by any means necessary.
I think this is the longest chapter I have written may be not…but I’m happy seeing u all happy.sorry for the such a look ng update.