Pragya fidgeted whilst glancing at the clock every few seconds. She’s wearing out the tiles by her non-stop pacing.
Is it time yet? No, there’s still two minutes to go. Oh God, why is this taking so long?
She started rearranging the products on the bathroom vanity. There’s the hair gel Abhi uses every morning, the hairbrush they share, a bottle of aftershave Pragya knows by heart (not only does Abhi smell like it, she does too since he never misses the chance to get his morning kiss from her.. or morning grope to be exact), and then her hands hovered uncertainly over the bottle of baby oil left standing apart from the other products. Her heart fluttered uncomfortably. She always uses baby oil whenever she needs to remove her eye makeup.
Soon you could be using baby oil for other things too.
Pragya’s heartbeat seem to pick up speed at the thought and she returned to her pacing. She glanced at the clock and realizes there’s only a minute to go. A door shutting can be heard from downstairs. Pragya immediately took off towards the bathroom door and locked it shut. She needed the time and space, this was all so new to her and she felt like she’s treading on foreign territory. Pragya bit her lip and fiddled with her dupatta.
If it really is true, how will Abhi react to it?
Pragya snapped out of her musing when the alarm set off. She took in a sharp breath and exhaled slowly. Putting one foot in front of the other has never seemed so difficult, she’s not exactly dreading this nor is she ecstatic. She was just so uncertain about Abhi’s reaction. She didn’t want to ruin what she has with Abhi, it took them forever to finally be at this stage in their relationship and then faced with this progress.. it’s all too soon. Pragya shook her head at the growing feeling of dread.
So what if he’s not ready? He has to accept this. He’s pretty much responsible of it anyway. And I.. I want this.
At the realization that she’s not so against the idea, Pragya’s feet pick up speed. She stopped right in front of the pregnancy home test kit and closed her eyes briefly. She peeked open one eye and glanced down.
A positive sign?
A peculiar, not-so-unwelcome feeling crept into her heart. It stayed there for a few seconds then finally slithered down her legs, up her arms, and reached each end of her fingertips. She felt like she was glowing from within. She literally felt warm and fuzzy! Pragya then felt a lone tear fall down her cheek and quickly looked up at the mirror. What she saw made her gasp.
A rosy-cheeked woman looked back at her. Not just a girl but a woman. Shining eyes looked back at her, and then a full-blown smile made itself known. She felt something indescribable welling inside her and she gently caressed her lower abdomen. Pragya felt more happy tears falling down her cheeks and she didn’t try to wipe them off. She was about turn sideways so she can see her reflection in the mirror and get a
glimpse of her abdomen when a knock sounded on the door.
Fuggy? You in there?”
Cold sweat broke out on Pragya’s forehead. She was ready for this but she didn’t know whether Abhi wanted a child this early in their relationship. True, they’ve been married for over a year but he’s just admitted his feelings for her a few months ago. Daadi has always pried them about grandchildren but it was all taken in jest. Back then they didn’t think there was any prospect of their convenient marriage to ever evolve into a real relationship. Since then Abhi never brought up the topic, he never hinted that he wanted to start a family anytime soon. He enjoys his Chashmish too much, he doesn’t ever want to share. That was more or less what he said to her when she asked him why he was so insatiable.
Pragya shook her head at her wandering thought. The knocking on the door persisted into banging. She walked towards the door and slid the lock. Just before she was able to turn the handle, Abhi burst through.
“Hey fuggy! Why are you locking yourself in the bathroom?! Are you-”
At the tear tracks he saw on her cheeks, Abhi stopped short of his questioning. His gut clenched seeing the remnants of her tears. He hated seeing tears on her. He thought he’s seen the last of them when they finally made up and realized they found pure, unconditional love in each other. He thought all the pain she has to go through because of him is all behind them. He thought wrong. He hesitantly reached for her hands.
“Fuggy.. what’s wrong? Why are you crying?” The words were so very softly spoken, like he was afraid his voice would hurt her even more, that Pragya couldn’t help and bawled even harder. The look on Abhi’s face when he saw his wife crying is akin to a child being told his puppy got hit by a car and died on the spot. He looked so hopeless and his fingers gently wiped off her tears.
“Fuggy, please stop crying. I can’t bear to see you cry.. please, Fuggy, tell me what’s making you sad?”
The last thing Pragya want is for him to be too freaked out by the turn of events and distance himself from her. Now that would absolutely devastate her. Pragya knew he loved her, she believed him when he confessed his feeling to her that very first time almost four months ago, and she believes him when he repeats those three words so very often in the midst of their lovemaking. But Pragya doesn’t know if a child is something he wants now. Maybe in the future, a few years from now.. but today? In seven to eight months there will be a new person in their house. In their life.
“Fuggy? You know you can tell me anything.. please share your pain with me.”
Abhi said the words so sincerely and so gently that deep down in her heart she knew he can handle anything she throws in his direction. He loves her, he’ll love the child she’s carrying. With that in mind she tipped her head back and looked into his eyes. She was afraid, anxious, joyful, tired- all those emotions mingled into one and made her want to just close her eyes and sleep in his embrace.
No, he has the right to know. Erase that concern off his face. C’mon tell him he’s going to be a father!
If Abhi looked concerned before, he looks utterly confused now. He tilted his head a little to the side and looked long and hard at Pragya’s face then her stomach. He looked back and forth a few more times and then finally let out a breath he unknowingly held.
Abhi’s brain was in overdrive. He was worried when his Chashmish refused to open the door and then he felt like someone punched him in the gut when she finally opened the door with fresh tear tracks on her cheeks. Not to mention the time he spent thinking the worst when all she did was leak tears in front of him, making him stand there helplessly, feeling no more useful than a flat tire. It agonizingly felt like hours when in reality only a few minutes before she finally opened up. Abhi was emotionally drained and his brain couldn’t send any signal to felt like hours when in reality only a few minutes before she finally opened up. Abhi was emotionally drained and his brain couldn’t send any signal to his mouth. And so with his hands still cupping Pragya’s jaw and his eyes now straying to the white, stick-like object on the vanity behind her, Abhishek Prem Mehra, Rockstar of his generation, stood eerily still at the news his wife gave him.
Pragya, taking note of his response, or lack thereof, started gnawing on her lips. She readied herself for whatever he has to say. If he’s not ready to accept this, to accept their baby, then so be it. She’ll wait until he can come to terms with her pregnancy. She’ll give him that, she wont pressure him into being the overjoyed father-to-be she secretly hoped for. With all the courage she could muster, Pragya Mehra took both of her husband’s hand in her own and said slowly but firmly what was needed to be said.
“Abhi, look at me. No- don’t look away, look at my eyes. Yes, that’s it. Okay, I know this is a lot to take in, heck, I was overwhelmed when I first found out. That was why I took so long to open the door. I.. it’s not what we planned and I didn’t know how to take this, at first. I mean I’ve never been in this situation before, it’s all new to me and it must be new to you too. B-but it didn’t take long for my mind, my heart, to accept and now I couldn’t ever imagine why I was so anxious in the first place.”
She released one of her hands and reached up to cup his stiff jaw.
Oh, this impossible husband of hers.
“We’ve been through a lot, we may be married for quite some time now but our relationship only just started. All this may seem like it’s going way too fast for your liking but it’s irreversible. Abhi..”
She took in a deep breath and plastered an understanding smile on her face.
“Abhi, listen to what I’m saying, you don’t have to fake happiness for me. I’m not going to make you accept this child, I accept him, I already love him, but if at first you don’t want-”
“What the hell are you saying?”
Pragya’s speech was cut off suddenly by the vice grip Abhi had on her waist. She didn’t know when his hands has moved to her waist but she was surprised at the expression on his face. His eyes were mesmerizing, they were molten onyx orbs that glittered dangerously. These eyes had shown loathing, pain, regret, longing, lust, and love- but tonight they held something else. She didn’t know what because she’s never really seen it before. Then again, she’s never told him she’s pregnant before.
“I-I’m just saying me and the baby will wait for you to come to terms with all this and when you’re ready, we’ll be here waiting.”
At the mention of baby’, Abhi’s grip significantly lessened. He didn’t let go of her waist but the thumb that dug to her hips slowly made circular motions near her stomach. Pragya watched with bated breath as Abhi’s hands spanned her small waist effortlessly. He then unconsciously moved his hands so that they were no longer on her waist but delicately atop her abdomen.
Without releasing his gaze on her abdomen he said in broken words.
“Fug- Pragya, it’s not like that.. it’s not that I don’t want.. I would never not want a child of yours.. and mine, yours and mine.. our child. I would never not want a child of ours. Oh God, fuggy, you’re having our baby?”
At the crack in his voice Pragya closed the distance between them and pulled his head so that their foreheads were touching. She then placed her small hands on top of his own, right above the child she’s carrying.
“Shh.. it’s okay, sweetheart. We’ll wait for you to be ready for this, until then-”
“Fuggy, are you listening to yourself?! How could you think I would need time to come to terms, as you’ve so delicately put it, with this? Our baby is not some..some kind of problem I need to overcome!”
“Then are you saying-”
“Yes, Pragya Mehra, that’s exactly what I’m saying. I want this baby too, just as much as you do. How can I not love something that is a part of you?”
Pragya felt tears brimming in her eyes once again. She stroke the back of his neck and was about to tell him how much she loved him when Abhi let go all at once and dropped to his knees. Pragya grew confused at his sudden movement but finally understood when Abhi leaned his forehead onto her abdomen.
“Hey there, baby. It’s me.. your papa.”
Pragya drew a sharp breath at his words. The tears she tried to contain finally fell down her cheeks and onto Abhi’s bowed head. She combed her fingers through his messy hair.
“I-I think your mother should stop crying now but maybe it’s the pregnancy hormones already kicking in?”
Pragya tugged his hair a little at his joke.
“Your mother, she’s amazing. You’re so very lucky to have a mother like her so if there’s one thing to look forward to in this world; it’s meeting your mother. Me, on the other hand.. I might let you down, you know? I’m so scared of letting you down, letting you and your mother down, because I’ve already let her down so many times. Enough to last us a lifetime. I don’t know if I’ll be a good father, I don’t know how to be a father because I never really had one but believe me when I say that your mother will more than make up for all my shortcomings.”
Pragya couldn’t surpress the half sob, half laugh at his words. When Abhi finally stood up and gathered her in his arms, she said the three words she’s been meaning to say.
“I love you.”
Abhi’s arms only grew tighter around her. He bent his head and kissed her tenderly at the junction of her neck and her right shoulder. As if he couldn’t believe there was a baby growing inside her, one of his hands drifted to her abdomen and stroke the slight bump tenderly. He shifted his mouth so that it touched her ear and whispered reverently.
Credit to: akshaya