DEVIANT

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Epilogue

Keep trying’, ‘Keep trying’

Her own words kept ringing in her ears.

She had said it but will she be able to allow Gautham back into her life?

Twelve months since Gautham came back to into Poornima’s life. The first six months went with her spending her days behind the bar and the last six months with him with her daughter in his, their newly bought house.

She couldn’t deny that he had taken care of Netra the way she would or even better. He had also been working hard to fill the six years gap in their daughter’s life every minute possible that she could see Netra and Gautham forming a very special bond. A bond that’s getting stronger day by day, a very beautiful one.

He is getting there, being the dotting father to his daughter but what about Poornima?

Letting him in again, the thought itself made her heart hit her chest hard.

Yes! The three words he uttered earlier felt like sweet melody to her ears and she said it too yet there was something beyond explainable thudded in her.

Is she giving in so easily? Do he really mean it? What if it repeats? What if he is here only for Netra? And the love ....?

“Errr....” Poornima groaned, splashing the cold water on her face. She held the edge of the counter as a support, leaning on it.

Poornima had walked out of the room right after she had a talk with Gautham, her ex-husband in their room. Her anxiousness and uneasiness crept out of her as she recalled the casual confession they both had. Poornima dashed to the common bathroom in the kitchen to have more of her personal space, without anyone watching.

A talk to herself.

“What are you doing, Poorni?” she could feel her own reflection questioning her.

“Either you let him in or let him go.” the voice in her spoke.

Poornima stared hard on her reflection, she couldn’t make a decision. Deep down she knew, Gautham meant much more to her, though his presence was missing in her life for a very long time.

But now he is here and she is uncertain... with everything.

“Poorni?! Poorni?!” Gautham’s muffled voice pulled her out of her thoughts.

Poornima splashed the cold water once again before stepping out of the bathroom.

“Poorni?!” Gautham with Netra in his arms were walking back in from the balcony.

“What is it?” She asked wiping her face with a towel.

“Where were you?

It’s Netra. She woke up, wailing.

Bad dream I guess. Calmed her down but looks like she needs you” Gautham minced towards her.

“Come here, sweetie” Netra hopped to her mother.

“Why were you crying?” Poornima cooed to the little girl.

Gautham stroked Netra’s hair before mincing to the kitchen leaving them both in the living room.

His eyes took in the visual of his wife and daughter through the glass as he gulped in the water.

The sparkle that he saw earlier in his wife’s eyes were no more. They were clouded once more, just as how it has been for the past twelve months. Yet there’s been a magnetic pull in those brown eyes that keeps calling him closer.

‘Will I ever be a reason for her to smile, shine and sparkle?’

.
.

“I noticed something different in you.
The Poornima that I spoke to that night was very comfortable and in ease.

The moment you stepped out of the room, you have been avoiding me. It’s been a week.

What’s wrong, Poorni?
Are you afraid that I will be leaving you two alone, once again?” Gautham asked as soon as Netra slept off. He wasted no time in asking about the question that has been aching him for the past one week.

“I won’t and I promise. I have been so blind. Blinded with so many things that I never saw you there for me. I thought love was never my cup of tea. But I realised, love just happens and when it happened, I hesitate to come back. It scared the hell out of me. What if you have moved on?

And when I came back so much have happened.” Gautham walked back and forth feeling anxious.

“Are you afraid to let me in, Poornima?”

Poornima stood silent with her arms crossed across her chest leaning on the wall.

“Fine! I understand, why you are reluctant. A man who left you saying he doesn’t love you and returns after six years telling you the opposite is something to think hard on. If I were you, I’ll behave just way you do.

I’m sorry for everything.” he looked at her, longing and spoke again after sometime.

“Will I get a chance to fix things back?” She kept mum, he kept waiting.

“I understand. I shouldn’t have come back. I don’t deserve a chance especially after leaving you to suffer for six years alone with our daughter.

But I’ll wait as long as I can” Gautham left the apartment for a long night walk and giving space for both of them to contemplate on how their life is going to be hereafter.

.
.

Gautham came back in to the room way after Poornima got it. In hope that she might have fallen asleep.

He tiptoed in, fetching a pillow from the bed and grabbing a blanket from the cupboard. He headed to the couch.

“What are you doing?” Poornima’s sleepy voice scared him.

“Thought of giving you some... Space” he shrugged and sat on the couch, preparing his bed for the night.

“Space?” She huffed.

“Gautham. The past six months we have been in the same apartment, same room and share the same bed.

Where did the ‘space’ were all these while?” she asked.

“I didn’t know I was intervening your -”

“Life?” she finished his sentence.

“I guess so. Because you seem to be not certain with what you want and I can’t push you to make a decision either.” Gautham now had settled for the night, adjusting himself in the two-seater couch.

She groaned pushing herself up, this is not how she wanted things to be between them. No, maybe that’s what she wants.

Oh, she felt like an idiot who can’t make a decision.

Ten seconds. She counted.

“Mr. Gautham Shankar! Get on the bed, right.now.!” She said pointing to the empty spot next to her.

He stared, and shook his head in negation.

“Now!

Or I’ll call Netra then you will have no choice.” she warned.

“Fine” he made his way to the bed.

“Couch will never as comfortable as the bed, Gautham. I won’t hurt you, even. Sleep assured.

Good night” said that she turn her back to him, determined to make a decision the next day without prolonging it.
.
.

Poornima woke up earlier that she usually does and left the apartment. She had to make a decision today. A decision that will decide how her life will be.

Either with or without Gautham.

She got down to the street and joined the rest of the few early riser for a morning jog and to rewind whatever that happened between Gautham and her over the time they had spent together.

Definitely the first two years wasn’t something to even think about but she forced herself to do so. She couldn’t overlook those few times which he had genuinely did things from his heart and not by responsibility. That itself can be a little hope for the doubtful part of her to believe that everything is going to be fine.

She believes him however.

Though the talk last night wasn’t really a heart to heart talk but it surely had given her enough reasons to let him in.

At least to give him another chance.
.

.

She came back three hours later, perfect time for the other two members of the house to wake up and have their breakfast.

Soon after breakfast, Poornima found herself watching Gautham moving around the room, getting himself ready for work.

“I need to speak to you” she finally spoke after a lengthy silence.

“Yeah” he asked locking his gaze on her through the mirror.

Poornima cleared her throat, brushed her wet hair with her fingers and cracked her knuckles.

“What is it, Poorni?” he now stood in front of her.

“I have decided to not to drag this matter for long”

Gautham cleared his throat and kept his both hands in his pant pocket.

“What matter?” he asked.

“Us” she breathe out.

He felt his heart skipped a beat. Unsure if its a positive or a negative one.

“I think we need to revise our relationship status legally?”

For the first time since the conversation they had, he held a glimmer of hope that he might have the love he has been waiting for. His eyes searched for the glow in hers, a smile formed on his lips slowly.

“Status?”

“I think... I have made up my mind in regards of us...” she took her time.

“Okay...”

“uhm.... we are divorced you see. I don’t want Netra to find out about this later and get upset...” she continued breathing heavily as her heart beating faster than ever.

“Netra to get upset?”

“No... I mean yeah. I ... uh...

Oh... let’s just get married and start all over again” she groaned, frustrated as she couldn’t put in the proper words to express her feelings.

She felt stupid all of a sudden yet relieved for saying what she needs to.

A megawatt smile now plastered on his face as he minced his way to her.

“Are you sure?” he asked as his eyes admired the glow in hers.

She nodded, “I’m lost of words at the moment. I can’t process a thing in my head” whispered Poornima.

Gautham closed the gap between them. Her eyes sparked with love, the love she had been keeping to herself all these while. He pushed away the wet strands of hair off her face.

“I’m sorry for taking too long to come back” he voice, low and husky.

“I’m glad you did... Netra is happy now” her voice wavers, exhilarated from the tension between them.

“What about you?”

“I am too” her whisper hitched as his longer slender fingers slowly tracing lines upward on her arms.

His eyes flicked to her lips and pressed his on her warm ones which steeped in a passion that ignites.

The two longing soul united completing as a whole.

.

.

“Amma! When is appa coming back?” the eight year old Netra asked.

“He will be back any time soon.”

“Yay!! I want to show appa my castle.” Netra pointed at the Lego castle she had been working on for days while she pulled Poornima closer to have a look.

“Wow! My princess has built her own castle. That looks amazing, sweetheart! Good job!” She ruffled Netra’s hair.

“I’ll teach my baby to built castle for him too” Netra said as she hugged and kissed Poornima’s swollen belly.

Poornima leaned on the door frame, watching her little girl doing her thing with the Lego blocks. She adored her little girl.

Though Netra wasn’t the child of love from her marriage yet she was full of love by herself. Spreading love to many without expectation. Probably there was love buried in him back then which got them passionate that night.

Netra could be the symbol of their undiscovered love, she thought.

A strong and firm hands sneaked delicately and clasped on her swollen belly from behind, taking her out of her own world. She gasped lightly as feathery kisses were making their way from her cheek to her neck.

Clasping her own hands over the firm ones, she whispered. “You are late, DSP”

“I know. I’m sorry got stuck with a case” his voice muffled through her hair. “How’s the princess’s baby doing inside?”

“Baby is fine and getting heavier” she said.

“It means the baby is healthy”

Her husband then released her from his embrace and joined their little princess. She chuckled at Gautham’s enthusiasm on helping Netra build her castle that he was ready for his second shift without change of attire. She decided to intervene before they goes beyond controllable in the playroom room.

“Excuse me. It’s time for dinner. Mr. DSP, please go change and join us for dinner in fifteen minutes. Princess, tidy up your room. You can built your castle later after dinner” said that Poornima left her husband and daughter.

-

-

“Gautham? Gautham? Are you sleeping?” Poornima called the man who was dead sleep on the bed next to her. “Gautham?” she shook him vigoursly.

“Yeah, what? What happened?” he jerked.

“I dreamt about chinese food...”

“At this hour?” he asked checking the clock. It read 3:30 a.m.

“hmm” she nodded. “I want Chinese food now” she said rubbing her belly

He was tired being out station for the past three days yet he knew very well not ignore the demand of his heavily pregnant wife too. Rubbing his sleepy eyes, Gautham jumped out of the bed. “Any idea where I can find Chinese food at this hour?”

“There is one open for 24 hours at Bharani street. Try there” she showed her mobile flashing the list of restaurant that has 24 hour service with a big smile on her face.

Without much question Gautham left the house and came back an hour later. He was greeted by Poornima who has been eargly waiting for her supper.

“What do you when you had Netra?” he asked for the umpteenth time ever since they got pregnant. He tucked a loose hair behind her ears as she gobbled the Chinese fried rice.

“Nothing. I had to suppress my needs because I had no one with me back then but now that you are here.” she fed him a spoonful of the dish. “I get what I want” her chubby cheeks glowed as she smiled.

“Okay, can I go sleep or should I wait for you to finish?”

“Go, go. You must be tired. Go sleep” she sent him off.

---

Another month went by and it was her due date. The entire process of labor had him scared and nervous watching her scream in pain. Deep down he felt extremely irresponsible for not being with her for their first born.

Netra’s little hands clutched his as they waited outside the labor room.

----

Gautham brought in the healthy bundle into the ward room Poornima was shifted to. She saw the joyful tears streaming down his cheeks as he brought the baby closer and gave the cute little bundle to her.

A healthy baby boy, in the arms of his mother and surrounded with his father and his sister who has been loving him since he begin to form.

Despite the crack, Gautham and Poornima manage to safe their sinking ship from drowning with only a tiny bit of trust and responsibility towards each other. They are now a happy family with two precious gems in their lives.

The End.


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