It was the start of 4th day of June, 2017, Sunday. Karthik was in deep sleep when his cell-phone started ringing. He got up and reached for his cell-phone. He rubbed his sleep-desiring eyes to see who was calling him at this hour. It was his girlfriend, Rashmi, whom he had been in relationship with since the February of 2014. He picked up the call.
“Hello Rashmi, are you ok? You called at this hour.” Enquired Karthik, worried.
“I saw a bad dream and I couldn’t get back to sleep. So I called you.” Rashmi replied. Karthik could hear her sobbing.
“Hey, tell me naa, what did you see? Share it with me. But please stop crying. Please.” He tried to cheer her and share what was troubling her.
Karthik had been noticing the change in her behavior during their late night calls. She had been trying to slip away from the calls during the days due to her work and during the nights, her tired body and mind drifted her to sleep. Fights had replaced the romantic calls that embraced love and laughter. However, Karthik had believed it to be because of her hectic work schedules and enormous responsibilities of her family which she had to fulfill since the day her parents passed away five years ago. She had upheld responsibilities of her younger brother Mohit and younger sister Riya. Soon after their demise, she had started art classes in the drawing room of her apartment during her mornings. Her evenings were spent playing piano at the Hotel Raj International. Her tired soul found solace when her siblings hugged her as she returned home.
“The dream was about us. We were getting married and during one of the rituals…” She was narrating and then she started shedding tears. Karthik was trying hard to cheer her up and made her to continue narrating the dream.
“During one of the rituals, a fire broke into the house and… everything was destroyed…” She was in tears again. Karthik told her to wait as he ran down the stairs. He raced his new Pulsar, which he had bought last month, to a 24 hour ice-cream parlour and ordered a take away of butterscotch tub. It was her favourite. He, then, quickly rushed to Rashmi’s apartment, which was two blocks away from his apartment. He parked his bike in the parking lot and paced onto the stairs to reach her apartment. He rang the bell. She opened the door and jumped onto him to hug him tightly. He also returned back the hug by drifting his palm on the back. The tears had made marks on his t-shirt. Karthik held her close as both moved into the flat. Within few minutes, spoons were being used to attack the tub of ice-cream. Rashmi narrated the entire dream and reasons for keeping distance from Karthik.
Karthik held her hand and intertwined his fingers with her and let out a sigh with a smile “They are my family too. We will never leave them alone. How could you even think that? I will never ask you to do that. I love you, Rashmi and I would never want you to make a choice where you have to choose between me and them. I will wait for you as long as it takes. We will always keep them protected and happy. It doesn’t matter to me when we get married. I need you to stay happy with me and your happiness lies in their smile. I will never do anything in my power to let that smile go off your face even for a second. I love you dear. Will you marry me?” He pulled out a ring from his ring finger and went on his knees.
“Yes… Yes, a thousand times yes…Aaah an old ring though…!” She laughed as both of them came close and kissed each other.