Chapter Forty One


Parnika constantly tries to find a moment where she can ask Jay the question she wanted to ask for a long time. Whenever she tries to talk someone interrupts as the rituals continue. She looks at Jay who just smiles back at her and follows instructions as the rituals continue.

Finally when the pandit asks them to get up for the seven vows she gets a chance. She leans in swiftly and whispers a question in Jay’s ears. “Do you really want to get married?” She looks at him with hopeful eyes. Jay looks around and whispers back in her ear. “Let it happen.” He smiles at her as she still wonders if this was the answer she’d been expecting all this while. “Oh! Love birds! Gossip later, you’ll have the whole night to yourselves.” Khushi teases as Jay blushes and looks at Parnika.

The Parnika wonders the meaning behind Jay’s answer. She just continues as Jay said, “let it happen”. The wedding finishes with a loud bang from the speakers nearby who start playing the party songs instead of the calm wedding music which was been played all this while.

At the end, everyone was sucked out of energy and desperately begged for sleep. No one had energy anymore after the party dance and busy day. Parnika wanted to confront Jay when he arrived in the room but looking at tired Jay she drops the idea. Jay changes quickly and just drops himself on the bed. He mutters almost inaudible ‘goodnight’ to Parnika and doses off to sleep.

Parnika looks at sleeping Jay and smiles. She couldn’t believe that after everything happened she still is here, happily married with the love of her life. She layed down and just looked at him as she her tired eyes began closing slowly and she heads into deep slumber.

Next morning wasn’t a usual morning. The couple was late even though both had a habit to get up early in the morning. The knocking on the door gets Jay’s eyes open. He looks at Parnika sleeping beside him as he gets up to open the door.

“What’s up with you lazy birds? Had too much fun last night?” Khushi walks in followed by Hitesh who was equally interested in teasing the other couple.

“Yeah, unlike you, I guess we did have fun.” Jay yawns rubbing back of his head as Parnika rubs her eyes. “Haa haa bhai, have to tame ej kehsho ne. ( Yeah, I expected you’d say that.)” Khushi continues the tease as she sits on the bed. “Yeah, it seems we have a competition now Khushi. I told you, they won’t let us win the title of best couple easily.” Hitesh adds wrapping his hand over Jay’s shoulder.

“What’s this best couple thing now?” Parnika combs her hair with fingers and ties it into a bun. “Yes bhabhi, Ma has decided to have a fun game to decide the best couple. Come on! Get ready quickly and come downstairs. Everyone is awaiting you two for the post wedding rituals.” Khushi gently pats on Jay’s shoulder as she leaves the room followed by Hitesh.

“Good morning Pari.” Jay smiles at Parnika who was now getting off the bed. “Good morning Jay.” She replies as she grabs a towel and walks into the bathroom. It felt as if Jay wanted to say something but was unable to open up. He grabs a towel and heads into another bathroom. Jay wanted to answer Parnika’s question yesterday but something just stopped him. He didn’t want it to be like this. He wanted his tell Parnika about his true feelings when she was in free mindset. He just wanted to make her feel loved. He noticed that Parnika smiled at him for first time in weeks. He realised this is the time to for what he wanted to do for a long time.

Jay brings in two cups of coffee as Parnika had still not been ready yet. She was changing into a saree for the other rituals. Jay had dressed up in a simple shirt and pair of jeans. Simplicity was one factor that made always made Jay more attractive. He observes Parnika who was pinning the end of the saree over her shoulder. She smiles at him looking into the mirror as she sits down to comb her tresses. He smiles back and picks up a cup of coffee.

He watches her getting ready without a uttering a word sipping his coffee, smiling at her. This wasn’t the first time he was watching her getting ready but it felt different. Parnika noticed the difference in Jay’s behaviour had changed since the last few days. Somewhere deep in her mind there still was a doubt hidden but she decided to keep it buried and focus on present. It didn’t matter to her anymore if he married her to keep his parents’ promise or wishfully. The thing that mattered the most to her was his love for her. She could feel the change in his behaviour. It was more caring, responsible and nurturing. It was childish although but this time she felt he knew what he was doing. The confidence in his voice when he answered her question. It somehow built a sense of trust in her.

Last night she wanted to ask him again to get a clear answer if he really loved her. But now she just decided to drop the idea as it doesn’t matter. Her dream was now true and now no one could replace her in his life. She blushed at the thought and gets up from the dressing table. She was ready to go out for the post wedding rituals. “I’m ready, lets go Jay.” She chimes in sipping in her coffee quickly which was now cold.

“Wait, I want to tell you something.” Jay rushes quickly and closes the door. Parnika looks at him as a smile spreads over her face. “What’s up Jay? You can tell me. I am not running away.” She giggles sitting on the bed. A different train of thoughts run across her mind flushing her cheeks red. Jay walks in close only bringing her thoughts to reality as he kneels down holding her hand in his.

“All this while, I have been nothing but a stupid, dense headed person. I never realised you were always with me like a shadow. Never leaving my side, being with me in thick and thin. But when you left me alone, I was devastated. Somehow, deep down inside I knew the reason but I still was being naive and ignorant. I thought I missed a friend. When you didn’t reply to any of my emails, it got me nothing but more furious.

I was frustrated as I have never imagined my life without you. I felt why all of sudden you were so mad at me. I thought I never had never wronged you, but it was late when I realised I had taken you for granted instead. I just didn’t acknowledge the impact and importance of you in my life. I just thought you were meant to be there always. Heck, the stupid me even tried to replace you with Anjani.

Thanks all thanks to her and khushi and made me realise that it’s you that I have always wanted in my life. You never asked anything from me but were always there when I needed you. But I was absent when you needed me the most. Pari, I promise that I won’t leave you ever again. Never I will again take you for granted.

When Miral and Khushi were arguing, their arguments somehow made me think later after her demise I just kept on self evaluating. I realised how my life was empty without you in it. Pari, I love you. I know it might be just too late for this but I really do and I just want to say it out loud. No more holding back.”

Jay leans in close to Parnika, “I really love you Pari, please always be mine.” A tear of happiness strolls down her cheek. He cups her face, leaning in close lets his lips touch hers gently. She wraps her arms around him tugging his hair. He lets his weight fall over her as he pushes her down gently. Her back touches the soft cushioning of pillows as he continues exploring her mouth.

There’s knock on the door diverting their attention as both look each other in the eye and start laughing. He gets off her and opens the door. “C’mon guys, how long you’re gonna take?” a cousin had been sent to call them downstairs. “We are ready.” Parnika smiles at her getting up from the bed. Parnika avoids looking at Jay who wasn’t battling an eyelid now. “Oh love birds, you can have your time later. We are waiting for you downstairs. Don’t make us wait any longer.” The girl winks at Parnika and heads back.

Parnika is about to walk out of the room when Jay places his hand over her shoulder and stops her. He grabs her hand in his and kisses as together they walk out of the room.

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