King of Dreams
Harry N Down
Next day Kev comes into my room. “We can change our flights and head out tonight.” If ya still wanting to leave.
Looking out and wondering what she is thinking. “Yeah. Yeah. YEAH STUFF IT WE WILL!” I tell him. We start packing and check out. Kapil takes us to Sunni’s where we spend some time saying goodbye. Shallini takes it the hardest. I hug her. I will be back I tell her. “What about Chetna?” She asks me. “Shallini, sometimes things just do not work the way you want them to.”
“She loves you Steve I know she does.”
I hug her and tell her I know. I feel a bit deceitful, as she would not know what has happened. However, she is very perceptive. I leave a note with Shallini. “When you see Chetna again. Give her this. Promise me.” Shallini does. “Do not say a word to anyone OK?” She nods her agreement.
We bid our farewells and leave for the airport.
Chetna’s mum is making tea when she comes out from her room. As an outsider, one would have thought that Chetna had spent half the night out on the tiles. Her mother is silent.
“How was he?” she asks
“Sad but he will survive.” Her mother’s tone is firm.
‘He didn’t even come after me.” Chetna gets emotional
“I, err stopped him.” Her mother sips her tea.
“I told him to let go.” Chetna’s mum remains calm.
“HOW DARE YOU!”
“Chetna, please do not raise your voice at me.” Chetna’s mother remains calm.
Chetna paces up and down.
Her mother continues to sip her tea. “I knew he was married when you first met.”
Chetna stops and looks at her mother. “You knew?”
Smiling, her mother looks lovingly at her. “Chetna. I am your mother. You think I do not know things?”
“You think, you think I do not love you or care about where you are or where you are going? I care all the time Chetna. I care very much. Do not think because I am old I do not see and hear and feel.”
“Do you love him?” She speaks softly.
“Chetna? DO YOU LOVE HIM?”
“YES MUM I DO I ALWAYS HAVE!” She yells.
Tears flow. Her mother sits there and calmly says. “You had better call him before he leaves.”
Chetna’s mother sips more of her tea.
“ Yes Steve I have seen a grown man naked.” She smiles to herself. Chetna reaches for the phone. It is too late.
Steve has gone.
Chetna heads to her bedroom somewhat dazed by the events have passed. She undresses and pulls Shallini’s drawing from her pocket. It is a drawing of two people holding hands and smiling. A Childs drawing of family with both Steve and her names at the top.
Chetna screws it up and throws it on her bed. She continues undressing and putting on her nightclothes.
Sitting on the bed her mind is numb. She looks again at the crumpled paper she unfolds it and stares at it. Her mind is blank. She carefully folds it up and reaches for her diary. Opening it up, she slides the drawing inside. Placing the diary back in its place she lays on her bed. Tears trickle down her cheeks. She falls asleep. For the first time in a long while, she sleeps a long and deep sleep.
She dreams, sweet dreams.
To be continued .............................. HERE