She said, "Hold on I'm not yet done"
I said, "Bad girl, you don't know the rules of the game, you should hide before the counting ends"
I heard the sound of her anklets nearing me and her sweet perfume smell hit my nostrils. I felt her untying my hands as she was saying, "Is it, I'm sorry I don't know the rule"
She untied my hands and wrapped it around something, when I was trying to find it out what is in between my hands I felt something rolling my head. Before I could think of what was happening, I felt soft air brushing my ears and I heard her say "I LOVE YOU"
Next morning we woke up late, she was lying on my chest and her face was vivacious like a just blossomed rose. I stroked her head and said, "I loved the hide and seek game. Did you?" she murmured, "Hmmm, I liked it too"
I called my mom and after usual enquires I said, "Mom, the night dress was awesome; Thanks, nice selection" she gave a surprised look and grabbed the receiver from me and said, "mom, was it your selection? Hmmm anyway your idea was excellent and it worked out well, thanks a lot, we had a nice time" now I was shocked and grabbed the receiver from her and asked, "Mom, was the game your idea?" on the other end she said, "Turn on the speaker"
I turned it on and she continued, "I'm glad to know that both of you had a nice time. I just helped you people to start your family life as both of you were hesitating, scared and shy to take the initiative and from now on you can take it further. Relationships are fragile and need to be handled with care. Take this as a statement for life. Life is beautiful, enjoy it against the odds that come your way, be happy, make others happy and spread the happiness wherever you go. All the best, Have a happy honeymoon. Take care, bye"
Both of us together said, "Bye Mom"
After the call she said, "I love the way your parents handle things"
I said, "Yeah, even I love the way they raised Adithi and me. I'll tell you some instances. When I was studying 10th standard, I got attracted to a girl near our house. My scores were going down and I was becoming dull and restless. My dad identified these changes and one day he took me out to a restaurant and ordered for a beer for himself and asked if I wanted a beer.
I said, "Maybe yes" he ordered one for me and said, "This is not the official age to taste beer but temptations start at this age. The more you control the more you are tempted and tried so let's taste it. Moreover beer has less alcohol content when compared to other liquors. Everything is good when it is within limits"
The waiter got the beer and as we were taking it he said, "Arjun, I am glad that you are within the pass % in your studies but overall score is going down. What's troubling you?"
I didn't want to hide so I said, "Dad, I like the girl who is staying near our house. She is always on my mind"
He asked, "Is she studying in your class?"
I said, "No, she is doing her UG"
He said, "That's fine, age is not a matter at all. But you should think one thing. If your studies are going bad your future will be taken for a raid. Even if you are serious on this, it would be difficult for me to approach parents for her hand in marriage. Concentrate on your studies first, get a good job and then if you still have the same feeling towards that girl, I'll talk to her parents"
I felt relaxed and peaceful. After this we became good friends. I started concentrating on my studies and slowly I realized it's not love but infatuation that I had for that girl. (As I was saying this I felt a sense of possessiveness in Nethra's face) I said, "My dear tweety bird, you don't have to worry about all these things, I just want to be frank and open with you and expect the same from you too. No man is perfect and flawless; as a wife I think you need to know about my flaws than perfections"
She said, "Okay, but I'm feeling possessive. This feeling is new to me"
I said, "That's a good sign of love as long as it is within the limit"
I continued, I even told my dad about my interest to watch a porn movie when I was 17 yrs. He said, "I appreciate that you asked me. Proper sex education is needed now with raising AIDS and other STD diseases. It's natural and common to have these kind of desires at this age but I advice you, don't watch it from any movie hall. You'll become an animal and will lose respect for the other gender. You will see them as mere objects than as human beings. I'll get you an educational CD on that" and as said he did get me a CD and after that he asked me if it was useful and my comments on it too. This freedom and easiness offered by my parents had brought me till this level and I didn't go astray. They were able to guide Adithi and me in all walks of life and gave us the freedom to share and express our feelings.
Nethra said, "I wish I was born to them"
I said, "But if you're born to them, then I wouldn't have got this lovely wife. I'm happy and feel blessed to have you as my wife" saying this I kissed her and we started off with the "Hide & Seek game" and this term has become our code word from then on.
Our honeymoon was lovely. We flew back to India. Life was going on peacefully and happily. About 6 months later Nethra gave me the good news that we are gonna have a baby and I felt so happy. My mother took care of her very well, took her for regular checkups, scans and so on.
Nethra was very scared and she said, "I'm very much afraid" I said, "Don't be scared, stay calm and be comfortable. Check with mom if you have doubts" whatever I said and however I consoled her she grew restless day after day.
All of us in the family were happy until we found out that the umbilical cord is around the baby's neck during a check up in 8th month of pregnancy. The doctor said it's a risky procedure and the chances of survival are very less for the mother and the baby. Nethra got scared. She was admitted and there were few hours left for the operation.
She called me and said, "I'm scared, I think I'll not survive this operation"
My throat was shut with pain and grief with the thought of losing my loved one. I said, "No dear it is not gonna be like you think. You are gonna come back safely with a son or a daughter and we are gonna live happily"
She said, "If I die, I want you to marry Mithra".