The recreation ground was at its usual tranquil self. Calm and peaceful.
You reach there at the first break of light creeping into the morning skies. This is your usual routine.
You are sporting your favourite grey track pants paired with that matching T-back. The outfit contours your svelte physique that you exhibit with grace.
That high pony tail accentuates your looks. A thick rim of Kohl on your waterline completes your appearance.
The fresh scents of the petrichor wafting from the dew-drops on crisp grass-blades gives a natural elevation to your senses.
The park is not particularly buzzing with life at this hour. This gives you the desired inner peace to start with your routine before heading to your workplace.
You start your customary jogging but your mind is racing over the recurring dreams from the past few days.
Your pace subconsciously gathers speed as you reflect upon the sequence of events through the dreams.
The forest floor felt damp and cold. The flora thrived richly and the heady scent of the night- blooming Jasmine lingered heavily in the air.
The silhouettes against the moonlit canvas were seen in a passionate embrace.
You felt the warm breath of your beloved upon the nape of your neck as a gentle whisper tickled your senses. Your hormones aroused as he mumbled softly, “Will you be mine forever?”
Tears of ecstatic delight filled your soul as you pulled him into a tight hug and whispered, “Kiss me like there is no tomorrow. Love me like this is your only chance.”
Your quivering and moistened lips met his and deduced into a deep, passionate kiss that seemed to last until eternity.
You unbuttoned his shirt while he gently lifted your gown. One by one, the clothes lay shed in a cluttered pile upon the damp grassy forest floor. Bodies quivered with an ecstatic delight.
The darkness concealed your naked bodies as one. Your raw soul enveloped with his merging in a conjugal union.
The fire of passion seeded a dainty spark of life in your womb. As you both lay bare under the blanket of the starry skies, the ground split open and consumed the masculine form beside you.
You jolt back from the reverie and realise that you are drenched with beads of sweat trickling down your entire form. The jogging is only partly responsible for this. You stifle a muffled scream escaping your parched throat while involuntarily covering it.
A deep stabbing pain pierces your chest. You feel shattered.
You then inadvertently hold your womb to check the safety of the unborn child that resides within only to realise it was that recurrent series of dreamy reality unnerving you again.
The dreams had become recurrent and non-stop for over a week now as if signalling the advent of some unforeseen event.
Day dreams chasing your routine was a nouveau and totally uncanny.
You drive your midnight blue sedan into the basement parking when she suddenly crosses lane. You screech the car to a stop and lean out.
She comes running towards you, “I’m sorry ma’am. I was actually checking my messages and missed seeing you drive through.”
“You must be careful, girl! You could have hurt yourself if someone had run over you in haste,” you say as you lock eyes with her for a brief span.
You feel a thrust within like a sense of belonging. Your sight lingers over her form for longer than usual. She has those deep, ineffable doe shaped eyes you have known since perpetuity.
Your soul seems to immediately recognise her but you brush off the feeling and ask her name.
“I’m Prerna. I deeply apologise for being so careless. It was really kind of you, ma’am,” she smiles.
Her tender lips reminds you yet again of that impassioned kiss from your dreams. You feel trepidatious and dismiss the weird feeling.
You wave her goodbye and park your car.
You notice that Prerna is an attractive young girl probably in her early twenties. She is tall and has an athletic built.
Her features are sharp and chiselled like some Roman Goddess. Her skin is smooth with a soft, honey tone.
You see her walk away and observe her thick, shiny and lustrous tresses bounce about her back.
You park your car at the routine parking. As you take the elevator up to your office, you just realised that in the years of driving to this place, this is the first time you have met Prerna. She is a newbie to this place, for sure.
You just remember your past like a passing dream. You were in your early twenties, just like Prerna— when you had started your career as a fresher with Asterisk Cooperation, a multinational firm working in collaboration with international firms on multimillion projects.
Today, at the age of forty three, you are the CEO and shareholder of the company’s fifteen percent stakes.
You recalled those days and nights of struggle through this challenging journey. You had sacrificed those small luxuries to earn a place and position.
It had taken years of relentless efforts to help you reach the top.
Competition was tough and even more for a single woman.
The world had not been too kind. There were lewd intentions, hypocrisy and attempted debauchery too.
Dodging your way through these lowly practices had taken away the prime years of your life.
When others your age had partied and pleasured, you had slogged and toiled.
The endeavours had paid off, ultimately.
You had chosen to remain a spinster and risen up the ranks with your dedication and devout trials.
A busy schedule with meetings and events keeps you hooked up all day long.
You take the car back that evening from the basement to drive back home. You have barely reached the main road when you are stopped by someone. It is Prerna again.
She seemed to be a little worried. You ask, “Prerna! What happened? Is everything okay?”
“Oh! Ma’am, thank God, it’s you again. My wallet just got stolen. I don’t have enough money to get back home. May I please borrow a sum of fifty rupees from you. I promise I will return them to you.”
“That’s not needed Prerna,” you respond while you pick a hundred rupee note from your handbag and hand it over to her.
You notice her hyped volume and chirpy mannerisms and feel that it indicates her genuinity.
You are drawn into a state of profound impact as you peer into her mesmerising eyes. You experience a sense of heaviness in your womb and the image of the mystical silhouette disappearing into the dark chasm flashes again.
You shake your head to your present consciousness and ask Prerna, “Do you want me to drop you somewhere?”
“No, ma’am, it’s okay. I will take the bus.”
You were heavily pregnant with your baby and had carried it to full term. The baby was due anytime soon.
Had it not been for this little life within, you would have given up on life.
An intense void rushed through you as you missed the one who had seeded life into your womb. Your eyes looked at the vast empty space above with tears trickling in an incessant flow.
You abruptly felt severe cramps in your womb indicating the onset of labour. You were kept hidden from the view of the big, bad world in secrecy. The world could not know about your motherhood.
It was sinful for you as an un-wed teenager to be expecting a baby and that too, with someone who lived no more.
The cramps intensified and your pain became increasingly unbearable.
There was no one to help. Your screams echoed through the walls and resounded back with a greater intensity towards you. Your pain was now beyond what a teenager could handle.
You felt like you would collapse. A midwife was stationed by your side assisting the birth of your baby.
You give that final thrust… and your screams were then replaced by the cries of the new born.
You slip into an endless slumber. When you wake up, you find yourself in solitude.
Your baby is no longer present. You bawl and bellow only to hear the echoes resounding back with an equal intensity.
You remain devastated.
You wake up with a shudder and feel the deep torment of the birth and severance as it appeared in your dreams. It feels surreal.
It is then that you realise that your entire body is soaked in perspiration. The chill breeze drifting through the windows and the radiant glow of the moonlit glory isn’t doing much to relieve you from your present state of mind.
You sit on the bed with your legs folded; close to your body clutching the knees earnestly seeking comfort in your own company.
The dream doesn’t seem a dream anymore. It feels like reality haunting you towards what your heart seeks. You were uncontrollably.
Being a long weekend, you decide to drive to Alibaug and spend the weekend at your friend, Anita’s beach resort. You think it is the perfect getaway from the recurring dreams and the frenetic schedule at work.
You really need this break to gather yourself. There are too many things you seek to fix.
The morning drive to Alibaug is refreshing. The winter sun glistens in all its splendour and coats your skin with just enough warmth to make you feel calm. The azure skies radiates it’s pristine form to reflect upon purity.
This drive along the smooth roads seems to be most ideal getaway for you. You cherish the drive with some classical music to give you the desired company.
You reach the resort and are pleasantly welcomed. The lady at the reception seems delighted to receive you. Her name tag reads Pooja.
She flashes her sparkling whites and politely queries, “Good morning ma’am! Welcome to the ‘Le Grande Royal Suites.’ Would you be Ms. Riya? Our owner, Madam Nisha had mentioned your arrival.”
“Aah, thank you. Yes, that’s me. Where’s Nisha?” you enquire.
“Nisha madam will soon be there. Would you like to be shown your room while we can inform madam of your arrival. She could join you in the room or you can choose to wait at the reception,” she suggests to you.
“I would love to freshen up. You can ask Nisha to meet me in my room.”
“Ma’am, you have been upgraded to the Presidential Suite, the best room we have, in our hotel. You can make yourself comfortable,” she announces.
You know Nisha well. She is a childhood friend and ever so generous. Like always, she has extended the best hospitality and upgraded you to the Presidential Suite.
You recollect that Nisha had moved to the United States soon after her graduation. She was married for a few years after which she separated with mutual consent.
She belonged to an affluent family and her family had supported her to establish herself.
She was highly educated and her charming presence was enough to crack a tough nut.
After living in the United States, she deeply desired to return back home. That’s when she decided to open a plush resort and relocate so that she could be closer home.
You had lost contact with Nisha a few years after she had moved abroad. However, you had connected with her on social media a couple of years ago.
Nisha did not have any children from their marriage and she never remarried. You could connect with Nisha in ways more than one.
Being best friends during childhood, the journey in this life had similar fates laid out for you and her.
You just can’t stop feeling the rush of gratitude within for her generosity, care and love.
Pooja escorts you all the way to the Presidential Suite, shows you around and closes the door gently behind her.
The Presidential Suite is undeniably the neighbour’s envy.
The royal interiors has a full wall-to-wall carpet and a grand chandelier at the centre.
The leather cushioned executive chair with a polished mahogany working desk adorns the corner. There is a majestic television that furnishes one of the walls behind which is a rich floral wall paper.
A plush leather sofa set ornaments another corner of the drawing room.
The bedroom has a grand king sized bed with the finest cushion and mattress that would drown the user to a state of intense comfort.
The room is centrally air conditioned and the temperature is set right to ease you further into comfort.
A small pantry and attached kitchenette with exceptional bone China crockery, fine cut glass ware and high quality polished stainless steel cutlery completes the interiors.
It is a perfect package of sheer goodness and luxury blended into one. You are informed that a personalised butler on call is available, all day long.
You draw open the curtains and peer out of the tall French windows that embellishes the room.
At first glimpse, you see Prerna yet again. Prerna, seriously! How is this even possible? You are unable to fathom this possibility.
However, the form disappears as you jerk back to reality.
The doorbell clinches your attention and you attend to it.
You see your best buddy Nisha at the doorway. You are so full of beans as you wrap her into a tight hug.
It’s only when the excitement calms down that you notice that Nisha is not alone. You notice that Prerna is with her standing a few steps behind.
You are spellbound. You look at Nisha for an explanation. She smiles all-knowingly.
You invite them in and the conversation begins.
“Nisha, it can’t be a coincidence that I am encountering Prerna everywhere I go. She seems ubiquitous.”
Nisha responds to you with an all pervasive look, “It’s a long story Riya. I will tell you the details in a bit. For now, you need to accept and know that she is our daughter.”
You wear an utterly confused look on your face. It takes a while for that information to sink in. You just stare into the endless oblivion.
“You remember that child you had birthed when you were all of nineteen. The love of your life, your brave soldier with whom you were to tie the nuptial bond was killed in that fortuitous war.
“The child that was born to you went missing suddenly as you returned back to your senses from that deep slumber of pain.
“While your parents wanted the best for you, they wanted the best for your baby too. Prerna was sent to be raised with utmost care and comfort under their watchful eyes.
“As Prerna grew up to be a fine little girl, studying in the finest boarding school in Dehradun, I was the only one to know about your little princess’ whereabouts and wellbeing.
“Back home, you were encouraged to pursue your passion towards unfulfilled dreams. You were informed that your baby had breathed her last after birth.
“I was warned not to give out the secret to you. I deliberately severed all connections with you as the constant fear of letting out the dark secret kept hovering on my mind.
“After marriage, when I realised I cannot bear my own child, I requested your parents to formally let me adopt Prerna. They instantly agreed knowing that she would be under my absolute care.
” I knew that someday, I will rightfully return what belongs to you. I was just the custodian of your precious treasure,” she concluded.
You feel completely engulfed in an array of emotions that seems to submerge you deeper into a bottomless chasm.
You wanted him to stay after that night of conjugal bliss. He said he had to leave for an impending war was looming.
You felt unsure. A sense of discomfort stirred deep into your gut.
You tried to warm him. He still left promising to return soon. That was the last you had heard from him.
When the war had happened and on the night his soul crossed the earthly realms, you had visioned the same nightmare.
You felt that affliction and intense stab of a dagger piercing through your soul a zillion times.
You recollected having woken up to traumatism. The agony had never eluded you.
You had dealt with it by rising up the corporate rungs of success and fame, vogue and luxuriance.
Prerna’s mellifluous voice shakes you out of trance.
“Maa! Can I call you that?”
You flinch to the unexpected call as your bleary eyes well up in emotions of motherhood.
You pull your obscured and missing offspring into an everlasting hug of Nirvana.
You seem to have finally found purpose of this life as a brilliant light envelopes your daughter and you into a transcendental bubble.
You envision your Divine masculine smiling upon your form offering his blessings over this Heaven sent blessing.
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