It was Monday. Four days since she last saw him or even heard from him. He had been worried about some tender… some contract. Today was supposed to be an important day for him. She wanted to wish him… She wondered if she should text him….
She typed out a message and sent him.
To, my Giant Eagle…
I wish you all the best. Hope you have a great day…
-Your little sparrow
She had her first gig today morning. It was for two days besides, a little away from her work place and further away from her home. So she had got a room reserved for herself in the hotel adjoining the venue. It was a great opportunity for her ever since she had joined here as an employee over a month ago… and as an intern over a year ago. She had wanted this kind of an opportunity for a long time…
She had told her mother and brother that it would be too late for her to arrive home alone. They had agreed. She had loaded the fridge with freshly cooked food in the morning and had requested Pooja aunty to heat up the breakfast for Nirmay before he left for school. So she was relieved on the home front.
She was now worried about him… what had happened? Why didn’t he even message her?
As she got into office that morning she was busy and had absolutely no breathing space. She immediately had to reach the venue to oversee the preparations that she had been coordinating for the past week.
The event was a two-day book fair and was to be attended by authors and book lovers across India. There were over 250 bookstalls and 160 international publishers and the reason it was big … there was government interest in the event. It was to be covered by the press. Some percentages of proceeds were for educating the children from the lower socio economic strata. Namrata was pleased to be a part of such a philanthropic event.
The event was proceeding smoothly so far. After the local corporator inaugurated it, there was a steady stream of visitors. Namrata liked to observe their body language and she modified the plans accordingly. By the time the fair officially closed at 10 PM that night, it was already a huge success. She helped in the closing and by the time she could relieve herself from the job it was past 12AM. She dragged herself to the hotel and once inside the room she plonked herself on the bed. She had no energy to change clothes or freshen up.
She pushed herself to go to the washroom and had a quick bath. She got into her simple cotton but comfortable nightgown and climbed into the bed. Luckily the fair started only at 10AM next morning. So she could get up leisurely and have a proper breakfast. Like always she was thinking about him as she lay on the hotel bed, when her phone buzzed. She checked… it was a message… from him…
She immediately sat up and opened his message.
This was the first time he didn’t address her at all… she was surprised but quickly replied
On a 2-day job. In a hotel room.
Her phone chimed again
She stared at the message… at its curtness. She didn’t have a clue what she should do when another message arrived.
She typed out the address of the hotel and her room number.
There was no reply after this… she paced the room, no longer sleepy.
After about twenty minutes there was a knock on the door. Before she asked he said, “It’s me”
As soon as she opened the door, he walked in without even giving her a glance. He was in office clothes. He looked totally drained out. His hair was unruly as if he had drawn his hands through them many times. His tie had loosened. His shirt was crumpled. He removed his coat and let it drop down on the floor. He sat heavily on the only chair in the room and stared at the floor.
Namrata knew something was wrong.
She locked the door and went towards him. She poured water in a glass and handed it over to him. He was in a daze as he took it and drank…
She kneeled on the side of the chair. She took his right hand in her palms and asked, “Hey… what is the matter? Want to talk?”
He didn’t move. He was just staring at the floor with red and bloodshot eyes with some strange emotion in them.
She stood up and went in front of him. She bent and touched his cheeks. She kissed his forehead… he shut his eyes. She kissed his eyes…first right and then the left eye. She kissed his cheeks and then paused before she placed her lips on him.
Suddenly he grasped her wrists and stood up. He lifted her in a fireman’s carry and put her on the bed. He undressed her and shed his clothes at the foot of the bed. He climbed on top of her. Then holding himself on hands on either side of her face, he kissed her deep. It was as if he poured his heart and soul in the kiss… As if she was the last straw for him.
She held him tight… she had missed him so much. She kissed him back with equal passion. Then without warning he plunged into her wetness… She arched her back and held him with her legs interlocking them behind his lower back. She moaned as he moved through and fro… he increased his pace and within a minute they both climaxed screaming their release into each other… He fell on her and buried his head in her neck. She rubbed his back, till he moved beside her. He turned towards her and pulled her to him, her back touching his chest. He held her tight and soon she heard him snore.
Namrata felt wetness between her legs as his release came out… her heart thudded… they hadn’t used protection. She started counting days after her last period… when she succumbed to a deep slumber…
The next morning Namrata woke up and immediately knew she was alone on the bed. She missed his warmth. As she sat up she heard the water running in the bathroom and felt relieved he hadn’t run away. She heard the water stop and he came out of the bathroom covered with the towel at the hips… He saw her and walked towards her. He held her head from the backside and kissed her. Her face was wet because of water drops falling from his wet hair.
A while later as they sat for tea she had ordered in the room, she kept her palm on his and asked, “What happened yesterday?”
He removed his palm from under hers and looked away… he looked angry and hurt.
“We… I… I lost the contract…” he said softly and rubbed a hand over his face. Then as if talking to himself he said, “… two years of hard work down the drain… not to mention the time and… money… lots of it…” He sighed and hunched his back resting his elbows on his knees. She got up and went towards him. She sat on the armrest of his chair and tentatively kept a hand on his back. He immediately hugged her… his head buried in her chest. She held him tightly rubbing her hand on his back. Very soon, he got up and after giving her a peck on her lips he left. She could feel his pain and her eyes filled seeing him so low…
She just hoped he would gather himself and move forward… and that she would remain a part of his life… would she?
Meanwhile few kilometres away…
The old man clinked the glass of his drink with his protégé’s. A major hurdle had been crossed. The giant eagle didn’t even realise… the tender had slipped out right below his nose.
Very soon he would declare his cards… but now it was time for a little celebration. The protégé prepared his favourite lasagne exactly the way his late wife used to.
His protégé had a few ideas to destroy the eagle but he didn’t want them. His late wife used to always say, ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’
So it had to be his brain only…
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