One month into her marriage, she saw him struggling with personal and office phone calls from office while he was doing some chores at home. She had no control on the count of the calls he received, neither did she want to intrude in his personal space. She wanted to help him. She knew what to gift him for his birthday in the next month.
She held the box in her hand and sat beside him, admiring his sleeping face, from 7 am, till he woke up at 7:30 am on his birthday. Though she loved cutting cakes at 12, she didn’t plan anything at midnight, as he doesn’t like it. He woke up slowly and blushed like a happy baby as he stretched and quickly realized why she was sitting there, smiling.
He sat up and hugged her as she wished him a happy birthday. Her hug was warm and special. Her body scent felt divine and he felt like going back to sleep on her shoulder. With her eyes closed, she didn’t move an inch in the long hug. Already impressed, and in seventh heaven, he told her,
ఇలాగే మళ్ళీ నిద్రపోవాలన్పిస్తుంది shoulder మీద. ఇంత special hug ఆ? Birthday అనే నా? ఈ birthday ఎదో రోజు వస్తే బాగుంటుందే? [I feel like falling asleep over your shoulder again. Is this special hug just because it’s my birthday? I wish this birthday comes more often]
She blushed hard as she clutched him tighter and whispered in a lighter tone,
సరే నిద్రపో, birthday gift తర్వాత చూపిస్తా లే.
[Go sleep, you would soon see your birthday gift]
He jolted and let her go, and his startled eyes met hers. He said impatiently,
Gift ఆ? చుపియ్ చుపియ్. [You said gift? show me! show me!]
She handed him the box and he could see that she wrapped it with love.
He opened it like an anxious little kid waiting for his surprise.
He gaped at the branded Bluetooth earpiece as he took it into his hands. He understood how much thought went into gifting him something as useful for him as this, and something that he never would have bought for himself. He felt blessed to have such a caring wife. He hugged her again and said,
I love you.
She cafuned him before she got up from the bed and said,
ఫ్రెష్ అయ్యి ఒచ్చేసేయ్, breakfast చేద్దాం. [Go, freshen up and come, we will have breakfast]
He was a little hurt, yet again. It was the 7th time he told her that her loved her, and it was the 7th time that she did not respond the way he wanted her to, by saying that she loves him too!
He quickly got out of bed. He was too happy to think about all this.
In the kitchen, he asked out of curiosity, I know that you love me. But why don’t you say it?
Anyone can say it when they are happy. Why say it when you are sure about it?
He was craving to hear it, so he tried to provoke her into saying it. He said in a lighter tone, almost laughing.
Are you arrogant? or is it Ego?
She was too mature to fall into this silly trap.
It is important to say when it is needed, not when I hear it from you. Aina [Moreover] actions speak more than words, don’t you think?
She petted his hair and went on to do her chores.
He did not quite understand, but his ego made him stop using those words.
*** 8 months later ***
Everyone was busy preparing for her sister-in-law’s baby shower, at her in-law’s place. She took the responsibility of feeding his 18-month-old niece that afternoon. She held the baby in her arms and her feeding bowl in her hands. As she was passing through the door, there was a sound of striking the door. Startled, everyone looked around. The baby started crying, hearing the sound. She casually walked past as she alone knew what happened. He was watching this from far and thought that the baby’s head struck the door as she was careless. He rushed to her and yelled at her in front of everyone as he snatched the crying baby from her arms. Why do you take up such jobs when you can’t do them properly? Or are you careless because she is not your own daughter?
His mother-in-law was just entering the gate and clearly saw that it was the steel feeding bowl that hit the door and made the sound and that there was no chance for the baby to get hurt. She hurried up to them and told him what she saw, and questioned him, why don’t you ask what happened before you jump to conclusions?
His face turned pale as she left the place with tears in her eyes. He was still in shock and looked at the baby, who calmed down as her grandma asked her softly, holding her chin.
భయపడ్డవా, బుజ్జి ? [Got Scared, little munchkin?]
she nodded yes.
తగిలిందా? [Got Hurt?]
The confused little girl put her little hands over her head and arms but found no pain.
She couldn’t answer.
On repeated asking, she confirmed that she wasn’t hurt and started smiling.
The witty mother-in-law came inside and confirmed to onlookers that the baby wasn’t hurt in a few phrases, as if she was talking to the baby.
He understood what a brute he had been. He scurried off in search of her.
She was really hurt and sat alone on the bed, in a lonely room, crying.
She knew that the baby’s cry startled him but she was also mad that he didn’t ask her anything before he shouted.
How can I say such things to her when she treats my family like her own? he thought as he said with the deepest regret,
I’m so sorry, please don’t cry.
This was all he could say, as he despised himself for making her go through this for no fault of hers.
He knelt in front of her and tried to hold her palms but she restrained.
He felt small. He felt inferior and wanted to vanish into thin air. He was disappointed with himself for not being a good husband. He was just about to cry.
She couldn’t see him sad for long. She quickly empathized with the situation, wiped her tears on her shoulder, and held his face in her palms. She looked into his sad eyes, with tears still filled in her eyes and said, in a cracked voice,
I.. love.. you..
He was flabbergasted to hear this at that moment and was dumbstruck. He remained a statue for a few secs before he hugged her tight and shed tears of joy as he grinned brightly. He was overwhelmed with all good feelings coming back to him. His confidence, happiness, everything.
He understood how stupid he was to feel hurt when she did not respond in words. Her actions over the last one year spoke much more than words and her words came right when he needed them the most.
He fell head over heels in love with her, all over again.