“Are you really sure”, Nupur asked me for the100th time.
“Yes”, I said turning back and giving her a smile of confidence. The smile was plastered on my face. I was sure it didn’t fool neither Nupur nor Ajay. I have never been a good actress. And these two people in the car with me could see through me.
“Atleast let me come with you”, ajay pleaded.
“Nope. I want to do this on my own”, and besides I dint want my parents to focus their temper on him. It was me who they should be mad at. It was me who was their culprit… though I dint think it that way.
“I hope they are atleast as half happy as dad was”, Nupur said from the back seat.
“I hope so too”.
Hope was all that I was clinging to right now. I was scared of facing my dad. I always had a difficulty talking about my feeling and my plans to my dad. I felt like a chicken in front of him. All I was hoping for is that I won’t chicken out this time.
Pa on the other hand was extremely happy, happier than we ever imagined. Infact for a moment we thought that his behavior came out of shock. Nupur was the one who assured us that Pa hadn’t lost it and he was in his senses. Then she told us that Pa had always secretly wished that I and Ajay get together. That pleased me but also scared me that the same time. Will I ever be able to live up to his expectations? He trusted me more than his own daughter, which was very irritating to Nupur.
“Don’t do it if you are so tensed”.
“No Ajay, I have to do this. I have to get it done with. My condition won’t be better any day and besides it’s only fair that they know, as we already told Pa”. I hope I was atleast bit convincing and to check that I turned my face to Ajay whose eyes were fixed and I knew he wasn’t deceived. With a sign I sunk back into my seat. My nervousness seemed to increase in the same proportion that the distance between my home closed in.
“Call me as soon as you tell them alright? And even if you change your mind or need any support or you need just call me”, Nupur was blabbing without stopping. “If they get mad at you and you need some help just call me. Anything at all call me.” How many times has she said call me, I even lost the count.
“Nupur, you are making me more nervous. I will be fine and promise I will call you”, I promised. It been 20 minutes that we reached my home but I was having cold feet. I took my time to step out the car and when I finally was ready Nupur got all worried and tensed. It took me 15 minutes to convince her that I would survive through this. Yes I would survive; they are my parents not monsters. I would survive, I assured myself.
“Bye”, she said giving me another tight hug.
“Bye. Go now”, I shooed them.
Ajay zoomed as he saw Nupur open her mouth to talk again. I smiled and turned towards my home and at that minute I felt as if my legs weighed 100 kgs. They refused to move. Some how I dragged myself into the home. My home was really beautiful, One of the best in the locality. It was an independent home, which was designed from scratch by my dad and mom. It was surrounded by very pretty garden all around. Gardening was my and my dad’s hobby. We spent hours to take care of the garden and trees. My mum hated it though. She called it another chore in her list. I opened the gate and decided that I would directly go into my room. My home had 3 doors from which you could get in. One was the front door ofcourse which led you into the living room. The other was the back door that led you into the kitchen (which was never to be used. As shoes were a big No in the kitchen) and the third door would lead you into my room directly. My room was my dad’s library before but later the room got too small for him as he started to bring work home, so he converted my king sized bedroom into his office / library and his library was now my bed room. I whined a lot before but later I loved this room as it helped me sneak out with out my parents knowing especially when Ajay was in India. I used to sneak out meet him and come back; my parents didn’t have a clue. When it was late I used to directly enter my room and when I mum asked me I lie saying I had been there the whole time. I smiled at these memories and tried the room’s door. Damn! It was locked from the inside. I had to use the front door.
As I entered, I noticed my mum in kitchen making dinner. I freshened up and decided to help mom in the kitchen.
“Need any help”, I asked as I entered the kitchen.
My mom startled and nearly dropped the knife down. “You scared me”, she managed to say finally.
I smiled and gave her a hug. I took the knife from her hand and started to chop the onions.
“Where is dad?”
“Where else would he be at this time? In his office ofcourse”, she said and sighed. The only quality in dad that irritated mom was his workaholic nature. She always said that she felt like a second wife, first being his work. But through the years mum got used to that. To keep her busy mom got involved in social services and she was happy with her work.
“Are you ok?” mum asked me.
“Yes”, I lied.
She looked at me and didn’t believe it. What was with people, why do they always see through my lies? I need to get better at this. Rest of the time she cooked in silence and I helped her with what ever she wanted. Nupur learned cooking from my mom and she was getting as good as my mom. I needed to start learning now, atleast for Ajay.
My mum said something and I could not hear her.
“Huh”, I said.
“Call your dad Pooja. Are you sure, you ok? Something seems to be troubling you. You are extremely nervous and are lost. It’s not like you to keep this calm”
“Yes mom, I will bring Dad”. I got out of there before she read my mind. I should take acting classes.
I knocked on the door and heard my dad call “Come in”.
“Err… hi dad. Sorry to disturb but mum was calling you for dinner. Even the table is set”.
“I will be there in a second”. He put his glasses and his book down. I looked around the office and then noticed my desk. He had organized my desk again. My dad was all for cleanliness. His office was the most organized I have ever seen. He was like Monica in friends. He got on my mum and my nerves sometimes. But he balanced my mum, if it was for my mum the house would resemble a garbage can. He followed me to the table. By the time we reached the dining table mom was serving.
“How was your day”? I could hear dad say something like that.
“Huh! What… hmm yeah, it was ok”, I mumbled. At that minute I knew that two pairs of eyes would be on me trying to read me. I had to tell them. They seemed in a good mood.
“Mum… dad… I… well… I…”
“What is it Poo. You never had so much trouble with words”, dad asked all worried.
“Hmm… mum… dad… I…” Pooja get on with it, I told myself. “I love Ajay and he loves me”, I blurted it out and closed my eyes too scared see their expression. I could here giggles and I gathered all my confidence and opened my eyes. To my shock, my mum and dad were both laughing.
“What” I yelled in frustration.
My mum finally stopped laughing and said. “We have known this for 3 years”. And they started to laugh. I was shocked.
“What”, I said again in shock.
“You aren’t a good actress darling”, dad said and continued to laugh. I definately need to take those acting classes!