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Chapter 84: Chats of the Heart
"I'm really sorry Mama..." Heer said and then pulled her mouth away from the phone to cough. "I really want to go and spend some time with you and the rest of the family but I'm afraid if I go you might catch my cold. This morning Prem woke up with the sniffles and he had a headache."
"It's okay dear. I want you to rest and take care of that cold you have. We still have plenty of time. We will meet up on the weekend when Prem comes up. So take these four days and rest. Don't over exert yourself and make sure Prem doesn't do the same either. He'll probably be running around trying to do everything," Teji replied.
"Yeah, I know. He won't listen to me when I tell him I'm fine and can do it myself. He's so stubborn sometimes," Heer exclaimed. Teji laughed at her daughter's remark. "What's so funny Mama?"
"Mr. Prefect isn't so prefect now is he?" Teji asked with great amusement in her voice.
"I still love him Mama," Heer defended.
"Oh, I know you do. As I said before you'll be discovering a lot of little things about your husband...some things you will hate and some things you will love even more as time goes on," Teji replied.
Heer smiled at her mother's words and then turned her head when she heard the front door opening. "Someone's coming home...Mama..." She got up from the couch and went out to the foyer to find Prem slipping off his shoes. "Prem?"
"Hey..." he weakly replied.
Heer walked towards him and placed her hand on his forehead. "You have a fever..."
"Yeah, that's why I came home," he then rubbed his forehead with his hand wincing in discomfort.
"Mama, I have to go...Prem came home and he's sick like me," Heer replied into the phone.
"Yes, you go take care of him. I'll talk to you later tonight," Teji said.
"Bye." Heer coiled her arms around his left arm and helped him stand up. "Let's get you into bed. I was afraid something like this would happen." She moved her head to the side and started to cough.
"Honey," Prem murmured and rubbed her back.
"I'm okay. You think you can make it upstairs and change? I'll heat up some milk for you so you can take some medicine," Heer said.
"Let's go to the kitchen," Prem replied.
"Don't argue with me, please go upstairs. I know how you are feeling right now and you need to lay down and rest," Heer commanded.
Prem nodded and trudged his way up the staircase while Heer hurriedly went to the kitchen to warm up a cup of milk for him. A few minutes later she was in their bed room tucking Prem into the bed. "Jaanu I'm so sorry..."
"What for?" he asked.
"For getting you sick," Heer lamented.
"I'll be fine," he sniffled.
"You rest." She bent down and gave him a kiss on his forehead.
"Wait, where are you going?" he inquired.
"I'm going to make lunch...I need to eat and when you wake up you need something to eat...and while I'm at it I'll make dinner as well...that way we can just heat things up," Heer replied.
"Don't worry about dinner."
"What do you mean don't worry about dinner? We have to eat something for dinner. It will be less of a hassle later. Sleep Prem...don't worry...I've already had my fever...I'll be better in a few days. You need to sleep." Heer walked out of the room and headed for the kitchen to cook.
Preet sat outside on the back deck in a reclining chair breathing in the fresh air, taking in the wonderful sight of nature, and drinking a nice cooling glass of lemonade. "Ah, this is the life," he said as he put his hands behind his head.
"I think there is something missing from this picture. Sunglasses," Ashlesha chuckled.
"That's right...I don't have my sunglasses," Preet pouted.
"Here," Ashlesha replied as she put her large framed glasses on his head.
"Thanks Ash," he said beaming a fond smile.
"You look ridiculous," Harman laughed seeing his brother wear such feminine sunglasses.
"As long as it does the trick," Preet replied ignoring Harman's comments.
"Heer Di is really sick and said she can't make it here today," Meher reported as she came out on the deck carrying a bottle of sunblock.
"Thank you Meher," Veera replied as she took the bottle from her and started rubbing the lotion on her skin.
"She's going to try to come up on the weekend but Prem Jiju has gotten a fever now," Meher continued.
"Oh no," Maya replied.
"It's probably better they stay at home and recover," Harman replied as he continued to play with Rishi with his big block Lego set. "I don't want to get sick."
"You guys are really dumb you know that," Preet berated. "Please, both of them are sick? Yeah right...they are probably relaxing at home together thankful we are all gone," forming his hands into pinchers and slowly bringing them together, "they're spending lots of quality time together...in their..."
"Preet!" Harman warned as he quickly covered Rishi's ears.
"What?" he replied wondering why everyone was looking at him like he had said something filthy. "It's the truth and you know it."
"Harman Mamu why are you covering my ears?" Rishi asked innocently.
"Um, there was a mosquito near your head," Harman replied.
"Heer would never do such a thing when her parents will be leaving at the end of this week...no, she wouldn't be playing house," Maya stated.
"That's right and Prem would never do something like this," Ashlesha said. "He wouldn't keep her away from her parents."
"You didn't hear Heer Didi on the phone. She sounded horrible," Meher glared and ripped the sungalsses off of Preet's face returning them back to Ashlesha.
"Ouch!" Preet complained with a scowl. "Okay I get it...you guys don't have to be so mean about it. But they are still newlyweds that's all I'm saying."
Heena was helping Gayatri, Teji, and Kulraj clean up the kitchen after the big lunch the family had partaked in. She eventually motioned that Gayatri and Teji had done enough work and that they should go and take a rest for cooking the meal for everyone. The two mothers understood her hint and quietly left the kitchen without much protest. This left Heena alone with her daughter-in-law. "It's such a pretty day today, isn't it?" Heena asked.
"Oh yes it is," Kulraj replied.
"What are the plans today?"
"I think we are going to the lake later this afternoon and do some activities out there," Kulraj answered.
Heena washed out a small table cloth underneath the facet and then rung the water out before hanging it on the counter to dry. "I've missed out on a lot of things and I know I can't make up for that but I hope we can try to build something new together. Nothing drastic...small steps...a cup of tea or coffee..."
Kulraj turned and looked at her as she snapped the Tupperware closed. "I would like that."
"I know it must have been a great shock to you to find out such things in the manner that it occurred. I would like to apologize for that. I haven't said that to you so I would like to say I'm sorry," Heena stated.
"Auntie...Mom, it's all right. I'm glad the truth came out about everything," Kulraj replied with a small smile.
"I'm sure you're wondering how I can still talk about my ex-husband and not be angry at him. I was angry...extremely angry but I realized that I shared a part in the way things occurred in our marriage. He was a very loving man and a wonderful father. We had our issues that neither one of us where really willing to face. I made some poor decisions as did he. But communication is vital in any relationship. Sometimes the anger we feel we want to bottle it inside because we don't want to harm the other person. Though secrets are never good between husbands and wives sometimes one person thinks they are doing something good by shielding the other from pain. We all make mistakes. We have to be big enough to admit them and be even bigger to forgive," Heena divulged. Kulraj remained silent understanding what her mother-in-law was gently hinting out. Heena reach out and placed her hand on her arm in a caring manner, "He's human Kulraj and he was hiding a very painful part of his life because he didn't want to hurt you. I hurt him a lot with my actions and I'm sorry you had to take these blows now. You have two beautiful children and a good life. He made one mistake and he's sorry for it."
"I understand," Kulraj replied placing her free hand on her mother-in-laws. Heena smiled causing Kulraj to reply with a small smile of her own. The two women were interrupted when Nihaal came walking into the kitchen looking for something.
"I'll go take a rest in the living room," Heena said excusing herself.
"Need some help?" Nihaal asked as he noticed Kulraj closing the rest of the plastic Tupperware.
"If you could open the refrigerator door that would be perfect," she replied. Nihaal helped her put the leftovers into the fridge and then started rummaging through the pantry. "Please don't tell me you're hungry?"
"Oh I'm not. But I looking for something sweet...like candy," he replied. "Well actually Preet and Harman want some too."
"Hmmm...candy I'm not sure if we have any," Kulraj informed as she went over and helped him look. "So you must be sad your parents are leaving at the end of this week."
"It's been nice having them right across the border so to speak," Nihaal replied.
"Well, don't be a stranger...you are always welcomed at our house. Your sisters are here and Ma and Bauji consider you like family."
"Thanks," Nihaal grinned.
"I'm afraid there isn't any candy here," Kulraj reported with a frown.
"It's okay. I'll let the guys know. Maybe we'll go pick some up from the store later," he answered.
"Oh Veera," Kulraj greeted as she saw her sister walk into the kitchen, "you don't have any candy do you?"
"Sorry no candy. Why? Does Rishi want some?" Veera inquired.
"No Nihaal and your brothers do," Kulraj replied.
"Oh..." Kulraj simply smiled and then left the kitchen leaving Nihaal and Veera alone.
"We'll just pick it up from the store when we go later this afternoon," Nihaal informed.
"That's good. Probably should buy some more of that lemonade mix. Preet has been drinking that stuff like crazy," Veera said.
Nihaal nodded and turned to leave. Veera went to the fridge and poured herself some fruit juice. "Hey, are we okay?" Nihaal asked looking at her rather nervously. "You know...what happened the other day."
Veera had a hard time looking him in the face. She had been avoiding him as much as she could; focusing her time on the other family members and guests at the summer cabin. "Friends right?"
"Yeah," Nihaal said.
"Friends then...just give me some time," Veera replied. Nihaal didn't say anything and simply nodded his head and then left the kitchen. When he was out of sight Veera exhaled trying to shake the garbled feelings swimming inside of her. He didn't feel the same way about her and there was no use in looking at him like that but her heart and mind just wouldn't stop.
Prem groaned as he blew his nose as he sat on the couch holding a box of tissues. There was a croaking cough to his side and he took a cough drop from the side table and handed it to his wife. "It's okay...I'm fine...I just had one not too long ago," Heer replied. "I feel like crap."
"I told you not to cook all that food," Prem stated.
"But we need to eat," Heer said.
They were both sitting in a slumped positing underneath a large blanket watching TV. Prem chuckled at the joke in the situation comedy that had just started. He then looked over at his wife and smiled. Heer looked at him with raised eyebrows. "It's nice just the two of us isn't it? Preet isn't running around the house dodging things being thrown by Meher and Veera because he pulled a prank on them again. We don't have to deal with those old songs our fathers love listening to. Our mothers aren't trying to make you drink some strange health drink so you'll have a safe pregnancy when we do decide to give them a Juneja heir. We don't have to be subjected to watching Court TV because that is all Harman watches. We don't have to be all secretive when we want some alone time together or be so cautious about where we start making out. Finding Rishi hiding in our shower was pretty scary. I mean if he hadn't been so busy playing with his toys making those shooting noises we would have never heard and known he was in there. Could you imagine us explaining what we were doing if he came out and saw us? Kiran Jiju and Kulraj Di would kill us. So it's nice it's just you and me."
"I suppose it is...though having a cold like this isn't wonderful," Heer replied.
"Well, we are both sick so doesn't matter how close we are..."
"Ewww, I don't want to kiss your snotty face," Heer protested. "Go blow your nose."
"I wasn't even going to do anything," Prem frowned. "You think I want to kiss someone who sounds like their hacking out their lung?"
"I thought you said I was irresistible," Heer joked.
"Not like this," Prem replied.
"You're not exactly looking so hot yourself," Heer stated and rubbed his hair making it go all over the place.
"Thank you...I needed to comb my hair," he grinned. Heer smiled and held his hand underneath the blanket and returned her attention to the TV program playing. Prem shifted closer to her and leaned his head inward so their heads were touching. "I love sitting here just being with you...you know that?"
"I know. I love it too," Heer replied and squeezed his hand affectionately.
Heer moved about the bedroom packing her and Prem's things into the suitcase. She was thankful in the last four days that they had gotten sufficiently better from their colds. "Prem, did you pack your razor? Prem? Prem?"
"Look Kunal, you're not dying...it's called a cold," Prem said as he walked into the bedroom with his cell phone to his ear. "Don't go blaming Heer. Did you go anywhere else these past few days? Sang's house to play video games, huh? Go call Sang and see if he's sick. I'm going...wife's calling me." Heer looked at her husband wondering what the conversation was about. "Kunal's sick and he thinks he's dying. I told him go call Sang to see if he is sick. He was trying to blame you for it."
Heer gently chuckled, "Kunal is so paranoid."
"Yeah, extremely," Prem replied. "So what was it that you wanted?"
"I wanted to know if you packed your razor," Heer inquired.
"Yes, I did," Prem smiled. "And I remembered the charging part too."
"Good," Heer said and gave him an affectionate kiss on the cheek. When she turned away she felt Prem grab onto her wrist pulling her back. "Prem?"
"We're alone...no longer sick..." Prem whispered as he delicately brushed the tip of his nose on her nose. "I was wondering...thinking...before we go up...you know once at the cabin we won't be able to sleep in the same room...they'll have us split up...boys room...girls room..."
Heer smirked and coiled her arms around his neck, "Are you trying to ask me something, Jaanu?"
Prem let his eyelids lazily fall as he felt Heer's mouth dangle dangerously close to his. "Honey...I..."
"Yes?" she replied teasingly.
"I..." Prem murmured as he tried to capture her mouth with his.
"You what?" she smiled moving her mouth away.
They both groaned when Prem's cell phone started ringing. "D*mn it," Prem muttered.
"Better go answer it," Heer replied letting her hands fall down from around his neck.
Prem's eyes narrowed when he saw the name on his phone. "Yes Kunal?" he asked with annoyance. "Oh Sang's sick too. Okay that's nice. Go take your medicine. Bye." He cut the call and then turned off his cell. He then pulled his wife closer and making her chuckle. "Sorry for the interruption," he said and leaned in to seal his lips with hers.
"You never answered my question," Heer playfully remarked stopping him from achieving his goal.
"I want some Honey right now," Prem demanded and then passionately kissed her. He felt the familiar sweet tingling sensations that always passed between them when they initiated such intimacy with each other. Heer responded with just as much fervor in her kiss sinking her fingers into his hair in a possessive manner. She giggled when Prem lifted her legs and swept her up into his arms and walked towards their bed.
Prem gently laid her down on the bed and sealed his lips with hers once again relishing the touch and feel of them moving in motion with his. He was in utter bliss as his mind went blank from everything around him except for Heer. His eyes took in every sight, his hands caressed every inch, his ears listened to ever want, his chest breathed in her essence, and his mouth savored the sweetness that was her. He waited rather patiently for that Earth shattering feeling that always shook them to the core with unspeakable pleasure. He had learned to slow his eagerness and be an even more caring lover. He felt the heat of the moment raise within both of them and he clung to her body. Euphoria.
They laid there in the silent aftermath gently regaining their composure and registering the things around them. The white sheets shuffled and Prem lifted his eyes to look at the angelic face of his wife. "Heer?" he breathlessly whispered.
Corners of her lips turned upward into a serene smile. She hugged him rubbing his back. "Mmm...thank you Jaanu...that was...it felt..." gripping his hair on the back of his head unable to express her feeling, "mmm..."
"Mindblowing..." Prem replied into her ear causing her to giggle in agreement. "I love you so much," nuzzling her ear, "So much."
"I love you too Prem," Heer replied kissing his ear. "I'm so happy I met you...so thankful that God made you my partner. I don't know what I did to deserve someone like you but I guess I must have down something right."
"I don't know what I did to deserve you either," Prem said as he pulled back to caress her face. "I'll do my best to provide and protect you and the family we build together." Heer showered him with a few thankful kisses before he rolled onto his back. He reached over brought her closer to him so she could rest comfortably in his arms. Prem involuntarily closed his eyes as his body suddenly demanded rest. He sleepily opened them trying to fight the need.
"It's okay Prem...rest," Heer said touching his cheek. She then snuggled onto his chest enjoying the comfort and security it provided for her.
Heer exited the bathroom with a towel wrapped around her body and a hand towel in her hands rubbing her hair dry. She smiled when she saw Prem laying on his stomach still asleep. She shook her head slightly and walked over to him bending down placing a tender kiss on his bare back. "It's time to wake up Jaanu. We have to go."
Prem stirred and flipped over with a gently grin rubbing his eyes with his left hand. "You took a shower without me?"
"You were resting," Heer replied.
"Could have woken me," Prem pouted."
"The shower is free now," Heer replied. She gasped when Prem reached out and grabbed her wrist pulling her so she would fall onto the bed. Her towel loosened as she landed softly on her husband. "Prem..."
"What?" he smiled his eyes filled with mischief.
"We don't have time for this. Our parents will probably be calling any minute asking us what is taking us so long," Heer explained.
Prem found the hand towel she had been using and started to gently dry her hair. "I know," he sighed. "It's kind of sad we finally have some time for ourselves...no one is here...we were sick for the past few days and now we're all better but we have to go to the summer cabin. I just feel like keeping you to myself right now."
"We can always go on dates Prem just because we're married doesn't mean we can't," Heer replied.
"Yeah dates," Prem smiled.
Heer gave him a tender kiss and said, "We still have the townhouse. We can always stop by there for some alone time." He leaned his forehead against hers and grinned at her suggestion. Just then the house phone started to ring. Heer gave him a look making him frown as he knew what she was going to say. He gently sat up and picked up the house phone by the bedside table. "Hello? Oh hi Mom...sorry...something came up...we're on our way now. Okay, see you soon." Prem hung the phone up and then gave an apologetic look towards Heer. "I'm sorry. It's your parent's last weekend in Canada and I'm here complaining about me. You need to spend some time with your parents before they leave." He got out of the bed and hurried towards the bathroom. "Give me 15 minutes and I'll be ready," he called before closing the door. Heer just grinned and started to get dress. She glanced at the clock and calculated that they would make it just in time for dinner at the cabin.
Prem stood on the banks of the lake and stared out looking at the glistening waters with a wide grin. It was clear and sunny Saturday morning. He saw his little brother and Meher in a canoe fighting over who was steering the boat in the wrong direction. He laughed when he saw Meher pick up her oar and try to smack Preet with it. He ducked in time and then started to splash her with lake water. There was a series of screams and yells coming from both sides as they proceeded to douse as much lake water they could on each other. "You think they will make it back?" Prem turned and saw his father-in-law standing next to him. "Probably have to swim back," he replied making the old man chuckle.
"Ah, youth...it's a wonderful thing," Balraaj sighed. "You know despite what your father thinks I know Preet will one day make your father extremely proud."
"I don't doubt it," Prem said stuffing his hands into the pockets of his cargo shorts. "I promise if he ever hurts her I'll take him outside and use a bat to break his legs."
Balraaj laughed heartily at his remark. "I appreciate the help. But I think I'd like to do that myself. Besides you have an obligation to my other daughter," placing his hand on his shoulder, "I'm counting on you."
"I promise to take good care of her," Prem replied. "I won't let anything bad happen to her. I'll always stand by her side."
"I know you will," Balraaj said. "I have great faith in that Prem. You love Heer as much as Teji and I do. We're lucky to have you as our son-in-law."
"I'm the lucky one Papa...to have her love," Prem replied.
The two men turned their heads when they heard footsteps hitting the gravel patch behind them. It was Teji and Heer. "What are you two talking so hush hush about? Teji inquired.
"The weather," Balraaj replied.
Teji gave a look to her daughter and then responded with a sarcastic smile, "I see."
"Was just telling Prem this would be great fishing weather."
"Since when did you like fishing?" Teji asked.
"Fishing is fun...what other sport can you bring home the item and cook it?" Balraaj replied causing Prem and Heer to laugh.
"Will you be bringing home lunch for this afternoon?" Teji questioned.
"I don't know where the best fishing spots are," Balraaj replied. "Prem?"
"I don't know either," he answered. "I don't know if there is any fish in the lake and if there is if we can fish here."
"Hmmm..." Teji simply voiced and looked at her son-in-law.
"I was just telling Papa that I will take good care of Heer," Prem said finally answering his mother-in-law's question. "You don't have to worry when you're back in India."
Teji smiled and placed her hand on Heer's cheek, "Don't forget to take care of him while he's taking care of you."
"I won't Mama," Heer replied.
"Help around the house...you're now the eldest daughter-in-law...the family will look to you for certain things...your mother-in-law will need your help," Teji advised.
"I will," Heer nodded.
Balraaj gently placed his hands on his wife's shoulder as she sensed her mood, "It's okay Teji. I'm sure everything is going to be fine. Our flights on Tuesday...we aren't even at the airport yet."
Teji gently sniffled back some tears with a soft chortle and then looked at Prem and Heer with a smile, "Two years...I'll be waiting for that good news."
"Mama," Heer uttered and blushed.
"Right Prem? I can count on you for that..."
"Uh-um...ssur...yyes..." Prem stuttered and rubbed the back of his neck blushing a crimson red.
"You've gone and embarrassed them," Balraaj said. "Come let's take a stroll and leave them be."
When her parents gently walked away Heer hid her face in her husband's shoulder. "Oh My God," she exclaimed and tugged lightly at his hand.
"Well, there isn't any doubt what your mother wants two years from now," Prem replied placing his right hand on her back in a soothing manner.
"Do you think we will be ready for it?" Heer mumbled against his shirt.
"I don't know. I think so," Prem replied. He then thoughtfully pondered, "Yeah, I think so. We'll be ready. We'll be ready for our Chahat."
Heer lifted her head and looked at him. "Our Chahat," she repeated with a small smile.
"Yeah," Prem grinned and gave her a kiss on the forehead.
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the way harmaan covered rishi's ear' that was just hilarious' would be looking forward for the marriage of preet-meher and Harman-maya as well as of Nihal and veera
The part was truly awesome' it was not at all boring'
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