Joined: 22 February 2013
"I'll be waiting in the car, Sharon. Don't take too long" Swayam said picking up his keys. He paused, waiting..hoping for a reply, knowing he won't get one. Sighing he walked out. Sharon was standing by the window staring intently at the photo in her hands. After a few minutes she kept it back and walked out too locking the door behind her.
The 20 min drive was completely silent. Swayam glanced at his wife every 2 mins but she didn't look anywhere except outside the window.
"That's all for now. One of our social workers will be in touch with you as soon as all the paperwork is complete. Until then get ready to welcome your new daughter home" the elderly lady said with smile and a sharp look at Sharon. She had seen a bright spark light up the young woman's eyes at the word daughter but it died as quickly as it came. She sighed. She liked this young couple. For whatever reason she had felt a kinship with them from the moment they had walked in through her doors. She knew they needed this and was rooting for them to make it work. But Sharon's silence worried her. She hadn't heard her utter a single word. She could see the pain in her eyes, in both their eyes but she knew this could go either way for the child. Normally she would not have recommended such a devastated couple as candidates for adoption but her heart had argued in their favour and she had given in. She prayed fervently now that Sharon would find the strength to open her heart again. Having this child taken away from them would kill them, she knew.
Later that evening
"Sharon please talk to me" Swayam said hugging her from behind as she stood in the kitchen, staring at that photo again. She didn't push him away neither did she respond.
He rested his forehead on her shoulder as a traitorous tear made its way out of his eyes. He had tried getting used to Sharon's silence, tried giving her the space she needed to heal but he couldn't do this anymore. He couldn't take this impenetrable silence anymore. He couldn't fight this alone anymore. He needed her.
She felt a something wet on her shoulder and turned around.
"Swayam" she whispered. He looked at her, stunned. This was the first time she had taken his name in a year and half.
He hugged her tight and broke down. He had been strong for so long, been the pillar she needed for so long, had kept his own pain locked up for so long. It all came out in torrents of anguish now as she held him and rocked him.
It had been two hours since they had been sitting in the same position. Swayam reached out and took the photo she had been staring at earlier. Looking at it brought fresh tears in both their eyes.
"Do you remember the day we first brought her home?" Swayam asked, a wistful smile playing on his lips.
"You screamed the roof off because the refrigerator hadn't been child-proofed even though your little princess couldn't even move her head yet" Sharon reminded him with a ghost of a chuckle. Her face was still as impassive as ever.
Swayam gave an embarrassed goofy grin. "Yeah, but it was a good idea to get an early start considering how naughty our little darling turned out to be" he said trying to defend his screaming fit.
Sharon laughed lightly as they both continued gazing at the photo of their 5 year old daughter Tanya, reliving all her naughty antics. She had always been up to some or the other mischief.
"Do you remember her first..." Swayam started, turning to look at Sharon when the words froze in his throat. Sharon had doubled over and her whole body was convulsing with her noiseless screams. He pulled her into his arms and she immediately started howling, unable to hold it in any longer. Her body too fragile to hold the pain clawing away like acid at her insides.
"I can't Swayam..I..c..ca..can't..i just...can't" she sobbed into his chest "I can't lose her again, I can't..I'm too scared Swayam" she was hysterical by now. Swayam continued holding her tight and whispering soft soothing words for almost 3 hours till she had calmed down enough to talk.
"We don't have to do this Sharon, I'll call the agency and tell them to stop the adoption procedure" Swayam said holding out a glass of water to her.
Sharon looked at him and for the first time in one and a half years noticed how broken he looked. She saw the drooping shoulders, the gaunt cheeks. But most of all she saw the bags under his red, dead looking eyes. Eyes that had always sparkled, always been full of love and warmth for as long as she had known him. She knew what happened that day had scarred them both but until now, she had been too lost in her own pain to see how bad he was hurting.
Her eyes filled with tears again as those horrible events flashed before her eyes for the umpteenth time.
She had been playing in their garden with Tanya. It had been two days since Tanya's fifth birthday and she had wanted to ride her new bike. Sharon heard the phone ring and told Tanya to come inside as she went to receive it.
"Just 5 more minutes Mamma please" Tanya begged with that adorable puppy face that Sharon could never say no to.
"Ok fine. Just 5 mins" Sharon said smiling and shaking her head as Tanya whooped with joy.
Ten minutes later Sharon had ended the call and gone outside to bring Tanya in and give her a bath but she couldn't find her anywhere. She had looked everywhere and called till her throat started bleeding but Tanya was nowhere to be found.
That had been the beginning of the end.
She didn't remember much of what followed. She remembered making a frantic hysterical call to Swayam. She remembered Swayam rushing in with the police in tow. She remembered being held tightly in his arms as they wandered down the streets calling Tanya's name. She remembered the look of abject terror in his eyes being replaced by hopeless devastation as evening turned to night and night gave way to day. She remembered that dreaded phone call from the police telling them that their little girl was in the hospital. They had been too late. By the time they reached, Tanya was gone. She hadn't understood what had happened. She had screamed at Swayam to bring her little girl back until he had raised his head and she had seen the truth in his eyes. Days passed and it became increasingly difficult to see that gnawing truth... till one day she stopped looking. She didn't realize when she alienated him and left him all alone to deal with his pain.
But she looked now, really looked and saw how much he needed this, how much he craved to hold a little baby in his arms and croon lullabies to it again. She wasn't ready, she knew..but she also knew that for this man she will get herself ready. For this man and with this man she could do anything.
"Don't, I want to do this." She said looking straight into his eyes.
"Are you sure?" He asked surprised.
"Yes. Let's do this. Let's get our baby" She replied with a smile. He looked into her eyes and saw the fear as well as the determination. She saw a wide smile light up his face as he took her in his arms and hugged the life out of her. His joy evoked an answering pleasure and excitement in her heart and for the first time in a very long time she felt alive again.
"This will be great, you'll see Sharon. This time we will get our fairytale. We will get our princess and we will love her and spoil her and turn her into a completely spoilt little brat. We will fulfill all her wishes" Swayam said in a single breath and would have continued till he turned purple in the face had his stride not been broken by his wife whose eyes had gone wide listening to his plans.
"Woah woah woah, hold it hubby dearest! What do you mean by spoil her and turn her into a brat! You are doing no such thing to any daughter of mine, is that clear?" She ordered with her arms crossed tightly across her chest.
Swayam chuckled as he pulled her back into his arms.
"Everything will be ok." He whispered softly as she buried herself deeper in his arms.
A week later
"When will they get here? Why is it taking so much time? They said 11, didn't they? Its 11:10 now!"
Swayam smiled as Sharon fired off question after question. She was literally bouncing with excitement. She had been driving herself and him crazy the entire week preparing for their new daughter's arrival. Everything had to be perfect, the room, the clothes, the crib... He hadn't seen her work with so much energy in so long that sometimes he got exhausted just looking at her. She was unstoppable, she could have organized the whole world within a month at that rate.
His thoughts were broken by her loud squeal.
"There they are finally. They are here Swayam. Our daughter is here" She shouted as she grabbed his hand and took off running towards the adoption lady and the focus of her attention- the tiny blanket wrapped bundle in her arms.
His eyes turned moist as he saw the most beautiful baby in the world. He turned to Sharon and saw his awe reflected in her deep green orbs. She forwarded one tentative finger and her face broke into the brightest smile ever as their daughter wrapped her tiny fist firmly around it.
"Take her in your arms Sharon, she's your daughter now" The lady said forwarding the baby towards Sharon. She was relieved. Sharon had come through. She could see how much she already loved her baby. Now she knew she had made the right decision.
Sharon took her baby in her arms and was immediately rewarded with a big toothless smile.
"What's her name?" Swayam asked.
"Tanya" answered the lady.
Swayam's head snapped up and he turned towards Sharon. Their eyes met and their gazes locked. They could see the pain that name evoked but they also saw the joy and the hope. Their Tanya had returned to them. Swayam took mother and daughter in his arms as the tears that had been floating in their eyes spilled out. As the pearl drops rolled down their cheeks they held their baby and each other tight and made a silent vow to face whatever life threw at them together.
We hope this wasn't too torturous and you are still awake
If you are, please let us know what you thought about it. Good, bad, horrible whatever it is, bring it on, we are ready
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