《Two Brothers》Epilogue


I looked out the window. The sky was tar dark and, the thunder roared. The tapping on the window glass soon became a pitter-patter. I could see the people taking cover, the umbrellas were opened as the clouds spat out their beads of water.

The chilly weather and hot coffee always give me a vibe. But something about this rain has me more relaxed than I've been in days. I'm in no hurry for the clouds to vanish. I held the coffee mug with my palms receiving its warmth.

My heart was too excited today, my cheeks lifted as my lips parted way for a comfortable smile. Biting my lips I took out the postcard that I received today morning.

It was a picture of a girl wearing a floral print blue summer dress. Her face is not clear and is half-covered with a hat. From the background, I could recognize the picture had been taken in Santorini, Greece, a fantastic Cycladic island and a natural wonder. The pic is lit and impressive. The calm sea and the stunning sunset give the blue and white buildings a vibrant energy.

But my attention was only on the girl. There was no name on the card. It is written only "Happy Birthday" in the back with a smiley at the corner. But I knew it was her.

There was not much contact between us in the last three years. She never called or texted and I didn't want to pry her. I was giving her the space she wanted.

Last year after her graduation I received a mail from her after two years. The mail was short and curt stating she is going to travel around the world with her friends. But that was all I needed from her to get going. I started to send her emails regularly talking about the small things happening around me, asking about her travel destinations, etc. and after a few more emails she started to reply, and that's how we started to communicate again.

Even though there are no phone calls yet, we are improving. And it's kind of nice because we were able to avoid the awkwardness and, I think, this makes her more comfortable. She tells me what happens in her daily life and about the places she visited and small encounters with the people and so on. We were in a comfortable zone now.

My thoughts got halted by a knock on the door. I pocketed the picture and turned around to see Ved and Niharika waking inside with bright smiles.

"Ready to go?!!" Niharika asked without wavering her smile.

It has become kind of our thing to have a meal together for each of our birthdays in the past three years.

Nodding at them I kept the coffee mug on the table and walked out with them towards the elevator.

"What are we doing here? Is there any problem with the building?" I asked when we parked outside our new apartment building.

"No, just a little work. Come on." Ved said placing his hands over my shoulder and pulling me towards the elevator.

"No. No way. Are you serious?"

"Yes, I am." Ved chuckled looking at me.

"Here, take it and open it. This is my birthday gift to you, take it as my payback or as an apology for all those years when I didn't even try to wish you." He said and, a sad smile appeared on his face.

"Ved, I never blamed you for that. I know my birthday gives you bad memories and, I know why you were avoiding it. I don't have grudges against you for that. You are here now and, I am happy." I said and pulled him for a warm hug. He patted my back before pulling away.


"Uff, that's enough sentiments. Now open the door birthday boy. There is a surprise waiting for you inside." Niharika said waving her hands.

"OMG. What can be more surprising than this? I am gifted with a penthouse in the middle of the city. I don't think anything will surpass this."

I said enthusiastically with a little sarcasm.

"Uh uh. Be ready to blow your mind, Sid. Now open the door."

She said and pushed me towards the door.

Opening the door, we are welcomed to a wide hallway with a large mirror on the side and a small table in front of it.

The hallway leads to the large living room with a black sofa set which is contrast against the white marble floor and, a glass coffee table with a golden frame completes the look. The black and white fur carpet look so elegant and large glass doors towards the balcony were covered with long white curtains.

I walked around the house to take a look and I was very happy that the interior was minimal yet classy. It was a beautiful four-bedroom duplex apartment with a sea view.

After taking a tour of the interior I finally moved to the balcony area which faces the sea.

The balcony was huge with wooden flooring and a small garden with a pool on the side. The rain has stopped and weather was chilly and the night view from here was breathtakingly beautiful. I held the rails and looked at the city which never sleeps, bathing in lights. I stood there mesmerized by the dazzling beauty of Mumbai.

I was startled by two hands snaking around my torso and a small body pressing against my back.

"Happy Birthday."

I sucked in a breath, hearing the soft voice. I froze on the spot, not knowing what to do next. Her fingers curled wrinkling my shirt and she pressed her body closer. I closed my eyes when she kissed my back and tightened her hold on me.

We stood there like that for a few moments and then she slowly loosened her hold and stepped back. Turning around I saw her standing in front of me in a white knee-length dress. Her hair danced in the wind and a smile adorned her face.

I looked at stunned. It took me a second to register that she is there, standing in front of me. I blinked my eyes to confirm that I was not hallucinating and I couldn't control the wide smile that appeared on my face. She is here, Aami is here.

"You came back."

She nodded with a shy smile.

She moved closer and leaned into my embrace.

"I had to. This is my home right."

She said, resting her palms on my chest and looking at me.

"Yes, it is."

I said, hugging her closer.

"So you are ready now to give us a chance."

She looked at me intently before shaking her head in a no. My smile fell and I pulled away from her.

She chuckled looking at my frown face.

"After all these years the one thing I realized is that I will never be ready, Sid. Because the past is a part of me and I just can't erase it from my life. So, I learned to live with it. I accepted that it will stay with me for this lifetime and I have to live with it. But, another thing I realized is that the one thing I can't live without is, you."

She said cupping my cheeks.


"I love you, Sid. I have loved you for a long time but I couldn't bring myself to say that to you. I was scared that I will pull you down with me. That is why I left. I wanted to be strong for you. I learned to accept my fears and they don't scare me as much as before. Even though I can't forget what happened I came to terms with them. They are bad memories from my past and I want to replace them with good memories of my future. Now, it is up to you, if you want to create those memories with me or not?"

She asked, her eyes turning glassy.

"I know it's too much to ask but..."

She didn't get to finish the sentence because my lips were descended upon hers.

I felt the surge of happiness coursing through my veins. I could barely conceal my delight. She said she loves me. After all these years she said those three words I was eagerly waiting to hear. She wanted to be with me. She came back to me. My heart leaped up for joy.

Resting my forehead on hers, I caressed her swollen lips and cheeks. Her cheeks were reddened and warm. She looked up at me with shyness in her eyes.

"This is the best birthday gift I have ever received. Thank you. I love you so much."

She smiled at my words.

"I love you too, Sid."

I clinched her into my embrace and rested my chin on top of her head. She wrapped her small hands around me and I cradled her cheeks on my chest.

"I can't promise to fix all your problems but I promise that I won't let you face them alone. Welcome home, my Aami."

I pulled her closer leaving no space between us and kissed her temple. We stood there in each other's embrace under the night sky waiting for a new dawn to start a new chapter of our life.


"You are crying."

Her voice brought me back from the trance I am in. She hugged me from behind and soothingly rubbed my back. Sniffing I blinked back the tears which were threatening to fall from the corners of my eyes.

"I am just happy for them."

I said turning around to face. She looked at me adoringly with her beautiful smile.

"I think we should leave them alone."

She said while peeking at the balcony behind me.

I turned around to take a last glance at the love birds standing in each other's embrace on the balcony and nodded my head.

Smiling she intertwined her fingers with mine and walked towards the front door.

Today is the best day of my life even though everything was fine with me, I was worried about Sid. He was acting all happy in front of us but I know deep inside he was feeling lonely and sad. And when I received Priya's call two days before I planned this surprise for him. I have always ignored his birthday since that awful day and I wanted to replace it with a happy one. My brother deserves his happiness and I was content seeing them together.

After ten years, my life is finally back on track. Even though my relationship with my mother is still like walking on eggshells, we were trying to be civil with each other. We don't lung at each other like before. I am impressed with my new anger management capability and I know that huge credit goes to my sweet wife.

She was there for me at each step and she guides me when I needed help. I am so grateful to her, she chose to give me a second chance to me even though I hurt her badly and I am still ashamed of it. I still don't know what I will be doing if she chose to walk away from me. I don't deserve a pure soul like her. I am blessed to have her in my life. And I am never going to let her go. Like I promised I am trying to make up for all the sins I committed to her. Seeing her smile lights up my day, I have never been so happy in my life the way I am with her.

Parking the car in front of the beach house we walked inside hand in hand. The beach house has become our favorite spot now. It holds so many good memories of us.

"You go upstairs. I will get the water and come."

Niharika said and walked towards the kitchen.

Reaching the room I removed my tie and coat and placed them on the chair nearby. That's when a small cardboard box sitting on the bed caught my eye. Frowning, I slowly walked towards the bed and took it in my hands.

I had no idea that I was going to get the biggest surprise ever in my life. My eyes became saucers looking inside the box.

I can't describe the feeling I am going through. I felt very ambivalent. My lips were smiling but my eyes were tearing up.

Slowly I kept the box down and looked at it unbelievably. It contains a white onesie that says "Hello Daddy" with a small teddy bear, a positive pregnancy kit, and an ultrasound scan image.

I turned around hearing a throat clearing. Niharika was standing there with a tense look.

I just stood there and stared at her. She bit her lips nervously and looked at me.

"Say something."

She said. But her voice was low and a little disappointed.

"You. You are not happy."

I could see her face becoming gloomy. That's when I chuckled and engulfed her in my tight embrace.

"Why wouldn't I be? When I thought I can't be more than happy than I am today, you never fail to surprise me."

I said and pressed a lingering kiss on her temple. She chuckled and wrapped her hands around me.

"How long are you? When did you come to know? Why didn't you tell me earlier?"

I asked pulling away.

"I had doubts and I just confirmed with the doctor two days ago. You were busy with Sid's surprise so I thought of waiting a little longer."

She said smiling widely.

"Thank you. Thank you, Niha. No one has ever filled my life with happiness and love like you do. Thank you, my dear wife. I love you so much."

I said cupping her cheeks and resting my forehead on hers.

"I love you too."

She said looking at me.

"I promise to take care of you both. As long as I am around you don't have to worry. You are going to be an amazing mother, Niharika."

I said kissing her temple.

"And, you a wonderful father."

She said leaning into my embrace.

This is the moment when I felt content.

As you get older you find out that true happiness is not in how much you make or how big your house is or fancy your car is. It is finding peace and joy and calmness in your life that will soon become the important thing to you. I don't need a perfect life. I just want to be happy, surrounded by good people who love me for what I am.

Just because you are born into a privileged family and have money doesn't mean you are happy. The happiness you can't buy. Happiness is something you need to work for. Your family is what matters to you. Love is what matters to you, things that are of a quality not of quantity.

Close the door to the past, open the door to the future, take a deep breath, step through and start a new chapter in your life.


Have a happy reading. I love you all.❤️❤️❤️❤️

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