Everafter

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Ranjana

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"And they lived happily ever after." With these last words, she set the pen down. Wearily, she rubbed gritty eyes and yawned.

Such bullshit, she thought, staring at another finished fairytale. But bullshit had made her rich. Really rich. She couldn't give it up now. Too late for a career change.

She trudged from her study to the bedroom, peeking into the messy room of her son on the way. Not yet in. Shrugging indifferently, she moved on.

From the doorway of her bedroom, she watched her husband sleep like a log. Sleep peacefully, no outward sign of the nasty quarrel that they'd had in the day, when she - when she was still reeling from it. It was not their first fight and neither was it the worst. But it hurt the most now.

"Happily ever after, my ass," she muttered and turned in the direction of the guest bedroom.

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He woke up early. The sky was still dark outside. He extended his hand to the other side of the bed and found it empty. He pulled a face, before getting up. It was time to write the last chapter.

Just as the sun came fully alive, he typed the last words:

"She fell to her knees and wailed in despair. It was the grief of incompleteness before the acceptance.

It would come in time. Such was the way of world."

He shut the lid of his laptop and went in search of her. He found her in the guest bedroom. That is where he always found her.

He knew she was hurting and the pain was rawest now. She lay in the middle of the bed, with one pillow secured in the crook of her belly, with her right hand. The left was clutched close to her heart. Her face looked calm but the restless movement of her eyes told him about nightmares of disquiet. He could make out almost invisible tear tracks on her cheeks.

His heart twisted.

Softly, he sank down beside her. He traced the tear tracks gently with purpose. That would wake her up.

She opened her eyes. They were clear, angry still.

"Come back to me please. Or let me come to you," he whispered.

And just like that she opened her arms.

As he settled in them, he knew this was happiness. Ever after was just these moments between discord of daily lives. And it was all that mattered.

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