An Unexpected Twist…. Chapter Seventeen

Suyodhana woke up suddenly. He did not know what it was that woke him. He felt disoriented. He shook his head.
He tried to sit up. Silk! His hands touched the silken sheets on which he was lying. He looked around. He was in his room. The contours were so familiar to him.
He rose from the bed. He pinched himself. It hurt. He was not dreaming. He was in his room. But were the past few days a nightmare then? Or were they real?
He looked around him. The room was the same and yet there were differences. The chairs were new. So was the table. His weapons were not there in the room. But most importantly, his wife was not there in his bed.
He wondered where she was tonight. Was she in his mother’s apartments? His insides twisted with guilt as he thought that he had not spared her a thought for the past few days. That he was not in a position to worry about her was of no moment. He had not thought of her.
He stilled as a sound came to him. Someone was at the door, someone was pushing it open.
A few strides and he was behind the door. The person opening would not be able to see him.
The door opened partly and Bhanumati stepped into the room. “Swami?” She whispered with so much hope as her eyes scanned the room. Then her shoulders slumped. Suyodhana could imagine that she must have come here every night since his disappearance, hoping against hope that he might be here.
She turned to go when he stepped from behind the door.
“Bhanumati,” he whispered.
She stared at him as if seeing a ghost. Her face was pale and then red and then pale again as she came to him. She raised a trembling hand to touch him. He captured her hand and pulled her into his arms as she sobbed silently.
His hand stroked her hair as he kissed her on top of her head. She clung to him, as if she would never let go of him again.
Outside, the moon shone benevolently on to the palace of his descendants.


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