An Unexpected Twist…. Chapter Eighteen

The sun’s rays wrapped him in a golden cocoon of warmth and light. Warmth and light, thought Vasusena, as he opened his eyes and made one final bow with folded palms. Warmth and light was what his father gave in abundance to all.
He turned with a smile and the smile froze on his lips as he saw the five men who stood there, waiting for him to finish his worship. They looked uncomfortable, shifting their stances and their gazes. Yudhistira was the only one who looked him straight in the eye.
“How long have you been here?” He asked, to cover the awkwardness of the moment, more than anything else.
“Not long,” said Yudhistira. “We… we needed to see you.”
“To thank me for saving your mother?” He asked. He had expected a message actually, not that they would come personally to thank him. That they did so raised his esteem for them a notch.
“Our mother,” said Yudhistira significantly.
It took him a moment to process what he heard, but he managed to keep his emotions under control.
“Who told you?”
He was just curious. It meant nothing anyway.
“Mother,” it was Bheema who spoke. “With a bit of a push from Pitamaha and Krishna.”
“Why are you here?” Vasusena asked.
“We…” Yudhistira stammered. “Krishna told us what you said when he asked you to join us. So… we.. we thought if you could,” he cleared his throat. “If you could just be our guest in Indraprastha for a few days….” His voice trailed off as Vasusena’s face remained impassive.
“With your family, of course,” said Nakula, sounding desperate. “And your parents.”
Vasusena felt touched. He did not know why.
“It’s a bit too soon for me,” he said.
“It’s a standing invitation,” said Arjuna.
“Is my best friend included?” Vasusena asked with a sly glance at Bheema.
“Well… I… I’ll try not to kill him if he does not step out of line,” said Bheema scowling.
Vasusena smiled. “That will do for now.”
He felt a warmth inside him. It seemed it was not just his father who gave warmth. Sometimes, all it took was a family that cared.

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