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She stirred in her sleep when she felt something soft on her cheek. After a second she realized, someone had kissed her! She had to use all her self-control to not open her eyes and see who it was. She was extremely curious, but if that someone kissed her when she was asleep, they obviously didn’t want her to know about it. Then, she heard the click of the door. The person must have left the room. She opened her eyes; her lips twitching into a small smile at the fact that she had been kissed. Still in bed, she tried to imagine who could have been there just 2 seconds ago. She obviously knew the answer; she could imagine only her father doing that, as he had done many times before.

 

Whenever she and her father would get into an argument, her father would come to her bed at night and kiss her goodnight. That was his way of trying to cool things off, and it worked pretty well too! She would forget that the argument ever happened and go to sleep thinking how sweet her father was.

 

They had gotten into an argument the previous night, too. She had asked him for his permission to go out with her friends after college was over, but he had refused, not so very politely too. That justified the kiss.

 

She had started behaving rude that day after her father’s refusal, angry that her father never let her go out with her friends. To top that off, her brother, Rohan shut her up. She knew she was wrong, and Rohan was right, but her ego was hurt. Rohan had always been on her side. It had always been like their age gap of 9 years didn’t even exist! They were great friends. And then, he shut her up, and hit her with the fact that he was, after all, 9 years elder to her. After sharing all those amazing, fun moments with her brother, as if they were friends, he suddenly started behaving like an elder brother. He seemed like a stranger to her. She didn’t want to talk to him, ever again. Of course she knew she couldn’t hold a grudge against him for long, but she’d try anyway.

 

It had become really quiet between them since that day. All they talked was a casual ‘hi’ or ‘can you pass me the remote?’

 

She was suffocating. The tension between her and her father, however thick, did get over quickly. In fact, she got a kiss from her father every morning since then. And she’d still pretend to be asleep when his rough stubble would brush her cheek when he kissed her. The fact that her father still behaved weird with her when she talked to him did puzzle her, but she didn’t think much about it. Whereas between her and Rohan, it seemed like it would take eternity for things to get back to normal again.

 

As her hands moved over her arms applying cold-cream over them, she thought about all those nights she and her sibling had had fun in their room, watching movies or just spent time talking. It was going to be yet another awkward night, she thought, applying the cream on her face too.

 

“Did you just apply that on your face?!”

 

Her brother’s voice startled her, making her afraid for a second that he might have heard her thoughts.

 

“Um yeah, my skin has become really dry,”

 

She anticipated him to comment something about her becoming girlish, as he would normally do.

 

She started hoping that things were finally becoming normal again, but he just shrugged and mumbled an okay. Her heart sank.

 

She sighed and lay on her bed, trying not to look at the bed across hers where he slept.

 

She finally fell asleep, waiting for him to say something.

 

Things would maybe stay like that forever…

 

She was once again woken up by her father’s kiss. This time, he had kissed her nose. She mentally chuckled. He kissed her on her nose because he knew she applied cream on her face.

 

Wait, it can’t be! Only Rohan knew that she applied cream on her face!

 

Her eyes flew open and she saw a surprised looking Rohan hovering above her. It took her mind a good few seconds to register that it was Rohan, it had always been him! She blinked at him twice and a huge smile broke out on her face.

 

“You kissed me,” her smile getting impossibly wide.

 

Her brother made a face at her, too shy to accept the fact that he kissed her every morning before he left for college.

 

“AWWWWWW!”

 

Her brother flinched at her sister’s girlish remark.

 

You’re acting girlish, stop that,” he said, his face contorting, and a little embarrassed.

 

She giggled and did that ‘aw’ sound again, with a greater intensity.

 

Her brother just gave her a look, trying to hide his smile, and left quickly.

 

She giggled and then it dawned on her why her father was still behaving weird with her… Oops!

 

KHUSALI

SYIT

MULUND COLLEGE OF COMMERCE

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