He watched her as she slept in his arms, feeling her body move rhythmically against his as she breathed in and out. He could not take his eyes off her face; those lovely long eyelashes that brushed against the top of her cheeks, her little pretty nose and the trace of a smile on her pouted lips. He had tried resisting her charm for the past 1.5 years, watching her from a distance but pretending to be completely disinterested. But the last 2 months with her had broken down his defence and brought him down on his knees.  When he thought back, the first time he had fallen head over heels in love with her was when she had lovingly called out his name; his name sounded so musical coming from her lovely lips.

An auto rickshaw came to a noisy halt somewhere outside and she stirred in her sleep. He looked up with annoyance and wished that the auto would drive away and let her sleep undisturbed. As he watched her move and settle down again into the crook of his arm, he remembered the frequent quarrels he had with his wife over her. “‘ Why are you doing this?” his wife had shouted. He had shrugged his shoulders and walked away, showing his indifference to her agitation. Now it was getting more and more difficult to hide his fascination for her from his wife.

He heard the auto drive away and with a start, he realized that that the auto had brought back his wife. He had not expected her back so early from her monthly morning visit to the bank. He panicked as he heard her open the front door with her key and let herself in. He looked down guiltily at the sleeping girl in his arms as he heard his wife quietly padding up the stairs to the bedroom. He considered moving her away, but she looked so serene and peaceful and he didn’t want to disturb her. Quietly he accepted that it was time for the confrontation with his wife that was long overdue.

The door opened and he guiltily watched the stunned look on his wife’s face as she stepped in and saw the girl in his arms. For a moment they both looked at each other, then slowly a smile replaced her surprised look and they both sighed in relief; a sense of relief for her that her husband had finally come to love their 20 month old daughter instead of pining for the son that he didn’t have and relief for him that he could stop the charade of disinterest and openly display his love for his little daughter.