It was 11 pm as she waltzed into the house. Happy. Smiling. Full of life.
“Hi, baba,” she said, peeking into his study, as she made her way into her room.
“Hey!” he said, and went back to the computer.
She spoke to her mum, nineteen to the dozen. Everything about her day. Whatever happened at work. Everything funny that happened. What her boss said. About her quick date with her fiancé. She was still happy. And smiling. And glowing.
After a while, he dad came out of the study, stretching and getting ready to go bed. She was still talking to mom. He stuck around for a bit. Heard tidbits of the conversation. But he was too far off from the context. He murmured a quick good night and went to bed.
Tomorrow was a long day.
In about 10 minutes, she came in and planted a kiss on his cheek. “Good night, baba”, she said.
This once nightly ritual. So rare now.
Good night, he murmured, instantly happy.
And then she went off to bed. Back to her life.
He didn’t realize when he drifted off to sleep. But not before replaying her imminent wedding day in his mind. And specially the part where she’d leave.
Would she cry as she hugged him goodbye?
A part of him sincerely hoped so.
Because he knew he would.