Episode : 19
The next morning was extremely awkward to say the least. As usual, Indrani was the first to wake up. She noticed that her daughter had rolled off at some point during the night. But she was still sleeping peacefully by her husband’s side, snuggled up against his side to keep themselves warm.
She had hoped it had all been a bizarre dream, but seeing his naked daughter next to her husband where her husband was still sleeping with his head resting on their daughter’s chest, she had to face the realisation that it all really had happened.
They had been forced at gunpoint to do the unthinkable. Those bastards had forced them to do things to each other that no right-minded sophisticated family would ever consider. Her husband had been forced to have sex with their daughter, and she herself had been forced to have sex with the two antisocials.
Although they had come to rob their possessions, they ended up robbing them of so much more. Their lives would never be the same. Even then, she knew it. What had been done could never be undone. There was no going back to the way things were before. Her heart was broken and she felt sick to her stomach.
She rushed out of the bed and ran to the bathroom where she threw up as the details of the previous night replayed in her head. At last she flushed the toilet and washed her face in the sink. That’s when she heard her daughter shriek. “Oh my God! Daddy, get off of me!”
She shut off the water and rushed back into their bedroom to see her husband standing naked beside the bed. Their daughter had grabbed the sheets and covered herself. Everyone looked dazed and confused.
“Oh my God. Oh my God,” was all their daughter could say over and over again. She had a horrified look on her face as the memories of the previous night played through her head. The realisation of what had happened was almost too much for the young actress to take.
Indrani told her daughter to go to her room, get dressed and wait for her to come get them. She then asked her husband to wear clothes while she checked out the house to see what all had been stolen and make sure the house was secured.
To her shock, only their basement TV and computer were gone. The intruders must have just grabbed what they could carry of value and ran off. Otherwise, the house was just as it had been. If only the same could have been said about her family.
She headed back upstairs to their bedroom to see what her husband was doing. He had managed to get herself dressed and he seemed to have gotten over the initial shock. She began to tell him about the stolen items, but he cut her off.
“Get Nandini meet me in the kitchen. We all need to talk.” He said with a tone that made it clear that this wasn’t to be debated.
Saying that Nandan himself walked to his daughter’s door and hesitated as he reached for the door and thought about the incident. ‘Although I had cherished a dream for a long time about my daughter, but in practical I can’t believe it still now. How was I going to look my daughter in the face? I was so ashamed about what had happened the night before. It wasn’t so much what I had been forced to do that I was ashamed about, but rather it was the fact I had allowed myself to enjoy it so thoroughly and completely.’
He raised his hand to the door to knock, but it opened before he reached it. His daughter walked by him without even looking at him and said as she walked to the kitchen, “I heard about the family meeting in the kitchen.”
Nandan felt some relief as he noticed her. ‘My daughter couldn’t even stand to look at me, ‘ he thought to himself as he headed for the kitchen feeling like the worst father in the world.
He noticed his wife was back to her normal self. At least that was how she portrayed herself as she spoke. She said all the possible sides about that horrible thing that happened to them. How they would get through that and not let this moment define the rest of their lives or their relationships with each other.
Her husband and daughter followed her lead and pointed out the politically correct things. At last they all agreed that they would not let this change in the family and that Rajnandini’s fiancee Akash, must never know about what happened. They would keep this as a top secret and only speak of it during counseling, which they all agreed unanimously.
They all hugged when the family meeting was over and put on their best faces and tried their hardest to get through the weekend. Unfortunately, none of them really believed in their hearts that they were going to be the same family ever again.
Nearly three months had passed since that tragic night. It had been a very difficult time for the family. In the meantime, Rajnandini was struggling through her filmy career for last few months and absorbed herself only in Kader’s film-shooting. She blamed on the seniors for not getting further chances in other’s film, but her parents knew what was really troubling her.
Indrani and her husband were struggling too. Though they were getting along fine in the everyday aspects of their marriage, they had not been able to have sex once during that time. They had tried a few times, but neither of them were able to get into the moment enough to get beyond foreplay. That was a big change from once a week they normally had sex. They simply could not find a way to connect the way they used to.
However they were all seeing counselors on their own as well as a semi-monthly group session. The counseling was helping, but it was a very slow process. They realised that the slow process was due to the fact….. they were all lying to themselves or one another about what happened that night.
Indrani finally admitted to her counselor that she had really enjoyed having sex with the two intruders in front of her daughter and husband. And she even suspected the same thing about her husband and daughter. However they weren’t admitting their true feelings about that night either, at least not in the group sessions.
In the meantime, Indrani became busy with her new film in which Nilay worked as a director and one day they decided to discuss about her screenplay in her house. At one time, both her daughter and husband felt themselves boring as they went to their respective bedrooms for sleeping.
Nandan then watched TV for some time and in between his watching, his wife came to him and urged him nightly to take his sleeping pill so that he could sleep well. That night was no different.
“Dear, did you take your pill tonight?” Indrani asked anxiously.
“Yes.” He lied.
Actually he had already taken a pill three out of the last four nights and wasn’t about to get hooked on them. He just wanted to avoid her trying to convince him to take it, so he did what every husband does to avoid conflict. He told her what she wanted to hear. Then he turned off the TV as he rolled over and tried to fall asleep.
Noticing her husband about that state, Indrani again went back to their guestroom where Nilay was waiting for her and resumed their discussion About half an hour later, once again she came to their bedroom to check her husband if he was sleeping or not. She whispered to him, “Dear, are you awake?”
Nandan didn’t reply. She asked the question again, and again he pretended to be asleep. If he had answered her, she would have known he was lying about taking the sleeping pill. A few moments later, he heard her went out of the room and headed down the guestroom again.