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“HEY!!”, a beam of light blinded my eye as I was able to see a silhouette of a woman running towards me and shouting at someone behind me. “He…Help”, my bangles rustled as I slowly raised my blood-splattered hands for help. Soon the footsteps behind me began to recede and I could hear them talking towards each other and throwing their rods on to the floor. “Wake up… wake up”, she placed my head on her lap and rubbed my chin with her palm. “Don’t die”, her voice choked as she controlled her tears. She quickly picked me up and rushed towards my car. As the parking lights shed on her face, I could see it was Aarthi who placed me in the backseat and rushed back to driver seat. “Take care of Deepa, will you”, I muttered my last words and drifted towards my final sleep.
“Beep… Beep”, I could see nothing in the blackness but hear a mild sound coming nearby. Soon the blackness was filled with water and I felt like sinking and desperately fluttered my hands and legs to stay afloat. My efforts proved futile as I was sucked into its deep unending bottom. As I gave up hope and let myself sink, I saw a beam of light shining at the top, coming closer towards my eyes and filling the room with light. Suddenly conscious struck me and got up from my bed, breathing heavily. I looked around like a lost child and saw a doctor holding a flash light. I saw Aarthi, standing next to the doctor with a huge smile and stepped in forward to soothe me. “Where am I?”, I asked her still breathing heavily. She wrapped her hand around my shoulder and lowered my bed towards the pillow. “Just sleep”, she hummed her words as I drifted back to sleep again.
After few hours, I woke up in slow pace and looked around to see Aarthi seated next to me in chair looking at the doctor’s reports. As soon as she saw me, she quickly stood up and helped me to sit. “Praise the lord”, she smiled wiping her tears.
“Where am I?”, I asked her as I saw my right hand and head wrapped in bandages. “Aah ha…I told you”, I turned around only to see Rubini, in her male avatar walking towards me laughing.
“You lost”, he pestered Aarthi. “What… lost?”, I looked at him puzzled. “Yeah, she lost her bet”, Rubini began to laugh hysterically. “Bet?”, I questioned him again. “I made a bet that the moment you wake up, you would ask where were you?”, he looked at Aarthi as she placed some pillows behind me to make me comfortable.
“Where is Deepa?” I asked both of them, as the dreadful images flashed in my mind. “School”, Aarthi answered and handed me my medication pills.
“The boys?”, I wanted to know what happened to them. “Expelled”, she began to explain that they were expelled from the flat by the association members.
“Do they know…” I enquired whether they know anything about my dressing. “NO”, Aarthi said firmly and explained that she had fabricated a false story around my attack and reported it to them. “Oh, Okay…thanks”, I thanked for her help in concealing the truth.
“Doctors ?” I began to question her again as I was dressed in saree when she must have taken me to the hospital. Doctors might have wondered too why I was dressed as a woman. “Drama”, Ruben aka Rubini took the stage now and began to explain that he had told them that I was attacked after returning from a stage drama. “Thanks”, I was relived hearing their words and laid back again.
“When will Deepa come here?” I asked Ruben who was busy reading newspaper. “Not now”, he replied still reading the news.
“Why?”, I became restless and looked at him anxiously. “Not the right time”, he
shrugged me off again.
“WHY?” I raised my voice. Ruben placed the paper on the table and took a deep
breath. “Look at yourself”, he pointed his fingers towards my bandages. “What do you think will happen when she sees you like this?”, his words threw me off balance.
“You are right”, I leaned back thinking about my daughter. “Let her stay in Aarthi’s apartment for a while. Once you get back to shape, she is all yours”, Ruben knocked some sense in me. “I guess you are right again”, I agreed with him and grabbed my phone and call my manager to inform him about my leave.
“Thank you Arun. I shall work from home in the mean time”, Aarthi arrived as I hung my call. She quickly scanned me in her eyes and handed my pills. “Feeling better?” she asked as she sat beside me. “Somewhat”, I answered and gulped my medication.
“How is Deepa?”, I wanted to know how is she doing. “Good… she is strong… you know”, Aarthi explained about my daughter in detail that she is coping well after the incident.
“Does she miss her mother?” I wanted to check if Deepa said anything about her
mother. “Sometimes”, Aarthi replied in a calm manner. “But, not that much”, as Aarthi began her explanation, Doctor came along with his nurse to check my condition.
4 days later
“Does it hurt?” Doctor requested me to do some basic actions and noted my replies. “No”, the routine answer I gave him whenever he enquired about any pain.
“Well, Guhan…”, he began to talk looking at my medical reports which inadvertently made me a bit nervous. “Reports are fine. You can discharge at your convenience”, his wide smile made me happy. “Thank you doctor”, I thanked him as he left and told Aarthi that I can leave tomorrow.
“You sure?”, both Ruben and Aarthi looked at me puzzled. “Absolutely”, I jumped out of my bed and began to walk around them, making them laugh. “As you
wish”, Ruben left to pay the medical charges.
The next day, we picked up a cab and reached my apartment by 12pm. Aarthi prepared us lunch and left to attend her personal commitments. “Just relax, don’t do anything stupid. I will pick up Deepa and come here”, she ordered me to relax and left.
After an hour long chat with Ruben, he too left to care of his work. Not knowing how to spend my time, I took a walk around my home and saw my wife smiling in our family photo hanging in the hall. Her contagious smile mesmerized me for a moment and suddenly planted an idea in my heart. The clock showed the time as 3:30, as I quickly ran towards the bedroom and opened my wife’s wardrobe.
I shaved off my beard and rushed back to bedroom and roped in a green saree and placed makeup items in front of my dressing table. I quickly wrapped a towel around my neck and sat on the dressing table in front of mirror. I began with foundation but with caution to conceal my bruises. Then, I applied concealer below my eyes and blended it to a give a smooth look. I pasted the eye lashes and curled it around to give a more feminine look. Then came the mascara and finally for lips I used bright red lipstick for a more glossy look. “Not bad!” I patted myself on my back and moved on to wearing the saree.
I slipped into my inner wears and then the breastforms, checked in front of mirror to verify that it looked natural. With basic makeup and dressing complete, I picked the green saree and wrapped around in a jiffy. I placed the wig properly on head and began to comb again. Then I placed on the curls on my right shoulder to give a more feminine look. I took a thin gold necklace, non-piercing ear rings and half-dozen of bangles on each hand. Time was 4:45pm, when I completed my final corrections. I seated myself in front of the door and waited for Deepa.
I wore half a dozen bangles on each hand, and did a light makeup to compliment my green saree.
Soon, I heard the footsteps and Aarthi opened the door with her spare key. “I am bac… Oh my”, she froze the moment she saw me. “Hi…”, I smiled in a low feminine tone to Deepa who was peeking behind Aarthi. “MOMMY!!!”, she pushed Aarthi aside and ran towards me.
“Did you miss me?”, tears rolled down my eyes as I looked at her. She nodded back wiping her tears and hugged tight around my waist.
Aarthi slowly closed the door and sat on the sofa looking at both of us. Filled with happy tears, she sported a wide smile and looked at me. I reciprocated her smile and carried Deepa to kitchen.
“What do you want?”, I asked Deepa, who still held tight me like a fevicol bond. “Ummm…”, she placed her hand on her chin and thought for a moment. “Ummm…”, I too joined her in her thought. “YOU… ha ha ha”, her answer made me blush for a moment and kissed her on cheeks.
“Then, no food tonight”, I teased and acted like I was leaving the kitchen. “No… no”, she fell for my act and dragged me back to kitchen.
“Got you, Drama queen”, I placed Deepa on the kitchen slab. “My special”, she winked at me smiling. “Your special, it is”, I winked back and began my preparations.
As I continued my preparations for dinner, Deepa narrated her school life and her stay with Aarthi. She went on to explain about how much she missed me, turning her emotional. “I came back”, I cheered her up and continued my work. After spinning her entire tale, she went to hall to watch television with Aarthi.
“Dinner is ready”, I came out shouting holding the hot menu. “Perfect as usual… Muuahh”, Deepa tasted the dish and gave me a kiss for my accomplishment. I wasted no time, as I grabbed a plate and began to feed Deepa as usual.
“Mother’s love … it never wanes”, Aarthi gave a sarcastic look at us. “Continue… continue”, she teased us and began to dig in her dinner.
After finishing our dinner, I and Aarthi sat on the sofa, while Deepa made my lap as her seat. “Did you miss your mother?” Aarthi jokingly questioned Deepa. “A LOT”, Deepa laughed looking at me. “But?”, she gave a cryptic answer.
“But what?”, Aarthi wanted to know what she meant. “But… Mom… ”, Deepa’s face turned serious as she looked at me. She took a deep breath, “MOM… I don’t need you”, and her reply crushed my heart.
“Wait… what??? …is this a joke?”, Aarthi tried to make some sense out of Deepa’s answer. “No, I don’t need her”, Deepa said pointing to me. Devastated by her answer, I remained silent and watched Deepa getting down my lap.
Deepa went to the bedroom and came back with a towel in her hand, sweeping me
off guard. Deepa stood in front of me and gestured me to bow down. I turned towards Aarthi who was in still shell shocked by what was happening around her.
Deepa once again pulled my saree and gestured me to bow, to which I obliged as usual. She placed her palms on cheek and pulled me closer to her face.
“Mom”, Deepa began her monologue with her sweet tone. “You know… I love you”, she continued as I stared at her eyes. “I am sure you are happy wherever you are now and I am happy wherever I am now”, she pulled me much closer and gave a gentle kiss on my cheek.
“I just wanted to see you one last time. So, Thanks for everything and…”, she pulled me closer to her for one last time. “Good bye”, she took her towel and wiped my makeup.
“I… I…”, I froze like a statue in front of her, lost for words. “Shhh…”, she covered my lips with her finger prompting me maintain silence. I said nothing, but tears flowed out making my eyes red. Deepa did not utter a single word, but wiped my tears with her towel and continued to remove my makeup. My heart was brimming with pride that my daughter who was just a kid a minute ago, had turned into a mature woman.
Aarthi too chose silence and kept looking at us in awe. After doing final corrections, Deepa pulled my wig and placed it on the table beside. She looked at me for a moment and smile sprouted out slowly from both of us. “Hi, Dad”, she kissed me on my forehead and began to cuddle me.
Aarthi gestured her leave to me and slowly closed the door as she left. As the door closed, Aarthi saw a new dawn in me, the dawn of a DADDY.
Note from Indian Crossdressing Novel: Please let us know how you felt after reading this heart-warming story. Our author Lakshmi Seetha would really appreciate your feedback.
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