Previously in Birthday wish: “Suddenly a servant came up to me and took me out of my reverie. He handed me a note and went away. It was from Jasper. He left.
Where? Why? It said nothing…..”
Don’t be mad at me. I am going. Where? Why? Can’t tell you right now. But I’ll be back soon. Just know that I have gone to set up your birthday gift, to fulfill your birthday wish.
I know you will be in a fix right now, it’s surely a difficult decision for you. I wish I could be there to guide and comfort you. But I will be there with you soon enough. And above all I know you are a strong, sensible girl, who knows perfectly what she wants, and will take the right decision.
I just want you to know, whatever your decision be, I’ll always be there at your side, with you. And don’t act under pressure or emotions, just go with your heart. See you soon.
Your Loving brother,
I folded the letter and pocketed it. I was obviously angry with him, but I knew he will always do what was right and best for me, and I never doubted his support.
I treaded back to house. I was tired and didn’t have any strength in me to ponder where he disappeared to. So, I went up to my room to sleep now, I can take care of Jasper tomorrow.
But as I went inside Naina informed we were going to Nanny’s tomorrow. It was unexpected, we hadn’t been to Nanny’s for a long time, but it would surely be fun. Phil was going for a business trip, we will leave after him tomorrow.
Mom asked me to pack, and since I hadn’t unpacked yet,I didn’t had much to do. I was exchanging some clothes in suitcase from that in my wardrobe, when someone knocked at my door, and Phil peeped in. It was unusual for Phil to come to my room.
“Hi Ana! Can I come in?”
“Yeah” I replied, cleaning my bed a little.
“Well, I forgot to give you your birthday gift downstairs. I wanted to talk to you as well, so I thought why not later. If you are not busy”.
“No! No. It’s fine” I said earnestly.
Phil came up to me and handed me two envelopes. I looked inside the first. There were two tickets for Paris.I beamed up at him.
“Thanks!!!”’ I wanted to hug him, but I didn’t. I proceeded to open other envelope, when he stopped me.
“Don’t open it now. Open it when you are on your way to your Nanny’s.”
I looked at him bemused, but compiled to his request. He was still looking at me with narrowed eyes, awaiting my confirmation.
“Okay. I’ll not open. Promise.”
He smiled, and then gave me an awkward one-armed hug “I love you Ana. You have grown-up fast. I know what your decision will be”, there was an uncomfortable silence. He took a shaky breath, and shook his head slightly as if getting rid of some thought.
“But I just want to tell you that, whatever your decision be I’ll always be here to hold you, support you whenever needed. I may not be your father but I have always considered you as a daughter. You and Jasper were the most precious gifts to me and I mean what I said. I know, I never said these things before because I knew you were with me. But if I don’t say these things now maybe I will never will be able to. Love u and Happy Birthday Princess.” And with that he kissed my forehead, gave me hug and turned to go.
“We love you too Phil. Thank you for being there, and we knew these things all along” I whispered. His back was towards to me, so I couldn’t see his face. He turned and gave me a soft smile, and I would have sweared I saw tears in his eyes.
He cleared his throat and said softly,
“Jasper said the same. Thank you. Good Night Ana”. He smiled once and then left.
I released the breath I didn’t know I was holding and sat down. This was the most emotional talk I ever had with him, and I don’t know what made me say all these things but they were true, each and every words and if they resulted into such a sweet smile from him, I’m happy I said them.
But ‘Jasper said the same’, he spoke to Jasper these things and he replied what I said? This birthday is surely filled with surprises.
Next day when I woke up, Phil had already left, there was still no information about Jasper’s whereabouts. We headed out at 1 for Nanny’s house. Naina was driving, Nanny was riding shotgun while I lounged at back seat, listening music and browsing on my iPad, when I remembered Phil’s letter. We were half way to Nanny’s house and it will still take us two and a half hours to reach there.
I fished out the letter from my bag and started reading it. Phil was involved in some plan with Jasper to solve out the problems between Charlie and Naina, and that was the sole reason of this trip. Whoa! It is first time ever that Phil is involved in any plan of Jasper. They would fulfill my birthday wish if the plan worked out. I scanned further and my heat squeezed and my eyes glazed with tears.
You are big and old enough to take your decisions now. I know you and Jasper never considered me as your father, that place solely belongs to Charlie I know that and will never question it ever.
If you are reading this letter surely our first part of the plan has been pulled out safely. This may be last time I talk to you, see you, hug you but always remember you hold a special place, a place of daughter in my heart. And I’ll be with you through thick and thin. I Love You Ana, and I’ll let you go if that is what you want, and will do my best to fulfill your birthday wish, even if its last thing I could do for you. Although I agree there is a selfish motive of mine too behind this, to get back my real Naina, and I know you can do this.
Love You Always
Your Father ever
A tear escaped my eyes and fell on the letter as I smiled fondly at it. Phil is surely the best person I ever got a chance to know in my life and I thank God for it. I folded the letter and kept it safely in my purse. Nanny was asleep and Naina didn’t notice, I also laid back and took a nap.
We reached Nanny’s around 4. Not much had changed at her place since my last visit. It was a small beach side summer-house. The coziness and warmth of the place made you feel at home. We settled ourselves, and were lounging in back garden when there was a knock at front door. I opened the door and was tackled in bear hug, lifted of my feet by Jasper. I pulled myself out of his embrace pulling a serious face and folded my hands in front of me and looked him in eyes,
“I will talk to you later mister, you have a lot of explaining to do”.
He had the decency to look sheepish, a hand rubbing back of his neck; a nervous habit of his.
I hugged Dad and brought them inside. While Nanny looked ecstatic, mom was surprised not to say a little angry. Their eyes met, both gave each other a curt nod and then looked away.
Nanny hugged Dad like a son, it was common knowledge even after mom and dad divorced,that Dad was like a son to Nanny and he visited her frequently.
It had been a long day so we retired to our rooms.
I went to Jasper’s room. He came out of the shower, only with towel around his waist, singing. As he turned I clicked a photo of his, eyes wide he shouted ”Hey!!”, and tried to grab the camera while his towel slipped a little , clutching his towel he ran back into the bathroom and I took one more shot and fell on bed laughing.
He came out in his grey sweat pants and red t-shirt with towel around his shoulder, red-faced.
I burst into fresh peal of laughter seeing his face.
“Hey!! Stop laughing it’s not that funny”.
“It is ,and you know it” I breathed out between my laugh and showed him the pics that I took. If possible he turned redder, looking like a tomato. I again started laughing clutching my stomach.
“An that’s not funny, delete the pictures”, he said threatening.
“Nope, they will come handy sometime. And this is your punishment for not telling me about your plan”. I stuck out my tongue immaturely at him.
“If I would have told you before than what was the meaning of surprise. And if you won’t delete the photos now and stop laughing, I’ll post your drooling baby photos on Friend’s page”
I sobered up immediately and shot up straight out of bed, and poked him in chest
“You wouldn’t dare”.
It was his turn to smirk. He caught my wrist and said in a sickly sweet voice,
“So my little sister, will you delete it or not, because I think I have many things and pictures to use as blackmail”
“Fine” I muttered darkly, and he let go of my wrist smirking.
Poor brother he didn’t know, that I had already created the copies, after all I am his sister.
“So why are you here?”.
“You didn’t told me about the plan” I exclaimed sitting on his bed beside him.
“It was meant to be a surprise for you, but you know now”.
“Ya!! Phil told me”.
“I thought so”.
“You knew he wrote a letter to me”.
“No, but I had a hunch. He talked to me other night, and said he didn’t know how to talk to you. He said it was not that difficult when I left, because you were there but now you will be going too, and he doesn’t know how to say goodbye to you. You know, he loves you a lot, you could have seen in his eyes how much we meant to him, so I suggested him to write his feelings if he is unable to speak. But emotions don’t need words you could just see in his eyes”.
Jasper looked at me and I could see how much he respected and loved Phil as he spoke so fondly of him, I knew though we had lived with him for a very short period of time, he had left an everlasting impression on our lives.
“You know, Phil is a wonderful person and it’s a blessing we got to have him in our lives. Even this plan would have not been successful without him”. I smiled and squeezed his hands, I couldn’t have said better.
“We digress.” he commented, and I smiled. Jasper was not one to talk about emotions.
“So what now?” I asked sniffing and shaking my head a little.
“Let’s go” he said getting up and opening the door.
“Where?” I asked looking at him confused.
“Nanny’s room” he said simply, holding the door open for me.
I raised an eyebrow at him” She knows?”
“Yupp… “He said closing the door behind me.
We went downstairs to Nanny’s room, she was in back garden. There is something about girls and gardening in our family.
She was watering plants. We went and sat on the wooden chairs near the swing, waiting for her to come and sit down.
“So anything you both planned?” she asked as soon as she sat down.
“Yes “Jasper replied, and we sat there discussing for an hour.
Neither Dad nor Naina showed up, both holed up in their rooms. In evening I went to call them for tea, we all sat in garden, Jasper and I on swing and elders on garden chairs. We sat there chatting for a long time, well Jasper, Nanny and I chatted, rest of them pretty much remained silent, giving each other the cold shoulder. Then Jasper and I made an excuse to go see neighborhood, while Nanny went to see to dinner.
“It’s late An. You can’t go out now”, Dad and Naina reprimanded us at the same time. They looked at each other, but when noticed us looking, diverted their eyes.
“But please Dad” I pleaded.
“Let her go, I’ll take care of her “Jasper added.
Finally he relented”Okay. But make sure you come back in an hour, Nanny is preparing dinner, and you both are not familiar with the place.”
We looked at Naina “Okay go. But remember what your Dad said”.
“Well that went well “I said as soon as we were out of earshot.
“Hmm, but we have to try something else and fast. “Jasper replied. “But for now let’s go and have some fun”.
And we both ran out.
The dinner was similar, Jasper, Nanny and I talked, with occasional comments from Dad.
Next day we planned to play badminton. Naina once told me that Dad and she used to love badminton, it was their favorite sport.
At first they both refused, Naina engrossed in her book, Dad on his laptop.
After sometime Jasper and I started fighting asking Dad and Naina to join in. They both were reluctant at first but agreed eventually, and so the game began.
It was fun, albeit Naina and Dad avoided passing to each other. With little fights between Jasper and I, the game went on and soon Dad joined in our fights.
After sometime both Jasper and I bailed, claiming to be tried but when Dad and Naina started to come back as well, we teased them.
One note about them, they have big egos as was obvious from starting.
So the game went on, Naina v/s Dad.
Or more like fight went on.
The shuttle was being hit so hard, we worried about its wellbeing. In the end Naina lost, and she is a sore loser, a fight started between them, starting from game and going to god knows where. Fuming both went to their rooms, not coming out at all.
Dinner was silent that day.
Today was last day of our trip, tomorrow we all will head to our respective destinations.
Jasper and Nanny went out to shopping, and then were visiting a friend. Naina and Dad had to still come out of their rooms. I was worried about what will we do now. Deciding to go sit on the beach I went out lost in my thoughts, I slipped on ball lying near staircases, and fell down the stairs.
Hearing me scream Dad and Naina came running out of their rooms. They checked me for injuries, Dad picked me up and rushed to the nearby hospital in the car. They took me to nearby hospital. I had a fracture in my left hand, a sprained ankle and a head cut.
I was lying in bed in my room, and groaned.” What will do now? Our plan to resolve the issues between Dad and Naina has officially gone down the drain.”
I heard whispers, someone was talking. I don’t know when I went to sleep, or how late it was. I tried to sit up and moaned with the pain in my hand.
Instantly two persons were at my side.
“Are you okay? Do you need anything?” Naina asked.
There was not much light in the room, but I knew what their expressions would be.
“I’m fine, just a little pain” I replied.
I was still sleepy because of the medications, and didn’t open my eyes, holding both Dad and Naina’s hand.
“You should go and sleep, I’ll stay with her” Dad said to Naina.
“No its fine, I’ll stay with her. You have long day tomorrow, you should sleep”. I held on to their hands tighter, not willing to let go and whispered” I don’t want either of you to leave, its last time I’ll have both of you with me”.
None of them said a word but I felt bed dip, and they each settled on my side.
I closed my eyes and snuggled in, while Naina stroked my hairs.
After sometime, I heard them talking in low voices.
“You gifted An a sports car” Naina spoke breaking the silence.
“Yup. She had been asking for it, a long time” Dad replied.
“Even though you know I disapproved of it. She is 18” there was a little anger in her voice, as Naina replied.
“I am just fulfilling her wishes” Dad replied with equal vigor, ploughing on without giving her time to reply,” and before you say it, I’m not spoiling them. I have restricted her to drive alone until 19. She has a driving license and she drives safely”.
“And she’s going to go to college, she will need it there, but with restrictions. And she will follow them. She always does, “the trust and pride in his voice, made me promise myself that I will never break his trust.
“I know, she has grown up well. Both of them have” Naina replied a little reluctantly, her fight drained out of her.
Then after some silence, in which I almost dozed off, Dad spoke “You know, An is planning to move in with me, she is going with Jasper and me from here”.
“I know” Naina sighed “I was wrong at first place trying to keep them away from you. Their love for you was palpable”.
“I wanted to say this for so long…”Naina trailed off.
I tried to keep awake, but medications kicked in and I dozed off thinking maybe our plan didn’t went down the drain after all. They were talking finally.
Next morning I woke up to see their hands clasped together with mine sleeping, a relaxed expression on their faces. I tried to get up without waking them, but it was not plausible. They both jolted awake, looked at me to check if I was okay, then murmured “Good Morning” to each other and went their ways.
There was no animosity between them, or any uneasiness but an acceptance and ease of knowing someone for a long time.
After getting dressed I went downstairs to find everyone at dining table, laughing and talking.
Phil was there as well beside Naina conversing with Nanny. Jasper and Dad discussed last night’s game, while Naina looked over all of them with a small smile playing on her lips, shaking her head at Dad and Jasper’s antics.
So miracles do happen overnight.
There had been long time of animosity between Naina and Dad, just because of her insecurities, and miscommunication between them. It’s a wonder how such long-term problems, could be solved with proper communication.
I shook my head and went down rest of the way, to sit between Jasper and Dad, both ruffling my hair and teasing me.
The good mood went on until evening, when we all had to leave. Naina and Phil were headed out for their world tour while Jasper and I got ready to leave with Dad. Our flight for Paris was of next weekend.
Naina kissed us goodbye and she was practically glowing, all smiles. I was happy to see her like this. Phil gave me tight, warm and affectionate hug, kissed me on forehead and whispered,” Thank you, Princess” .I looked up at him and gave him a big smile. Even Jasper hugged him.
Then Jasper came up to me, handing me a letter,” Your birthday gift”. I looked at him bemused, “What now?”, but he just smiled.
I opened it and my eyes went wide, I jumped and hugged him. It was my acceptance letter from Cambridge. I thought I missed the date. But how can it be when you have a brother like Jasper. This was truly my best birthday ever.