I sat there, nearly rubbing my eyes in disbelief. He looked a little surprised too, to find himself standing in front of me after nearly a year.
I felt a tear welling up from the inside but caught myself in time. Even I could see how ridiculous that would look. The unexpected level of emotion we both felt at seeing each other for so long was ridiculous enough.
I had my mask on even though I was in my own home. It had been a while since a visitor was welcomed with a smile and maybe a hug. These days, it was replaced by a mask and gloves. And hand sanitizer right by the door for good measure.
He was different though. He went straight to the washbasin and used soap and water to clean up for the full twenty seconds. Once he was done, he came and fell at my feet!
I was completely taken back and almost leaped a few feet backwards. He stood up, unapologetic.
“I’ll start from tomorrow madam, don’t worry about anything. You can finally get a break from all the house work and catch some rest. Next week I’ll do the deep cleaning also which you must not have been able to do last Diwali.”
He rattled on and on, eager to get on with the job. Of course no one cleaned like he did. Even my efforts of the last year weren’t up to his standards.
I could not believe the long, hard months of juggling home and work, and attempt to desperately carve out some non-existent quality time to keep my sanity about me was about to come to an end. It all seemed too good to be true.
I grinned from ear to ear, deciding to accept that this was happening and I should celebrate the relief from incessant house work. The moment was so beautiful that I could hear sounds in the air like those Bollywood movies where the sound of chimes and bells filled the seconds before something big was about to happen.
I was just about to agree on timings and pay when I felt someone nudging me annoyingly on my shoulder.
I was about to turn around and yell at the husband for ruining the moment when my eyes opened.
I was greeted by the chimes insistently ringing from my phone along with a husband shaking me awake, wondering what I was smiling about in my sleep!