One morning some time ago I awoke from a frighteningly real nightmare. I woke up crying, unable to let go of the horror and pain. I cried and cried, louder and louder, unable to stop. Rahul came to see what was up and then ran off to get his father. Vicky held me while I cried, unable to tell him why. Rahul left the room.
Later I wondered how he could have left me crying like that. It was so unlike the protective little boy he is.
Repeatedly since then he tells me when we wish each other good night, to not have any bad dreams. And if I do, I must go to him and lie quietly holding him and the bad dreams will go away. Last night he was a tired little boy but before he fell asleep he told me yet again that I must go to him if I have nightmares.
I am starting to see why women lean on their sons. Sometimes, nobody can get you quite like a son.
What was it like, being 3, 4, 5 years older than me and remembering when punch cards were actually used? Being old enough to be in love with Amir Khan before he became Aamir. To be a teenager when clothes were grunge and rap was young and people actually listened to Michael Learns To Rock? (You, of course, never did.)
Def Leppard was before my time and I actually grew up on the internet. But you had to depend on fat editions of Linda Goodman to know more about your sunsigns. I wrote letters, like you, but already it was a vanishing art. What was it like being only a few years older but almost a lifetime away from me?
By the time I caught on, tried to absorb more of your music (the 'good' stuff) and was old enough to insist on looser shirts and jeans that slouched, the styles were already changing and we were watching our fathers worry over Y2K.
You were old enough to watch a young(er) Amitabh Bachchan in the movie halls and young enough to think that '80s Hindi movie music was good. I made fun of you and told myself you were outdated before you were 20. This morning I was reading my Murakami and it hit me, that's a book from your time, not mine. Maybe, even then, you were cooler than I could comprehend.
Vicky's been a fairly horrible sort of husband of late. Surly, grumpy, withdrawn, asocial. It's work coupled with the joys of first Rahul and then me falling ill so that we were all home with each other 24/7 for almost a fortnight without respite. (But that doesn't excuse his behaviour. If anything, given how ill the antibiotics were making me, he should have been nicer.)
We fought over the weekend and didn't talk much.
For dinner on Sunday I made spaghetti alla marinara and chocolate mousse because Rahul had asked for it so often. When Vicky came to dinner I told him if he wanted dessert he better start apologising. He looked into the fridge. Then this man, who hadn't talked to me in two almost days, came and kissed me.
Sometimes I think the man will sell his own grandmother for chocolate.