She opened her bleary eyes when the cat, all seven pounds of squirming flesh, climbed onto her belly. Squinting into the sunlight streaming in from the open window, she discovered that she was now the weary possessor of a pounding headache, and at some point, had managed to lose both a tooth and a spouse.
It was only when the pain from her heart ache settled; she actually realized the pain of that broken tooth. Her mind was blank and could only feel the inability of her limbs to obey the commands of her brain. The cat has been hungry from last 48 hours while she laid almost brain dead after the hurricane which hit her on that night.
That night could have been like any usual night in her life, but it wasn’t. She has known about the unalleged relationship he had with other woman in his life. The lipstick marks on his shirt, the long strands of hair in his car, the mid night calls and the business tours on weekends. Everything gave her all the clues she needed to know. She could have confronted him. Stopped the grey scenes behind her back and questioned the integrity of his so called dotted husband. But all she did was sobbed in her pillow every night.
Anita was a confident, modern woman. She worked in an advertising firm where she handled adversities day in and day out. Beautiful, stylish, down to earth, happy and positive woman. She was everything a man would wish for. Aryan had wooed her for a year before she said a yes. He was head over heels in love with her. When they got married, it looked like a fairy tale life to her. There was never a moment of sadness or loneliness in the house when they were together. The mere memory of the funny faces he made to make her laugh brought a smile on her face every time. But that memory now has an added partner to it. A pearl drop of tear which doesn’t stop at one.
Human brains work in different fashions when we come across such unusual situations. Situations where we have never imagined ourselves into. Things which we always thought can never happen to us. It was no different for Anita. If it was any friend of her who had been in her situations, she would have all the solutions to this. But when it was on her, she could not fathom what to do?
She had replayed the scene in her mind several times. She wanted to confront him and ask him if it is true? More than he lying to her, she was scared of what if he accepted it was true? What if he told he doesn’t love her anymore? Worse! If he wants to leave her and go to the other woman! What will she do without him? She was so madly in love with him. What if the hologram of his love shatters? It might be a façade, but her whole life was based on that false façade. She wasn’t ready to hear the truth yet.
She started living in denial. Like her beloved pet-Lucy, she thought closing the eyes will make the world a better place for her.
She woke up early every morning, prepared his favorite breakfast. Tried to keep his things ready every morning. Called him at work every few hours. She called their close friends home to bring back the old times back, when he couldn’t stop praising about the food she made and how amazing she looked. In fact, she stopped going to work. She wanted to give it all to save her relationship. But little did she know that she is carrying a one wheeled carriage on her feeble shoulders.
Aryan knew the attention was unusual. He was a bit alarmed but tried to obey the requests of his changed wife. He had been a charmer all his life. So he reciprocated with his usual flirtatious behavior. He thought it’s a passing phase, so little did he mind the extra attention from 2 women in his life. The initial high of being the universe for two women at the same time and being wanted; Soon faded away. He wasn’t able to manage being in two boats. Keeping up with the demands of one woman is tough and he was doing it for two.
The guilt of cheating on his loving wife had just started creeping in. He wished he could keep both his wife and new found love of his life happy together. But he soon knew that he might have to choose one. He has to decide on one and break the bad news for the other.
Men actually think very differently about relationships. They give it their 100 % when in love, but they come out equally 100 % when out of it. The once a very casual flirting had grown up to an affair. And that adrenaline of being in love and exploring a new unalleged facet of life was too tempting for him to ignore. But as the Newton’s law says, everything has an equal and opposite reaction. It wasn’t a casual hook up anymore. He has got addicted to the new life now. And now he was trying to figure out how he could blame Anita for letting this happen. Clearly, there were no major issues. They were quite in love, the respect, the space, the companionship was very much there. But is that really enough to stay happy with a person 24*7? Or humans constantly want to evolve, explore and engage in something new, something more exciting, something which the rules do not approve of.
Yes, Aryan clearly had no regrets about cheating on his wife. Because he belonged to the generation where Open relationships are ok. Of course, if it was Anita thinking on the same lines. He would have never forgiven her. A man can never forgive or forget his woman cheating on him. Because the mere thought of his possession being caressed by another man runs a shiver down the spine of any man. Woman is considered to be more imaginative but the imagination of a suspecting man can embarrass God on his creations.
Anita had called twice to check on him. His lungs had started fuming smoke after finishing 2 packs of cigarette in last 4 hours. He had been procrastinating this day for months now. But this was the ultimate night where he could no more be a hero in her life. He has to tell her the truth.
The door bell rang. Anita shifted towards the door with a big but nervous smile. Her 6th instinct had made her restless with something which was coming. The denial mode was constantly being challenged by her common sense. The romantic lights of the living room, the fragrance from the scented candles which she had lit all over the place. The beautiful blue orchids which she had brought specially to complement the lavender fragrance of her diffuser. The aroma of the buttery dal makhani which filled the kitchen and the dinning area. The bottle of Chiraz wine which brought back all the intimate moments of their relationship. The deep clevage spegatti blouse she wore along with the chiffon blue saree and those diamond earrings which he bought on their first anniversary. On any other night, it would have been the most immaculately planned romantic night. But in spite of all the perfect setup, it was not a perfect night. There was a nervous energy in the wind. The only thing normal in the room was the furry green eyed Lucy who was unfathomed of the pain her worthy master is going to give to her mistress.
When he entered inside, Anita quickly hushed the cat inside the room. She wanted to give him undivided attention and wanted to magically clear all the cracks on the mirror of her broken relationship. It clearly did not make things easier for Aryan. But he was determined. He quickly rushed to his room, freshened up and came out to the living room. Anita gave her a welcoming smile, but he ignored. He straight away declared, ”I need to talk to you!” Anita’s heart could have dropped out of her mouth if she would have not rehearsed this a thousand times in her mind earlier. With a calm face she asked,” What is it Aryan? Can we not have few glasses of our favorite wine before we spoke?”. He squirmed. “No Anita. This is very important. I wanted to tell you this for long, but I didn’t want to hurt you.” Anita’s heart was now beating at a speed faster than a running train. She could hear her heartbeats clearly and was wishing this was a BAD dream. She secretly pinched herself. But it wasn’t a dream!
“Anita, I really care for you. You are an amazing person. But I think you are not happy in this relationship. I don’t think I am giving you enough of what you deserve!” Aryan played it safe. Anita broke her silence, ”What do you mean? Talk clearly. Do not talk in riddles”. She didn’t know where she gathered the courage from. He continued “ Anita, lets part our ways. I don’t think it is working.”
Anita had heard these words a million times in her head in last few months, but when they actually exploded she felt nothing. When a flickering light suddenly extinguishes there is a strange silence in the dark room. She felt a similar silence in her heart. She would have shouted and screamed at him. Blaming him of infidelity. Blaming him of sleeping with the other woman and breaking all the promises he gave her while they tied a knot. But when the pain is unbearable, the only thing that it could be expressed is by silence. She could not react. All she wanted was to be silent.
Aryan felt worried. The usual reaction which he had expected was not there. He was prepared for the fight, the question and answers. His homework covered the points he would use in the blame game. He was also prepared to walk out of the house if things went out of control. But the silence made him worried.
With lot of courage, Aryan mumbled. “Anita, you are an amazing person. Just that we are not made for each other. Understand. It is good for both of us. You deserve much better!” Anita did not blink. Aryan thought that he will give her some time. When he comes back after 4 days from his Malaysia trip, she will be normal. And then he can start the formalities.
So he left immediately from home to avoid any further guilt cropping him for doing this to her.
Anita saw him going, but it felt like a trance. All she could do is go to the table, pick up the wine bottle and thrust all the poison inside the bottle in her throat.
Next when she woke up, all the curtains of the house were pulled apart. The glass pieces of wine bottle were all over the floor. There were blood foot prints all over the place. Her long strands of hair were cut unevenly and her mascara smudged all over her face. The food smelled rotten and the howling cat noise made her head spin. God knows how many times she had hit the wall and fell down on her head. All she could recollect was she wanted to kill the ANITA she hated so much!!
This blog was written for the contest Write India 2 by Times of India.