August 9, 2019
Droplets of water found their way from Sandhya’s damp hair on to her beige colored kurta. She had just taken a shower to wash her sins of last night. Sins? Really? She wasn’t even feeling a tad guilty. Didn’t she want it to happen? In fact, she had planned for it subconsciously.
Sitting in front of her dressing mirror, she admired her own image. Memories of the night before, came alive, sweet and naughty nothings. Her cheeks turned pink, even at the mere thought. She tried to grasp her fleeting mind back to her reflection in the mirror. Sandhya had always loved wearing light shades, whites and pastels. But lately she had started buying bright shades, to make her life a little colorful, even though it made her look like a different person in her own eyes. Was it mid life crisis or something else? Today, she felt like her own-self and her skin dazzled in her favorite color, all due to the magical night.
It had started a few weeks back. He was new in the neighborhood. Sandhya would observe him daily on the way back from her gym. He was oblivious of her presence and her interest in him. But with each passing day, Sandhya was desperately trying to buy his attention. And one day he caught her staring. Her cheeks had turned into a shade of crimson red. Not knowing how to react to his gaze, she had hurried back home. Very soon, it became a routine. His curious gaze turned into an invitation which Sandhya was finding hard to resist. Even in her wildest of dreams, she wouldn’t think of cheating, how would Abhi react, and what would kids think of her ! No…she can’t do it.
But as they say, “Its all written”.
It was Saturday, her husband Abhi was staying overnight at a friend’s place to watch soccer and kids were at their grandparents’ for the weekend.
She was sweating profusely, her trainer was not showing any mercy on her. It was not his fault, how would he have known what demons she was fighting against, in her mind. On the way back, she saw him again, his smile, his invite and as if the heavy workout had drained her resolve, she couldn’t resist anymore and approached him.
One thing led to another and the night became the most memorable night for Sandhya. She felt elated, beautiful and satisfied!
The flashes of the night were broken by a disturbing vision. She went closer to mirror, “What is that?”. She concentrated, on the reflection of her white bedcover in the mirror.
Crimson cheeks went pale. How could she not notice? It was a big red spot, shouting out loud, telling everyone about her sins!
The bell ringed. Sandhya was in panic. It must be him. How would she explain?
The bell ringed again. She rushed towards the door, “I will explain, I am sure he will understand” she kept assuring herself.
Abhi stood in front of her, smiling, “hey, did you have a peaceful night?” he held her hand and walked towards the bedroom.
“The game was so awesome, you should have joined us, we had a bet, and….”, Abhi was staring at the red spot.
“Listen Abhi, don’t get angry. I can explain”, Sandhya pleaded.
Even before she could finish, Abhi dismissed her explanation with a wave of his hand, and sat on the bed, staring at the mirror. The red spot grinned at him. He looked away, feeling defeated.
Sandhya stood in front of him like a meek deer. “Was it him?”, he still didn’t look at her.
“Yes, I am sorry”, is all Sandhya could utter.
After a minute or so, which felt like eternity, Abhi looked up at her, gently holding her hands, “Did you think of me, about us, even for a minute? You can’t do this Sandhya, not to me, not to the kids and most importantly, not to yourself. I know its difficult for you, and things have not been same lately. Do you think, I have not noticed the bright colors on you? Do you think its easy for me see someone else when I look at you? But I am trying, we all are. This….this red spot, you know what this can do to us? It can kill us, it can kill you Sandhya!! You have cheated”, Abhi paused for a second. He didn’t want to say it loud, but he had no options left. She will have to hear it, even though it hurt her. And he will have to tell her, because Sandhya was his life.
Abhi took a deep breath and said, “You are obese Sandhya and you can’t eat samosas and bread pakodas with ketchup!! Do you understand?”.
That was it ! Words that she didn’t want to hear lingered in the air. Her mind went blank.
Abhi was right. She had cheated. Infidelity, it was indeed…to herself.