It was the 10th of March. The Tenth marriage anniversary of Abhijeet and Seema. Their life was as happening as a fictitious couple’s life would be. Both of them went to work together, though they worked at different offices. Abhijeet would first drop her and then go to his office. Their only daughter Maya was a genius at 6 years. She was excellent in studies and dancing was her only passion. Abhijeet and Seema were exceptionally proud of their daughter. Their family was a typical fictional happy family. Today being their marriage anniversary, Abhijeet wanted to take Seema somewhere away from the hullabaloo of Mumbai. After extensive research, he zeroed down to go to Mahabaleshwar. He was a frugal man who believed in spending less and achieving more. It was not that he didn’t want to go somewhere far, nor was he into cash crunch. But, just the fact that his friend Alok had his home there and going there he would have been able to save some cash for future.
While returning home with Seema from office, he communicated her about his plan. Seema, an even-tempered woman was nonchalant about going anywhere as long as she didn’t had to go to office on her anniversary. She was very meticulous in her job. As long as she was in Mumbai she never missed a day of office. She couldn’t’ rely with her job on anyone.10th was a Friday and it was already getting sultry even in March. So next morning they dropped Maya to Seema’s parent’s place in Byculla and started driving toward’s Alok’s place in Mahabaleshwar.
On the way, they stopped while Seema went into a highway pharmacy to pick up her digestive medications. While inside in the pharmacy getting her bill calibrated she heard, “how are those eyes doing?”
She was perplexed at the sight of Vikrant after about a decade. She noticed that he had grown thinner and his temple hairs had grayed. He seemed to be alone there. He was her first love to whom she had lost her virginity too during the final year of college in Elphinston. He used to call her every day with the same query. Seema had beautiful symmetrical eyes with a twinkle. They started talking.
He began,” Are you the kind of wife who cheats on her husband?”
She replied without a hint of hesitation,” Are you out of your mind! Hell no! I love Abhijeet, why would I cheat on him?”
He interjected,” but you would if I am standing next to your husband, right?”
Seema laughed off at his question and shook her head indicating a no.
They exchanged their whereabouts and bid Goodbye to each other
She returned back to Abhijeet in the car. She was puzzled and somewhat disturbed by this sudden ambush.
She narrated the entire incident to Abhijeet. Abhijeet was damn pissed off, but never showed it to her.
He behaved he was unruffled with her speaking to her ex-lover. He contained his irritation within himself. He knew about Vikrant.Only thing he didn’t expect nor want was him to pop up suddenly out of nowhere and that too on their anniversary. But they still behaved like nothing had happened. all the way, Seema was quiet, creating more restlessness and insecurity within Abhijeet heart.Seema was clearly not interested in the music he was playing or the talks he was talking or the place they were going.
They reached Alok’s place. Alok was a bachelor and he had his own bungalow in the mountains of Mahabaleshwar. he treated them with utmost hospitality and care. but like before, Seema seemed disinterested in anything and everything that was going on. Her mind was busy analyzing some mystery which was a mystery to all. on the other hand, Abhijeet was trying to come up with various possibility to distract her, because he was totally annoyed. he didn’t want or expected his wife to act so weirdly on the day of their decade long anniversary. she was ruining everything he had planned for so long. he was hurt and irritated by her. he begged her to share anything that was disturbing her, but all the things she mentioned had no trace of Vikrant in it.it was office, office, the office she was mulling over.
Abhijeet thought of an idea. he called Seema’s secretary, explained all the work that Seema was worrying about and sorted out her problem, without letting Seema know anything about it.
Alok had compiled a list of places which they could go and visit in Mahabaleshwar. Everyone in the office knew it was Seema’s anniversary, so then began the period of incessant phone calls for both of them. Then they went out to see the strawberry garden. They kept strolling in the beautiful and quiet morning. The beauty around them was breath taking. But Seema was still unhappy. Abhijeet knew something was wrong with Seema. he totally knew that she lied to him about the office issues, she was covering up something.
They both went to a nearby tea shop to have tea and a little snack. Seema was still quiet and not replying directly to anything Abhijeet was asking. Eventually, Abhijeet asked her out directly, “what is wrong with you? have I done something wrong?”Seema was so pissed at Abhijeet for trying to please her all the while that she honestly said, I am pregnant. Yes! That is the truth!”
Abhijeet didn’t expect to hear this. He couldn’t believe that Seema would be pregnant with his baby. he was blown out of his mind with the news. Abhijeet got suspicious with Seema. He didn’t believe that it was his child she was carrying.as far as he remembered he was not in Bombay for past 2 years and it’s just been about a month he returned from Vancouver. Since then they did have sex but he used protections and she never mentioned anything in two weeks about any sickness. His mind was racing with doubts and rage.it was impossible to believe that Seema had been unfaithful to him. He got extremely infuriated at her and started screaming there in the tea stall itself.
Seema felt disgusted and heartbroken. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. After ten years of their marriage, this was the truth about “the bond of their trust”! she had never imagined that the man she loved so much would accuse her of infidelity on the morn of their wedding anniversary. This news was equally a surprise to her too. She had found it out just the other day in the pharmacy loo. he had broken her heart. His voices were ringing in her ears. She was stuck in bewilderment amidst the crossroads of agony and tremendous heartache! She tried to hide the anguish and distraught welled up in her eyes and went back to Alok’s place. She did not want to argue with him on the streets any longer and decided to keep her reasons to herself. Her throat had dried up in disparity. She was too wounded to talk to him any longer.
On the other hand, Abhijeet was absolutely certain that it was not his baby. he didn’t want to blame his wife on such a special occasion, but his rationality wasn’t permitting him to believe in Seema anymore. he was sitting on the cold bench of the tea stall alone, smoking the burning end of a Marlboro. In his suspicion, he was recollecting the times he had felt Seema was cheating on him. he could not explain himself that the woman he loves so dearly, the mother of his only daughter, the best thing that ever happened to him ten years ago today had grown out of love with him. She had taken to love another man in his absence while he used to think of her day and night in Vancouver. he just couldn’t get the picture of her in her bridal attire, eyes welled up with tears of gratification after they tied the knot, ten years ago today, out of his mind. The vows they had taken together with hands on hand over the nuptial urn forward-facing the holy wedding fire. He as guilty for trusting her blindly. He started to calculate the men she used to speak regularly with. But somehow he could only blame Vikrant for whatever happened. He didn’t find any clues about any of her office friends. And then he started imagining that they might have made out while he was out of town. he was feeling humiliated and annoyance at Seema for treating him like this. He was fixated onto taking revenge.
He drove back to 12 Pretoria Street, Powai, alone to an empty home. Seema had left the night before to Byculla. She had taken all her things along with her. Abhijeet drove to Byculla, met Maya and treated her to her favorite blueberry muffins and Mississippi mud ice cream and kissed hr goodbye on her forehead. He dropped her off and returned back to his place.at home, he had no clue what to do. He didn’t have the desire to move a single muscle. He lay lazily on the front couch and started scrolling channels in the TV.
He wanted to go up to Vikrant’s place and bash him up but he ruled out the thought, thinking to himself that he had more ego and respect to do this kiddish act. he thought of living separately, but the fact that Maya was young and she would have been devastated by this incident now he stopped thinking on the lines of separation and divorce. but deep down within him, he was itching with this desire to take a revenge.
He poured himself a glass of scotch and lighted another Marlboro. After some time he dozed off on the couch with the television and shoes on.
Next morning, he wrote a tag,”looking for a strictly physical relationship with a woman of any age for only a week. All expenses shall be taken care of inclusive of living and fooding charges.”He went to the time of India office and passed on the envelope to the classified department with a wad of crisp notes in it. then he did not go to the office. He sat in the park next to his office and finished a pack of cigarettes. After this, he drove back home and took a shower and went to meet with Maya. He particularly visited her before 5;30, making it a point to not catch even a glimpse of Seema.
After two nights, he got a call from someone named Anita who was inquiring him about his address. After Abhijeet returned home from his regular new found ritual he saw her waiting at his doorstep in a white sari. He didn’t even look at her for once and opened the lock and went straight into the bed room. He changed and went t the kitchen, pulled out two dishes a served the Chinese he had got on the way. After dinner he washed the dishes and went upstairs to the adjoining balcony and grabbed a smoke. After he finished his smoke he went in to see Anita sitting exactly on the side of the bed of Seema and undoing her hair. She started to open her earrings. Abhijeet leaned closer and kissed her. She responded coyly and asked him if he would mind switching off the lights. Abhijeet undid her bra and squeezed her ass and kissed her passionately. He rubbed his fingers over her nipples and they hardened. She lay on the bed. Abhijeet opened his trousers and started to kiss her cunt. He started to fuck her and when she started to mourn he had out his fingers in hr mouth. she started to undo his shirt to which he objected and kept fucking her harder and harder. After sex he left the room and went to the loo. he came out dressed and grabbed another smoke and went to the balcony. Anita was fast asleep by now. he went downstairs and put on the television and within ten minutes he was asleep on the couch with the TV left turned on. Next morning, Anita woke up and found Abhijeet sipping his coffee and reading the newspaper. she wished him good morning to which he replied with a hmm browsing the page 6 of finance. He pointed at her cup of coffee kept at the mantle and the keys next to it. Sipping his last drop he left for office leaving behind an envelope stacked with a wad of thousand rupee notes.
Anita Sahay was a divorcee herself. She had no kids. She was quite enjoying the company of this lovelorn man and didn’t mind to warm his bed in exchange of some moolah. She wasn’t looking for anything serious either. She started going through Seema’s dresses in her wardrobe and chose one and left for shopping with her fresh salary.
The only reason Abhijeet had her was to prove Seema that if she could have been unfaithful to him behind his back he could bloody well do it in front of her. He tried to fuck his pain away with Anita. But he never wanted Maya to get informed about all of this. He didn’t want her to try and comprehend the complexities of a relationship at this age. He took her to a park with Seema, though they both never took to speaking with each other, but just for Maya they pretended to be happy and together.
Seema got informed about Anita from her maidservant. Apart from this she too had read Abhijeet tag in the newspaper and had torn that page off to hide from her dad. She never talked about the distraught in her heart to anyone. She drove past her apartment and sobbed at the nearby park.
Anita was in the malls most of the time during the day, buying jewellery and dresses for herself. She used to come back home to Abhijeet, with his usual television, scotch, and cigarettes. Gradually the awkward silence betwixt them was evaporating. When she showed him her dresses and jewellery Abhijeet used to give her a blank expression. his mind was fixed onto Seema and the baby who was about to enter the world.
That night, he was too stressed and fatigued to screw Anita. Anita had put on a sexy backless gown and silver earrings and had done her hair into a bun. She was looking stunning. She came down and sat on Abhijeet’s lap. She poured another glass of scotch and sipped it and asked him to sip from her glass. Abhijeet was aroused by her oomph, sensuality and body perfume. He caressed her back .they started kissing. Anita bend down to unbutton his trousers and started rolling her tongue over his erect meat .he undid her hair and kissed her at intervals. Abhijeet made her sit between his legs and started pushing himself onto her. She started kissing his ears and neck and cried in a moan. they had sex on the same porch that Abhijeet and Seema had made love after they first got this apartment 10 years ago.
He was doing everything he could to get out the anger he had against Seema. but, still, the act that he not being able to find out who impregnated Seema was still irritating him. He had to find out the truth.
He went to Seema’s office, to enquire about Seema’s whereabouts to not find any clues.at home, he opened up their cupboard to look into her things but all he his hands into were all his stuff stacked up. He was partially grieved within himself for not allowing Seema to even explain herself. he even started doubting himself if it really was his baby who was probably making its way into this world. He was surrounded with vehement self-doubt. Nevertheless, he stopped his self-loathing thoughts and decided to head to Vikrant’s place. He knocked on his door and when he opened his door he started threating him to tell him the truth. Vikrant got furious at his intrusion of privacy and false allegations at him. he called the police and lodged a complaint against Abhijeet for framing him for a crime, he never committed.
The cops came in and arrested Abhijeet from his home. They took him into custody.in the mean time, Vikrant called up Seema and narrated her everything. Seema was aghast by Vikrant’s decisions of contacting the cops and not talking to her for once. She snapped up the call. She was annoyed at both Vikrant and Abhijeet for turning her nuptial domestic issues now a matter of law and order. Seema drove to the police station in dismay. She didn’t speak a word with him in there and got him bailed out. When they got out of there she screamed at him for once.
Abhijeet was absolutely quiet. His reasons had failed him to see his wife clearly. His doubts had led him to astray. He was stuck in utter self-loathing. Seema was honest with him all the while. She might have wanted to bring up the baby news as a surprise on their anniversary. She never cheated on him ever. He had maligned their relationship. He hated himself for blaming her of infidelity. He hated his decisions of dealing with adultery himself. He was ashamed of himself. he got desperate. he did not want to destroy the perfect marriage he had.
Seema was in distraught. she did not want to bring up a baby with a man who doubted her. She just could not call a man who denies his responsibilities and who suffers from so much insecurity, her husband. She went back home irrespective of Abhijeet’s imploring.
Abhijeet, broken and damaged sent back Anita and started spending his days in the loneliness and emptiness of his house. He visited Maya every week and beseeched every day to return back home.
He thought of winning her back into his life. He started writing letters to her. he explained his insecurities in the letter. He wrote about his day in detail to her every day and dropped them off at her study. he wrote about his crippling guilt .every day after office, he returned home to check for any replies finding none.
Days passed into months and this routine continued. but one evening he got a letter.it read,” come home to pick me up and your family.”
He was ecstatic and overjoyed. He raced to her place. Seema was there with a baby boy in her arms. Both of them looked at each other with tearful eyes. That look explained the rights and wrongs of each other. Maya jumped into the car and started singing in joy. They drove back home with the baby and renewed sense of love, joy, and faith.