“The shirt Ram, there are some stains, can you laundry it yourself” said Nina passing it on to Ram.
Ram reached out to get the shirt without looking at Nina in the eye, looked at the stain. His lips twitched. Nina knew that twitch. She did not like it and hoped to never hear it again. But then there it was the twitch along with the stain. She just picked the rest of the clothes without as much as throwing a glance at them and told her house help “Laundry these clothes. They need to be spotless” .
“Madam what about the shirt …” paused the house help.
“Sitaji please just do what I tell you to” I need them by today evening.
Ram came back and gave the shirt back to Nina, clearly avoiding her eyes yet again. He was scared of those eyes. It was one of the few eyes which reeked honesty. And he could not face it. He had long had a fall out with honesty.
“How much longer Ram” said Nina
“What Nina?” said Ram knowing very well what she was referring to.
Nina just stared at him and looked away back to looking at the dirty shirts.
“It’s not like what you think Nina, Let me explain” said Ram.
“Are they not affairs Ram? Cause that is what I think” said Nina while inspecting their closet for more dirty linen.
“It’s not like I love them Nina. You know that, you are the only person I can and I will love” said Ram.
“Thanks Ram, I got the answer I needed.” Nina said.
“Can you make sure, you don’t bring lipstick stained shirts back home. It really disgusts me, It makes me want to pick up whatever that is available nearby and hit you with it” said Nina. If ever there was any anger in her, the sheer coldness in her voice made it sound like she just told Ram, she had his morning coffee ready.
“I am sorry Nina, I promise this won’t happen again. I was drunk, I was not thinking clearly. I swear Nina, please don’t leave me Nina. I will not be half the man I am if not for you . I don’t deserve you , after everything you have done for me, I am so sorry I did this. I have always wanted to come clean but somehow it was too hard. I swear Nina, I will put a stop to all this. Never again Nina, I swear” said Ram.
It was all empty words for Nina. Empty words. Empty promises. She had heard them far too many times. She had believed in them far too many times. She had hurt herself far too many times. Now, it did not seem to matter anymore. Why did she even ask Ram about it? She did not know. Did his answer make a difference! She could not say.
Was she going to leave him. Isn’t infidelity the reason most marriages break up. Why does she still live with him? How can she sleep next to him in the same bed knowing he is cheating on her, regularly? How can she look him in the face and talk to him. How can she live a lie? Why is she living a lie? Nina asked herself these questions a dozen times.
“You deserve more than this. You are your own boss. You cannot be treated this way. Wake up, rise up to the occasion. Take a risk, take your life back. Take control of your reigns. You are living a mistake, A big mistake” the TV blared. The symbol that her son came back home from college.
“I am living a mistake” Nina said under her breath. “A mistake that gave me something to live for” she said going to the living room.
“Bhel puri, Nikhil?”
“Thanks mom! You’re the best”
Image copyright: http://th01.deviantart.com/fs9/300W/i/2006/027/6/f/Mistake_by_frixin.jpg
from google images