Amrita woke up all groggy unable to open her eyes itched due to extreme dryness. Ugghh! I shouldn’t be reading up so late into the night. But she knew that she had no other option. The 6 month old baby in her womb seemed to be hyper active at night and his kicks make it impossible for her to sleep.
‘Gud Morning, sweetheart!’ she heard her husband’s rumbled voice and turned to sit up resting her back against the headrest of the bed. The bump was making it difficult for her to sit without support with every passing day. She smiled lazily at Raghav as he placed the tea tray on the bed and leaned in to give her a quick peck on her cheek.
Amrita, missed the warmth of his proximity almost immediately. Ever since Amrita had conceived and found it difficult to keep up with her routine of morning house chores, Raghav had made it a point to chip in for help. Although there was domestic help, he preferred to bring in tea every morning for his wife and himself.
‘Well! That way I can spend some time with you in the morning, before I rush into the day.’ He often winked whenever Amrita pointed out to him that he needn’t have taken the pains.
But lately Amrita had started feeling that this act that initially felt compassionate had now become very mechanical. Raghav seemed to be distracted most of the time and preoccupied with his mobile phone. Amrita’s heart tugged inside her as she sipped her tea in silence, observing Raghav smiling into his phone. But she pepped herself up, Raghav had promised to take her out for shopping in the evening. She would pick him up from his office and they would proceed for shopping.
That evening Amrita had a tough time getting ready for her outing. She struggled with her cloths, most of which did not fit her any more. She had brought herself a couple of dresses last month, but to her dismay she had already grown out for them. Yet, she managed to fit herself into a maroon A-line knee length dress. Amrita checked herself in the mirror and shrunk her nose in slight disappointment. She looked like a baby elephant. No wonder Raghav found little joy in looking at her these days. But Amrita slapped her head mentally. He is taking you out for shopping today. Isn’t he? Ask him for dinner later.
Amrita called up Raghav once she reached the parking lot of his office building. It had been 15 minutes already and she was expecting Raghav to join her any moment. Another 10 minutes and Amrita got a little irritated. What’s taking him so long? Amrita sighed impatiently as she looked on towards the entry way into the parking lot.
And then she spotted him. Raghav walked in his steps and shoulder matching the shoulder of a tall, lean and fair structure of a lady. Amrita squinted and cocked her head forward to see if the lady was someone she knew. But then she shook her head because she had never met any of Raghav’s colleagues’ as attractive as this lady. Ahhh! She must be Tina. The new team lead that Raghav was talking about the other day. But he didn’t tell me that she was almost a diva. Amrita guessed this lady’s height to be around 5feet 10 inches and she admitted to herself that with a slim figure and sharp features as hers, the girl standing next to her husband was indeed very attractive.
As Raghav and the other lady walked into the parking, Amrita expected Raghav to call her so that he could introduce her to his colleague. That is what he had always done in the past. But not today. As Amrita looked on, she saw that Raghav and the lady took a turn to and headed towards their right. Amrita had to open the window and put her head out to see track them on their path.
She saw that Raghav opened the door of this lady while laughing continuously at something the lady must have said. Amrita’s blood boiled at the intimate way the lady clad in a figure hugging skirt and business suit put her hand on her husband’s shoulder. The view of her husband having such a hearty laugh with some girl other than her sent a chill down her spine. She looked down at herself and thought that her efforts to look good had all gone down the drain. With her baby bump and the subsequent swollen body she looked nothing like the lady her husband was talking to right now.
Amrita was lost in her reverie, when she felt a hand on her shoulder.
‘Hey Mads! Sorry to have kept you waiting dear.’ Raghav said casually as he settled into his seat besides Amrita and signaled to the driver to move.
Amrita let out a forced smile, ‘What took you so long?’ she tried to sound as nonchalant as was possible for an emotionally vulnerable pregnant woman who had just seen another lady sharing a platonically intimate moment with her husband.
Raghav raised his eye-brows at the strange connotation of his wives voice, yet he did not decipher much from it,
‘Oh! I was discussing the details of our quarterly team party with Tina. She seems to have a couple of party places from where we could get a handsome discount.’
‘Oh so it was a very official conversation that you were having?’ Raghav felt strange at the knotty tone of his wife.
‘Hey baby, what happened you look very wound up? All okay? If you aren’t feeling well we can go out some other day.’ Raghav placed a hand on Amrita’s hair and patted her slightly.
‘Yes, ofcourse we must head back home. Why would you want to spend your evening with a cow like me? Ask the driver to turn towards home.’ Raghav was taken aback by Amrita’s gruff voice.
‘Ammu, will you be fine sitting on the front seat?’ Amrita looked up in confusion at Raghav’s query. Raghav then asked his driver to get down the car and go home.
Once Raghav took control of the steering, he looked at Amrita from the corner of his eyes,
‘Ammu, baby do you want to eat ice cream?’ Raghav knew his pregnant wife craved for ice cream 24 hours 7 days since she had conceived. He couldn’t help but chuckle slowly at the dilemma that Amrita’s face expressed.
‘I want to have ice cream. But you wanted to go out with that Tina to check out party places.’ Amrita was a mess in her head. She knew what was happening to her, but was too proud to admit.
Raghav knew he was walking on a double edged sword with his hormonally hyperactive pregnant wife. But he had to make her feel better. He pulled into the parking lot of the Ganges promenade and quickly walked over to the other side and extended his hand for his wife to come out.
As they walked towards the street food stalls, Amrita entwined her fingers tightly between Raghav’s. After they had had paani puri and ice-cream they came to sit on one of the river facing benches, their hands still entwined.
‘Do you feel better?’ Raghav asked with a glint in his eyes.
‘You think I am one mad woman. Isn’t it? But let me tell you I am not. I saw how intimately you had put your hand on her shoulder.’ Amrita gave a hurtful glance towards Raghav, while he alternated his eyes between her face and the serenely flowing waters of the river infront of them.
‘’Hmmm. Tina really is very hot, isn’t she?’ Raghav pursed his lips, his eyes towards the river. Amrita’s heart sunk to her abdomen, her eyes flared wide. She pulled her hand away from Raghav, but he held his grip tightly on her.
‘Raghav. Leave me.’ It was a command, ‘Obviously why would you be interested in a pregnant cow like me? But let me tell you, if you don’t leave my hand, I will strangle your neck with my free hand, right here.’ , tears stung at the back of her eyes.
Raghav was done holding his lips pursed tight to avoid laughing. He couldn’t hold any more and broke into a snide chuckle. He blew a fist lightly into his wife’s cheek and took both her hands in his own.
‘And now that I have both your hands locked with me, what will you do, my sweetheart.’ Raghav was grinning.
Amrita let out a sigh and stooped her shoulders, ‘God, I am a hormonal wreck. You really must consider dating that pretty hag.’ She placed her head on his shoulder. He raised his head to make way for her to settle her head into the hollow of his neck as his one arm went around her shoulder.
‘You know what? I agree, maybe you’re right. But I don’t find her attractive enough.’ Raghav caressed the baby bump with his other hand, ‘I find this jealous lady with a baby bump carrying the key to the biggest joy of my life way more appealing.’ He said placing a peck on Amrita’s forehead.
‘And she happens to be my wife too. Isn’t that a bonus?’ Amrita hugged him tighter and prayed to god, for her hormones to become less havoc wrecking as soon as possible.
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