“You have to go! I am done with you! This marriage is over!!”
She said nothing.
“Wait till I show these pictures to your family!”
“Please listen…” she stopped mid sentence, not sure what to say next, or how to explain it.
“Sleeping with a married man! Shame on you!!…” Panting and puffing in anger, he paused to catch up his breath…., “You are disgraced all over Surrey! I will make sure!!”
Tears dribbled down her big brown eyes, scrolling down to the flustered cheeks, and to the sides of her big red lips. Her dark brown hair all ruffled up, she periodically wiped her forehead with the back of the right hand. With each and every nervous motion, in the nightlights of the front hallway, her tall and slender frame looked very fragile
It was late night, long after dinner time, long after the bed-time. He had already opened the door, asking her many times to ‘get the hell out of my house’. She resisted, she pleaded. Her futile efforts were useless. He grabbed her by the shoulder, almost pinching her with a firm grip. Turning her around, he pushed her out of the door.
She cried, this time much louder, but the door was already shut and locked behind her.
Standing at the front porch, she looked around. The upscale neighborhood was deserted. Other than a couple strolling down the side-street towards the pond on the far end, there was no one around. She was relieved that nobody saw her being thrown out of her own house.
The relief lasted only a few moments, only a few seconds. She looked around again; she looked down. She was bare feet. Scantily dressed in her summer Indian clothes, she was already starting to feel the chill of September night. The British Columbia weather and a full night ahead – she was scared. Very scared.
She turned around and knocked on the door, gently at first. No response. Then she banged on it, much harder. She could hear his footsteps on the other side of the door, getting closer and closer. She waited.
“Go away! Go call your boyfriend!” Her husband shouted from inside the house.
“Please open the door, Raj!” Her voice trembling, barely audible.
No response. She started to panic. They have had fights before; they have had long arguments that lasted beyond midnights. Being thrown out of the house, this was the first time.
A car drove by. She turned around, facing towards the door; pretending, as if unlocking the door. The front porch was dimly lit. The solar lights alongside the hydrangea bushes lit up the well-manicured front yard. The half moon was up in the middle of the sky; the stars were already out. For any other day, this would have been a perfect night to be outdoor, to admire the nature. Not tonight. Beyond the lights, moon and stars, she was more focused on the dark – a long night ahead.
Another car drove by, slowing down as passing by, perhaps to look at the house with woman standing at the door.
“Open the door!” She banged the door again.
No reply from inside.
She waited a long time, hoping against all hopes. Then, she started to worry that he might go to sleep, leaving her standing there.
“I need my phone so I can call someone!” She screamed, not knowing where he was inside.
She knocked on the door a few times more, much harder each time, and then gave up.
After a while, that felt forever, she heard something open. It was not the door. She looked to the living room window that had just popped open. She walked towards it, confused and ready to make another plea.
“Open the door please! It is cold out here!!”
Something came flying out of the window and fell on the grass next to the hydrangea bushes. With a loud crackling, the window closed. She turned around and reached for the object on the grass.
It was her iPhone.
Grabbing her cell phone, she walked back to the front door. She waited, hoping for something good to follow, but nothing.
She dialed his number – the number she had memorized, the number she never let anyone see, the number she never saved in her contacts. There was no response. She re-dialed. Nothing.
She started crying again; she was in full panic mode.
As she was about to knock on the door again, her phone buzzed. He was calling back. She stepped away from the front yard and whispered, “I called you twice!”
“I know, it is past midnight!”
“He kicked me out!”
“What do you mean?..”
“I mean, he kicked me out!… I am standing out the house!”
There was a long silence on the other side.
“What should I do? I don’t even have my shoes on!”
“I don’t know! Why did he…?”
“He knows about us?”
“ Not possible!” he whispered after a puse.
There was another long pause…
“He has our pictures together, us on the backseat of your car… A private investigator that he has hired…” before she could say anymore, he ended the call.
Standing in the grass, she looked around. She wondered if she was dreaming, if it was a nightmare. Her head spinning with all kinds of scenarios. She did not know what to do next.
“I cannot talk right now!” he whispered.
“Why?” She demanded amidst her sobs.
“She is still awake..”
“So, I cannot talk.. it is midnight!”
“But you said…” she paused. There was complete silence, he did not say anything.
“You said you broke up and you sleep in the basement now… and she sleeps upstairs!”
“That was last month!”
“What do you mean?”
He did not reply. She could hear some woman in the background on the other side of the phone:
“Who are you talking to honey?” A women’s voice was clearly audible to her.
“Oh, I am talking to a friend!” he replied back..
“It is so late!… “
“I will be right there!”
Then there was a long silence again..
“Jas?” She whispered into the phone. She was very upset and confused.
“ I have to go!…” he whispered again.
She looked at the phone screen, as if in disbelief. The call had already ended.
The moon was steadily going down, ready to disappear on the far horizon beyond the dark shadows of the weeping willows trees across the pond.
Other Short Stories
- Moving out
- Weight-loss Intervention
- A boyfriend, a husband and the God
- A father’s Pride
- The night before Babbu’s wedding
- The Life Abroad – I
- The fading hue
- Just a job
- The Tea Time
- 911 – The Emergency Call