‘Same fucking food again!’, I thought.
I rang the bell of our secluded farm house and my mother opened the door, greeting us with a welcoming smile, looking intensely at my date.
Arun blushed as he bent down to touch her feet, “Namaste Aunty Ji, you are as gorgeous as Reena described!”.
She put her hand on his shoulder, prodding him to straighten-up, “We don’t touch feet in this house Baccha, we are not so high and mighty after-all, come give me a hug”, she inhaled deep as she hugged him and looked straight into my eyes.
Her eyes told me more in a second than most people do in an hour with their lips.
She escorted us to the elegant dining-hall all set for a feast. “You two love birds sit here, let me call Papa“.
Arun was worried, it was natural of him to worry, Dad was quite well-known. A top cop turned politician, all-in-all someone anyone should be scared of.
Dad came in with his arm wrapped around Mom’s waist. “Look at what Chutki brought, isn’t it nice!”, Mom exclaimed.
Arun gave me a look of utter confusion. I tried keeping a straight face but could not help but smirk.
“Whiskey or rum, Son?”, Dad asked with authority, no pleasantries from him.
“Whatever you prefer, Sir”, Arun said anxiously.
“Sir?”, Dad enquired as he poured a glass of whiskey, “Don’t call me ‘Sir'”, he extended the glass towards Arun.
My date finally relaxed a bit as he gulped down a sip of whiskey, forgetting Mumma’s unsavoury remark.
The four of us sat at the round dinner-table. Arun looked at me, his eyes enquiring about the empty seat at the table.
Dad noticed Arun, his voice boomed, ‘Ajay!’.
Bhaiya came running in, a tenderiser in his hand and Bhabhi by his side. “Meet Ajay and Maira, our son and daughter-in-law, they cook for us on special occasions. As a token of appreciation we reserve a seat for them and feast together”.
Papa peered at Arun, “give him five more minutes Beta“, he told Bhaiya.
“What?”, Arun looked at me puzzled, soon his expressions changed, “I am not feeling well Reenu, where is the washroom?”, he asked.
“We apologise Bacche, it will only last a minute”, Mumma said sweetly, putting her palm over his and giving him a tight squeeze.
“What?”, Arun felt dizzy as he looked at us.
“Just… close your eyes… sorry”, I consoled him.
Arun tried to stand up but couldn’t, “My head… Hel… Pleas…”, he hyperventilated and collapsed.
Silence fell over the hall.
Mumma looked at Ajay Bhaiya, indicating that it was ready.
Bhaiya walked briskly towards us, smashed the tenderiser into Arun’s head, his brains splattering all over my gown.
‘Fuck this family!’, I thought to myself, ‘I bring them dinner and what do I get in return? A ruined fucking dress!’, not daring to say it out loud, I didn’t want to turn into dessert.
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