Sonali sat by the window looking at the sunset. It was her routine to spend the afternoons reading, followed by a quick nap to freshen up before Girish came back from office. Today was different though, she couldn’t let go of the book she was reading. It was a gripping story of an extramarital affair that ended tragically. Absorbed in the emotions it invoked, she admired the changing hues of the twilight sky from her fifteenth floor apartment. Her heart longed to be with someone. The telephone rang and her thoughts were disturbed by the sudden sound. It was a message from her husband that he will be late. She looked at the wall clock. It was five p.m.

Keeping her book and the empty coffee mug down, she smoothened out the creases of the sofa cover. Since Girish wasn’t likely to take dinner at home, she didn’t have much to do. Making up her mind to go out she mentally went over her options for spending the evening. She considered going to her doctor but the thought of evening rush made her change her mind. She decided to go later when Girish could accompany her. They had been trying to get pregnant and he had been very supportive, though she could see the pain in his eyes at their repeated failure. He was a good husband and took every care for her comfort but something had been amiss. She felt that she hasn’t loved him with equal honesty. Maybe he felt that too as he had immersed himself in work and their talks remained largely formal.

 As she draped an elegant green sari she looked at herself in the mirror. The reflection of her picture on the wall behind caught her eyes. Taken in the garden near their college by Ishan, it was one of the belongings she carried from her maternal home. Her gaze shifted back to her slender frame, which was still the same.  

By the time she got ready, she had decided where she wanted to go. She called a cab and headed to the destination. It had been almost two years since her marriage but she wasn’t over her past. Ishan was her first love and will always be. Before she could tell her parents, a freak accident had killed him plunging her into a deep abyss of despair. Save for their child whom she was carrying, she would have killed herself too. 

Her parents coaxed her into giving up the child. “Do you know what it is like for an unwed woman to don the hat of a single mother? What future can you give to this child?” She had fallen to their arguments in her weak mental state. 

The cab screeched to a halt and she found herself at the gate of Sai Bal Niketan. Tears welled up in her eyes on seeing little Ishan smiling at her. In that moment, she knew it was time to come clean to Girish.


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