The Affair

Shilpa Keshav posted under Flash Fiction QuinTale-44 on 2022-09-23

The one-and-a-half-hour flight from Hyderabad to Mumbai fuelled jitters in Nisha’s palpitating heart that was beating eagerly to meet Mohit. Mohit was Nisha's boss in Hyderabad. He was smitten by her beauty right from day one. Very soon, the official meetings had turned to private dinners at expensive restaurants. On one such dinner date, Mohit had proposed and slipped a sleek platinum ring into her finger. There wasn’t any reason for her to refuse. Mohit had everything that a middle-class woman desired in a man- good looks, and even better bank balance. Even after his transfer to Mumbai, he would clandestinely visit her on pretext of official work. This was the first time that he had invited her to Mumbai. Perhaps he wanted her to meet his family, she thought.  Nisha reached Hotel Kohinoor, where Mohit had messaged her to meet. Inside the plush hotel, she was ushered to a cosy, corner table. She tried calling him, but he was out of reach. “Excuse me!” An elderly woman stood beside her. “I can’t spot a vacant chair. My legs are aching. Can I please sit here?” “But I’m expecting someone,” Nisha replied. “Oh, I’ll be gone by then.” The woman didn’t wait for an approval. Nisha ignored, still trying vainly to call Mohit. “Excuse me!” A woman smiled. “Can I please sit here for a while? All the tables are taken.” “But...” The woman didn’t wait for a reply. Vexed, Nisha decided to wait outside. Just then, her hand brushed against a note. Curiously, she opened it.  “DON’T LEAVE!” Perplexed, she looked around. Who could it be? She decided to stay. “Hey, I’m here,” the old woman waved. Nisha turned around. Mohit froze. His smile vanished.  “What are you doing here?” he spat angrily. Nisha was astonished. “You messaged me to come.” “What rubbish!” “What happened, Mohit? Who’s she?” the other woman asked. Nisha was perplexed. “You both know him?” “I’m Sheetal, his wife. And she’s his mother.”  Nisha felt dizzy.  “Err... I guess there has been some misunderstanding.” “There has been no mistake. Here’s the message you sent me yesterday.” Mohit was shocked. “But I didn’t...” “I did!” Sheetal announced. Mohit stood flabbergasted. “You remember last week I had taken your mobile to make a call since mine had some problem? Inadvertently, I happened to read your WhatsApp chat with Nisha that you probably forgot to delete,” Sheetal hissed. “Sheetal was heartbroken when she revealed this,” his mother continued. “I suggested this plan to catch you red-handed. She sent the message to Nisha. When Nisha was about to leave, I wrote the note and stuck it beneath her seat.” “I drowned your mobile in water yesterday and blamed our toddler  so that Nisha wouldn’t be able to reach you,” Sheetal scoffed. “Don’t you dare come back home. Ever!” “Loser!” Nisha hurled her ring on his face and stormed out. She realized that more than good looks and bank balance, honesty is imperative in any relationship.   Penmancy gets a small share of every purchase you make through these links, and every little helps us continue bringing you the reads you love!