Re­pen­tance For a One-night Stand

Look­ing back with sor­row.

Woman's Era - - Short Story - By Pad­mini Singh

Ly­ing in the ICU of a hospi­tal, strug­gling and fight­ing for life af­ter her third heart at­tack, Ri­tika was in­dulging in rem­i­nis­cences of yes­ter­year about her hus­band Shailesh who di­vorced her 26 years back. She was badly hurt and did not marry again. The stress, frus­tra­tion, lone­li­ness and de­pres­sion af­fected her health.

Ly­ing in the ICU of a hospi­tal, strug­gling and fight­ing for life af­ter her third heart at­tack, Ri­tika was in­dulging in rem­i­nis­cences of yes­ter­year about her hus­band Shailesh who di­vorced her 26 years back. She was badly hurt and did not marry again. The stress, frus­tra­tion, lone­li­ness and de­pres­sion af­fected her health. Her story:

I met Shailesh 29 years back and we came close to each other al­most im­me­di­ately. I had big dark eyes, fair com­plex­ion, very long hair and beau­ti­ful pouty lips and a good fig­ure which at­tracted Shailesh. He him­self was a hand­some, well-built and well-placed per­son. When he pro­posed to me, I agreed and my par­ents sup­ported me. We got mar­ried within a few months of our first meet­ing.

Mar­ried life looked a tremen­dous opportunity for me to ful­fil my dreams. Shailesh was a very lov­ing and de­voted hus­band to be­gin with. I took ad­van­tage of it and started dom­i­nat­ing him. But very soon my dreams were shat­tered as Shailesh did not like be­ing dom­i­nated and ma­noeu­vred. He re­sisted it and started dis­tanc­ing him­self from me.

As per my think­ing, I soon found Shailesh a self-cen­tred ego­is­tic per­son who never had a good word

Within three years of mar­riage our re­la­tion­ship col­lapsed and I was stamped a di­vorcee . I told my best friend Snehlata the whole in­ci­dent when we met a few years af­ter the di­vorce. Af­ter some time Pi­ta­m­bar and I moved out­side to a se­cluded place. Feel­ing his fin­gers in­ter­lock into mine, my pulse flut­tered. The sparks from his touch ran through me. I never meant it to go as far as it did.

for me and al­ways tried to find faults with me. Ro­mance and love evap­o­rated from our life. He started find­ing faults and short­com­ings in me and of­ten ad­mon­ished me rudely even in front of oth­ers. I too started blam­ing him for some­thing or other and my nag­ging in­creased. Our tiffs and fights be­came too much day by day. Both of us were not will­ing to ad­just or com­pro­mise. Our changed be­hav­iour to­wards each other af­fected our sex life too and now we co­hab­ited hardly once a month or so when I re­mained un­sat­is­fied due to poor per­for­mance of Shailesh.

My hus­band's friend Pi­ta­m­bar was a very lively per­son full of wit and hu­mour. When­ever we met, Pi­ta­m­bar was quick enough to ap­pre­ci­ate my looks, dress, talk, smiles and in fact ev­ery­thing about me. He could eas­ily judge my mood and em­pathised with me and called my hus­band an un­couth per­son who could not keep his lovely and pretty wife happy. His nar­ra­tion of small anec­dotes al­ways cap­ti­vated and charmed me. I de­vel­oped a fas­ci­na­tion for him and of­ten fan­ta­sised about his com­pany. Grad­u­ally I got emo­tion­ally at­tached to him and started com­par­ing him with Shailesh. In my meet­ings with him I started un­wind­ing my­self about our tiffs and the hurt caused to me.

Af­ter some time Shailesh had thrown a party to cel­e­brate his pro­mo­tion. Pi­ta­m­bar was also there. Time van­ished for me and the day rolled into even­ing. The party was in full swing. The guests laughed, con­versed and en­joyed the wine, mu­sic and of course the food. Shailesh and me looked at each other from a dis­tance when I was laugh­ing and flirt­ing with Pi­ta­m­bar in a cor­ner. Shailesh was busy look­ing af­ter the guests.

Af­ter some time Pi­ta­m­bar and I moved out­side to a se­cluded place. Feel­ing his fin­gers in­ter­lock into mine, my pulse flut­tered. The sparks from his touch ran through me. I never meant it to go as far as it did. The only rea­son I had let my­self get into a such state was that I wanted it. As the heat of pas­sion rose be­tween us, moans es­caped from my lips ex­press­ing my de­sire. I was trem­bling with ec­stasy and sur­ren­dered and got lost in the bliss.

Soon we joined the party and I started look­ing af­ter the guests. Shailesh sternly called Pi­ta­m­bar to talk to him af­ter the guests left, but he gave him the slip as he could guess the rea­son and was never seen again.

Next morn­ing Shailesh con­fronted me ask­ing about my ab­sence from the party. I boldly ad­mit­ted that I had a fling with Pi­ta­m­bar. Shailesh told me calmly, "Look, Ri­tika, I am your hus­band and you are my wife. Your flirt­ing with other men makes me look like a fool and I will not be made a fool of by you or any­body else.” That very day he filed for di­vorce. We parted with mu­tual con­sent. Within three years of mar­riage our re­la­tion­ship col­lapsed and I was stamped a di­vorcee .

Itold my best friend Snehlata the whole in­ci­dent when we met a few years af­ter the di­vorce. Now, I do re­alise my folly and the wrong which I did by en­ter­ing into an ex­tra­mar­i­tal re­la­tion­ship even for one time un­der frus­tra­tion and dis­sat­is­fac­tion, but am l the only one to be blamed? Why did Shailesh not try to un­der­stand me and take care of me? But I am cer­tain now that if I had said sorry and as­sured him not to repeat it he may have for­given me, but I was too proud of my­self those days. I could never for­get Shailesh and his love and de­vo­tion for me de­spite our tiffs and fights. Now, when I am near­ing the end of my life, I re­pent my haughty be­hav­iour and in­dis­cre­tion. I wish and imag­ine Shailesh to be sit­ting by my side hold­ing my hand when I die. The best way to com­pile in­ac­cu­rate in­for­ma­tion that no one wants is to make it up.

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