My Wife's Affair
My Wife's Affair
As Uncle Ben from Spiderman rightly says, “ With great power, comes great responsibility.” This quote had actually become my life, at present. My promotion at work a year ago had started taking a toll on my professional as well as personal life. I started coming home late at night and worked every alternate weekends. Even when I stayed at home, I would mostly be busy with my laptop and barely give any time to my wife and daughter. My eight year old daughter, Sia, would be asleep by the time I reached home and I would be asleep when she woke up for school. So we only got a Sunday to catch up on the entire week. Currently, all I wanted to do on a Sunday was eat and sleep rather than hanging out with family and friends. While Sia was cranky and annoyed by my behavior nowadays, my wife Shreya was equally supportive.
She had always been this over-enthusiastic, adventurous and bubbly girl, full of life. That’s what attracted me to her in the first place as I was the shy and quiet one. The only thing I never liked about her was that she switched jobs more than often and always wanted to try something new. Once Sia started school, Shreya decided to focus all her attention on her and worked from home, not giving up on her motherly duties. It was entirely her decision and I supported her throughout. She had been my pillar of strength since the last ten years and I loved her immensely even today. She never complained about my working hours and neither cribbed about the lack of time I spent with her. Yes, she often joked that she would divorce me if I continued avoiding her and Sia and I would just laugh at her.
Around 3 months back, Shreya joined Zumba classes for two reasons. First, she was bored at home as I didn’t give her enough time and Second, she felt that she needed to lose some weight. I always allowed her to do as she wished and didn’t deny her this time as well. I loved seeing her happy and chirpy and as long as she kept herself busy, I didn’t mind. Her classes would be thrice a week, in the afternoon, while Sia was at school. Since me and Shreya had been extremely close, she shared everything with me and kept no secrets. She would often tell me about her new friends and show me her new moves. One thing was for sure, she was enjoying her time there and would now be more happier than usual. I was happy for her but as the days passed, she started becoming distant towards me and her attitude changed drastically.
To be honest, I felt that she was hiding something from me. My house was perfect, my daughter was perfect and everything was as it was. Only she didn’t seem her usual self. During one of our conversations, she had actually spilled out a secret. Sia wasn’t at home and Shreya was cooking dinner when she told me.
“So, hasn’t your instructor Shelly shown you any new moves lately? Do you think she will be able to teach me as well?” I asked her out of nowhere, just to see her reaction. She let out a quirky laugh and started blushing. It was a rare sight to see her cheeks turn to a shade of pink.
“Actually, Nikhil, you’ve got it wrong. Shelly is a he, not a she.” Her statement startled me for a second and I looked at her, astonished.
“How is Shelly supposed to be a guy’s name? I don’t understand what’s wrong with people nowadays?”
“His name is Shailendra. So pet name automatically becomes Shelly, right.”
“Is he handsome?” I asked her immediately as she laughed her heart out. Shreya fluttered her eyelashes on purpose with the intention of teasing me.
“Yes, he is. More than you.” She pulled my nose lovingly as I made a joke out of myself. I couldn’t help but feel a little jealous of the fact that my wife had a crush on this Zumba guy and there was nothing I could do about it.
As luck would have it, Shreya’s behavior turned weirder and weirder day by day. She would be too quiet when I was around and was mostly immersed in her own thoughts. On the other hand, whenever she was on the phone, she was her usual self. Happy and energetic. It wasn’t that she completely stopped communicating with me. We spoke when I returned from work and in the early mornings. But there was a huge difference now. She stopped calling me to know about my whereabouts or just to enquire if I had eaten my lunch or not. Frankly speaking, I missed her childish banter. Whenever I called her, she mostly spoke to the point and made up some or the other excuse to end the call sooner. Even at home, we spoke about work and her stupid Zumba classes.
Not to forget, her instructor Shelly was the hot topic not only at home but also among her friends. Whenever I heard his name, a hundred daggers pierced through my heart. I tried talking to Shreya once, as I didn’t like the game of hide and seek between us. I asked her the reason for her weird behavior towards me and what I could do to make things work between us. She simply shrugged the idea saying that I was making some stupid stories in my mind. Excuses. Excuses. Nowadays, I only heard excuses from her. A few days later, I woke up in the middle of the night and found her missing. I didn’t get up from bed but observed the time she was missing. An hour later, she returned and I pretended to sleep. I didn’t sleep the entire night wondering the reason for her disappearance from bed, late at night.
From then onwards, I began keeping a watch on her. Shreya woke up around 2:30 am and returned back by 3:30 or 4 almost every single day. This continued for almost 10 odd days. I couldn’t help but feel her new boyfriend was making her stay awake at night. I mean, what else could be more important than a precious good night’s sleep? But I couldn’t just put the blame on her unless I was 100% sure. I decided to confront her one day as I couldn’t take it any longer. I had to know the truth no matter how bitter it was. I still loved my wife to the core and I didn’t want to let go of her easily. I waited for around half an hour till she settled down and checked in Sia’s bedroom first. Sia was sound asleep and Shreya was nowhere to be seen.
As I walked through the passage towards the hall, I noticed Shreya sitting on the sofa, furiously typing something on her laptop. A faint dim light supported her and she didn’t see me coming as she was too busy engrossed on the screen. Maybe she was chatting with her boyfriend but my instincts told me that she might be up to something else. I quickly turned on the main light and caught her by surprise. She stood up immediately, her laptop in hand, her face turned white. I stared at her for a few seconds while she looked downwards, trying to think of an excuse.
“I know you’ve been cooking something behind my back. No matter what it is, I want you to know that I’m willing to fight for you, come what may. I still love you. I know I’ve not been the best husband lately but I want to give us another chance. Do you think I am a fool to not realize that you are up to something fishy?” I observed her from top to bottom, hoping that the truth may not be what I was suspicious about. Shreya seemed confused, deep in thought.
“I am sorry, Nikhil. I was actually thinking of the right moment to tell you……………….” I didn’t allow her to complete her sentence and spurted out in anger, scaring her .
“It’s that Zumba guy, Isn’t it?” I snatched the laptop from her hand to have a better view of the conversation she was having with Shelly. As I looked towards the screen, it turned out to be something else. Once again, I was successful in making a complete fool out of myself. “ What the hell is this? You’re writing a book.” She had just begun writing Chapter 15 of her book called ‘Accidents happen’ and I was at a loss for words. Now, it was Shreya’s turn to bounce back in action.
“Yes, Nikhil. I am attempting to write a book and I was waiting to give you the news once I had completed it.” She spoke on the top of her voice and I decided it was best to keep quiet. “ How could you even think that I’m having an affair behind your back? Just because I speak good about someone doesn’t mean that I like him or I’m hanging out with him. Don’t you trust me anymore?”
I held Shreya’s hands and pressed them against mine. “I am sorry, Shreya. You’ve been acting really strange nowadays. You didn’t tell me anything when I asked you. How was I supposed to know that you are planning on writing the next best selling novel? Remember ,you told me once that your instructor is handsome. So I couldn’t help but think, since I have been too busy……….” This time, she interrupted me.
“Shelly is handsome, Nikhil. And gay too. And even if he was straight, I don’t think anyone can tolerate my weird antics as good as you do. You can be rest assured that I am not going to leave you anytime sooner. So you better stop dreaming about a second marriage.” There she was, back with her usual tinge of sarcasm and I loved it. I couldn’t help but feel relieved thinking about the events that unfolded right in front of me. I hugged her tight, not allowing any space between us. Even though Shreya was a little upset, she didn’t push me away.
“I am sorry, Nikhil. I actually thought you wouldn’t take me seriously. Since I am always on the verge of attempting and exploring.”
I kissed her forehead and patted her back. “ When have I not taken you seriously? I love your stupidity, you idiot!”
She laughed aloud and I laughed with her. In that one moment, we re-lived a hundred moments together.