The clock struck 2:00 a.m., yet I wasn’t sleepy. I kept gazing at the wall on my left and at the door adjacent to it. She, my wife, wasn’t home yet and I was worried. One part of me was busy comprehending what went wrong between us. It had been so good so far but suddenly since the last month things have been turning on their heads. In four years of our married life, I had never seen her behaving the way she had been lately behaving- leaving home late in the evening and returning home hours past midnight. "What the hell is she doing out this late in the night?", I wondered. While I was occupied with all sorts of thoughts, just then the door lock clicked- a sound that relieved me a great deal. She was home! Or to say, was sneaking in. "It does not matter if things aren’t getting along well but, I still love her with all my heart", I told my fidgety feelings and smiled cluelessly. She entered the room with great stealth thinking that I must have been asleep by now. After so many years of knowing each other, so many years of being together, I still couldn’t sleep without her. Circumstances might have changed but our feelings did not! She still didn’t want to wake me up from my sleep. But, situations do play a big role in our behaviours irrespective of what we feel. So, I just pretended to be slumbering. She entered the room and turned towards the door to lock it once again with an effort to make least sound possible. She was tired, it reflected on her face. She threw her handbag on the bed and went towards the dressing table, roaming in the dimly lit room. The tall, strong wooden dressing table stood just opposite to bed I was laying in waiting for her to join me. The room being dim, she turned on the small light on the arch of the dressing table, situated in a socket, just above the mirror and started undressing herself. She removed the pallu of her saree and undid her blouse, making the marks on her neck,shoulder, and back visible; the marks of love. She leaned forward towards the mirror to have a better and closer look at them, and ran her fingers up and down the marks. It pained! It was clearly visible on her face. Maybe, she lost herself in the wild moment and couldn’t notice when he left all these over her body. The sight broke me but I kept on looking at her perfectly sculpted, lean, appealing body. It gave me sensations, just like it used to do in our college days.
“Maybe, I wasn’t good enough for her, in bed”, I thought, giving her a ‘clean chit’ in my mind. I never wanted to doubt her, not in the wildest of my dreams. I knew she’d never do anything without any reason. She loves me! Why would she enter stealthily? Why would she care enough to not wake me up? I don’t remember her being a coward even if she was wrong. But what could be the reason behind all this? I kept looking at her with half-closed eyelids and prayed to God that she had an excuse to get away with it. Then she turned towards the bed, leaned over from the corner and collected her handbag, opened it and took out a bundle of crisp currency notes. I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing. She had it for money! "Disgusting!", my mind shouted inaudibly. I grew weak in the knees but just then, I realised I had none! I had lost both my legs a month ago, in an accident on my way to the office. A truck hit my two wheeler and rolled over my legs; crushing the bones into numerous pieces. The doctor had to remove them due to irreparable loss and all my savings from a modest, mediocre salary went into the surgeries. I couldn’t get used to the reality so soon but she had talked to me of getting me artificial legs so that I can stand again. She was getting laid to make me stand? A large amount of guts, love and dedication is what that goes into such an action. I pitied her, more than myself, for she was dying everyday just because I was alive. What could be worse than this? A difficult life to lead a more difficult sight to see.