Peace Lily

Winner of StoryBerrys 'Story Writing Challenge May 2023

 

Peace Lily

 

Rajat stormed out of the house. He felt Manisha's eyes  boring into him. He was past caring, outside he lighted a cigarette, the puff relieved him somewhat. Should he go to a bar, Rajat fiddled with the car keys. Strangely he did not have much place to go, he tried to recall the go to friends he had..Avnish, Bhaskar, Anupam…

Rajat decided on a bar, his temper had subsided. Sipping his drink he wondered for the umpteenth time, nuptial tie was not meant for him! Or was it Manisha, fiery, carefree, independent not at all meant to be within four walls of home! What was it he wanted, a beautifully kept house, kids well taken care of, warm dinner served at the table. Naah he wasn't that, even Manisha knew that! Caring, supportive, though not much into household chores he saw to it they had helps to sail them get through. Yet what women are after, what the hell they want. He never stopped her from hanging out with friends, well was that a virtue…was marriage about stopping one another! But why do women nag…nag and nag. The waiter refilled his glass. Nag about being clean , cleanliness had atrocious definitions according to them, nag about their parents, nag about non existent issues, nag about lacking romance! Like really they imagine a SRK sort charming them, pampering them. Come on, they can't be that silly!

He stared at his mobile absentmindedly, no message from Manisha yet. Would she be worried! Or she was chatting away with her mom or that brat of a girl Rohini! Both must be convincing her what a mistake she had made getting hitched to him. The thought infuriated him, should he call her…huh why would he. He needed some fresh air and another puff. What fuss women make about drinks and smoke…the mobile flashed just then.

'Come home' Rajat stared at the message for a long time. He wasn't sure whether he was relieved, whether he was waiting for that.. mobile beeped again..

'Where are you?'

'Do you care!' …Manisha does not like the melodrama, Rajat knew.

The phone rang then….

' Yes..'

' Do I have to come and get you!'

Oh yes! But how can he admit that!

'Thanks'

'Send me the location'

'I can manage Manisha…you don't have to pretend you care, you don't…'

'Tell me when you are done' She hung up.

'I shouldn't have taken the car' Rajat shook his head in frustration, sending Manisha his location.

Rajat was waiting outside the pub. Whiff of fresh flowers tickled his nose…Lilies were Manisha's favourite or wait…was it those colourful Carnations. Nah bunch of white Lilies may be for today. Rajat asked the vendor to make a bouquet for him.

The car just flashed it's blinkers then and instantly Rajat lost his enthusiasm foreseeing the allegations and bitterness. He let out a sigh , payed the vendor and lied that he's going to collect it late.

They were riding in silence after around an hour.

'Brake…Brake' Rajat was warning as usual, Manisha glared hard at him.

'Left Isha…left'

Manisha turned the volume knob to a high!

How do people listen to such pathetic music, Rajat tried to shut his ears off…

They didn't exchange any more words. Manisha was preparing for bed.

'I can heat food if you want'

'I am not hungry'

Manisha shrugged and went off to bed. Rajat knew she could not go to bed hungry. He could feel her toss and turn.

He gave up finally.

'Isha I'm heating up the food, will call you once done'

He suppressed his smile, watching the tigress going after the kill!

'Nothing funny' she didn't look up.

'Who said it was' Smiling he dug into the fried rice…

Women! Sugar…spice…she was a perfect mix!

He was watching her eat! She looked up to join him!

'All that was an excuse for all the drink' She quipped…

There goes….sugar..spice but not at all every thing nice! Was that the fun actually!

Rajat crossed his arms…opened his mouth..let out a breath.

'Did you buy those Lilies….' Manisha looked up for a moment!

'I didn't dare to get them!'

'I'm a demon you make me feel!' She sulked…was that a smile underneath that…

'A war monger ferocious demon you are! Lilies are better off with the flower wallah!'

Their eyes laughed silently as they finished their dinner!

 

 

Soma Bhattacharjee

 

 

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