The loss of faith ~ Tales from the dark side

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The loss of faith

It was a beautiful winter morning in Calcutta. The sun’s golden rays caught the trees and the white buildings and they glowed like the newly wed bride. A couple was walking on the sidewalk holding each other’s hand. The cool breeze wasn’t so much as a sting on the skin, but a gentle, pleasant wind.

They were not looking at each other as they walked. Their relationship had outgrown the joy that physical beauty holds; instead it was as if their souls were entwined at their hands. The grip was neither too firm nor too loose, they had gotten over that phase in which they feared losing each other to someone else. They didn’t need to talk, because everything had been said between them, now they cherished the silence.

“Will you love me still, if I cheated on you and then came back?”, she asked.
“I don’t know. I have never thought about that”, he said.
“What if I did? Think about it now”, her voice was playful now to show that there was nothing behind these words.
“I’ll hate you forever”, she never forgot those words.

They had stopped for a moment on the sidewalk while they were talking. They started walking again. They passed some small empty parks which held memories for them, some tall intimidating looking office buildings, some restaurants. At every crossing they would swiftly cross the street looking at both sides, avoiding maniacal taxis and buses and his grip on her hand would suddenly become stronger, she felt safe.

They walked inside a shopping mall, which if not for the weather would otherwise be air conditioned to 23 degrees. They were still holding each other’s hand. People watched them, maybe enviously for they could not remember the last time someone held their hand in public. Both of them were good looking so they attracted some jealous stares. The boy felt insecure at all the eyes checking her out so minutely, and the girl felt pleasure that she was with someone who everyone wanted to be with.

They went inside a shop that sold men’s clothes. While he stood checking out shirts in one corner of the shop, she would go all around looking for clothes that might suit him. She loved dressing him up. That’s why most of her gifts to him were clothes.

They went out of the store and climbed the escalator up to the fourth floor, that’s where the food court was. They always went crazy over food when they were together, both of them liked to guess what the other person would like and ended up ordering things which they could not finish. Ultimately it was always a few scraps from the plate and two glasses of cola that would fill them up.

They ordered their food and had sat down at a table, looking at everything else except for each other’s faces. Suddenly she became very nervous and he noticed it, she was looking at someone. He turned around to see who it was. It was some guy sitting right behind them and smiling at her. He didn’t like the way the guy was smiling at her, she smiled a nervous smile back. The guy didn’t bother to come up and greet her, he just sat there and smiled. He was with friends.
“Who’s that?”, he asked.
“Oh, someone I met a few days back at Tara’s birthday. We spoke for sometime, his name’s Nikhil”, she dismissed the matter.
He went back to his food, convinced. But something was itching inside him, maybe she was not telling him the entire truth.
“I’ll be right back”, he said
“Where?”, she asked
“Nature calls.”

He walked swiftly into the washroom and set about his business. He heard the lavatory door open behind him, he didn’t look back. Two guys were talking with each other.
“Did you see the chick I was looking at?”, one said
“Yeah the one sitting with a guy”
“Met her at a party last week. Man what a girl!”
“Yeah, she’s nice”
“No I mean, what a slut! Took me five minutes to convince her into doing the grind with me, and she wasn’t even drunk. And today she’s with some other guy, looks like it’s his lucky day”
“Haha. No, seriously? Gimme her number man!”
“Why don’t you go ask her now? The guy’s gone somewhere. If you make it fast”

They washed their faces and went out.

He buttoned up, he had listened to the entire conversation. Tears were threatening his eye glands, but he somehow held them back.

He walked slowly out of the lavatory, and made sure noone was watching him. He saw the two of them talking to her, she was smiling more spontaneously now, since he wasn’t there. He could see the other guy taking her number on his cellphone, and then they went back to their table.

He slowly walked back to his table and sat down.
“How does it feel to be a cuckold?”, he thought.
She smiled at him, and said “Where were you for so long, I was missing you”


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