Short Story "Hi !!"
by Kakuli Nag
Short Story "Hi !!" - Previous page
After I spoke for almost fifteen minutes at a stretch, I realized, I was speaking not to a man but to his king size ego and my words did not quite pacify that.
"I want this taken care of as soon as possible as I have to return to Texas, in another two months"
"Nothing happens in two months. You know how things work here Siddharth or do you need a legal session on that as well?" Having exchanged emails with him for three months, I kind of developed that habit of rebuking him every now and then. I remembered, he had once told me, he liked that and I immediately stopped. "If two months is all you got, the easiest and fastest thing you can do is tag Sneha along!" I suggested mildly, almost knowing his response.
"You must be at least five years older than me and I expect you to behave your age and understand my state of mind. Instead of kidding me, let us face the truth. It is over with me and her. If you were responsible or I am to blame is something that is beside the point right now. One of us didn’t deserve this so called marital bliss. So please, fight the case" He was trying to control both, his volume and temper. He failed miserably at sarcasm though.
"Any husband may present a petition to the District Court or to the High Court, praying that his marriage may be dissolved on the ground that his wife has, since the solemnization thereof, been guilty of adultery," he confirmed. I obviously knew the language that he was speaking now.
"Is that what you really want to do? Do you want to accuse her of adultery? I know him Siddharth. I know him for years. He was never committed. He has a way with women, I know that. All my colleagues liked him too. All his relationships were very short lived. He was a great guy though, an amazing human being, very helpful but just not the lasting material and was just not capable of remaining steady with anyone for too
long. It is not easy for a woman like Sneha to keep him intrigued for more than a few months. She will realize that soon, no matter what she says now. So just hang on", I suggested.
"Great! I just lost my wife to that royal brat, that great, ever cherished friend of yours. Now at least you stop singing his praises to glory. Please". He stood up to leave, looked at me, wanted to say something, then decided not to and left. My guilt was magnified, many folds. I remained silent, sitting in the debris of betrayal.
The case was filed. Much before Siddharth was a free man, he had left for Texas. Since it was a case of infidelity, there was no Alimony involved. I never met Sneha or my neighbor again in my entire life, after I moved to work in the Delhi High Court. I never gave them any scope to explain their actions. There can possibly be no explanation for such behavior, I rigidly believed. Old fashioned as I am. Even after a decade, I still curse the moment I had introduced Sneha to my neighbor. He said innocently "Hi" and some people's course of lives changed forever.
Strangely enough, I had also lost touch with Siddharth. Something that disturbed me for a very long time was Siddharth's mysterious disappearance to Texas. I will never know, if I should also curse the moment he said “Hi” through his first email to me and when we began exchanging mails that evoked all those responses from him about Sneha, the tenderness he felt for her, how he missed her which lead me to believe how much he loved her and I fought his case almost blinded by his loyalty towards her, little realizing, how strategic it was to build the case in his favor, to probably go back to someone he had in Texas. While restoring my faith in people, I have learnt to be more discerning each time someone says “Hi” to me. There could be more to it! I emerged a winner with that little wisdom I gathered.******End****** Return to - Short Story "Hi !!" - Previous page