Arundati placed her empty teacup down on the table and looked at her daughter-in-law. Sharanya looked away, the unshed tears threatening to spill…and it did when Arundati hugged her. “I am so sorry Sharu. I blamed you all these years. I have been blinded by mother’s love and have been impractical in my thinking.”
Sharanya pulled back and wiped her tears. “I had to tell you the truth, mom. I cannot bear the humiliation anymore,” she said sniffing.
Arundati took Sharanya by her shoulders and crouched down before her, “let me set this set this straight myself. No need to tell Ani anything. Let us meet Prabhuji Maharaj. He will have some solution for sure. I still can’t believe that Ani hasn’t gotten over that bitch…. Fiona! I didn’t even like her name.” With that she got up and collected her bag from the couch. “Wash your face and put on some powder, you look like a wreck. Let us get going,” she commanded.
Post dinner, Anirudh was relaxing in front of the TV, changing channels getting bored with mindless programs. “Sharu, make me a drink please,” he yelled.
Instead Sharanya sat besides Ani setting a plate with pieces of apple and a bottle of peanut butter on the center table. “Let us eat apple instead,” she said smiling. He glanced at her curiously and let out a whistle seeing her dressed in sexy satin lingerie. She felt like an enchantress rather than a seductress. He leaned back on the sofa and crossed his arms, waiting for Sharu to come forth with some sort of explanation, as this wasn’t her nature.
“Ah! That explains. So what was her advice this time apart from seducing me?” he asked sarcastically.
“She had come with a mission on her mind. And was determined enough to take me to an IVF specialist. She called me ahead and instructed me to take the day off. Nothing new there. But I was tried of all this and wanted to end it once and for all. I told her that you were still in love with Fiona and that is the reason we could not consummate our marriage…yet.”
“Fiona? Hahahahahaaa….” Ani could not contain his laughter. Sharu laughed along with him. “Poor Fiona, I had to drag her into this…but, I had to say something right?”
“That doesn’t explain your intention,” he mocked playfully.
Rolling her eyes, Sharu took a piece of apple from the tray, dipped it in the peanut butter and took a bite seductively. Avi was amused. He stared at her, waiting for her to explain.
“Mom took me to Prabhuji Maharaj,” she explained.
Avi shook his head disbelievingly. “This whole set up is his idea?”
“Yes. He has blessed this apple. It is now potent enough to make me preggers…whether you do your part or not,” sarcasm dripped from every word of hers.
Avi took Sharu’s hand and looked into her eyes. “Sharu, sorry yaar for putting you through all this. Mom and dad will never understand. Nor will others. They will never accept our sexuality. To the world, Mohit will remain my best friend and Phalguni your best friend. Our marriage of convenience has become a huge problem and you have been at the receiving end of it.”
“Relax ya Avi. Thank god we haven’t let it affect our friendship. We both knew what we were getting into. And isn’t it enough that Mohit and Phalguni are our pillars? It has been 4 years now and I am used to all this crap. I am still open to the idea of adoption to please THE society. What say?”
“Ok, let us think it over. For now, serve me a piece of that forbidden fruit. Who knows Prabhuji Maharaj’s magic may really work and I may become your Adam,” winked Ani.
For – The Book Club’s Writing Prompts