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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Hellcat

“You are so beautiful!” he repeated for the tenth time since that morning. And for the tenth time she ignored him, his plea for some attention, while continuing to stare at her image in the mirror, or remained fascinated by her fingers, toes, hair. He watched her with a sinking agony deep within, wanting her really, to have her by him for life. She turned towards him suddenly as if reading his mind, pulled him close and kissed him on the tip of his nose, ‘I love you too honey, but mom’s coming home today so better clean up.’

It was time for lunch.

‘Neema-baby, food’s here’, called out the doting husband from the living room downstairs.
It has exactly been a year to their marriage. Today is house warming for the new house they bought in New York City. They were keyed up all morning, making arrangements for guests and later relaxing on the porch outside. It was a lovely house Dave invested all his savings in.
He unpacked the food, laid the table and waited patiently for the wife. Neema came down running, screeching, ‘Honeyyyyy….!’

Dave rushed towards her hurriedly and waited for her to speak. His expression matched hers.

‘Cooockkkroachhh!!! She squealed.

‘Whaaaa…t! Where?’ He asked, evidently worried.

“Under the cupboard”, she moaned all blue.

Together they retreated upstairs to fight the fiend. Sloww…lyy…  ascending the stairs, on the qui vive just in case the cockroach got the better of them, halfway. On reaching, he began hunting the roach, under the cupboard, the bed… there it was- right below the shelves! He traced steady footsteps towards it.

’Baby quick food would be cold’, complained Neema.

‘Shhhhhhhh’, signaled Dave with a finger on his lips. He picked up a coat-hanger and tried to attack the malice creature. As he was about to hit it, the roach disappeared!

‘NOOO!’ Neema shouted on top of her voice. Dave turned insipid. ‘Eh!’ said he, ‘better luck next time’.  He held Neema by the arms and together they descended the stairs.

‘But will you find the cockroach after lunch?’ She punched him in the ribs with her elbow.

‘Yes baby, surely’, he comforted her.

She wasn't convinced and the thought of a cockroach in the bedroom disturbed her. Through lunch she accused him of not cleaning the room properly and nurturing other bad habits like never fetching her clothes on time from the laundry, never cooking any variety in food or that it had been so long he had given her a good feet massage. As she spoke, she cried a little while also warning him that if he doesn’t get the roach out, she will go to her mother’s. To which, he silently acquiesced even as his face read horror.

After lunch, Neema collected both her legs and perched them on the sofa while saying out aloud, ‘So what if DAVE rhymes with BRAVE’, and sulked some more as Dave cleared up the table, guilt ridden.