She went and sat next to Rohan on the same couch, but at a distance. She didn't know it, but of late this couch was becoming Rohan's favourite place to sit and relax. Not only was the couch very comfortable, he sank down in it, but it was the smell of Sneha's perfume that lingered and enticed him all the more.
Sneha offered Stella the appetisers decorating the table in front of her. Stella seemed extremely comfortable while picking up the biscuits. 'Not an ounce of awkwardness,' Sneha thought!
"So how do you feel being in City M, Sneha? I'm sure with nothing to do you must be bored. You see, working women have a different life here in City M. If they are working in the same office as their husband, they get to spend more time with them; however, if they work at two different places they are only able to meet during dinner and a little bit in the evening! It must be a big change for you from Jodhpur to City M, isn't it?" Stella asked with a sweet, yet terribly condescending smile.
Sneha knew what Stella was trying to do but instead of getting furious, she answered slowly and calmly. "No, I don't get bored," she lied, "I took some time off from my medical profession to spend with Rohan and decorate the house. I was planning to join a hospital here so I've sent my application to several hospitals and have been selected by three places so far. I hope to join as a senior resident in the Gynaecology department in one of them. I did my post grad work in gynaecology."
While Stella was definitely impressed and even cringed a bit, Rohan was completely awestruck. His wife was so well qualified! The little girl whom he used to help with her school projects had grown up to be a well accomplished and sensible woman, and a doctor! He was proud of her.
Sensing Rohan's reaction, Stella immediately changed the subject. "Where all have you been in City M?"
Sneha didn't have much to share and quietly answered, "I've only been here fifteen days, so I haven't really had a chance to visit around too much."
The rest of the conversation became boring with Stella blabbing most of the time. Sneha excused herself and went to the kitchen to finish preparing lunch. She got it ready and called Stella and Rohan to eat. She wanted Stella to go away, she was becoming exasperated!
Lunch was a clunky affair with Stella talking senselessly and often spoke waving her dirty spoon in the air like an exclamation point to her words. Rohan too was finding it annoying and wanted the meeting to get over quickly. Both Rohan and Sneha ate their lunch quicker than normal and made it obvious to Stella, but she was in her own world and didn't care. When she finally finished her lunch, Sneha and Rohan both gave a sigh of relief! Sneha didn't even bother to serve her the dessert she made.
Stella left with a feeling that her mission had been accomplished and she felt Sneha came to know how close she was to Rohan. She tried to give a parting smooch to Rohan, which Sneha noticed and again felt tears wetting her eyes. She wasn't aware Rohan turned away while Stella tried to kiss him...