After their wedding, Sneha and Rohan moved into their new apartment facing the sea. The apartment didn't have much in the way of furniture when Sneha first arrived, only the bedroom and kitchen had enough items to start everyday life. In fact, Sneha was waiting for her furniture to be delivered and had ordered quite a few things. Both Ramona and Sneha had tirelessly roamed the city to find the best furniture and bric-a-brac for the new home.
The furniture arrived a few days later and Sneha got busy giving each piece its place. She had pictured the rooms so many times in her mind that she didn't have trouble placing everything exactly in its place. Every day she would manage a room and proudly stand in the middle, reviewing whether anything was less than perfect.
Rohan would arrive in the evenings, eat and go to bed. Their conversations were minimal…
"I decorated the drawing room today. Why don't you look at it and tell me whether you like it?"
She was desperately seeking attention but Rohan didn't oblige. He just shrugged, "I'm exhausted, I'll see it tomorrow. I'm sure it's great," he replied without any excitement.
Sneha came out of the bedroom wondering what had gone wrong. 'Perhaps it is the job,' she thought to herself.
She went to the kitchen and prepared some coffee for her and Rohan but when she went to give it to him, he was already asleep. She quietly closed the door behind her and went to watch her favourite serial on TV.
Rohan could hear Sneha watching TV. He loathed every moment he spent with her and wanted to avoid her at all costs so he had faked sleeping.
Back at the office, Stella wasn't being friendly either and had stopped spending time with him. He wanted to talk to her so he went to her cubicle in her department. She was talking to her colleagues but as soon as they saw Rohan, they took off.
Rohan went up to her and said, "Hi."
She didn't want to talk to him and ignored him. Her reputation had gone downhill and everyone started pitying her. She was ridiculed and her plans vanished into thin air. Poof!
And here he stood; the person responsible for this entire debacle. Standing in front of her and saying 'Hi!' How could he?
"Please leave. You have already made my life miserable. Isn't that enough?"
Rohan wanted to mend fences. "It's impossible to share my home with someone I barely know, Stella. I want you to be with me, we have to do something to end this marriage."
Both of them had a long, intense conversation together over their lunch break.
That evening Rohan came home and felt that he could finally shape his life. His wife had caused a lot of inconvenience in his life and he wanted an end to his misery. He was so caught up in his own despair, he didn't even notice hers.
Sneha didn't understand Rohan's minimal conversations, his hesitation when he talked to her and his failure to notice any changes she made in the house. Above all, she couldn't understand his reticence when it came to their relationship. She desperately longed for companionship and was a long way away from home. Her father was so happy for her but why wasn't Rohan happy? Why was this marriage becoming a burden? Even though their interactions were limited, Rohan had known her for a long time. He used to help her in school projects back when they were both in school. He was only three years older than her.
Everyday conversations became monosyllabic. The silence was deafening and Sneha felt stifled. She would go for morning jogs to meet people and spend her time watching them, or the birds – this was the only entertainment she had during the entire day. Watching TV serials was becoming boring.
Did Rohan know anything about her at all? He didn't try to find out and she wouldn't force herself on him. She wanted their marriage to grow maturely and at age twenty-seven, she was aware things could get bitter quickly in a marriage. She was not the domineering type but she knew how to gain control over a situation. This seemed to be an exception though…
After days of the same routine she decided to confront Rohan. That day, when Rohan came back home she asked whether he would be interested in eating out since she hadn't cooked anything for dinner. Rohan was surprised but he agreed. He was hungry after all and they went to a nearby restaurant and ordered ravioli.
Rohan was beginning to immerse himself in his cell phone when out of the blue Sneha asked, "How was work today?"
"As usual," came back his indifferent reply.
"I was wondering if it would be possible for me to visit you at your office sometime? I would like to see where you work," explained Sneha.
Rohan was surprised by her question. He looked at Sneha for a few seconds and couldn't help noticing her vibrantly coloured shirt. The colours seemed to explode out of the shirt and she looked vivacious. Her hair was tucked on one side, revealing her long neck that her danglers were touching trying to play hide and seek with it.
Rohan abandoned those thoughts immediately and thought of Stella. He couldn't betray her.
She could visit him in the morning for half an hour he thought. So he told her, "You can come to my office on Saturday morning about 11 a.m. We can go back home together afterward."
Sneha was also surprised to see that her husband not only agreed to her small request, he actually spoke more than one sentence for the first time since they were married. She was encouraged and gave him a beatific smile.
The dimple in her left cheek captivated Rohan. 'How come I've never noticed that before? Hadn't Sneha ever smiled before?' These were confusing questions with how he felt about Stella, but they didn't stop. 'Didn't she ever open up her hair in front of him? Was she always wearing full shirts buttoned up to the neck?'
Their dinner arrived sooner than expected, they ate without talking much breaking the silence only once by asking, "How will you reach my office?"
She answered it wasn't a problem and that she could take a taxi. They finished eating and Sneha didn't have the heart to ask him anything else and thought the reluctance was all in her head and not him. Perhaps Rohan was like that…always behaving seriously. Maybe they needed to give more time to their marriage. Tonight she knew he had looked at her with admiration.
She wanted to go home after dinner but he insisted they have dessert. "They serve great Tiramisu here. Would you like to try it?" He was enjoying the food and the company and wanted to see that dimple again, Sneha obliged by smiling.
Even though she was pretty full, she wanted to sit there and spend some more time with him. She wanted to give time to her marriage before jumping to conclusions.
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