“I’m starving!” Rijul announced as he swaggered into the kitchen. It smelled wonderful, which made his stomach grumble again. “Go wash up and call your sister. Dinner will be ready in 5 mins.” With a nod, Rijul rushed towards his sister’s room.
Dinner that night, consisted of carved chicken roast, with mashed potatoes and some vegetable salads- a continental meal for their guests. During the course of the meal, Mr Singh observed that his wife seemed more relaxed and a lot less grumpier than usual. Must have gone to a new spa, or was it a special diet that she’d started? She seemed almost playful as she joked with her sister-in-law and teased her daughter. Savita was a charming hostess that night, filling the lull in conversations with witty liners and starting new avenues of conversations.
It wasn’t until after desserts, when the family of four with their guests- Mr Singh’s younger brother and his wife, sat lounging in the drawing room that Savita made her announcement.
“I’m leaving you, Vineet.”
There was pindrop silence for a minute, before Mr Vineet Singh sputtered, “Wh-what? What do you mean, leaving?”
“I’ve rented a flat near my office, I’ll be staying there from tomorrow.”
Rijul and his sister looked at each other, they were both clueless.
“But why?” Savita’s sister-in-law enquired, a little self-conscious but clearly interested in the family drama.
“I can no longer keep up this cover of a happy marriage, when it’s been ravelling for a long time,” Savita explained with a sigh.
“Mom, I knew you were unhappy.. But what made you-“
“-make this decision all of a sudden?” Savita interrupted her daughter. At both her children’s nods, she explained, “I’ve been thinking about this for the last few days, and I’ve decided that I’ve had enough. I’m exhausted from living in an invisible cage. I want to be free, for the rest of however many days I’ll live.” Her children were adults and had their own lives, living in different cities due to their jobs. There was nothing tying her to this broken husk of a matrimony.
“I can’t pinpoint when exactly our bond began to splinter, but your father’s addiction and subsequent stay at the Rehab facility was a huge factor.” The months after rehab were some of the most difficult months of her decades long marriage, when his emotional flux and instability, combined with his natural propensity for cruelty had made her days hell.
The children remained quiet, remembering those days fraught with tension. They were almost finishing school when their father was sent to the facility, and the distance that had sprung up in their bonds had taken time to heal.
“It’s not as though you’re without faults, are you honey?” Vineet commented snidely, face red with barely controlled anger. “You’re never punctual, can’t keep your trap shut for long and you’re the most persnickety person that I’ve had the misfortune of meeting.”
Standing up, he towered over her, “If I can put-up with you, why can’t you?”
Savita remained silent for a few minutes. Her brother-in-law, feeling awkward, made their excuses as the couple left their home. She hadn’t wanted to discuss this infront of her in-laws, but figured that sooner or later, it would be known in their family circle.
“I’ve put up with your vituperation and emotional abuse for much longer than I should have.” Savita stood up as well, holding his gaze as she replied firmly. “And since you’ve had to put up with my faults for so many years, our separation will bring you great pleasure, won’t it?”
Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Wordle #205.
© 2020, Cozy Quiet Corner.