Self-respect : You Owe It To Yourself
-------William J. H. Boetcker
“Where were you in the afternoon?” asked Govind, his voice a mix of accusation and rage, his tie already removed, hair a fuss that were neatly combed in the morning
“At home. Why?” replied Shruti wondering what happened to her husband all of a sudden to use such a tone with her.
He was really excited and flirtatious in the morning. He even offered to shower with her which she couldn’t for she had a tight schedule today. Her parents were leaving for a holiday for a month, Piu’s skating class and the important gadget of the house washing machine had given up. So she was completely stressed and busy too for nowadays she’s been trying all her cooking skills to cook healthy and delicious food for Piu. She had to keep a tab on Piu’s vitamins, proteins and carbohydrate count.
Instead of a long shower they resented on a quickie before both of them could resume their daily chores.
Govind was half way undressing Shruti when she was was interrupted by a call from Rita who had a major gossip to be discussed with her.
Smiling apologetically Shruti attended the call only answering with a yes or no with an attempt to finish the conversation and start again where she’d stopped with Govind. But by the time she was done, Govind had gone for the culprit shower.
They had their time as a couple at the dining table when they shared an exquisite breakfast made by Shruti herself.
Now when he is behaving indifferently, Shruti knows that what she ’d decided for their evening dressing up in Govind’s favorite night dress that barely covered her followed by a flavored candle night late night session.
“Are you sure you were at home?” Govind asked, his voice a bit louder with a tinge of frustration.
“Yes Govind” Shruti tried to keep her calm. She’d learnt that it’s good to keep calm when the former one in the conversation is on the edge of losing his composure.
“Then I guess it was someone else with David at Waffle’s.” Govind spoke snidely. He’d been throwing his things on the places instead of keeping them, he was angry, very angry and Shruti doubted if the magical dress would even work today
His messy hair stated that he’d moved his hands through them a lot number of times. He was disturbed, very disturbed.
“So you weren’t laughing at giggling with him at the diner?” Govind asked, his tone more of accusing.
“NO” Shruti denied bluntly. Why the hell would she ever go to a diner with Coach David.
He was young, charming and good looking that every girl would drool over but Shruti, she never gave a second look to other guys. She never felt the need to.
Govind had been a perfect husband both practically and physically.
She helps Govind with his socks, she doesn’t mind doing it, rather she enjoyed tickling his toes, a major turn on for her, a kind of strip tease for both.
Govind hesitated initially but the after affects to both him and Shruti, he was always looking forward to this but today he pushed away Shruti harshly enough to hurt her.
What actually hurt Shruti was Govind was unaffected even if he hurt her.
Today was one such great day as Rita had offered a nice night out to Piu with Rita and all other skating friends and it was two Govind and Shruti alone. So why not make the most of it.
Shruti had already ordered a home delivery from the Somino’s, Govind’s favorite and she wouldn’t have to waste her time in serving. Also the bedroom was fancied with a new bedsheet of Govind’s favorite color, his favorite Azzaro also sprinkled instead of room freshener. It was expensive but the extremities that they both would go in the night, it was worth. If the fragrance was fresh, they surely would have another go by morning.
But the gruff mood that Govind was in today, night seems to be wasted already and what was he telling, Shruti and diner with somebody and somebody was none other than Coach David.
She’d never had any other conversations with the coaches other than Piu’s skating. Why the hell would she go to a diner with him, especially in the noon.
“So Piu was at Rita’s so you might have thought who’d know, atleast not stupid Govind?” Govind stepped closer to Shruti, his eyes red with fury and his grip on Shruti’s arm tight enough to hurt her.
He’d never ever assaulted Shruti, even his spanking during love making were measured but he was possessed today.
Govind was enraged, his love, his most trusted ever was under surveillance.
“You are hurting me Govind” Shruti was on the verge of crying, her voice croaked.
“You F##king hurt me Shruti” govind barked out of frustration kicking the table throwing two vases as they crackled on the floor.
Shruti was startled on the words emitted from Govind’s mouth “Years after our successful marriage you cheated on me for some stupid co...”
“Mind your words Govind.” Shruti shouted for the first time, her temper had crossed the break-even point. Govind had crossed all the limits.
“I did not cheat.” Shruti stated , her shoulders broad and eyes dark as she stared with them at Govind challenging her sanity.
“Then explain.” Govind softened but was nowhere near calm.
“I have nothing to explain. I was at home this afternoon. And if you do not trust me” Shruti’s voice a roar now. “Go find it yourself”
He was questioning her loyalty, her love for him.
Trust the biggest ingredient in their relation was now broken. She could hear the crackling of her heart.
“I already did” Govind’s voice full of hurt.
He removed his mobile an showed her the pic of Shruti and David sir smiling at something rather Shruti was laughing with “Uncle’s Diner” behind.
Realization struck Shruti, Uncle’s diner was behind their residence and the coach had called Shruti only for a minute to hand over Piu’s bearings of her skating wheels that Sabu sir had instructed David sir to get cleaned and hand over to Piu before evening class.
That five minute meet and collecting of wheels from David sir was erased from shruti’s mind and she forgot to tell Govind about it. But she never realized that somebody was actually clicking their picture and even had the audacity to message it to Govind.
“Govind” Shruti returned the phone to Govind and Tried to clear the misunderstandings “I...”
But Govind cut her off “Deny it.” He shouted and threw the phone, his anger had got better off him.
Shruti was almost shivering with the display of actions by Govind. The phone banged on the wall and shattred into pieces like Shruti’s heart.
She’d never felt scared, insecured and humiliated more than this before.
“Govind” Shruti cried to him “listen I met him but.”
Blinded by the betrayal Govind refused to listen to Shruti instead “Stop going to skating.”
“What?” Shruti asked shocked.
′ Why was he making an issue out f it?′ Shruti thought.
“Yes if you want to stay with me and want me to forgive you, stop taking Piu for skating classes.” He ordered.
“Govind.’” Shruti shouted “are you trying to punish me for something I haven’t done?
Do you think I can really cheat on you and our marriage?
Do you really believe in that manilpulated picture?”
’I believe in what I see.” Govind said heartlessly “now it is your choice forget about skating or leave me alone. Having a scumbag wife like you; I’d prefer staying alone.” And he marched into his room.
The clicking of locks confirmed that he locked the room behind.
Shruti couldn’t breathe, she felt like the wall of the house that was her ‘home sweet home’ were choking her to death.
Was the new form of technology really being the reason of breaking her house?
She packed her bags with minimal essentials of hers and Piu’s.
It was a big decision to be taken but if she stayed here with Govind actually believing that she betrayed him, cheated on him, she’ll die.
“Thanks Govind I don’t need any gift.” Shruti denied when Govind wanted to celebrate their consummation gifting a gift to Shruti.
“But I want to. I want to celebrate our mini union, our love.” He insisted as he drove towards one of the biggest malls of the city.
Wasn’t it the other way out girls should enjoy shopping but here Shruti was freaking out.
She’d avoided shopping spree and would always rely on her mother and sister for her shopping.
Here Govind was insisting her to come along. She was scared of making fool of herself.
“You please don’t select your dress. You have a horrible choice.” Her mom would often comment. I will come with you for shopping.
“This is it.” Govind said excitedly as he stood in front of a showroom named ‘Essence Boutique’ “the prfect gift, fragrance just like our relationship, just like you expressive and attractive and addictive. I’ll get you a perfume’ he said and dragged her inside.
“Govind I only use UDV. Mom says it suits me.” Shruti tried to avoid perfume shopping, the looks itself said that each of the crystal bottles were worth a fortune. “I have a new one at home.”
Govind silenced her with a peck on her lips and entered the showroom looking for a gift just right for Shruti.
While Shrti was left on her own she preferred to window shop and admire the different shapes, sizes an unique form of containers of the perfumes.
Blue, black, red, transperant, few were in the shape of a feminine body, lol there was one in the shape of boobs, the one with cobra head as a cap, the other container that was spiral tube making Shruti awe at the creativity in the designers.
“No I do not want to talk to you” yelled a might teen girl of mere sixteen, pronbably fighting with her boyfriend on phone, pissed at him.
She gave one shrug to her long black hair hitting the bottle kept in special showcase throwing it down.
Before the bottle could touch the ceramic floor and the crackling of glass with tiny pieces of glass falling everywher, the girl sprinted out of the showroom away out of the arcade as Shruti stood still watching the tiny broken pieces of glass, the thing which was a beauty mere seconds ago was nothing but a huge mess.
“Oh no! what the hell? What have you done?” shouted the salesgirl at Shruti.”
“Couldn’t you read, touch me not.” She yelled at her insultingly.
Shruti opened her mouth for her defense but was muted with the insulting curses that the sales girl was throwing at her ’do not want to buy anything, only come here for a stroll and ruin others day.”
Shruti had teary eyes before a strong masculine figure bumped her back.
“Mind your language miss.” Govind barked at the cursing salesgirl who was trying to mop the floor clearing the glass pieces off the floor. “Do you have any idea who broke the expensive carafe.”
“Sir.. umm..” the girl knew that the authoritative tone and looking at the bottles that he’d picked earlier she knew her quota for the month was filled but him being angry wasn’t a good sign.
“Just check your cctv cameras and find out who broke this decanter and mind your tongue before you speak to my wife.” He shouted as he took Shruti in his soft embrace and left the showroom. “and it was firstly your job to take care of your shop than to drool over the customers”
Shruti was awed at the act that Govind trusted her and believed that she wasn’t the one who did the mess and defended her.
“Sometimes Shruti you should fight for your self-respect.” He said as he kissed Shruti trying to relax her worried self at mini scene at the boutique.
He taught her to fight for her self-respect and she’d learnt the lesson well.
She gave one last look at the closed door, took a deep breath and left to where destiny took her.
It didn’t take much time for Rita to decipher Shruti was a wreck inside.
After passing the minimal details to Rita, she was offered by her friend to stay in one of her spare apartments that Rita had invested with her husband.
Reluctantly Shruti accepted and took Piu to the new place that was only a house and would never be called a home without the love, only love of her life Govind.
Shruti was a mess without Govind, she even lost her temper on Piu sometimes scolding her for her poor performance in academics, pressurizing her for maintaining cleanliness at home.
Today she crossed her limits when she shouted at Piu “If you cannot skate with speed why don’t you quit skating?”
Piu’s eyes turned glassy, Her mom had never scold her in front of anybody but thinking that she might be at default Piu apologized I her choking tone “I am sorry mom, I will try harder”
Shruti felt sorry for her deed and hugged Piu. She kissed her all over her face murmuring “I am sorry, I am sorry.”
Shruti wondered if her self-respect was worth the tears in Piu’s eyes?
And again being a child with single parent, broken family would
Piu ever win?