neelwritesblog/flashfiction/socs/o3/awkward/02/10/2016

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Oct. 1/16

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AWKWARD

By Neel Anil Panicker

Raghav eyed her from the corner of his eyes.

‘Gosh! How had she changed, and how much’, he wondered.

He was vaguely aware of it but wasn’t able to confirm the veracity of it all.

I mean, what can you say about stuff that happened some five years ago, and that too when all that you know of it came from Aunt Rachel’s mouth.

A mouth that stops not of stealing from the Bible to prove her point.

He moved himself closer to the hallway. That way he would be able to get a top end view of the marriage without anyone noticing him.

Except of course, his quarry.

No one had blown off his brains the way she had. And he had only met her just once. That too for a mere thirty seconds.

It happened only an hour ago. Here…at the church. Minutes before the marriage. Her marriage. She had pulled herself out from the gathering and exited through a side door.

‘Excuse me, where can I find the rest room’.

The distance between them was a mere three feet.

The smell of fresh jasmine inundated his lungs. He looked up to find red hot lips smiling at him. And then there was something else. Hidden but lurking behind that pair of doe shaped jet black eyes that were boring into him were an invitation.

Veiled, but still an invitation.

It was: the lovers’ Morse code. Known and practiced only among the community.

From one predator to another.

“ Uh, it’s over…”

He couldn’t complete it. She wouldn’t have allowed that.

“You are Rags, no? When did you come from Australia?”

She was right. She knew him. And his lusty ways.

Not her fault, though. ‘The raging bull’ ; ‘Mr Roving Eyes’; ‘Pole always looking for a hole’.

God! The epithets were aplenty; his exploits well documented.

No wonder, they sent him abroad. Enough of impregnating desi women.

Desi! But she too was one. How the fuck did he miss her?

How com their paths never crossed?

And then he remembered. The scandal. The Michael Family scandal. Their only child.  The hotel room… the police… the affair… a forced pregnancy…the priest…the sending of the girl…to London.

“How is Michael Uncle?” The words ditched his tongue.

He watched as her eyelids constricted and a faint trickle formed around them.

He kept the watch on. He knew. And she knew. And in that instant both knew that they knew.

The space between then suddenly collapsed. Their breaths synchronized. He felt the heavy bobbing of her breasts from under the off white brocaded bridal suit that she was wearing.

They stood there, just like that, in the corner.

Finally, she broke the awkwardness.

“I will be back”.

***

The booming voice of the priest broke him off his reverie.

“Esther, do you take Abhijeet to be your husband? Do you promise to be true to him in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, to love him and honour him all the days of your life?

“I do”

Rags, perched atop, watched as the bride moved forward and placed the wedding ring on her husband’s ring finger:

Even from the balcony, the lilting magneticism of her voice from below drummed into his ears.

“Abhijeet, take this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

And with that well meaning gathering of Sunday morning attendees broke into loud thunderous applause.

He looked down one last time only to find the bride and the groom smiling up at him.

She winked. He blinked. They were happy, very happy, the two. Especially the groom__his dear brother, Abhijeet.

He knew the vows of consent would soon be broken. He felt awkward and moved away.

+++

#FLASH FICTION

 

 

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