By Neel Anil Panicker
“Nothing, nothing is the matter”.
Rajesh opened his mouth to say something but then quickly checked himself.
She’s definitely hiding something, for sure, he said to himself.
He flipped boringly through the pages of ‘The President is Missing’, the book he, an absolute non-enthusiast of political thrillers, was trying to read.
” Read it. For once, you will fall in love with realistic fiction”, were Shelly’s words as she coaxed him into ordering the latest bestseller from a premier online site.
He decided to try another route. Turning around to his wife who herself was immersed in a book, ( another racy political or crime thriller___her favourite genres__), he said, his voice a practised casuality,
“Darling, what’s the name of that intern who was linked with Clinton? I keep forgetting her name off and on.”
The second s ticked by. He waited; waited and watched.
There was no response. Zilch. Cipher. It was as if she wasn’t even there in the bedroom.
As if she, her mind, were somewhere else.
‘So there was definitely something; something that was bothering her, playing on her mind so badly as to render her absolutely oblivious to her surroundings, to others around her, to even her husband, her hubby of over a decade.”
Rajesh watched her face, still immobile, inscrutable as a rock, and wondered whether it had anything to do with Harsh.
The thought made his blood boil and sent paroxysms of pain shoot up through his veins.
In no time and despite the air conditioning, he began to perspire.
As tiny sweat droplets began to trickle down his temple, he lifted himself from the bed and stumbled into the balcony abutting their fourteen floor two-bed room apartment, the one he had bought and shifted to only six months ago.
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Short Story Sunday 216: Nothing