Friday, January 6, 2017

The Warning


We were undressing each other when I asked her, “Aarchee, did you get my parcel?”
“Oh yes, lovely photos,” she replied, “very sweet of you.”
Between kisses, she added, “It nearly got lost in the office mail. It landed sometime when I was on tour.”
Sometime later, she continued, “Guess what…Ahalya stayed with me for a few days and she found that album. She always finds my inner secrets.” Archana laughed.
“Where did you keep it?” I asked.
“With my cosmetics,” she replied. “I removed all the racy stuff before she found it…thank God...you are very naughty, my darling sweetie-pie.”
Ahalya turned up at the restaurant and woke me up from that deep reverie.
“Are your naughty thoughts worth a penny?” Ahalya asked. I reached for her. She slipped in next to me on the curved booth-seat and snuggled close to me. I kissed her.
“Oye, the love goons will tar us,” she protested, “or, the proprietor…or, the young ones. And, we are fifty plus…”
“Bah, bah, bah…to the goons, to our age, to everything…” I protested. We separated when the waiter came with the menu card and a broad amused smile. He knew us. We ordered the usual.
“So, what were you thinking about?” Ahalya asked.
“Your sister,” I replied.
“Aarchee?” she asked. “What about her?”
“The album,” I said.
“Ah, the album,” she laughed. “What racy stuff you wrote in that!”
“Trust you to find the stuff she hid.”
“She removed it from the album and kept it by its side, face down though. In fact, it was the writing that caught my attention.”
“I know,” I thought for a while, “you read the writing and she saw only the photos.”
“Come on, that’s not fair, she read it too.”
“Well, you know what I mean.”
“I have always wondered,” Ahalya said, “how things would have turned out if I had not told you that I read what you wrote on the back of those photos.”
“Well, I would have married her,” I said, “and, we would have been divorced a few years later. I don’t think I would have given enough importance to the warning sign.”
“But, we are not really that different…” Ahalya argued.
“True…” I agreed.
“She is more beautiful,” Ahalya pointed out.
“True…”
Ahalya elbowed my ribs. I cried, “Ouch.”
“Is she still with that venture capital something guy?” I asked, rubbing my side.
“Oh yes, he is a hunk, right? They are in Machu-Pichu,” Ahalya said.
“Somehow, your sister in Machu-Pichu sounds right,” I said.
“You are cruel.”
“Hey, I heard from my publisher,” I turned to her, “The Screwed has got the award.”
“Wow!” she hugged me. Then, she pulled back and said with a long face, “I didn’t like that story one bit.”
“I know…” I grinned.
“Why is it that I dislike all your award-winning stories?” she asked. “And none of the ones I like get a prize?”
“Sweetie-pie, I write two types of stories, one for you, and one to get money.”
“You are such a smooth-talker, Mr…”
After a while, she asked, “You thinking of my sister…now, that is not a warning sign, is it?”
“Could be…” Her elbow made contact with my ribs once again.

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