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The morning alarm started ringing and Tina stretched her hand onto the other side of the bed. She missed him. She could still smell his cologne on the pillow. It felt as if it was only yesterday when her husband had left her for another woman.
Tina was a working woman who was financially stable and at a good post in her company. She always had a thirst to work harder and reach a better successful position. She knew that behind every successful woman, there is herself. She met Shiva 2 years ago. Shiva worked in the same complex but for a different company. They met through a familiar friend in the company and enjoyed their afternoon meals together in the canteen. Tina had never seen a more generous and caring man. She knew that he was the right person to spend a lifetime with. They got married within 6 months of seeing each other. They were alike in so many ways yet there was one big difference that existed. Shiva was content with what he was and where he stood, while Tina was ever ambitious and wanted to climb the corporate ladder. She believed that ambition is the path to success. Shiva always had the same complain from Tina that she didn’t give him enough time and was lopsided towards her work. Tina would eventually go out with him for a dinner or a movie once in a while but knew all along that it was Shiva to whom she wanted to prove her worth. It was for him that she wanted to reach heights so that he feels proud of having her as his wife. But destiny had different plans.
It was Shiva’s 30th birthday and he was glad to be going out on a weekend trip with Tina after so long. He felt as if going away from the city air would bring about some peaceful time in their lives. He was extremely delighted to go and had even come home very early from his office. He was waiting for Tina to return from hers so that they could pack and catch the 10pm flight. But at 8:45pm, Tina’s assistant called up and said that Tina wouldn’t be able to come as boss has held her up for some very urgent and unavoidable work. Shiva was heartbroken. His grief knew no bounds. He couldn’t understand as to how Tina could cancel the trip he had awaited since long. He was even more dejected thinking that Tina couldn’t even call him herself. Then the fatal emotion of doubt hit him.
He had been observing from quite a few days that Tina had been having lunch with her boss and was doing a lot of overtime. He suspected Tina of cheating on him and that day’s event made it clearer.
He was outraged. Fuming, he shut the door behind him and seated himself in the nearest bar. He was quite drunk by now. All of a sudden, a woman, of petite height, sharp curves, wearing a body hugging dress and sky scraper heels approached him. He didn’t recognize her at first because he was obviously drunk and not in such a state. But then the girl introduced herself as Maya, his college friend. Shiva drank some lemonade and became sober. Sadness still dominated his eyes. He felt as if he could trust Maya and told her everything that he was going through and the event that took place that day. Maya, an opportunity seeker and a divorced lady, saw this as time to make a move and made a revelation. She confessed in front of Shiva that she had a huge crush on him in college days and found the little mole on the corner of his lower lip very cute. No sooner than he realized, Shiva was at Maya’s house wrapped under blankets. He knew he had done a wrong thing by getting close with another woman but he did not feel guilty. Shiva and Maya started seeing each other more. Shiva didn’t mind Tina doing overtimes anymore as he enjoyed spending that time with Maya, his new love interest. Love is blind and in this case, it was foolish too.
Tina had told Shiva that she would be coming late at night as she had a press conference to attend. Shiva didn’t mind that and he himself took a day off from office. He invited Maya to spend the day at his place as they wouldn’t get a better opportunity than this when Tina was away. Maya came on time. They had lunch together which Shiva had prepared. Maya came close to Shiva and sat on her lap. Shiva caressed her hair and told her that her skin was beautiful. Much more beautiful than his wife’s who didn’t spend time taking care of it and kissed her. Tina, who had come early to surprise Shiva as she had something in store for him, used her spare keys to come inside the house and couldn’t help but only stare at the two fully grown up people kissing and touching each other like teenagers. Shiva caught her eye and was taken aback. He didn’t know what to say. He stood to attention at once. Tina couldn’t speak anything. Her legs felt weak. She wanted to throw up. But her eye stayed glued to Shiva’s who was now panicking.
Tina spoke not one word, gathering the strength to walk, she marched towards him and slapped him. A thunderous slap that made her own hand hurt so much that she wanted to scream.
“Why? Why did you do this to me Shiva? How could you? I came home early to spend time with you but you already have company. I can’t believe you have no shame. I hate you. I hate you. You awful man!”She held his collar tightly and beat his chest.
“Get off me you cheater. You are the one that started it. You think I am a kid not to figure out what was going on between you and your boss? I can’t believe you could stoop so low for money and power. I am ashamed of calling you my wife you filthy woman” Shiva said shoving her off him.
Shiva hurried into his room and packed his things. He held Maya’s hand and said that he would be living with Maya from now onwards and that the divorce papers would soon knock on Tina’s doorstep.
Tina had so much rage inside her but at the same time she felt feeble. She was doing all this for Shiva and the baby that they wanted so that all 3 of them could live a happy life without any compromises. She felt despondent. Her stomach lurched. Sweat started rolling down on the back of her neck making her feel hot. She didn’t know who to call up. She didn’t know who to cry in front of. Loneliness and the fear of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty. She opened the lower cabinet on the kitchen table and drank consistent neat vodka shots. Maybe getting wasted, a few sleeping pills and sleep was the answer.
Exactly one month had passed. Tina was now a single woman and Shiva had made plans to marry Maya when he got to know that Maya was pregnant. This news spread like fire in their friend circle and even to Tina as they had a few mutual friends also. Tina was now a board member of her company and was striding fast in her career. She had collected herself. She now did everything for her rather than to please someone else. Tina’s pictures came in business magazines and in newspapers as she attended business award ceremonies. She almost had a celebrity status. She now looked much younger and attractive. All that working out and spending time in the spa was showing. Whenever you invest in yourself, you’re making an investment in your future. After all, a broken marriage does do you some good.
Months had passed. Maya was horrified to go in the hospital where the lights were killing her eyes. She wasn’t ready to let her truth out as yet. She wanted to abort this child but by the time she was aware of her pregnancy, it was too late. She didn’t know how she would face not only Shiva, but also his family. Shiva had called up his parents to the city. He had told them that Tina was cheating on him and that is why he would be marrying Maya as soon as she delivers the baby and retrieves her stable state. But Maya was dreading. She wanted to faint and not wake up for long. In her mind she was thinking of what consequences would take place once everyone got to know about the truth but soon she went blank. The hurting had taken over her. Guilt is to the spirit what pain is to the body. She had delivered the child and was now asleep due to the effect of injections.
When she got up, she noticed the little champ on the bed beside her but no one there. Where was Shiva? Why had he not come to check on her? The doctor along with Shiva and Raman entered. Maya sank in her bed. Shiva had indeed gotten to know the truth. The child was not Shiva’s but Raman’s. Before seeing Shiva, Maya was dating Raman but Raman left her because he freaked out at the thought of marriage. Maya could not dare to meet Shiva’s eyes. Raman came near the bed and held his delicate child in his hands. A tear fell down his eye. He kissed Maya on the forehead and told her not to worry. He would marry Maya and prove to be a good father to their child. Maya wanted to talk to Shiva and apologize to him but it was too late. She had already caused un repairable damage.
Shiva could not believe what a fool he had made of himself. He had insulted his wife, humiliated her and left her for a woman that was carrying someone else’s child. He knew there was only one person that could console him. Only one person could make him forget all the misery that was going on his life. He knocked on Tina’s door and begged her to forgive him. He told her he was a donkey to have driven over her for some knocked up woman. His guilt knew no bounds. He pleaded Tina to accept him back in his life. He promised her that he would never leave her again and would always stay by her side. But Tina was not one to be messed with. He cheated on a diamond to pick up a piece of rock.
This is not only the story of Tina, but many other women like her who become a sufferer of their husbands cheating on them for varied reasons. Once they realise their fault, they come swarming back to their wives and beseech for forgiveness. But Tina is a role model. To all those wives that spent nights crying in the darkness and thinking of cutting their veins with blades. You do not need a man that will walk over you in your life. Give importance to your career and stay strong. You may bend but you will never break. Find a man who can spoil you with loyalty because you are well capable of financing yourself.