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The Exes

Updated: 5 days ago

On a rainy night, Naveena arrived ten minutes early at the restaurant they planned to meet at and without wasting a minute, she ordered their meal and waited for him. Pouring herself a glass of water, she thought about how to approach the topic she very much intended to talk about that evening. As much as she knew he would understand, there was a part of her that couldn’t help but wonder how he would react. But to calm herself, she kept reminding herself, “After everything we have been through, he will understand.”


Taking a sip, she checked her watch, and unless she could magically make ten minutes disappear, she knew there was no way he would arrive early. Taking a deep breath, she rethought if this was the right time to discuss her decisions and decided to maybe not talk about it. She felt two hands on her shoulders.


When she turned around, there he was. Not just early but even dressed formally in a formal full-hand shirt. He looked sharp in his haircut and neatly trimmed beard. With his eyes widened, he said with a smile, “Look who has become an aunty!”


Returning a beaming smile, Naveena replied, “And look who has finally become a man!”


As he widened his arms, Naveena embraced him tightly before he embraced her back nearly four years later. Settling on either side of the table, both of them sat in silence for a moment before the waiter placed a plate of spicy noodles with a bowl of Manchurian. Putting a plate of vegetable fried rice before Prachin, the waiter spilt diced onions on the noodles and Manchurian before Naveena picked up the ketchup bottle from the centre of the table and squeezed it in a zig-zag fashion on the whole.


The waiter spilt chopped coriander on the fried rice and placed a bowl of Raita and a bowl of chickpea curry on the side. He then placed a glass filled with ice cubes and cola beside Naveena and a glass of water with a lemon on the side beside Prachin.


Wishing them to enjoy their meal, the waiter left before Naveena picked up her fork. Glancing at her, Prachin asked, “As much as I want to appreciate your memory regarding my choice of food, I’m more curious to know why you summoned me.”


With a smirk on her face, Naveena pierced her fork into a Manchurian ball as she said, “I’m hoping to apply for a divorce, and I wanted to discuss it.”


Leaning back in his chair, Prachin was no longer hungry. Picking up his glass of water, he took a sip as he noticed Naveena relishing her lunch while staring at him. Looking around for a moment to notice the nearly empty restaurant and cursing his fate, Prachin hesitantly asked, “It hasn’t even been a year, right? What went so wrong?”


Pointing her fork towards him, Naveena warned with a smile, “I’ll only tell you if you promise me to not parrot my parents’ words!”


Unable to believe how jovially she was approaching the topic, Prachin nodded in agreement before she completed him by saying, “My husband doesn’t have a personality.”


Utterly confused, Prachin faltered as he said, “Personality? I thought… I thought he cheated or abused you or something.”


Picking up another ball, Naveena smiled as she said, “Cheat? The man barely spanks his wife passionately without checking on her.”

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