‘I need to talk to you, Aarav.’
‘Later sweetheart, I have a lot of work!’ Aarav picked up his files, sat in his car and drove away.
The whole day passed by. Ashima was pissed off. She had nothing to do, in that lonely place. The empty home was eating her inside out. She called her friends, all were either too busy to talk, or talked for a few minutes and disconnected. She wanted to be busy, she missed her college.
In the evening, Aarav returned with a bunch of flowers. He knew he was late and Ashima would be fuming, flowers were a make-up trick.
‘Where were you? I tried your phone, can’t you even pick up?’
‘Darling I was busy, some clients came over to see me, it took time. And I wasn’t able to talk to you, believe me!’
‘I said I need to talk to you, but you don’t have any time to listen!’
‘That’s not true baby, speak up! What’s the problem?’
‘I want a job, a real one!’
For a moment, Aarav thought that his earnings were not fulfilling Ashima’s wishes.
‘Why? Don’t I earn enough?’
‘It’s not that! Life is not about just earning money. I want to do a job to keep myself busy, I can’t live alone in this house, 24/7 waiting for you!’
‘Tell me the truth, Ashima. Are my earnings not enough for you?’ Aarav held Ashima’s hand gently. Ashima pulled her hand back with a jerk.
‘Are you even getting what am I saying? It’s not about the amount of money. What you earn is more than enough for me. I don’t want to join a job for money, but for myself, to work, to have a goal in life.’
‘Are you sure this is the only reason?’
‘Yes, baby! Why would I lie?’
‘Alright then, you can join me!’
‘Hey! I never said I want to join you. I want a job, outside our business, and in the field of my own interest. Cloth manufacturing is hardly my cup of tea.’
‘What do you mean? You don’t think it’s a real job?’
‘I never said that! But I want to join some marketing firm, or something in which my MBA degree can be utilized. I haven’t studied so much, just to sit idle at home!’
‘Whew…alright. As you wish! Apply in the local companies, and try to find a job with lesser working hours. I don’t want you to be too tired!’
‘Of course! Thank you so much, I love you…’ Ashima kissed him.
She applied into various companies and finally got a call for an interview. She passed and got a job in a local firm, as a marketing advisor. Her salary was merely 10% of what Aarav earned per month, but she was happy, as now she also had something real to do!
The next morning, it was Ashima’s first day at work. She made two tiffins, one for Aarav to carry to his work, and one for herself.
‘Good morning baby!’ Ashima greeted Aarav with a broad grin on her face.
‘Morning, Aashi. Whoa! Everything’s up and ready.’
‘Yes, it’s my first day, after all!’
‘All the best baby, you rock!’ Aarav kissed Ashima on her forehead, picked up his tiffin box, and went off. Ashima also picked up her tiffin and went to her workplace.
In the evening, Ashima was back just an hour before Aarav. She made dinner and cleaned up their room, and was tired to her core.
‘I’m back baby!’ Aarav entered, cracking his neck.
‘Hello sweetheart, you look tired! Go have a bath, I’ve warmed up the water.’
‘Thank you, I’ll be right back…’ Aarav went inside washroom and Ashima stepped inside their bedroom, to pick up her ringing phone.
‘Hello?’ Ashima was speaking to someone over the phone while Aarav was silently listening everything from inside the bathroom.
‘Yes sir, no problem. No, it’s alright, thanks! Bye, good night.’
Ashima disconnected and went to kitchen to complete her pending works. Aarav stealthily stepped out of the bathroom, picked up her phone and checked the call. It was from someone named ‘Jatin’.
Ashima called Aarav for the dinner. Aarav’s unusual silence was making Ashima sceptical, so she broke the ice by talking about her first day at work. Aarav irritatingly got up and went inside the bedroom. Ashima couldn’t understand what was wrong. She tried asking, but Aarav preferred to seal his lips.
The next two days passed by in the same manner. With Ashima screaming and crying for an answer of what was wrong with Aarav, Aarav was completely silent and didn’t even speak a word with her.