(As told to Joie Bose)
My blood throbbed in my veins so hard that my whole body had begun to ache. I could feel my heart, it seemed. I could feel my lungs take in the breath and release it, my brain registering sights and then processing meaning into them. The world had slowed down for me. It was beautiful. It was after a long time that I had felt so alive. I sat down to see the breeze move the leaves on the trees, my feet had suddenly begun to ache. It was too much, this sudden being able to feel everything around me and more importantly, what Sunil did.
I met Sunil at the park, where I go for my morning walks. He drops his daughters to school after his walk and I go for the walk after I drop my daughter at the bus stand. Of the ten rounds that I walk, I used to end up sharing only one or two rounds with him. He always used to smile at me and I smiled back. This had lasted for ten years. We briefly spoke about our girls and, though it was rare initially, he used to compliment me and I used to blush. Last April, he had put his daughters in the school bus and we began coming to the park together.
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No real friends
You know, after years, I had begun sharing time with someone who was in my age bracket without any reason. I’m a homemaker and every day, all the time, I’m busy making my house a home. And I’m so busy doing this that I never have time for anyone else and my husband had grown totally strange in the last 15 years.
He had time to say that my hair had greyed, but never had enough time to share the worries that had made my hair turn grey. My school and college friends, all found my concerns boring, for they were either working or rich enough to afford servants.
My part-time maids, gardener, milkman and the shopkeepers had all become what one could remotely call as friends. Then in comes Sunil, who suddenly not only took interest in me, but began discussing his office problems with me. Amazingly enough, I had solutions. Even when I didn’t, I would listen and then research online about them. Then I would give him my opinion.
Stimulating my mind
He was in the human resources department and how he managed people intrigued me. He shared a lot of things. Even confidential sales reports. I have spent several mornings sitting down on the grass going through reports and helping him. He loved my fresh perspective. A part of me had lost faith in myself, but Sunil had brought the zing back, making me think I am capable of understanding all those complex things.
The last few months had been amazing. I was reading up industry insights and Sunil was helping me understand them. He was talking to me about finance and shares. The world of numbers and news that had seemed so drab earlier made sense to me. Even the pink Economic Times that I valued because it absorbed oil best, became more. I had begun to read it. And to my surprise, I opened a DMAT account and had begun buying shares. There was so much more to life, I saw.
You changed my view of life
“I can’t do complex, serious things, I had thought, Sunil. You made me have a new belief in myself. I’m thinking of taking up a degree course in management in the distance mode,” I had told Sunil, while walking this morning. Sunil stopped in his path, took my hand and said, “You are a fast learner. You are worth so much more than just…” Then he learnt forward and kissed so lightly on my forehead. My blood rushed to the forehead and trust me, I was not in the least offended. I should have had been, but I felt happy. Happy is an understatement, I was thrilled!
I had probably blushed majorly, for Sunil’s face turned white and he immediately left. I just kept standing for a bit and then the world began to look much clearer to me.
I’m more than just a summation of my husband and daughters, am I not?
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Something to look forward to
I don’t know what will happen with Sunil. Will he have the guts to take forward this friendship that we have? Will it not lead us both down a dangerous road? I know his wife and I know that his wife does not know about this side of Sunil. She thinks he is as boring and as dry as my husband is. But Sunil is so much more to me and I think I am selfish enough to want him around, for he is someone who has made me want to live, not just merely mindlessly exist.
I don’t know if Sunil will come back tomorrow, but I will surely come. I will keep on hoping he does come. And even if he does not turn up tomorrow or even the day after, I know he will turn up eventually. It is easy to ignore that electricity in-between us, but very brave to accept it. I wonder how many people would have the guts to do so if they were in my place. I wonder how many people have the guts to live, and to be alive.