(As told to Saurabh Dalal)
For those of you who are catching up with this series here, I suggest reading the first and the second part before you read this. My wife Shweta and I are a working couple. We embarked on a new adventure with Sharad and his wife Swati, a couple with whom we shared terrific chemistry. We went on a weekend vacation to Ooty with them where we swapped partners for the night.
The next morning, I woke with a splitting headache. The bathroom door opened and Swati came out. It took me a few moments before I remembered why she was in my room. I had slept with her – my best friend’s wife, last night. The whole night came back in a flash to me.
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I was awash with feelings of remorse and guilt. I guess so was Swati because she just gave me a nervous smile and quickly walked out of the room without uttering a single word.
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The morning after
My mind was in a whirl. All kinds of weird thoughts ran amok in my mind until the doorbell buzzed. Must be Shweta! For the first time in our married life, I dreaded facing my wife. I opened the door and Shweta looked up at me. She looked crestfallen. Her eyes were red and teary.
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She walked in and went straight into the bathroom. It was an hour before she finally came out after repeated knocks and requests to come out.
I tried hugging her but she avoided me and sat on the other side of the bed. She was still sobbing. “Oh Vishal, what have we done?” She finally managed to utter between her sobs. I was aghast at her condition. All I could say was, “I love you!” “I love you too….”, she trailed off. I was wrenched with guilt. “I am sorry, I got carried away,” I said. “No, I am sorry,” she countered. I got up and hugged her as she cried non-stop for the next hour. Finally, she calmed down. A painful silence hung between us.
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We ordered room service for lunch. We were just not in a mood to face Sharad and Swati after what happened last night. Our return flight was at night. We checked out and met them in the hotel lobby. They too looked wretched, although Sharad did try to make some conversation. But seeing us all unresponsive to his overtures, he too shut up.
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All four of us hardly exchanged any words on the return journey. I did get a message on my mobile from Sharad that he valued our friendship more than anything else. And that he hoped that what happened last night would not spoil it forever. I thought about it and sent him a thumbs up. No smiley.
Back to work
On returning from Ooty, we got back to our daily routine. Thankfully, I didn’t have to face him in office, as he immediately left for a weeklong official trip. It was a week before Swati and I got time to discuss the Ooty trip with each other at the weekend. Luckily, there were no recriminations and accusations. Both of us felt guilty enough already. And we were both sorry that we had slept with someone outside our marriage.
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We realised that one night shouldn’t define our whole marriage. We had a wonderful life and a lovely princess as our daughter. Both of us were mature enough to realise our mistake, seek forgiveness and move on.
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Limping back to normalcy
We were much more cheerful and back to our normal lives after this. The only difference was that Sharad and I grew distant in office and we didn’t meet or go out together with them, as we used to before the Ooty trip. Our little princess kept our hands full, as it was.
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One evening I was completing a business presentation and Shweta was sitting beside me in the living room, watching television, when suddenly the doorbell rang. “Must be the dhobi,” she remarked and got up to open the door. Strangely there was total silence after the door opened.
I looked up as she came back into the living room, with Sharad and Swati in tow. Sharad walked up to me and hugged me silently. I became emotional too and hugged him back. That was the cue for Swati and Shweta as they embraced each other and started crying.
“Hey, nobody has died,” I remarked laughing. Both of them looked up at us and smiled through the teary eyes.
“But you will if you ever again stay away from us so long. I will see to it,” Swati replied.
We all laughed heartily.
And then we made up
Soon we were back to our old selves, laughing and chatting and making plans to watch the latest Bollywood release. All seemed a little more earnest and cheerful than usual as if we wanted to dispel the shadow of that night between us, forever from memories.
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Later at night, Shweta cuddled up to me in bed. “I am so happy that we are friends again.”
“Yes, so am I.”
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“I guess this swapping is not our cup of tea.”
“Hmmm. Yes, probably not,” I replied.
“I am more than happy with the sexiest woman in the world as my wife,” I whispered to her. She looked into my eyes and took my hands in hers. “Don’t you want to make love to the sexiest woman in the world,” she asked naughtily.
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No man can ever say no to such a proposition, especially if it’s the sexiest woman in the world. We made love and forgot that even the most desirable man or woman in the world, could have been cheated on.