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7. Friends

Aruna

"Rohit, where the hell is your brother?" I gritted through clenched teeth.

Tia had left to check a patient in the neighbourhood telling me to call her if I needed any help. I felt so embarrassed. Damn that guy.

"Uh, aren't you the one suppose to be knowing that?" he replied with a nervous smile, probably getting a slight hint of my foul temper.

"What's the matter dear?" granny's gentle voice came from behind.

"Granny", I went to her and complained, "Your grandson has a fever, I asked him to stay in bed and not go to the office for meetings, I even called ma informing her that I will not be able to go but the stubborn person he is, he went to the office when I had gone to call Tia".

"The audacity of that guy", granny muttered angrily. "I know granny," I said, frustrated with the husband of mine.

"Did you go to his office? The one in the house I mean?" Rashu asked. I nodded, "Yeah I did and that is why I'm angry. He's not there. Rohit, give me his assistant's number", I demanded.

"Sure," He said promptly without trying to argue. He dialled his number and handed me the phone.

"Hello, good morning sir" the voice from the other end greeted in a robotic manner.

"Hello, I am Mr.Kapoor's wife. Is he at the office?" I asked straightaway.

He did not reply for a few seconds, "Er...he...he...he was here...no..he wasn't....I mean he was..." He trailed off and I became sure that his boss was surely near and was trying to instruct him to lie about his whereabouts.

I took a deep breath, "Look, I understand that your boss might be glaring and practically threatening you to lie but the thing is he is not well at all and needs rest. So please cancel all his appointments and meetings for today".

He replied reluctantly, "No, actually he is not but he anticipated something like this might happen. So, from beforehand he had asked me not to tell you about where he was. I understand your concern ma'am but..."

Comprehending his hesitation, I assured him, "You don't need to be worried about your job being chucked away from you".

He sighed in defeat, "Okay ma'am but please kindly see to that-"

"-that you are not fired. You won't be. You have my word", I said with determination.

"Thank you, ma'am".

I ended the call and looked at a smirking Rashu. I raised an eyebrow, "What?"

"Just seeing, how my friend has become such a caring wife" She commented, twirling a hair strand casually. Granny had gone back to their rooms I guess when I was speaking. I opened and closed my mouth like a fish out of water. She was right, I was going soft on him. But then, he was ill and I would do this for any person close to me. Wait..what? Was I...? No, no Aru no time think about your feelings now

I gave back the phone to Rohit, who was smiling as well.

I shrugged at the duo before leaving. If they were thinking that I had started harbouring any kind of feeling for him? Then they ere wrong. 

~~~~

"Who do you think you are?" A very angry, stubborn and unwell man who also happened to be my husband(unfortunately), demanded after flinging open the door to our room.

I was sitting on the couch near the window, reading, The Home and The World. I looked up from the second-hand edition and raised a questioning eyebrow at him.

It was 1 in the afternoon, I had called his assistant around 11. I should have been the one demanding answers from him but I wasn't surprised at his audacity.

I shut the novel and stood up. He stood near the bed, seething. His eyes red with fatigue and anger, his hair dishevelled, his face pale due to his illness. I crossed my arms and met his angry gaze with a defiant one, "And if I ask you the same question?"

"Stop with this nonsense", he growled.

"Oh really? You are not well. I tried to help you. But you? You were adamant in making things difficult! Why? Why do you behave like a child?" I said in an exasperated tone. He looked at me as if I was speaking in a language he couldn't understand.

His jaw clenched and unclenched before he spoke coldly, "I behave like a child? Are you serious?! What do you want to imply? I never told you to look after me Aruna. I never told you the play a good wife because you know very well that this marriage is a fake one".

My lips formed a thin line. Yet again he had shown me just who I was to him.

"Oh, so trying to look after a man who is ill is my fault? I was not trying to impose any wifely rights on you Sumit. I was just looking out for you. I would have done the same for a friend", I said grimly.

"Friend?" He quirked an eyebrow.

Honestly?! Did he hear only that word? Nothing else? And why did I have to say that word?!

I rolled my eyes trying to act indifferently even though my heart thumped wildly inside the ribcage. Why was I so daft? He might be just laughing inwardly about me labelling us as friends.

"Well, we know each other enough to go past the phase of being strangers. We're not colleagues nor are we a couple. So...yeah". I was finding it difficult to explain because after the kiss and everything even I didn't know what were we suppose to be.

I averted my eyes looking past his shoulder.

I sighed, "Look, I was just trying to be a good human being. Sorry for crossing the limit and asking your assistant cancelling your appointments and meetings. I am sorry if you faced any problem but what could I do? You could hardly get up from the bed, you looked sick".

It should have been me chiding him for being careless about his health instead here I was standing and gazing down like a child, who got caught while stealing a cookie.

I peered at him. He ran his calloused fingers through his hair whether out of anger or frustration I didn't know. I picked up the novel and started towards the door when his voice stopped me. I looked over my shoulder. His eyes were fixed on me.

His words left me gobsmacked.

"I am here...aren't I? And I am sick, so aren't you suppose to take care of me. Friend".

                                                          ✍✍✍✍

                                                     Happy Reading 📖 

Asmita 💜

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