This is the fifth part of a long story.
First part of the story: Long Story 1
Second part of the story: Long Story 2
Third part of the story: Long Story 3
Fourth part of the story: Long Story 4
Vishva rested his head on the car door as he traveled back home. What was he going to do? He contacted Prabha. Prabha!!! He sighed heavily. He’s been doing that since when he left the pub. Weirdly he was fully conscious. Except for the time he acted like a total fool. OMG!!! Why the hell did I lie that I was in Chennai? I am dead, he thought as he dozed off.
“How is he?” Parvy asked Jaya on the phone.
“He’s OK! Sleeping. He was extremely drunk Parvy.” Jaya said with worry-laden voice.
Parvy rubbed his forehead and sat down on his porch swing. Vishva had helped him install the swing. “Jaya! What are we going to do?” Jaya wiped off tears as she folded the laundry. “I don’t know. I really don’t know.”
“You know I love you and you know Jassi and I have already discussed divorce.” Parvy said.
“Paru! I have a son! And he has a great father” Jaya said as she sat down and rested her back on the washing machine. Parvy’s heart glowed when he heard her say his pet name. Is he a bad man to be in love with is best friend’s wife? He thought. Well! If I put it that way! Yes! That does make me seem like the villain.
“Jaya! You do not get to meet your one true love in your life. And when you do, you need to hold on to them! And my one true love is you.” He blurted out. For about 3 seconds both Jaya and Parvy were silent and then started to laugh hysterically.
“OMG!!!!” Jaya said between bouts of laughs “Paru! That is the most corny, teenagy stuff I’ve heard in…. like ever hahahahhaaaa. You took me back to Twilight man”
“hahahaha… “ Parvy sighed and listened to Jaya laugh. He smiled to himself. He wanted to make her laugh and smile all the time.
“Did you tell her yet?” Radha asked him as they sat in the VP’s cabin. “Not yet” replied Arun looking down at his coffee. Arun could not look at Radha. He has been stalling for the last 3 months and their relationship had been a secret for the last 3 years. How is he going to tell Prabha? He still loved her. He did not want to hurt her. And he loved his son. Will his son understand?
“Arun! I am leaving to Canada next week. We can finally be together. Do not think I am pressuring you. I just want to see you happy. And you know that you make me happy. Look!” Radha moved to sit on the edge of the big couch and clasped his palms together. His blazer lay on the couch. His muscles rippled through his light violet dress shirt. His blue eyes were filled with love as he spoke “Arun! We’re gay! We cannot live the life we want in India. Come with me. You do not have to suffer anymore.”
Arun looked at his lover. He looked the same as he did before 3 years when he first saw him. He was mix of George Clooney and Amitabh Bachchan. His Radha, Radhakrishnan, was the Vice President of a renowned software firm in the same IT park where Arun worked. “Radha! I don’t want to hurt Prabha…She’s a good woman.” “Yes! and you’ve been pretending to her! You’re fooling her.” Finished Radha.
Arun kept his coffee down and rested his head on the couch. “I am scared Radha! I’ve been pretending to be a straight guy for so long. I do not know if I can stop now. Prabha is my shield. I do not know if I can lose her. I am scared, very scared” Arun closed his eyes and tears rolled down. Radha got up to sit near Arun. He held his hands and said “You won’t be alone sweetie. You have me! And I have you. And it is wrong to fool a woman, your parents, your son, yourself this way”.
“Am I though? Am I fooling everyone? The world, yes!! but Prabha, She is sharp. And sometimes wonder if she knows” Arun said. “I think she is in denial. God! Please give me strength. I sure was am in denial for 37 years of my life.”
Radha, who was an atheist, laughed, “You and your god! You know we will be constantly fighting when it comes to God!”. Arun laughed, got up form the couch, gave a peck on Radha’s lips “I can’t wait, when you put it that way” he said, smiling through his tears.
“Here’s your RSA token. This is a temporary space. We’ll move you to a cabin in a week Prabha”, Shalini, the project manager was saying.
“It’s OK Shalu, I’ll be going to USA in a week. Take your time.” Prabha said, as she personalized her new cubicle.
“Prabha!” Shalu called to attract her attention. Prabha turned to look at Shalu when she did not continue talking. “Congrats on the promotion!” Shalu smiled. “Awwwwwww!” Prabha said and poked her friend on her hip.
“By the time you come back from California, I’ll set up the G2 cabin for you lady” Shalu said as she was walking away.
Prabha smiled and sneaked a peak at the G2 cubicle. G2 cubicle was her secret crush now. ‘My love’ she mouthed and silently giggled.
Prabha typed her password and started New Bank’s laptop in XMR’s Offshore Development Center.
Vishva woke up with a heavy hangover. He almost never got drunk. And was not used to this. He just sat there on the bed trying to collect his head. The pain was killing him. Thud, there was a loud sound and Vishva closed his ears and turned to look what that was. “Morning Sunshine!” Jaya said “Drink this buttermilk and get ready. You said you had an important meeting today.”
“Yes!” Vishva said and took the buttermilk glass as he walked to the bathroom. He searched for his mobile phone on his way to the bathroom and found it on the night-light stand. The battery was 12 percent and the time was 8:00 AM. “Shit!” he cursed between sips.
He placed a call to Mitch, his colleague as he searched for his charger, “Hi Mitch! Look! I’ll be a little late today”.
“Man! How late?” asked Mitch. “Hmm… “ Vishva quickly calculated the time. His car was in the Pub. He has to book an Uber. “Hmmmm… 10:30. I’ll be there by 10:30”. Mitch stopped walking. He was on his way to the office building from the parking lot, “Vishva! Get you ass up here fast. Dude! You are the fucking Business Analyst. Who is going to talk about the project?”. Vishva closed his eyes, willing the pain to go away. “I am so sorry man. I will try to come early.”
Mitch started to walk again, as he said “Well! Get here fast” and cut the phone call. As he passed the huge, stone, name sculpture that said, ‘New Bank,’ “Ahhh” he screamed, attracting everyone’s attention.
Vishva took his ID card, finished his buttermilk, went to the kitchen, and picked up Jaya’s car key. “Jaya! Sorry. Please Uber for today. I am really sorry” he was saying as he ran up to the garage. He placed the ID card on the passenger seat as he started the car. It said “Vishvanath Kanniyappan, New Bank.”
Fourth part of the story: Long Story 6