I was the other woman Sometimes, even now, when the phone rings in the afternoon, it reminds me of that time when I played innocent; a time when I allowed myself to have a blind date with destiny. In hindsight, I cannot find a reason for my actions and I can only thank God that we all came out unscathed.
Garima and I were childhood friends. We went to school together, but parted ways to pursue higher studies. I went on to study in Delhi and she stayed back in Chennai. As life would have it, we got back in touch after college, both of us happily married. Or so we thought.
Our spouses hit it off, and together, we became a close foursome. We would meet over weekends, go out for picnics, catch up for coffee and discuss work, bosses and maids.
Over a year of such cordiality I found myself drawn towards Garima’s husband Rajesh. I laughed a little more than usual at his jokes, agreed with his points in conversation, and slowly began sensing his woody fragrance from afar. He too seemed interested in what I spoke or worse, and would compliment me. He appreciated my cooking, applauded my badminton game and paid attention to my silly foibles.
Garima seemed happy that Rajesh was fond of her friend.
My husband, meanwhile, was unmindful. None seemed to notice, including me, that Rajesh and I were being slowly drawn magnetically towards each other. My husband’s travels kept him away and the long, lonely evenings were now filled with a sense of thrill. I began meeting Rajesh during office breaks and continued speaking to Garima as if nothing was amiss.
I began looking for signs of suspicion and found some. Garima seemed troubled. One afternoon, she called, and opened her heart out. She felt that there was another woman in Rajesh’s life. “He talks in whispers with someone,” she said. My heart felt a chill. I asked her if she had confronted him and she said that he had laughed it off as a figment of her imagination. “It is that,” I replied. I felt guilty at Garima’s plight, but I was helpless.
I was the other woman.
From that day onwards, Garima rang me in the afternoons and spoke often about her husband’s whispering phone calls with a mysterious person. This went on for two years, when something snapped in me. I told Rajesh that I was calling it quits. That I could not go on like this anymore. But he is not ready for this I felt guilty all my mistakes. Now I am not involved with Rajesh. But...