Chapter 1: The tempest brews

Dec 26, 2011

10:00 a.m.

I’m running up a flight of 100 steps, taking two at a time, as usual, late for office and trying to make up in speed for what I’ve lost in a delayed start. At the top, my heart rate quickens manifold, banging like a hammer in my ears. I have to grab the railing and catch my breath…a good 2 minutes lost. I’m lost too, I had so far prided myself on being able to run up the stairs without a care; can’t seem to understand what went wrong. Time’s ticking away though, and I have that metro train to catch.

2:00 p.m.

The three of us –Shruti, Sagar and me– are sitting in the cafeteria with our respective lunchboxes, ready to trade morsels of home cooked food. I know what I have in mine–Sabzi of beans and potatoes with three rotis–I packed it myself. I’m starving. But as soon as I open the box, a wave of nausea hits me as I take a whiff of the food. “Umfff!” I clamp the lid shut.

“What’s wrong?” Shruti looks at my green face quizzically.

“Dunno, maybe the food has gone bad… the smell is making me want to throw up.”

“Let me see,” Shruti takes the box from me, ever the mothering, scolding one. ” Food’s perfectly alright, it’s just your excuse to skip lunch again…you’re gonna disappear soon if you don’t eat.”

I’m staring at the box now and another wave of nausea hits me.

Sagar, as always, is eating in complete silence. He seems to sense something amiss and prefers to be silent.

“Shruti,” I whisper dazedly, “I think we need to get a home test kit.”

Descending from the steps of the cafeteria, I text Sajjad. ” I hope you know that I’m going to kill you if this turns out to be what I think it is.”

10:00 p.m.

I’m reading the instructions on the kit. Sajjad sits next to me, sufficiently chastised. I am, however, more at peace.

“Well, after all, its been a year since we got married, and we’ve had a lot of fun together…it won’t be so bad…,” I’m telling myself more than I’m telling him. I always wanted more time with him, more things to do with him; he had been the single biggest dream I ever had.

“And anyway,” I continue,” It’s God’s will. He could have done this earlier and that would have been really bad…I’m sure I can cope with it now. I’m at peace and i’ll accept it with grace,” I know this is just me trying to make myself feel better, trying to accept the inevitable. But at some level I do feel calm inside.

Sajjad is silent. The way he mostly is. I know he’s listening.

“Well, let’s wait for morning. Maybe it’s nothing. Maybe I just have food poisoning!” I feign cheerfulness that I don’t truly feel.

Dec 27, 2011

9:00 a.m.

I’m in the washroom with Sajjad. I think I’m at peace. We watch the small rectangle with beating hearts. One line. The control line. Two lines.

I’m pregnant.

I thought I was at peace.

I’d always seen in movies that women break into tears of joy and men swing their wives up in arms on learning that they have new life coming. I did break into tears. But they were tears of shock. Of dread. Of dismay.

And they were tears of wrath–wrath that I unleashed on the man that I loved most in this world. Wrath of having my dreams washed over, wrath of having my carefully created magic universe destroyed.

And wrath at all those who had wanted this to happen.

1 thought on “Chapter 1: The tempest brews

  1. Pingback: Chapter 9: Happiness is… | The Reluctant Reproductionist

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