Story 55

She shifted in bed and turned around to look at him. He was sleeping peacefully, facing her and with a smile on his face. He always smiled in his sleep. She knew because she always stared at him after he slept. She could never sleep immediately – the way he did. Almost always he rolled over to his side of the bed after making love and fell asleep leaving her alone with her thoughts. She had tried talking to him a few times over breakfast, telling him how she felt about his sleeping pattern to which he had replied that he could not help it. She found it difficult to believe what he said but then she searched the phrase ‘why men sleep after sex’ and found her answer.


It was new for her. The relationship, the idea that someone was interested in her. She had been shocked when she had heard him talk in his sleep, saying that he loved her. She did not tell him he had said that. Even though she sometimes wondered why she did that; at the back of her mind, she always knew why! She did not want him to know that he had confessed his feelings for her. The realisation that he was more deeply involved in the relationship than she was, scared her. She was not sure whether she loved him. Yes, she loved spending time with him and when he had hinted towards taking the next step she had readily agreed. 





She had been dating him for a few weeks now and they had gotten intimate only since last week but she still felt she did not know him well. Well enough to admit to herself before saying it loud to him that she loved him. The morning next to his sleep-talking; she had hoped that he would not repeat what he had said. Luckily, he did not say it in the waking hours. That gave her the time to contemplate. 


She wrapped the bedsheet around her body and slid out of the bed. Walking to the bathroom she opened the medicine cabinet and searched for the morning-after pill. She remembered putting a bottle there earlier this week. It was not there. Maybe she had one in her purse. She tiptoed towards the couch and searched her purse for the bottle but she couldn’t find it. She took out her mobile and added a reminder to take the pill at the earliest. Earlier, she had made a mental calculation. She always had her periods on time and that meant the getting-pregnant window was constant and today was one of the days to be marked on the chart with ‘stay-away-if-you-do-not-want-to-get-pregnant’ but then she had told herself that she could take a morning-after pill later. It was too difficult to resist him when he was being too persuasive. It was too difficult to resist him. Period.


The sex was always good; it was the after-sex waking hours that she was scared of. Sleeping with him was one thing; falling asleep with him was a totally different thing. She loved the former but could never do the latter. 
She walked back to the bathroom and took out a sleeping pill from the medicine cabinet and gulped it down with a glass of water. She walked back to the bed and picked up his shirt and put it on. She slid into bed and pulled the bedsheet up to her waist and slept facing him. As the sleeping pill began its action she drifted into dreamless sleep. 


It was late when she woke up startled. He was not in bed. She could smell the breakfast. She climbed out of bed and neatly folded the bedsheets. She never liked the way he left the bed unmade. One more point added to the column of dislike. So far, the like and dislike column ran parallel.


She picked up the pillow to fluff it up; that’s when she found the bottle of her pills and all of a sudden the dislike column weighed more than the like.
What the hell, she yelled and stormed out of the bedroom.
What the hell is this? She asked him showing him the bottle of her pills. He looked at her and then at the bottle and then back at her. He was at loss of words. Even if he had tried to speak she would have not let him.


How amateur! She yelled. What did you want to accomplish by hiding the pills under your pillow? You thought I would get pregnant if I do not take my pills this morning? And, if I were pregnant I would be forced to spend my entire life with you? She said in frustration the thing that had been bothering her. She had been afraid of a commitment and she knew, because of his sleep-talking, that he was looking forward to one. 


One, I won’t get pregnant if I do not take the pills immediately. Two, even if I get pregnant I will not decide to marry you and walk into the sunset, she continued. Even as she said it, she knew she was lying. Had she gotten pregnant, she would have accepted his proposal. She had made up her mind two days ago. There were things she did not like about him and things she liked about him. The things she liked about him overweighed the things she did not like about him, so, yes, she was on her way to commit herself to the relationship. 
Of course, not now. 


She threw the bottle at him and walked back to the bedroom. He followed her but she slammed the door shut in his face. She changed into her clothes and walked out of his house. She had refused to meet him after that.


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She shifted in bed and turned around to look at him. A frown on his face, the man sleeping next to her was snoring loudly. She did not care to wrap the bedsheet around her body and sat up straight in bed. She opened the bedside drawer and took out a bottle. She popped the sleeping pill in her mouth and gulped it down with her saliva when she saw that the water-jug was empty. She was too tired to get up and walk to the kitchen. She lied down with her back to him. It took a while before she fell asleep.


The next morning when she woke up, he was still in bed. He was a late riser. His natural sleep was of more hours than her pill-induced sleep. She tied her hair into a bun and picked up her gown from the floor and put it on. She picked up the rest of the clothes and threw them in the laundry basket. 
Walking to the kitchen she made preparations for breakfast. She knew he would get up soon and demand breakfast. He felt only two kinds of ‘feelings’ when he was at home with her – horny and hungry.


She had been married to this man for six years now and they were trying desperately to get pregnant. It had been more than a year now. She had mentally prepared a chart with days marked as ‘get-close-if-you-want-to-get-pregnant’ and today was one of those days.


Her thoughts went back to the day when she had been faced with a situation exactly opposite to the one she was faced with now. She hated to admit but there were times when she thought about how things would have shaped up if she had not stormed out of the house that day. Perhaps she would have happily gotten pregnant and happily married him and walked happily into the sunset. Maybe, she would have been happy. There was no maybe. She would have been happy. Period. 


The smell of burnt toast brought her back to the present. Shit, she cursed as she tried to take out the toast. Wow, she heard the sarcastic comment. Perfect timing, she thought as she pulled out the burnt toast and tossed it into garbage. 
She did not turn around to see her husband walk towards the dining table and sit himself, waiting for his breakfast.
She poured the coffee in his cup and put another bread in the toaster. She filled his plate with egg – sunny side up, the way he liked it. She pulled out the toast in time and put it in his plate. She placed his breakfast on the table and was about to turn around when he put his arm around her waist and pulled her closer. He kissed her breast before kissing her on the mouth. She hated it when he kissed her without brushing or even rinsing his mouth. 


She remembered the like-dislike list she had made once, even though she had a balanced list then, she had let go of the relationship only because of one issue. 


Now, the dislike column was way bigger than the like column, so much that it extended to the next page while the like column filled half of the first page. Yet, here she was, making love to this man, trying to get pregnant with his child, making breakfast for him and kissing his stinking mouth. She closed her eyes and let him kiss her. When he was done, she went to the bathroom and spit out his lingering presence and rinsed her mouth. She showered as he had his breakfast. She knew he would take his time eating his breakfast but she locked the door anyways because she did not want him to get in the shower with her just in case the 'h' of hungry changed to 'h' of horny once again. She stood under the shower and let hot water run over her body. She wrapped a towel around her and walked out of the bathroom; before getting dressed she picked up her purse and took out a visiting card. Her past was trying to find its way into her present.

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