Getting to Know a Stranger, She Said
If ignorance is indeed bliss, then I must be the happiest woman in the world. Why, then, do I feel as if something is amiss?
Take now, for instance. I’ve been feeling utterly restless for the last ten minutes or so.
I’d been going through the motions of preparing a meal for Rakul, just to get my mind off of the uncomfortable silence that reigned in our house. He was seated quietly in the next room, but I could feel his eyes on me.
What was holding us back from talking to each other?
Oh, come on, Ananthi, I thought. Stop fooling yourself and concentrate on your duties.
Easier said than done.
Unfortunately, my inability to concentrate on the task at hand proved to be my undoing. I was so lost in thought that the knife slipped and cut me on my finger instead. I yelped, more from fright than from pain. Out of reflex, I jabbed the wounded finger into my mouth.
“Are you all right, Ananthi?” my husband asked.
I nearly jumped.
He’s talking…to me?
I took my thumb out of my mouth and turned to face my husband. “I’m sorry. I was careless. I’ll be more careful next time.”
He wore a sympathetic expression on his face. “Let me have a look at that wound.”
“It’s all right, Rakul,” I insisted. “It’s just a shallow cut.”
“Perhaps, but I’d still like to see it.”
I blinked. This isn’t like him…then again, what do I know?
“Rakul, is everything all right?”
“Everything is fine. Actually, not everything is fine.”
That was the response I’d been dreading. Nevertheless, I decided to pursue the line of thought, anyway: “What is the matter?”
“Nothing. Everything. I don’t know.”
My face fell. “Are you…displeased with me?”
“No, I’m not,” he sighed. “But I think that maybe I should do the cooking. That is, after we see to your wound.”
I didn’t know why, but his words brought me much relief. I found myself smiling again.
“I think you’re right,” I told him. “To be honest, I’m not much of a cook, anyway.”
Rakul reached for a strip of Band-Aid and quickly treated my wound. “That should do it,” he said.
“You’re welcome. Now, will you please, please let me do the cooking?”
I wanted to laugh. “By all means. I thought you’d never ask.”
That really made my day. I walked away with the feeling that we may be able to work things out between us after all.