Getting to Know a Stranger, She Said

Getting know

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.


“Thank you.”


“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.




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