The New Wife! Or The Marriage in Secret!
THE NEW WIFE!
The Marriage In Secret!
He was reading this newspaper, when this angelic voice he used to remember called him up. Only angels do not cry on the phone. It was the lady she knew calling him to tell him that after a rancorous and bitter feud, her husband had declared that he was divorcing her and that she was no longer his wife. She cried to him – what can I do? To be divorced at this age?
And the children too, especially the one who was very close to the father. She stopped eating, and her grades in school were falling down badly. She had suddenly developed a nasty and mean streak and a very bad and furious temper too. To make it worse, the poor girl was blaming the Mother for the break up. You never paid attention or care to dad, most of the time he would be alone in the TV room watching news and documentaries, whilst the rest of us looked at the soap operas, and without a care or feeling for him!
When he returned from Office, only I ran to say hello to him and welcome him home, the rest of you were glued to the so-called-live-shows showing men and women living together in quarters, and how they behaved to each other. Sad too that it were all home peoples and the show was being shown live to millions in the region. If a curt response to his greeting as he entered the hose being made by the rest of you, then he was lucky. It was always the housemaid who made the food for him, and made it warm when he came in. Including that tea he usually liked after his meals.
Mum, the girl added, even if you were making tea, you never asked him if he wanted some too, and when he asked for some, you told the house maid to do it for him, why not you. The worst part was when we came to the house with ordered food from outside, and not only we did not ask him what he wanted, but ate in front of him the food as if he did not exist. It was only him and the housemaid who ate the home cooked food, whilst the rest of us plunged ourselves in different dishes day by day ordered outside, and when he asked – what about me?
What did you reply? All that food in the house and you want to order outside too? Who will eat the cooked food then (you of course and your house maid)? Was not that sending him away into another woman’s arms (and hugs!), by what you did to him, Mummy? Eh, Mummy? Child – shut up – the mother reprimanded. Still that was no excuse for him to go off and marry that young lass, just the age of his eldest daughter!
Is he not ashamed of himself? What does he think he is doing? Has he suddenly become that young and virile again for new adventures? Mum, the girl protested, that is my dad you are talking about, and you are embarrassing us. See the Mother said, there was no excuse for what he did, and he marrying in secret. It was only I was looking for the copy of the car registration, and I found the car closet closed. When I took his car keys and opened it, I got the biggest shock of my life to see the marriage certificate (of his marriage in secret to the young lass) and can you believe your uncle was a witness, and he said nothing. And all these things happened six months ago?
I had seen the secret wedded wife, and she looked pregnant and with a wedding finger in her hand. When I asked her who she got married to, now I understand now how she had changed all the colours of the rainbow – just replying Aunty you would not recognize him, even if I told you who he was! And calling me Aunty too – the cheek and audacity of it all!
The young wedded in secret girl recalled what his father from the Interior had told her – Daughter, you are going to start a new job now in the city after your graduation from the University. You seem too much excited about your new boss, and you say that he is the best gentleman you have ever met, nice and friendly and very helpful. Daughter, you worry me – dad says. I think you are getting infatuated with this new boss of yours.
Come on – the daughter protested – be serious. He is just your age, what do you take me for? Anyway daughter, the father cuts in, if he is interested in you and you in him, then I give my blessings to wed in secret, it is damage control and better this way, then to have illicit and not legal affairs with him. All I ask is to see the official wedding certificate, which is all I ask. The dowry is not important, nor are the celebrations, and the fewer peoples know about it, the better for all.
It was too months ago before the divorce, when ‘the friend and confidante’ had told her that ‘hubby had married in secret’ and the lass was a village girl working in his place, and that is the reason he had left the place, because wife and hubby working in one place was not on, especially he who was supposed to monitor the rules, regulations and policies of the place. It had started with simple small SMS messages and the last one before things ‘got hot’ was she said – Sir, I am looking forward to work under you. You are the best boss in the world, a First Class gentleman and I am very happy to have met and known you.
So he teased her back. What do you mean working under me? She teases back. If you see everything red around you – Do not worry! You are in my heart! More Teases! Teases now became serious stuff. Soon they were meeting in secret, and he telling her how unhappy he was with ‘my wife and life’. Then he suddenly went cold. He felt guilty that he was cheating on his wife and family, though all he did was just a few small pecks and holding hands. That cannot be cheating, the voice inside him said, just holding hands – be serious man! The girl had cried, why are turning away from me, you are breaking my hurt. What have I done wrong, please tell me so I can correct myself, and please tell me. PLEASE!
You are too young to understand. A few years from now you will be tired of ‘this fancy toy’ and look for something better to toy around with. No, she protested, I do not care. I love you (that is it, the word and others to follow soon came out. I love you. I am ready to be yours for ever, but please keep it secret between us two only. A week later the (secret!) marriage also took place!
Far months later, the divorce also took place. The first wife insisted either her or me – you cannot have it both ways. You cannot have your cake, and eat it too. You must choose between us. Remember your children? Yes, he replied, but she is 6 months pregnant already, and with my child. How do you know it is your wife? Can you still do it? I do not think.
That was the last straw. The straw that broke the camel’s back. The words that came out he never thought he will ever say, but he uttered them just the same.
He had made his choice, even if it was forced upon him
Drawing by Raadheesh