There was a couple sitting in the cafe when I walked in. As the light was low, I didn’t know who they were until the woman turned around, and I saw it was my wife. Oh! They are already here. Shobha is always a step ahead, I thought, as I pitched myself forward from behind the pillar.
“Hey Sanjeev! Why is this place so dark and gloomy? You look different in the dark, but I could recognise Shobha even in the dark,” I said.
“You better! Why are you so late?” she enquired.
“I’m not, you’re early as usual. I almost went back thinking that you guys would be on the other side of the mall. Luckily I spotted you,” I replied.
“Sanjeev is nervous because Anusha is expected any moment,” she said.
He was not just worried, he was tensed. I put my hand on his shoulder to calm him down a bit and said.
“Don’t worry Sanjeev, we’ll handle her.”
“We shouldn’t have called her, she’s not going to like, what we tell her,” screamed Sanjeev, clearly jittery.
“I have got her number, I’ll call her to ease her off,” I replied but Sanjeev snatched the phone from my hand.
“She doesn’t even know you,” he said.
I couldn’t control my laughter at his comment.
“What are you laughing about? I have never done this before, I’m nervous.”
“He’s right. Stop making fun of him, Harry,” said Shobha, giving me a stern look.
“Okay, count me out. I won’t call her, you guys do what you think is right, I’ll leave.”
“No, please don’t, I’m sorry. What will you tell her?” asked Shobha.
I was about to answer when we saw Anusha looking for us. Sanjeev was startled to see her. His expression revealed that he wanted me to back him in the situation.
“Okay, I am here. Tell me why I have been called,” she asked.
Not getting a response from Sanjeev, she moved her gaze towards Shobha, trying to start a conversation.
“Hi Shobha, what’s cooking? I haven’t seen you in a long time. Fortunately my teeth are in good condition. What have you done to my husband’s teeth?” she enquired.
“He has sensitive teeth,” replied Shobha awkwardly, waiting for me to take over.
“I see! Is that why he is at your clinic all day? Don’t you have other patients or are you as out of work as he is?” charged Anusha.
“I am not jobless, I have a flourishing practice.”
“How are you allowed to operate from your residence?”
“The same way as you do.”
“I am only running a consultancy, working on my computer. But you are running a practice that needs a lot of room and equipment.”
“My husband has given me two flats renovated into one with a separate entrance for the clinic. I extracted your wisdom tooth, which explains why you don’t have any left,” shot back Shobha.
Anusha lost her cool. “Please keep your wisecracks to yourself. Just tell me, which bedroom is Sanjeev in, when you are with another patient?”
Shobha was shocked as Anita moved towards her in a fury.
To be continued…