Here finally we see the view point of the other woman in the story. Or is she the first woman?
I am surprised how much things changed in these two years. I still vividly remember how he used to pursue me and how I used to spurn every one of his advances. I have always been a quiet girl, obedient to my parents and focused on my studies. Some of my friends did have boyfriends. But I had never felt the need for one. For me, studies and my parents were the most important things. When the right time came, I was sure my parents would find the right boy and get me married. They always knew what was best for me. I did not want to do anything that would hurt them.
Then that one day changed things. I was returning from Sandhya mam’s home one evening. There was this lonely stretch I had to cross to get to my home. As I was walking by, a couple of street boys had started making lewd comments about me. There was no one about and I had felt so scared. Then out of nowhere, Ashwin had emerged. He had just shouted furiously at the boys and threatened to call the police. They had got scared and run off. I had been so relieved and so grateful to Ashwin. From then on, at least I would speak to him now and then.
Now I just can’t imagine life without him. It is surprising how an incident like that was required for me to even agree to speak to him. But now looking back I am so glad that it happened. Or I would never have got Ashwin in my life. Looking back, even after I started speaking with him, for a very long time I had been very reluctant to take it beyond a casual friendship. After all he was my favorite teacher’s son. It just did not feel right. It felt as if I was betraying her trust. But eventually my feelings got the better of me and I could not hold myself back.
He is just so charming. It is uncanny how he so accurately assesses my mood and responds accordingly. When I am in a normal mood, he entertains me with his fun talk. When I am in a serious thoughtful mood, he keeps silent and listens to me earnestly. Whenever I have been in trouble, he has stood by me like a rock. He was there with me when my dad was seriously ill. He was there when my board examination results were not on expected lines. He was there when I was finding it difficult to adjust to hostel life. He was always there for me whenever I needed him, with comforting words. I cannot even imagine how I got through for so many years of my life before I knew him.
Nowadays I am getting a feeling that somehow things are not alright with him. Earlier he used to call me daily. Now he calls me only once in two to three days. Even when he is on the phone, he seems so distant and distracted. I wonder if something is wrong. Guess a new job brings with it its own tensions. I wish he would tell me what is eating him from inside. He is always like that. Though he is there with me whenever I am in need of support, he wants to keep all his worries to himself and face them all alone. Why can’t he share them with me? I may not be able to help or give wise words of advice like he does for me. But I can at least be there with him and worry along with him.