Rigyel left for the project site just before 9 AM. Sonam lost track of the time, it was a busy day. She had lunch with Kinley and the group. Rigyel’s anticipated call came at 10 PM that night. They talked for hours and Rigyel at one point asked Sonam to be more open with her feelings instead of bottling up all inside. He said she should break the cocoon she has built around her heart and take risks. That not all the men are like her husband. They ended the call promising to have lunch together the next day.
The next day they went to lunch at Ama’s restaurant. The place was dark and crowded. They found a quiet table for two in the corner. Sonam was scanning the crowd when she spotted her husband a few tables away with a woman. She looked the same age as him but tried to looker younger by applying heavy makeup. Even her eyebrows and lashes are fake. She wore a bright pink tego and a printed Bangkok summer kira. Her sandal heels are pencil-thin but Sonam’s couldn’t see the whole as it was hidden by the kira. She spotted a copy of the Louis Vuitton bag on the table. Her hair was curled and heavily sprayed so it looked fresh. She looked up at him and hung to his every word. “Gold digger definitely,” thought Sonam but she didn’t care. He deserved none better. She then concentrated on the food in front of her. Lunch was delicious but she didn’t have much appetite. One moment, her eyes lingered again and found her husband observing her but she gave him an indifferent glance and never looked that way again. She has had enough of him; she refused to be intimidated by this man again. She laughed easily with Rigyel and talked. When lunch was over, Rigyel went to the counter to pay while she waited.
Her husband casually strolled over to her table, like they were old acquaintances, and asked how Pelyap was doing. “Why don’t you call him and find out? You have my parents’ number,” she retorted and walked out. Rigyel has once remarked “you sell yourself short. Don’t let anyone make you feel inferior” she remembered that at the moment and felt great. Her husband has not contacted her since the day he walked out on her. That was a month ago. She was a little hurt that he didn’t contact Pelyap either. He may not have been the ideal husband but he was a good father, she reluctantly admitted to herself.
In the car back to office, Rigyel did not look pleased by the scene in the restaurant. He didn’t want to admit even to himself but he was jealous of the husband. He saw how Sonam was looking at the husband’s female companion and wondered if she still had feelings for the husband but he didn’t ask her just yet. Sonam noticed his silence but didn’t comment. They hardly exchanged few words but when they reached office, Rigyel asked if he could come to her place later in the evening.
Rigyel was supposed to be here by 7PM, it was quarter past eight but still no sign of him. He reached at half past eight, apologized profusely for the lateness of hour. Sonam wasn’t much of a cook and she didn’t know what he’d have for dinner so we had only boiled water in the boiler and put rice, enough for two, in the rice cooker. Then she waited for him. Rigyel didn’t mind not having dinner ready to be served. Together they prepared ema datsi, vegetable salad and boiled eggs and had a quiet dinner. Sonam only has a small palette and Rigyel was on strict diet; he had little rice and 3 egg whites.
After dinner, they had some wine leisurely and talked. He asked about her dog, Dusty. She was here the last time he visited and they bonded well. Sonam told him her husband has taken Dusty with him when he moved out although she told him how fond Pelyap was of Dusty. Sonam’s expression was grim with the memory. To remedy the situation, Rigyel joked, “so when we are married, we might need a bigger than king size bed if we have to accommodate Pelyap and Dusty with us. Sonam smiled at the mental image but informed him the dog did not sleep on the bed rather in the dog house.
They were still sipping wine; Rigyel had his arms around her. Sonam was feeling quite tipsy, she had emptied 2 glasses of wine by then. The room was so quiet and the silence was making her nervous. She felt like a teenager in presence of her crush. Suddenly, Rigyel pulled Sonam in a tight embrace. She was surprised, he never did that before. He then kissed her, at first just a touch of lips then deeply. He pulled at her lips and with his tongue, opened her mouth. Their tongues met. His mouth was roving over hers. When the kiss ended, she was literally gasping for breath. She avoided his gaze. But he clasped her face in his hands and forced her to look him in the eyes, then he whispered “I love you”
“Me too,” said she shyly
“Me too what?” He asked “Come on say it”
“I love you” she whispered back.
“But you’re so young and I don’t want you to pity me and get stuck in this relationship” she continued, “the moment you want out, just let me know,” she said wryly
“What are you afraid of?” Said Rigyel “I am here because I want to be. Nobody has forced me to, remember that”
Sonam wanted Sangay to go but he wouldn’t budge. He told her it was time to take their relationship to the next level but he promised he wouldn’t touch her if she didn’t want him to. He said he can wait until she was ready. That night, Rigyel slept on the sofa while Sonam on her bed, in the bedroom. She couldn’t sleep much thinking of Rigyel on her living room sofa. She was tempted to go to him in the middle of the night but suppressed her urges thinking she might regret the next morning but it was not easy to put restrain her hormones.
Sonam was awakened by the loud knock on her door. She opened the door and found Rigyel all dressed up for jogging. Sonam was not much of a fitness freak, she eats anything yet her metabolism rate is so high that there is no extra flesh on her body. However, this morning, Rigyel insisted she accompanies him to the morning walk. They took his car till the base of BBS tower than walked up till the tower. It was difficult to keep up with Rigyel. She was panting for breath while he seemed at ease. She knew her pace is too slow for him. He took her hand in his and walked and didn’t even let it go when they met other joggers on the way. To the strangers and onlookers, the duo looked like a happily married couple.
— to be continued —