One Saturday evening, Sonam met her friends for dinner. She hasn’t seen them since the night Rigyel messaged her in his drunken state. That was months ago. They had lots to catch up on. Lhamo was seeing someone now. She is obviously so in love; she couldn’t stop talking about him. While Ugyen was on the verge of divorce. Choden has a crush on this guy she met in the gym, otherwise, she and Wangmo are still single. They wanted to know about Sonam but she didn’t tell them about Rigyel. As far as they are concerned, she is still married and she didn’t want to appear like an adulterous wife to her friends. She knew they wouldn’t judge her but she still didn’t reveal anything about Rigyel. Fortunately, Tshering didn’t tell them about their encounter in Babesa. Dinner was great, so was gossip! it was after midnight when they parted ways.
The following days were busy at work. Rigyel and his team were working on a big project with Ministry of Health, so he was hardly in office. Apparently, he was working late nights to meet the deadline. Consequently, chats and calls have reduced relatively between Rigyel and Sonam owing to this. Then one day, admid busy schedule, Rigyel took half day leave. Sonam had no idea why.
The next day, he was again working at the project site. However, a beautiful lady came looking for him. She introduced herself as Rigyel’s girlfriend. Apparently, she has just graduated from a university in London. She was tall for a Bhutanese standard. On this day, she was wearing a faded blue Jean’s and crease free white T shirt. She had a stylish sun glasses on her blonde dyed hair which was tied up in a pony tail at the back of her head. She was a picture perfect for a hot summer day and looked like she has just stepped out of a fashion magazine. Sonam felt inadequate in comparison and wished the earth would open up and swallowed her then and there.
She doubted if Rigyel was using her. There was no way any man would choose her over this beautiful young girl. The girlfriend (she didn’t catch her name), upon learning of Rigyel’s whereabout, didn’t stay long. Sonam later learned from Kinley that Rigyel has picked her up from the airport the day before. Sonam felt cheated. So he took leave for this girl and didn’t even tell her. Suddenly, she was not sure of anything. The day was turning from bad to worst for her. No wonder Rigyel seemed quite distant these past days.
That night Rigyel has called her, she didn’t pick. Texted her, she deleted the text before she was tempted to read. Then she switched off her phone and slept but sleep was not so forthcoming. She kept thinking about the girlfriend and she was furious with him. At 4AM, she decided to erase him from her life, at that moment from her mind, for good and slept. She overslept and was late to work. Kinley told her Rigyel was looking for her, since he couldn’t wait any longer, he left. She was glad she missed him.
Work kept her preoccupied to think of Rigyel and his model like girlfriend. She was never more grateful for her hectic job. At 6 PM, she left office reluctantly for her empty house. She didn’t want to go there, alone, her thoughts kept drifting back to Rigyel and she didn’t like that. She wanted to ask him about the girlfriend but she couldn’t do it without compromising her ego. Her insecurities made her miserable. She has realized that she has not eaten a proper meal since yesterday. She has blocked Rigyel on Facebook, WeChat and WhatsApp. He kept calling, she didn’t pick. She had an apple and a glass of milk and went to bed. In order for sleep to come, she squeezed her eyes shut and shut out all her thoughts and slept. Sometime in the night, she thought she heard her doorbell ring but didn’t bother to check. She can be stubborn as a mule.
She must have slept ten hours so she couldn’t sleep beyond 7 am. Not bothering to have breakfast, she has lost her appetite along with Rigyel, reached office by 8 AM. She opened the sliding door and found Rigyel waiting on her customer chair. She tried to slip away but it was too late, he saw her.
“Please don’t go. Hear me out” he said. She didn’t say anything but sat behind her desk quietly. He looked like hell with red eyes and disheveled hair like he has not slept in days.
She lost her cool. Since nobody else was in yet, she accused him of using her. She told him that he must be laughing behind her and calling her aunty. That maybe he has kept bet with his friends to trap her. She promised not to let her insecurities get the best of her but she lashed out anyhow. At first, his expression was serious then he seemed almost happy and smiled.
“What’s so funny,” she asked.
“You,” said he. “I am seeing the jealous side of you”
“You know, I love you” there he said it. “I have been meaning to break up with her but I didn’t want to do it over the phone or by WhatsApp. I wanted to have the decency to do it in person so when she asked me I agreed to pick her up.” He paused, she didn’t interrupt.
“I told her about you and she didn’t take it too kindly. That’s why she came to the office may be to provoke you or see you, I don’t know but you must know we are no longer together. It is over between her and me” he said in a serious tone.
“I wanted to tell you but you never gave me the chance,” he said.
She wanted to ask him why he prefers her to that girlfriend but he said he loved her and that was enough for now, she thought.
Well, she was happy again. Three words are all that is needed to change her state of mind. How fickle can a woman’s mind be? All her questions can wait, for now, she decided.
— to be continued —