Friday the 13th
We were on vacation to Manali, when my ex claimed that he had another emergency business meeting in Mumbai. He abandoned our son and me midway into our holiday. Our flight was scheduled the next day, anyways. I ignored the sinking sensation in my stomach the entire day. We returned to Mumbai the next day by noon. I was exhausted since I was managing a 2 year old and luggage throughout the journey, all alone.
Something about the house disturbed me, the minute I stepped in. The pot of milk was open, dishes were clean, 2 empty wine glasses with a bottle of Smirnoff on a table nearby and 4 containers of Chinese food in the fridge, barely eaten. As soon as the maid arrived, I asked her to look after my son and went to the bedroom.
The sheets were crumpled and a pack of condoms lay on the bed stand. On further search, a broken hair clip at the bottom of the bed. I grew numb. I was devastated. I just couldn’t bring myself to react. My heart didn’t want to register this. I couldn’t bring myself to confront my ex when he returned home at 11 pm. Although my mind kept telling me to deal with this, my heart just pushed it away. I was petrified about hearing the answers, which the questions arose. I pushed it away to the back of my mind, since confrontations of any kind scare the hell out of me. I told myself I would deal with it when I was ready. I contemplated the entire day, wondering what to do next. Do I pack my bags and leave or do I confront him and listen to what he has to say? Knowing him, I knew he would just deny the whole incident. I kept silent another day, speaking about it only to my best friend not wanting to worry my parents.
It was only a day later I realized that my house had been robbed too. My jewelry and cash had been stolen. There were a few pictures lying behind the bed in which my face had been scratched out completely by what seemed to be finger nails.
Ironically, only the MacBooks and Ipads were not touched. In fact, nothing of my ex’s belongings had been touched. There was no doubt in my mind about my next step. I called my ex.
He refused to report the incident to the police. He claimed the house wouldn’t be safe if the incident was reported. Scaring me, What if the thief kidnapped my son, and demanded ransom? What if the one responsible for the theft harmed me in some way since I was alone with my son for the most part of the day? Completely naive and stupid, I gave in to my fears. I didn’t file a police complaint although I informed my parents about the theft. The ex completely denied involvement of any kind, in the entire incident.
I gave my marriage another few months’ time. I felt I owed it to my son, to provide him with a father, even if it was just in name. I also thought he may feel guilty about the entire incident. It certainly didn’t appear to be.
He claimed another emergency business meeting this time in Bangalore, a few months later. Again, I believed him. I asked him for his flight ticket, but he said it was with his colleague who was waiting for him at the airport. He had flown to our hometown instead, to be with his girlfriend.
The minute this was confirmed, I packed my bags with the only things that mattered to me – My son, a few belongings and my son’s health and education records.
It was Friday, the 13th when all of this happened. Unfortunately, real life is much scarier than the actual movie. On screen, we can close our eyes when we encounter something scary, and it passes away. In real life even as we close our eyes, it frightens us to the core of our being, haunting us and propelling us to take action forward.
On screen, we have a well-defined hero and a villain. We grow up desiring a hero, just like in the movies we watch.
Unfortunately, life teaches us otherwise. The demons we encounter in real life are disguised carefully and come in attractive forms sharing our home, our bed and unfortunately for the unlucky few, even our children. And we don’t realize this until its too late.
Well, the good news is that its never too late to make the right decision.
Even today, I consider this to be a lucky day since it helped me to take the most important decision of my life. There was no turning back. And I have never looked back. I only made sure, however, that I learned from my mistakes.