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Pen Your Pride

Current Day – Anjali’s husband’s POV.

He jumped off the couch to search for his cell phone.  He hit his speed dial to call his secretary and barked at her to find Jordan Kowalski’s cell phone number and connect him immediately.  Theresa was resourceful and had him on the line with Jordan within minutes.

“Jordan are you sleeping with my wife?”

Jordan said, “Well hello to you too.  Why the hell would you accuse me of something like that?”

Anjali’s husband was panicking – he really hadn’t thought this through.  He’d been so angry he just needed to do something and calling Jordan seemed the right thing to do in the heat of the moment.

“Because after you left the museum Anjali got upset and then she drove off like a maniac.  Did I interrupt some weekly rendezvous the two of you have? She’s never even mentioned you to me and yet the two of you seem to know each other so well.”

Jordan took a deep breath before answering.  “For the record, I’m not sleeping with your wife Anjali.  Is she attractive? Yes.  Did it cross my mind for a second? Yes.  But, we’re friends because we really do enjoy each other’s company.  And, because she gives me insight on what Eleanor must have felt like when I was so busy working.  Every project seemed so important and I’d promise her that as soon as the project was over we’d take a vacation, or I’d take a break, but before I was finished with a project, I’d signed onto a new one.  Eleanor was always supportive of my career and my intensity when it comes to my ventures, but everyone has their limit. Eleanor eventually got tired of waiting for me and my projects to end.  It’s the biggest mistake I ever made.  Eleanor and I are separated, but I’m hoping she’ll give me another chance.  When I talk to Anjali I’m trying to see Eleanor’s point of view.  I was so mad when Eleanor walked out on me at first, but talking to Anjali made me realize how much I took Eleanor for granted and no one has an endless amount of patience.  There is nothing going on between Anjali and me.  So I have no idea why she ran out on you – it’s not because of some illicit affair.”

Anjali’s husband tersely apologized, “I’m sorry to jump to conclusions.  Just from my perspective it didn’t look too great.”

Jordan said, “Can I give you some unsolicited advice?”

“Do I have a choice?”

Jordan laughed, “Look man you you’re about 10 years younger than me so learn from my mistakes and pay attention to your wife otherwise in 10 years you’re going to be sitting in my shoes.  No amount of money or success is going to make up for losing the love of your life.  I should know.   You can take it for what it’s worth.”

“I have to find Anjali first to be able to take your advice.  Thanks Jordan and good luck with Eleanor.” And with that he hung up the phone.

Five minutes later his parents barged through the door.  They had the keys so there was no need to knock.  As soon as his dad made eye contact with him, his dad started yelling at him.  “How could you let something like this happen? Anjali left everything behind on the East Coast to support you, the least you can do is help her adjust her and find her place here.  She needs friends and companionship.  Your mom and I cannot be her only friends!”

He swallowed and then continued on his rant.  “The reason your brother and you turned out so well is because your mom and I spent time with you both.  We were a part of your lives.  Don’t you think I could have furthered my career here in Silicon Valley? But, I chose my family over 15 minutes of fame and fortune.  You’re so damn busy trying to make a bigger name for yourself you’re neglecting your family!  How much money do you need? You have more than enough to provide for your family, plus you and Arjun will inherit everything from your mom and I so what is the problem?”

But his dad was on a roll and it seemed like he still had more to share.  “I made a promise to Anjali’s father that she would always be well taken care of and be treated like a daughter in our family.  I never thought I would have to lecture you about the duties of a husband and a father.  You better not lose Anjali, because if I have to choose between you and her, I’m siding with her.  ”

Finally his dad stopped talking.  “Thanks Dad is there anything else you want to chew me out about,” he asked sarcastically.  He put his head in his hands and thought to himself had I always not spent enough time with her? He was beginning to think back to understand had he just ignored her since they moved to CA or had he always been a lousy husband and it just got more pronounced now that she was away from her family and friends.

Finally he asked “How do I find her? I want her back too.”

“Call your credit card company and see what the last few charges are for.  She doesn’t have many friends here so if she’s not coming home she’s probably checked into a hotel somewhere.” His father advised.

His mom watched the father son exchange and finally she decided she needed to participate in this conversation.  She calmly looked at her son and asked him “What exactly happened that made Anjali run away?” He began to explain how he had just realized this morning that he had missed the anniversary of the day that he had proposed to her.  He felt so guilty that he took the rest of the day off and surprised her at the De Young museum.  His mom’s face paled as she asked, “So you just showed up unexpectedly, in the middle of the day to surprise her?”

“Yes mom.  That’s what I said.”

“Sweetheart the reason Anjali ran away is because she thinks you’re cheating on her.”

“Why on earth would she think that?”

His mom winced as she said, “When you missed your anniversary date a few weeks ago, Anjali was so upset and distraught she was beside herself.  You in all of these years have never missed the date and you always outdo yourself and this year you just completely forgot.  She asked me if I thought you were having an affair.  I calmed her down and told her how busy you’ve been at work and that it must have slipped your mind.  I told her that this wasn’t a sign of you cheating on her but just forgetfulness.  I told her that now, if you just show up in the middle of the day and surprise her unexpectedly, and then I would be worried about cheating because that would be a clear sign of guilt.  Are you having an affair?”

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