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Pen Your Pride

Present Day – Anjali’s POV

Waking up from her alcohol induced slumber Anjali felt a heaviness and jittery.  Alcohol always had the effect of knocking her out for a while, but not a long while, because after the heaviness wore off, the alcohol always took on another form and agitated her body and made her jumpy and jittery. 

It’s funny how her dreams kept taking her back to the past.  Maybe it’s because the turn of events over the last 24 hours had her going down memory lane analyzing how it all started, how I got to this.  Her thoughts seemed to pick up where her dream had ended – thinking about Raj and how the night at the Fund Raiser had changed her entire life.  What if she had never attended the fund raiser would her life still have turned out this way? Or would she be married to someone else or not at all, would she have had kids, would she have ended up in California? All of these questions had her jittery so she grabbed her room key and decided to walk downstairs and get some fresh air and walk on the beach.

Walking on the beach she kept thinking how the night at the fund raiser changed her life.  At the time it just seemed like one evening out on the town, but time would show her that evening changed the course of her life.  In her scrapbook at home she still had the clipping of the newspaper with her picture on Page 6 from that evening.  She’d had to deal with the wrath of Raj that night and not being able to be found.  The morning paper had her picture splattered on the society column of Page 6 with her on Alex’ arm.  The short write up wondered if this was Alex’ new fling and if Anna and him were on the outs.  Everyone wanted to know who she was? Was she some Bollywood actress that was attending the concert?  The picture didn’t help any because in it they looked like a couple.  She knew she should never have taken Alex’ arm.  Raj had been livid when he saw the paper.  He couldn’t believe that she was his fiancé but now all of New York was wondering if she was dating the famous Alex Shergill who was known for being such a player.  Raj had already been so upset the night before because she couldn’t be found and she had seduced him out of his anger and he had eventually calmed down and spent the night.  She had assumed all was well until the morning paper arrived and the anger started once again.  She couldn’t remember how she had calmed him down a second time but she was definitely relieved that neither of their parents read the society column otherwise she would have been dealing with their anger too.

She remembered how she just wanted to crawl under a rock that Sunday morning but the phone kept ringing off of the hook with all of her friends calling to ask her who the hottie she was pictured with was.  Then Tarun cha cha called her later that morning to ask if she would look at his designs and give him her opinion.  She had been surprised to hear from him and hadn’t expected to ever see him again.  But, that had become the beginning of both a personal and professional relationship with Tarun cha cha.  As she thought of Tarun cha cha fondly she wondered if she should call him.  He’d been a father figure to her.  He’d know her since her late 20’s.  He’d been there at her wedding, the birth of her children, and the sickness of her mom.  He’d trusted her without even knowing her.  She’d worked with him and Alex for 6 months looking at designs.  Going over to the workshop all of her free evenings and weekends.  She needed to speak with someone whose opinion she could trust.

She stopped walking and headed back to the hotel.  Near the hotel she found a table outside and ordered a cup of coffee and picked up the phone to call Tarun cha cha.  It would be early morning in India, but she knew he’d be up so she didn’t feel bad calling him.

She dialed his number and heard the beep – the long beep that signaled that you were calling overseas.  On the third ring Tarun cha cha answered.

“Hello.”  Tarun cha cha said

“Namaste cha cha.  It’s Anjali.  How are you?” she said.

“My sweet Anjali, you don’t have to tell me it’s you I would recognize your voice anywhere.  It’s been too long since we last spoke, how are you beta? How is the family?”

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