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Pen Your Pride

Alex’s POV

I remember being shocked after hearing that Anjali’s engagement had ended.  I think I stood in the hall for an eternity before I could register what I had just heard.  I finally got my feet moving and looked for Ali.  How could no one have told me about this?  He really hadn’t kept in touch with Anjali while he was away because he didn’t trust himself.  She had called him a couple of times but he had called her back at times he knew she wouldn’t be able to answer the phone so he could avoid actually speaking with her.  They had exchanged a couple of emails just checking in on each other.  But, Tarun cha cha must have known and he didn’t say anything and neither had Ali.

I remember finally finding Ali and pulling him aside to talk to him privately.

“Where is Raj? Why isn’t he at your wedding?” I asked.

“Alex where have you been, Raj and Anjali broke up months ago.  Didn’t Anjali tell you?” Ali had asked.

“No she didn’t say a word to me.  What happened?” I asked.

Ali took a deep breath in before speaking, “Raj cheated on Anjali.  She walked in on him having sex with his secretary.  I think there were a few other women too, but I’m not sure and I don’t know if Anjali knows about the others.  Needless to say she ended the engagement when she caught him.”

“Tell me you’re joking.  Seriously, his secretary.  That sounds so cliché.  How is Anjali?” I asked.

“I don’t know, she says she’s fine.  You know she’s ever the optimist.  She says she’s glad she found out before they set a wedding date, before she married him, before she had kids with him, etc.  You know her always trying to find the silver lining in everything.  She hasn’t cried once since the whole ordeal happened which really worries me because I wish she would just get it out of her system and move on.  She also seems a bit distant.  She’s really not sharing much with anyone, including me or Katherine.  Which is not like her, she usually confides in one or both of us.  I can’t believe you didn’t know,” Ali sighed.

“Thanks for telling me.  The wedding was beautiful and Salma looks gorgeous.  You two make an incredible couple and I really do wish you all of the happiness in the world,” I said as I gave him a congratulatory hug before walking away.

I looked for Anjali all over the hotel hoping I would get a chance to talk to her.  The wedding and reception had ended so I assumed she would be helping with the clean-up and then hang out with the stragglers.

When I finally found her she had changed and she was wearing her signature outfit of jeans and a t-shirt but she still had her hair styled and her jewelry on.  I smiled at her as I walked towards her.  “How come you changed?” I asked.  I liked the way she looked in Indian clothes and I wished I could have stared at her a little longer in her lengha.

“Most of us are staying at the hotel rather than heading home tonight so we’re heading up to the bar on the top floor to hang out,” she said.  Since Salma’s parents were devout Muslims there had been no alcohol at the wedding. 

“Can I join you?” I asked.

“Sure, but first I need to find Salim and the rest of Ali’s cousins to let them know the plan.  You can go ahead if you want; Katherine, Andrew, Tina, and Charlie are already at the bar.”

“I’ll help you find Salim and the rest of them and we can head up together,” I said.

“Okay, suit yourself.  Aren’t you dying for a drink yet? I know I’m looking forward to a drink,” she smiled.

“Why didn’t you tell me about you and Raj?” I asked.

“I assumed Tarun cha cha told you.  It’s not exactly the type of news you go around telling everyone.  It’s a bit embarrassing don’t you think?” she asked.

“I thought we were friends.  I would have liked to have heard it from you, instead I just found out today from the rumor mill.  How are you doing?” I asked.

Before she could answer, they bumped into Salim and his cousins and then headed up to the bar.

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Sorry for the short chapter - some of the future ones are going to be much longer - I promise!

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