I hope this chapter makes up for the really short previous chapter.

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Anjali’s POV

As I sat outside watching the sunset, I realized that even though I didn’t end up marrying Raj, had I turned into the Good Wife after all? Did I give up who I was for my husband? In that case was there really no difference between me marrying Alex or Raj? I hadn’t thought of Raj in years.  It was all in the past and I had been so busy with the present I never had time to think or ponder over the past.  At one point in time I didn’t see anything wrong with being the Good Wife, but after meeting Alex and working with him I knew I needed to end the relationship with Raj even before he cheated on me.  It’s not that I had fallen for Alex in a romantic sense; it’s that his friendship made me realize how unhappy I was with Raj.  I was happier when Raj was travelling than in town.  I would rather spend the evening at the workshop with Tarun cha cha and Alex working than going to the fancy parties and restaurants with Raj and his colleagues and friends.  I had talked myself into believing that the Indian things that I liked such as the food, the music, the movies, the language, the clothes, and going to temple were something that most Indian women liked, but most Indian men didn’t so I shouldn’t be so upset when Raj complained about it.  Except, Alex never complained about it and he was only half Indian.  He asked me to cook for him, he always complimented me when I wore traditional Indian clothes, and when he traveled to the Far East he often brought me back bootleg copies of the latest Bollywood movie or CD.  He accepted me as I was with no complaints.  It was easy being Alex’ friend, but it was hard being Raj’s fiancé.  I wanted a fiancé where it was easy and it didn’t seem so complicated.  When I finally realized all of this, I realized I couldn’t play the role of the Good Wife.  Even though I thought marriage was something I wanted so badly that I could settle for being a dutiful wife as long as I liked the guy I was going to marry.  I had tried finding my own partner, but I only had gotten hurt time after time, that I thought this was the solution.  But, in the end, I just couldn’t do it.  I wanted more.

After my engagement broke with Raj, everyone thought I was going to fall apart, but I didn’t because I had been unhappy long before I discovered his infidelity. For the first couple of months, I retreated into myself and everyone mistook it for being depressed.  I wasn’t depressed, I just needed time to myself to recalibrate my thought on life and marriage and come to terms that marriage just might not be in the cards for me.   Then I decided to take a two month sabbatical and travel on my own.  I went to Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador and then to Miami and I just went from one yoga retreat to another.  It was great being in incredible locations, practicing yoga daily, and far from anything that was familiar.  I ended the trip in Miami and took an intensive teacher training class and made several new friends that were a bit on the wild side.  It was the Americanized version of yoga, far from the yoga described in scriptural texts, but it was fun.  I let loose and even got a couple of tattoos while I hung out with this wild bunch.  By the end of the trip I was ready to go home and I know Katherine was expecting me for her engagement party.  I felt comfortable with where I was in life and that marriage might never happen to me and it was not going to be the end of the world.  There was no regret on my part for being with Raj, because I’d learned a lot about myself and what I was willing to change and not change for a life partner.  So I headed back to New York City, relaxed, tanned and back to my carefree self.

The timing of Katherine’s engagement party couldn’t have been better; I’d just arrived from my trip a few days earlier and the party was the last weekend before I had to go back to work.  So what better way to end my sabbatical but at my best friend’s engagement with all of my friends.  I went to Katherine’s apartment and met her mom there so that we could help her get ready and then we were all going to head over to the restaurant.  The party was being held at an upscale Italian restaurant whose owner was one of Katherine’s dads’ clients so we got the royal treatment and a few extra dishes thrown in.  Her parents had rented the entire restaurant since there were quite of few of us.  Andrew grew up in Tennessee so his entire family and many of his friends were flying in for the party.  All of us NYC girls were looking forward to meeting some nice Southern boys and hearing their drawl.  Tina couldn’t shut up about how she’d never slept with a real Southern boy and she was hoping to change that tonight.

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