I have not edited this at all - in fact I wrote this chapter quickly and hopefully it's good.  We are nearing the end and I'm positive I can make my goal of finishing this before year end!!  Enjoy!


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Alex

My phone was ringing but I couldn't find it. I checked my pockets, in my laptop bag and finally realized it was on my desk underneath a pile of papers. Finally retrieving the phone I saw that the caller ID was blocked. I held my breath. Usually when I got a blocked caller ID call it was Anjali calling from her home phone. I stared at the phone ringing. There was no way it could be her since she was in London.

Finally, I answered it before it went into voicemail. "Hello, this is Alex Shergill."

"Hi, it's me."

"Oh hey Chris, your number showed up blocked on my phone."

"Yeah, I'm actually using my landline which I never use. I couldn't find my cellphone."

"Oh. What's up?" I asked trying to sound cheery to mask my disappointment.

"Listen, I wanted to know what you're doing for lunch or if you have some time this afternoon. I wanted to come home and discuss some stuff without the kids being home."

"Is everything okay?" I asked as my pulse increased rapidly.

"Look, it's just some stuff I want to talk to you about without upsetting the kids. I think it's best we do this while they're at school." Did she know about Anjali and me?

"Sure. I'm free right now; why don't you come home."

"I'll be there in twenty minutes."

I hung up the phone and hung my head between my knees trying to calm myself. Chris had been trying over the past couple of years to make things better, we'd even gone to a couple of counseling sessions, but it was still a work in progress. Maybe she just didn't want to work at it anymore. Maybe she knew about Anjali. Maybe it was work related and they wanted to promote her and move her somewhere.

I stood up and walked to the bathroom and splashed my face and looked at myself in the mirror. What if she wanted a divorce? The thought of being divorced no longer gave me that dreaded sinking feeling anymore. If she wanted a divorce I wouldn't contest it.

I walked downstairs and went into the kitchen and started to make a cup of chai. I had picked up the habit of drinking chai with Anjali and even after her being gone for so long I kept drinking it. Maybe because it reminded me of her. Or maybe because I just liked it or maybe it reminded me of my dad.

I grated the ginger, tore the mint leaves and crushed the cardamom while the black tea boiled. One by one I added the ingredients and the milk and let it gurgle for a while. The gurgling tea calmed my nerves.

I heard the front door open as I turned off the burner and got ready to strain the tea.

"I'm in the kitchen," I called out.

"Hi," Chris said.

"I've made some chai do you want any?"

"I'm good, but thanks."

I poured my cup and I sat at the kitchen table.

"This is a surprise you coming home in the middle of the day," I said.

"I know. I just thought it would be best to talk without the kids nearby to listen in."

"Okay you're killing me with the suspense," I finally said.

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