The Trust Displacement

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"Here, try this." I turn my attention from the plate of chocolate cake to my husband, whose holding a piece of neatly cut apple with almond butter spread on one side. He inserts half of the apple into his mouth, leaning into me to deposit the other part.

I gulp, noticing everyone's eyes on us. My relatives are jerks.

I receive the apple into my mouth, and our lips briefly touch, alighting goosebumps over my skin. I moan, the delicious combination of the two foods swirling in my mouth.

I swallow it hungrily, asking for more. "How's that?" Aniket asks, his eyebrows rising to the ceiling.

I bit my lip gently, blushing at the thoughts running inside my head. "Good."

Aniket chuckles, putting another piece of almond-covered apple into his mouth. In my peripheral vision, I watch as a jealous Aunt notifies my mother of our romance, and my mother stomps up to the both of us as if we were teens engaging in unneeded intimacy in front of elders.

"Hey, ma." I greet, as if nothing happened. My mother nods curtly in response, narrowing her eyes at the both of us, clearly criticizing our behavior.

"What are you two doing?" She growls in a low voice, reprimanding the both of us.

I open my mouth to answer, but Aniket has beat me to it. "Celebrating Krithi's birthday, of course. What do you think we're doing, ma?"

I purse my lips, smiling wickedly as my mother starts to stutter out a nervous response.

"Krithi, I think you should get going. Aniket has things planned for your day." She tells me instead, unable to face Aniket so boldly. She struts offf, uncomfortable underneath Aniket's scrutinizing gaze.

I huff, getting off of the chair. "You need to change." Aniket says, making my eyes widen. What's wrong with me now?


"Your dress. You got almond butter on it." He says, wiping the sticky substance from under my bosom. He looks up, pursing his lips at me. "Honestly, Krithi, you need to learn how to eat without spilling food all over yourself. You're worse than Aruvi."

"Hey, it was sweets. I couldn't refrain myself." I argue.

"You've got some chocolate cake on your face too." He leans in, kissing my cheek and briefly licking it off. "There." He says, and I wipe my cheek, looking at my hands to see if I smeared the chocolate cake on it. "It's gone now."

I nod, smiling at him gratefully. I know my relatives are trying to keep their spying casual, but it's noticeable from all the way over here.

"I have to make an announcement, and then I'll come upstairs to change out of this horrible saree, alright?" He nods, grinning at me like I've just granted him three wishes.

"Hello, everyone!" I call out, grabbing my relatives' attention. "As you know, we're pregnant." I point between Aniket and I. "But there's been a recent change in our pregnancy." Everyone gasps, the aunties talking amongst themselves, concluding that I've lost the baby like the irresponsible twit that I am. Before they could turn the whole thing around and say I got an abortion, I speak up, "We're having twins." I announce quickly. The whole room looks at us, their shocked faces morphing into smiles and genuine happiness after a moment.

Everyone claps, and my Ma and Pa appear from nowhere, leaving their hosting duty behind to come greet us. My father engulfs me in a bear hug, while my mother nods at me proudly.

Geez, if I knew getting pregnant would make them this happy and help me gain their approval, I would have done the deed a long time ago.

"Mmwuah." My dad kisses me sweetly in the cheek, hugging me again. I can't read his expression, but I hear him as he growls at Aniket who stands behind me. I chuckle at his protective behavior, pinching his cheek and kissing my hand.

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