The Choosing Ceremony

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Blood splattered, and exhausted, I exit the operation theatre, removing the gloves and throughly washing my hands.

Aniket sits on the hospital chair, as if I was in the operation room to give birth instead of cutting open another man's heart. "You okay?" Aniket asks with concern laced in his voice, standing up from the chair and striding towards me. He is about to hug me, except his lip quivers as he sees the blood over my gown. "Are you hurt?"

"Not mine." I inform him, taking the gown off, and revealing a clean turquoise dress underneath.

He sighs in relief, putting a hand over his heart. "Is he alright?" I nod once, excited that, after a long time, I get to inform a family good news.

A few minutes later, the family of the man comes rushing in as I had predicted. My face relaxes, trying to keep my reactions minimal and neutral. I inform them the news, giving a small smile at the end.

After that encounter, I turn towards Aniket, grabbing his hands and striding to the exit.

Except, before I depart, however, a voice sounds from the end of the hallway. I turn dramatically, noticing Aarav and Alisha running down the hall.

I move towards my best friend, wrapping my hands around her neck. "Hey."

"Hey, Krithi." She greets politely.

I move away from the embrace, waving at Aarav. He nods at me, and reflects my husband by shoving his hands in his pockets, awkward with the interaction.

The guy infatuated with me is meeting my husband officially. Of course, it's going to be awkward. Whereas, my best friend thinks I'm after her crush, Aarav.

"Can I talk to you for a minute?" I ask Alisha. Without waiting for her reply, I drag her away to the opposite side of the corridor. "Why did you pull that stunt?"

"What stunt?" Alisha asks innocently.

I sigh. I have the patience of a elderly woman alone in a retirement home. "Why did you tell Aniket that I fainted because he had forced himself on me?" I air quote the word, 'forced.'"

"What do you mean? I did no such thing." She lies. I tilt my head, crossing my arms in challenge.

She rolls her eyes and sighs, defeated under my scrutinizing gaze. "Fine. Aarav is practically in love with you. The other day, we were at the cafeteria for lunch. All he ever talked about was how you fought off fifty guys with your macho fighting skills. I got jealous." She admits.

"So you go around ruining my relationship with Aniket? Is that what a best friend does?" I growl.

She lowers her head, her hand unconsciously moving to twirl her hijab. She wears a mauve shudithar today, matching her headscarf with the same color. She looks simple, yet beautiful with absolutely no makeup. Her dark brown eyes gaze up at me with guilt and I could no longer be mad at her.

"I don't know what came over me. But it was worth it. You should have seen the look on your husbands' face when I told him he had to be celibate for the rest of your pregnancy. I can tell he loves you. He told me he hated his father, yet he still chose to face him for you. I was the one who told him to let you spend time with your family. I wasn't wrong there. You need to eat more. And the only one who could really take care of you is your mother. I was only looking out for you. Although, my jealousy manipulated my actions. If I ruined your relationship in any way, I'm sorry. If you want, I could always apologize to your husband. I'm your best friend, Krithi. I could never harm you." She blabbers.

I engulf her in a hug, sighing in relief. How could I ever suspect my friend to be on enemies' side? I've been so foolish. "It's alright. I love you, Alisha."

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