UNBALANCED

 “So babe when am I allowed to cheat?”

“What the hell are you talking about?”

“You know what I am asking, when am I allowed to cheat?” he said the words slowly as if trying to let them sink in. He wanted her to get the point before making any other decision.

“Where is this coming from? Why are we discussing this? Where did you get the audacity to ask me such?”

“It is something that has been on my mind, something that I have thought about for a while.”

“Have you cheated before?”

“No.”

“What makes you think you will get away with it?”

“Nothing and everything. You’ll be amazed at how screwed up the universe is at maintaining the balance.”

“Are we still talking about the same thing?”

“Yes and so far you haven’t given me an answer. Am I going to get the answer soon or is it something I will have to wait for a few days?”

“David, why do you think I would dignify such a question with an answer?”

“Because it is bound to happen sooner than you think.”

“Are you planning to cheat on me?”

“No, but…”

“No buts, it is settled then.”

“I was trying to be upfront by suggesting it. You do decide everything I do, why wouldn’t you decide this too, after all a controlled environment is better than the wild.”

“Listen here David, if you want to cheat, knock yourself out. Don’t come here pushing ideas into my mind. What do you think is going to happen after you inconsequential fling?”

“Nothing, but still it depends.”

“Are you planning to cheat on me? Or you have already done that and now you trying to cleanse your sins by creating a loophole.”

“No and no. I wanted your thoughts on this because eventually it may or may not happen.”

“Okay, so let’s talk about it. Why do you think you are bound to cheat on me?”

“Firstly, thank you for the past five years in marriage it has not been easy but you have been the best version of you daily. Secondly, through your unwavering support we are moving steadily to the financial freedom we have always desired. In a few years we may be able to live comfortably without strains that is if we keep the current momentum and increase it a little bit.”

“Get to the point David, I have issues I need to settle before I sleep and the child is yet to take her milk for the night.”

“Okay, but I am painting a picture here and that needs patience. Can we do this some other time then?”

“No, since you started it, let get it over with. It seems like an important topic to you and the way you’re talking; you must have thought about it for a long time.”

“I just said that but not in the context you’re putting it.”

“What context?”

“Let’s not get ahead of everything. Should I go on?”

“Yes please.”

“Knowing very well that I handle our financials, this gives me access to money or will give me access to money, unused funds or unplanned for funds or rather money in the account. I am bound to change the car that I am driving right now, to something sleeker. I am bound to make sure I look rich or at least I am trying.”

“Are we going to get to the part where you cheat on me?”

“You’re not seeing it yet. Indeed, you’re tired. Let us do this tomorrow please.”
“No, we’re talking about this today.”

“Okay, what I am saying is, the richer you get the more likely you’re to cheat. The traps are laid in front of you. Of integrity, the war within is fought, to do or not to do? Your integrity is tested daily, eventually you will give in.”

“Are we still talking about you because this person in your story seems hypothetical?”

“I can’t use myself as example in this story, this is not a dream where I will triumph. In this story tragedy hits and it hits really hard.”

The child screamed from the next room as Aida rose up to go to her. She got there to find her already wet, she had to change her diapers. 

David was left in the bedroom trying to figure out a way to put his point across and not sound offensive and insensitive. The more he thought about it the more he was convinced how foolish he was to start such a conversation with his wife. It was a topic he had brought up during their weekend drink outs with the boys and they all contributed lively. It was something he had thought about for quite a while. Talking to his friends was one way to get more views but theirs were one-sided and somewhat myopic. He wanted fresh eyes and ears and a new perspective, may be a victim perspective. 

He wished he had brought the topic in a different way but here he was and they were already in the middle of it. He had to get his points in order to make sure his wife does not twist up the whole thing into a mistake, though it already felt like a mistake. He was muttering to himself as his lips moved forming words while shaking. He stood from the bed and stretched before going back to bed and covering himself with the duvet. 

Aida came back, she was smiling. The child was now back to sleeping, she had received her share of milk for the night. 

“So where were we?”

“We were arguing about a hypothetical character in my story.”

“Okay, carry on.”

“Every rich person cheats, the forgiveness comes in with the level of richness. The richest get away with it, those closer to the richest get a few warnings and the ones in the middle it might get physical but the rest it all gets to everything dirty.”

“So where do you lie?”

“I am at the middle headed to the upper side.”

“One thing is I will not fight you if you ever cheat on me. I will leave, get my child and go.”

“I know and that is why I am asking you, when will I be allowed to cheat?”

Aida was slowly growing irritated; she couldn’t understand how low David was going to get. She had always expected his standards to be low but this was a new level of lowliness. “Why would he ask me such a thing?” She thought.

David went on to explain why he thought he would cheat on her. He talked about her letting go of her body, getting old with time and everything superficial. Aida was lost in her world wondering how foolish David was going to get. Then she heard him stating how he would cheat.

“It is inevitable; the lesser value we give sex the lesser it will affect us. Have you heard of those who exchange wives for a day or two? A group of men and women decide to get together and swap wives and husbands. It is thought to reduce incidences of cheating. We are human and routine bores us and with time we tend to want change.”

“I have heard of such but to me it is unwelcomed. I cannot allow my body to be passed around like a blunt. How sure are you will cheat on me once the money starts flowing in?”

“Ladies throw yourself literally at you when you’re moneyed. They want to tap into your fountain and since sex sells, the only commodity they have is simply that. Besides, the good thing about college girls is that they are forever twenty-one years old. No matter the time, there will always be a fresh supply of twenty-one years old damsels.”

“David you mean to tell me; you want to cheat on me. “

“I am informing you since every decision in this house runs through you, why not this one?”

“What do you want, David?”

“Right now, I want to sleep. About cheating, that’s to come later.”

“Okay, you do you, but if I get wind of anything, and I mean anything. I am gone.”

“I don’t know why we are pushing so much for the break up. Sex should not be that negative. We put so much power into sex such that men and women die because of it. We toil and work hard for it. Any little success pushes us towards being ratchet. I remember reading a tweet about a guy saying that any other day of the month, he is a humble man but come payday, his fornication spirits arise. Anyway, if it was to come, if it was to happen, if the worst comes to the worst and I am cornered I will still call you for advice.”

“Seems like you’re ready to live up to your name, David. One thing is I cannot bring myself to accepting that you cheated on me. At least if I was to hear that as rumors but from you, no, no, should not happen. I mean what could be possibly so wrong with me that you cheat on me and we smile at each other, that kind of stuff drains you of the little will to live, of the little sanity to focus on reality, of the little self-esteem you have, of the little dignity you carry around. It should be punishable. Here you’re pushing for such a conversation casually.”

“It is happening everywhere, even right now someone is being cheated on. The only difference is I am willing to be honest with you, I am willing to accept my weakness and embrace it. I don’t want to fight it.”

“Let me sleep, and if what you’re saying was to happen then you have a long way to go. Get the money first. Maybe this is why your plans take long to mature, God sees all your blessings washed up the drain. He is taking His time trying to prepare you but here you’re stuck on some stupid logic. Blessings come with responsibilities and if you feel ready then test your preparedness. Goodnight baba Varsha.”

“No, it can’t…”

“It is a bit late, you need to sleep.”

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