She had called him on her way over and he hadn’t sounded at all pleased. He had been abrupt and tried to dissuade her from going to his workplace but she insisted. And here she was now, waiting for him. Her heart began to pound when she saw him coming towards her. She stood up and turned so that she was facing him.
He looked so handsome in his suit. He was always a sharp dresser. It was one of the many things which had attracted her to him.
“What are you doing here?” he asked.
“I was hoping that we could have lunch together.”
That hurt. “Too busy to have something to eat?”
“I’m not hungry.”
“Rasik, are you still upset with me? This morning, you left before I could get up and make you breakfast.”
“There was a board meeting this morning. I wanted to be on time.”
“Why did you sleep in the guest room last night?”
“I came in late and I didn’t want to disturb you.”
“I wasn’t sleeping. I kept looking at the alarm clock on the beside table. When I heard you come in, I thought you would come to our room but you didn’t. I lay there wondering why you didn’t. The bed felt so empty without you, Rasik.”
“Look, could we talk about this later?”
“Why can’t we talk about it now?”
“I’m not leaving until you answer my question.” She felt close to tears but she refused to break down and make a fool of herself.
He glowered at her. “Fine. The answer is yes. Yes, I’m still upset with you.”
“But, why? All he and I were doing was talking.”
“Is that what you call it?”
“What do you mean by that?”
“You two looked very cozy. Other people noticed.”
Malory’s mouth tightened and her eyes flashed at him. “By other people you mean Vajra. You know that girl hates me and it’s because you were dating her until I came along and you dumped her for me.”
“Let’s not bring her into this.”
“Why not? She said something to you and that’s why you’re upset with me. Don’t you trust me? I’m your wife, Rasik.”
He shoved his hands in his pockets and they curled into fists as he fought to control his anger. “Yes, you’re my wife but you were there laughing and talking to another man. How do you think it made me feel seeing you with him? If I weren’t a gentleman and had my pride, I would have punched him in the face.”
“I still don’t understand why you’re upset. Reggie and I are just friends. We’ve known each other since high-school and we were just catching up.”
“Is that what you were doing? Catching up?”
“Yes! There’s NO reason for you to be acting like this, Rasik. I love you and I’m married to you.”
“Maybe you should let your friend know that.”
“Now, what is that supposed to mean?”
“It means that you need to set him straight because from what I observed, he wants to be more than friends.”
“Why? And don’t tell me that it’s because you’re married. Do you think that makes a difference to him? He’s probably wondering why you married me in the first place.”
“You mean because you’re South Asian?”
“Yes. And he’s African-American.”
“Reggie’s not like that. He doesn’t have a problem with you. When I introduced you two, he was very friendly and he congratulated us.”
“Maybe he’s very good at hiding his true feelings.”
She felt like beating her fists on his chest out of frustration. “Reggie doesn’t have any feelings for me and I don’t have any for him. We’re friends, period. Why can’t you get that into your thick skull?”
“Keep your voice down. You want everyone in the building to hear you?”
“Oh. I’m so mad that I could scream.”
“Why don’t you go home and cool off then?”
She glared at him. “Fine, I’ll go home if that’s what you really want.”
Blinking back tears, she turned on her heel and stalked away.
He watched her go. It was obvious that she was close to tears and he was tempted to go after her but the green monster reared its ugly head again. Grimacing, he went in the opposite direction.