“Are you happy that I came to church with you today?” Trishan asked his Aunt Savitri.
“It’s a nice church and the people are very friendly.”
“Yes. It’s like my second home and the people are like my other family. They’re always warm and welcoming to members and visitors alike. A lot of the women couldn’t stop telling me how handsome you were and if I didn’t tell them that you had already a girlfriend, they would have been trying to fix you up with their daughters, nieces or grand-daughters.”
Trishan smiled. “I’ve already gotten invited to several homes for lunch.”
“I don’t think you will need to worry about declining those invitations now that they know about Sarika. Are you hungry?”
“Good. Go and get washed up while I get lunch ready.”
“What’s for lunch?”
“Coconut Chickpea Curry served on Basmati rice.”
“That sounds great.”
“And for dessert, Vegan Ras Malai Tres Leches Cake.”
My mouth was watering. I couldn’t wait to dig into the curry or to sink my teeth in the cake. “Are you going the barbecue next week Sunday?”
“Yes. Your mother called me on Thursday to invite me.”
“What are you going to take?”
“I haven’t decided as yet. Maybe a dessert.”
“I didn’t remember anything about it until Sarika mentioned it at the wedding yesterday. She ran into Mother at the shopping mall and she asked her if we were going to the barbecue. Sarika asked me how come I didn’t mention it to her and when I told her that it had slipped my mind, she was very surprised.”
“I guess she would be. It’s not usual to have something like slip your mind.”
“I told her that I had a lot on my mind.”
I didn’t tell her that I had planned to visit Rehema yesterday after the wedding but by the time I dropped Sarika home, it was after 11pm. I was bitterly disappointed. I wanted so badly to see Rehema. All the time I was at the wedding, I thought of nothing else. I wanted to leave at nine but Sarika was having such a great time that I knew that she wouldn’t want to leave. An hour later, all the guests began to leave. On the way to her place, she chatted animatedly about the wedding, the guests, the music, the food, etc. I walked her to the door and waited until she opened it. We kissed and then, I left.
As soon as I got home, I changed and went into the living-room to watch some television. I wasn’t sleepy and I was still upset that I hadn’t been able to visit Rehema. I rested my head against the back of the sofa and closed my eyes as I thought to myself for the umpteenth time, I have to see her.
“So, how was the wedding?” Aunt Savitri asked me now as we sat around the table having lunch.
“It was good. It was held outdoors at a Georgian mansion. The food was good, though not as good as yours and the music wasn’t bad.”
“Are you glad you went?”
“Yes,” I replied although what I really wanted to say was, “I still think I would have enjoyed myself more if I had spent the day with you and Rehema.”
“I’m relieved to hear that.”
We changed the subject and talked about the church sermon which was Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and the only Savior, then, while I remained at the table, enjoying another slice of cake, after washing up the dishes, Aunt Savitri went into the living-room to put the flowers I had brought for her in a vase of water. She had been surprised and very pleased when I gave them to her. “It isn’t my birthday,” she said.
“I know, Aunt Savitri. I wanted to surprise you.”
“Well, I’m surprised and very touched.” She had reached up and kissed me on the cheek before stepping aside for me to come into the foyer. And now, she was holding them in her hand and smiling at me. “Thank you again for these lovely flowers, Trishan.”
“You’re welcome, Aunt Savitri.”
“Did the subject of marriage come up again when Sarika and you were at the wedding?”
“Well, she did say that everyone should have an outdoor wedding.”
“I’ve been to a couple of outdoor weddings and they are very nice, especially in the Spring or early summer or autumn and in a picturesque place.”
“Aunt Savitri, I don’t have anything against weddings, indoors or outdoors but I’m not ready to get married right now.”
“All right, no more talk about marriage but I think you should let Sarika know how you feel about getting married so that she will stop wishing for something that may or may not happen in the future.”
“You’re right, of course. I will have a word with her.”