Aunt Savitri Calling it As She Sees It

“Would you like a cup of tea, Trishan?” Aunt Savitri asked me.

“No, thanks.” As usual, I was sitting at the table. The bowl of Indian rice pudding sat untouched in front of me. I stared out of the windows in front of me but I wasn’t seeing what was there. My mind was elsewhere.

“What’s the matter?”


“You look like you have something on your mind.”

“Have you heard from…Rehema?”

“Oh, yes. I think I mentioned to you that she had texted me after she arrived in Nairobi just to let me know that she got there safely. Then, she emailed me a couple of days ago to thank us for the flowers we sent for her grandmother’s funeral. She said her mother was very touched and that the funeral had a big turnout. Everyone knew and loved her grandmother. She was a widow and a very generous woman. She used to sew for others and give to the needy. She was very much like Dorcus from the Bible.”


“Yes. She was a Christian who was always doing kind things for others and helping the poor.  She made coats and other things for widows. One day, she died and when the believers heard that Peter was nearby in Lydda, they sent men to fetch him to Joppa. Peter went with them and was taken upstairs to the room where Dorcus was laid. Her body had been washed for burial. The room was filled with grieving widows who showed him the coats and other clothes Dorcas had made for them. He asked them all to leave the room and then, he knelt down and prayed. Then, he turned to the body and said, “Get up, Tabitha.” She opened her eyes and when she saw Peter, she sat up. He helped her up and called in all the widows and the other believers so that he could present her alive to them. You can imagine how happy everyone was. Tears of sorrow turned to tears of grief. And instead of a funeral, there was a celebration.”

“I thought you said her name was Dorcus.”

“It was the Greek form of Tabitha.”

“Oh. She sounded like she was really into community service.”

“She was just like Rehema’s grandmother.”

“She’s coming back next week, isn’t she?”

“Yes. Oh, before I forget, she sent me a photo.” Aunt Savitri set her tea down on the coffee table and got up. She left the living-room and returned minutes later carrying her cell phone. She went over to the table and showed the photo to me.

I took the cell and stared at the photo. Rehema was standing at what looked like a window. There were two other people–a man and a woman and she was standing between them. They were all looking at something. My eyes lingered on her. She was smiling slightly and she looked lovely in her colorful outfit. My eyes shifted to the other woman and then to the man. “Who are these two people?” I asked. I was especially curious about the man.

“She said that the man is her cousin, Gatimu and the woman is Aluna, his wife.”

I was extremely relieved that the man was a relative and not a rival. I stared Rehema, wishing that she were here so that I could be with her. I gave the cell back to my aunt. “Nice photo,” I said.

Aunt Savitri took her cell and went back over to the chair and sat down. She put the cell down and finished her tea. “How are things between Sarika and you?” she asked.

I would have preferred to continue talking about Rehema. “Fine. We recently celebrated her 30th birthday.”

“That’s nice. How did you celebrate it?”

“We had dinner at her place.”

“She didn’t cook, did she?”

“No. I had the food delivered.”


“We bumped into Rehema a couple of weeks ago when we were on our way to St. Martin’s Theatre to see Agatha Christie’s play, The Mousetrap.”

“Oh. Is this before you went to see her to apologize?”


“It must have been awkward, especially when you introduced Sarika and her.”

“I didn’t introduce them.”

Aunt Savitri looked surprised. “Why not?”

“I didn’t want to be late for the matinee show.”

“I’m sure that it wouldn’t have taken you more than a couple of minutes to introduce them and still get to the matinee show on time. What was the real reason, Trishan?”

I sighed. She knew me so well. “I was afraid that my feelings for Rehema would be obvious.”

“Obvious to Sarika?”

“Yes. She asked me if there was anything going on between Rehema and me.”

“What made her ask that? Did she sense something?”

“She saw the way Rehema looked at me. She believes that she’s attracted to me.”

“Well, she’s right about that. What about you? Did she ask you if you’re attracted to Rehema?”

“No, she didn’t.”

“It’s only a matter of time before she does and what are you going to say to her?”

“I guess I’ll have to admit the truth.”

“Don’t you think you should tell her instead of waiting for her to ask?”

“Do you think I should?”

“Yes. I think you should be honest and let her know that you have feelings for Rehema.”

I dragged my fingers through my hair. “I don’t want to hurt her.”

“She will still end up getting hurt, Trishan. If you want to be in a committed relationship with Rehema, you have to end the current one you have with Sarika. I don’t want you playing the field. These are two real women with real feelings and they both have feelings for you.”

“I know, Aunt Savitri. I don’t like being in this situation but, I really and truly want to be with Rehema.”

“Then, come clean with Sarika. Breaking up with her is going to be very painful for her but it’s better than staying in a relationship with someone who doesn’t love her in return.”

“You’re right, of course. It’s going to be really, really tough and I dread doing it.”

“Don’t put it off because you dread doing it. Do it as soon as possible.”

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