An Affair And Its Aftermath - A Real Life Story Note: This is a real life story. For those of you who may not believe this, I can assure this really happened. Please read the long story and let me have your views. At times an ordinary headache can virtually change your destiny and turn your life upside down. That was precisely what happened to me. I can never forget that fateful day when I got that fateful headache. Even now at times I get a nightmare as if the whole thing were happening right now. I wake up in the middle of the night completely drenched in sweat. Only after seeing my husband Balan and our only daughter Divya sleeping on my either side would I be convinced that it was all behind me. But when it happened… It was about eleven on a hot summer morning. Workload at my office was unusually heavy. Suddenly an excruciating pain went through my head. For a moment I lost my balance; I feared there was some kind of a cancerous tumour inside my brain which had started to play mischief. Little did I know that the cancerous tumour was outside my body and was in the person of my full-blood sister Latha. Unable to bear the headache I went to see my manager with a hand on my forehead. He granted me leave for the day and arranged an auto for me to go home. When I reached home I was surprised to see my husband Balan’s bike standing at its usual place. Probably he was also not well and had returned home, I thought naively. Then I remembered the condition of my house and thought who would be there at that time. My heart started to beat faster. My headache was replaced by heartache. I silently opened the main door of the house with my spare key and noiselessly entered inside. Even in my wildest dreams I had never dreamt that I would be catching my husband and my sister Latha in flagrante delicto in our master bedroom. I did not know how to react to that rudest shock of my life. I just ran out of the house and went into a nearby park. I sat on a tree shade. When I calmed down a little scenes from my life ran before my mind. <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]--> I was elder to Latha by just two years. We did not grow up as sisters but as best friends. There were no secrets between us – we used to discuss about college romeos, about the love letter given by our neighbour’s boy, the explicit scenes in a movie, the pros and cons of love marriage – the list was endless. When I was engaged I was sad because I was going to be parted from my sister and was tense because I knew next to nothing about the man I was engaged to. But Balan was an exceptionally good being; I had never seen so much softness, clarity and kindness in a man. He had a small engineering factory in the outskirts of Chennai. He did not exactly mint money but neither did we ever suffer for want of money. Balan’s mother had died early. But his father was not just my father-in-law but my father-in-love. His kindness and affection surpassed even that of my father. A month after marriage he told me, “Malathi, even I - a sixty year old retired person - find it very boring to be inside the house throughout the day. Why should you be confined to the house, especially when you have finished your M.Com? If you are interested I will get you a job in my friend’s export company, right now.” I readily accepted. He argued with Balan and convinced him of the rationale of my going to a job. My life was now full – I had a loving husband, an affectionate father (-in-law) and a fulfilling job. And the only thing that was needed to complete my happiness came in. I was in the family way. When I was six months into my pregnancy my parents had come to Chennai to see me. My sister Latha had also come along. One evening Latha and I were sitting in the terrace engaged in intimate conversation – possible only between sisters and that too between sisters who love each other so much as we did. Latha said in a casual tone: “Malu, I have finished my degree. No job is coming my way, right now. Shall I stay with you till your delivery? I am hurt to see you working both in the house and off the house with no time to relax. I will take over all the household chores. I will also be searching for a good job when I get time.” How did she read my mind? I was about to ask her to stay for a while to help me. But when she offered it herself, I was so overwhelmed by the identity of our minds that I hugged her tight to express my gratitude. Latha’s takeover of the household responsibility was seamless and graceful. Within a week she was cooking a special diet for my diabetic father-in-law and administering him medicines, was preparing snacks for me and Balan in the mornings and sending us out with packed lunches that tasted delicious even hours after preparation, was giving me a hot cup of coffee when I came home exhausted in the evenings and then gently massaging my head to drive away the tiredness. Latha was expanding her duties by the day and soon became an indispensable part of my household.