My Lucky Charm.
Updated: Jan 24
The crisp white bed sheet was crumpled, wrapped around the twosome as they were sound asleep, as he hugged her from behind. The hotel room was in a mess. There were two empty glasses of wine, a half-finished bottle of whiskey, clothes lying on the floor, a blue lace bra on the sofa. A sock rolled in a ball, shoved inside a black formal shoe, and the other was nowhere to be found.
Alisha opened her eyes to the sound of the alarm ringing on her phone. She moved Sumit’s arm off her waist and dragged herself out of bed. Alisha covered her voluptuous body in the sheets and hopped over the obstacles on the way to the bathroom.
She stood under the shower for twenty minutes and walked out of the bathroom wearing a pure white robe and a towel wrapped around her wet hair.
She slipped into a clean pair of tracks and a t-shirt she dug out from her bag and seated herself in front of the dressing table.
“Stay calm, Alisha… you’ve got this,” she mumbled to herself and applied her face cream and a tinge of kohl to her big beady eyes. She undid her hair and ruffled it.
Sumit opened his eyes and saw Alisha getting ready. “Off so soon? What’s the time?” he questioned. “Why are you already ready?”
“My meeting is preponed, so I have to rush Sumit,” Alisha said restlessly.
“I thought it was for Monday?” Questioned Sumit in a groggy voice.
“Yes, it was supposed to be for Monday, but Boss messaged saying it’s scheduled for today,” she replied.
“So, no morning session?” Sumit sadly replied with a puppy face.
“Not this time, my darling. I have to rush home and get ready for my meeting,” she replied and gave him a peck as her damp hair brushed against his bare broad shoulders.
“Ok, at least sit next to me for a few minutes before you run off,” he requested hopefully. And grabbed Alisha’s hand.
Alisha sighed and agreed. She sat next to Sumit as he was still lying in bed as she ran her fingers through his hair. He put his arm around her waist. “Let’s move in together?” He pleaded lovingly. “I know you love me. You’ve always loved me. And I love you more. So, what’s the problem?”
Alisha gawked at him but didn't utter a word. Seconds later, Sumit's mother was calling her beloved son on his phone. “Attend to Mommy dear first,” she chuckled. “We can talk about this later.” And she hopped off the bed.
Alisha ran around the room like a headless chicken gathering her things and dumped them in her bag. She walked into the bathroom to blow dry her hair while Sumit cooked up a story for his mother.
“You forgot something…” Sumit called out.
“What?” replied Alisha. “I can’t hear you; wait a sec.”
Alisha walked out of the bathroom and said, “What were you saying?
“I said you forgot something,” Sumit said with a cheeky smile.
“What?” she asked hurriedly.
“Your iPad,” he said and flashed it in the air.
Alisha snatched it and tucked it in her bag. Sumit grabbed her from behind and said, “Why are you getting so hyper??”
“I’m not getting hyper... I'm just in a hurry,” she replied and rolled her eyes.
Alisha let out a sigh and silently thanked herself she wasn’t married. Now was the time she needed her space. She needed to focus on other things rather than sitting in bed and talking about the future. The clock was ticking, but so was his.
They sat in silence as he held on to her tight. Her mind wandered when Sumit’s family rejected her marriage proposal as she was adamant about not leaving her job. She had remained so career-oriented for so many years that the idea of marriage scared her. It was not like she was not ready to do household chores or look after the family, but her career was also important. She was surrounded by friends who all had broken relationships. Even her parents would always argue and bicker with each other when she was growing up. Alisha indeed had commitment issues, but she was happy in her own little space.
Sumit and Alisha were childhood sweethearts; they studied in the same class and passed out of school together. By the time they reached 10th grade, they were like two peas in a pod. But as time passed, Alisha moved to Bangalore for her graduation, leaving Sumit behind in Delhi.
They kept in touch and would talk now and then. But Alisha had made it clear from the first day of her job that she would only marry if she can continue working. Unfortunately, that wasn’t accepted in her case as Sumit’s mother didn’t want her daughter-in-law to be a working woman. Unfortunately, their relationship ended on a bittersweet note leaving Sumit high and dry as his mother soon started looking for another suitable bride.
“Don’t worry, Sumit. You will forget about Alisha. I will find you a better woman who is even more beautiful than her,” said Sumit’s mother.
“Ma, it’s not about beauty. It’s about connecting with someone. Sharing the same thought process or just feeling happy when that person is with you,” Sumit tried to explain.
“I don’t know what this Alisha girl has done to my son,” she cribbed. “You don’t worry. I’ll find the perfect bride for you.”
Alisha was left heartbroken. After all their time spent together, it was not wrong for her to expect a little more. The only solution for her was to submerged herself in work, and she did very well for herself. For her, work was always a priority. Her past with Sumit made her feel relieved that she jumped out at the right time, knowing that she would have to give up her career.
Unknowingly, Sumit’s life had gone upside down after Alisha called it quits. The consequences of Alisha’s rejection led to more fighting and blackmailing by his mother that left him with no choice but to stay shut and listen to his mother. Eventually, his mother found a suitable bride for Sumit, and when the time was right, they got hitched.
Married life was hard for poor Sumit. He felt sandwiched between his mother and wife. He tried hard to make his marriage work for his mother’s sake, but he felt something was fishy with his wife. She would make up excuses and manage to get out of the house almost every second day and would be absconding for hours. At home, she spent most of her time on the phone and neglected her responsibilities as a new daughter-in-law.
After a long wait and scrutiny, Sumit confronted his wife until he left her with no choice but to blurt out the truth. She admitted that she was in love with another man and wasn’t ready to make their relationship work. It was a dead end.
Sumit was left shattered. His wife not only disrupted his home but his professional life too. He couldn’t focus at all. He was vulnerable, and unknowingly, he missed Alisha all the more. He started to beat himself up with different thoughts running through his head, 'if only I fought harder, all this wouldn’t have happened.’ He would get sleepless nights thinking if he didn’t listen to his mother and followed his heart, things would have been different. After all, it was Alisha. His childhood sweetheart. They were two peas in a pod.
The process for divorce was initiated and was soon over. Sumit thought of contacting Alisha, but he felt it wasn’t appropriate as maybe she was happy in her own little space. He knew he hurt her, but he had no face to confront her again.
One fine day, she was out with friends’ post-work and saw Sumit standing at the bar. Without thinking twice, she walked up to him and tapped him on the shoulder.
“WOW!” he said as his heart skipped a beat.
“Ummm…. Hi!” she chuckled and grinned. Without holding themselves back, they hugged and held on tight to each other after so many years.
“What are you doing in here?” Sumit questioned, holding on to Alisha by her shoulders. “Why didn’t you call?”
“I’ve been back for the past couple of months. I got a promotion, and my company transferred me to the Gurgaon office,” she replied, smiling ear to ear. “How have you been?? It’s been ages. More than eight years. I think.”
“Come, let’s have a drink together, just for old times’ sake,” suggested Sumit and put his arm around her shoulder.
“Umm… Ok! Just one drink. I was actually on my way out,” Alisha replied. “Wait, let me just say bye to my friends.”
Alisha and Sumit found a table for two and clinked their glasses. They started to talk about life and the good old days.
“So, I heard you’re married, huh?” asked Alisha somberly.
“Yea…married,” said Sumit and gulped his drink. “And divorced.”
“What?” said Alisha and gawked at him at the same time.
“Well, a lot has happened over the years,” he said in a calm tone. “But it’s all your fault,”
“My fault?” she said in a loud tone with her mouth left open.
“Yes, you ran away,” he said.
“I didn’t run away…. My priorities were different,” she replied in a serious tone.
“Why did you go?” He questioned.
“Because you didn’t fight hard enough, Sumit. You could have made it work. Made us work.” she replied. “Anyways, let's not ruin the moment.”
“I hope you aren’t married?” He questioned.
Alisha giggled. “No, I’m not,” she chucked. “Marriage is completely out of the question for me.”
“So, I still have a chance. Even if you were married, hypothetically, I would kidnap you and take you away to an island.”
“Are you even listening to yourself right now?” she shot back. “So, how come you're divorced?”
“It’s a long story,” Sumit said, nodding his head in dismay.
“I’m all ears!” she said. “Only if you want to talk about it. That is if you are comfortable with it,”
“Comfortable. With you. Always! But not today. You and I will end up polishing off a lot of alcohol,” he chuckled. “Tomorrow is a working day.”
They both ended up having a good laugh and enjoyed the rest of their time together that evening.
It was not long before Sumit and Alisha used to meet now and then. They would either meet after work or during the weekend and spend a couple of hours together. The phone calls and text messages increased. The chatty banter went on. The giggles and good-bye cuddles were mandatory. The hotel check-ins were initiated as they just couldn’t keep their hands off each other.
One evening, Sumit’s mother somehow got to know that her son had been meeting Alisha. She was never too fond of her. The lectures and nagging began as she was worried he might get hurt again. But Sumit paid a deaf ear this time. Because of his mother’s bizarre concepts of life and thought process, Alisha was not welcomed in the family.
As time went on, the twosome kept meeting. Alisha somehow brought luck to Sumit’s life. After bumping into Alisha at the bar, life started to pick up. He began to do better at work. He was happier; he laughed more even when they weren’t together. It was like she filled in the missing pieces of life.
Eventually, Sumit left home and moved into a small apartment as his mother’s arguments seemed to be never-ending. They were never on the same page. He’d rather have some relationship left with his mother than nothing. After a while, Alisha finally moved in with Sumit.
Soon enough, Sumit slipped the ring on her finger. Alisha overcame her commitment issues, and Sumit finally got his lucky charm back in his life for good.