Friday, July 15, 2011

MARRIAGE COUNSELLING - Theory and Practice

MARRIAGE COUNSELLING
Theory and Practice
Fiction Short Story 
By 
 

VIKRAM KARVE   
From my Creative Writing Archives:
Short Fiction - A Story of changing relationships
 
Your relationship has become so demoralized by distrust that you two better break up rather than try to patch up.”
 
“What?”
 
“Yes. It’s better you split instead of living in perpetual suspicion like this. Why live a lie?”
 
“How can you say this? You are a marriage counsellor ... you are supposed to save marriages, not break them.”
 
“But then what can I do if you don’t change your attitude?” I said in desperation, “you have to learn to trust your wife ... just stop being jealous, suspicious, possessive. Mutual trust is important in a marriage, especially a long distance marriage like yours.”
 
I looked at the man sitting in front of me.

He was incredibly handsome; mid thirties, maybe forty, well groomed, sharp features accentuated by a smart neatly trimmed beard, clean brown eyes, he looked strong and confident, and his outward appearance betrayed no sign of what was going on inside him.

He looked at me longingly, in a lingering sort of way that women secretly want men to look at them.
 
I blushed, felt good, but quickly composed myself.

In such vulnerable situations anything could happen and I had to be careful, so I said to him in a firm dispassionate tone, “I think you better go now. It’s time for your flight to Singapore.”
 
“It’s delayed.”
 
“You’re sure?”
 
“Of course I am sure. I am the pilot – the commander of the aircraft. I’ve to report after an hour.”
 
“I’ll leave? It’s almost check-in time.”
 
“No! No! Please stay. There’s still two hours for your flight to London. Don't worry, I’ll get you checked-in. There’s something I want to tell you,” he pleaded, “I’ll order some more coffee.”
 
The airport restaurant was deserted at this late hour and wore a dark, eerie look, with just a few people huddled in muted whispers.
 
“I want to thank you for giving me this special appointment – agreeing to meet me here at such short notice,” he said.
 
“It’s okay. It was quite convenient for both of us, enroute catching our flights. A nice quiet discreet place, this airport restaurant.”
 
He paused for a moment, then spoke guiltily, “I did something terrible today.”
 
“What?”
 
“I stole my wife’s cell-phone.”
 
"Stole?"

"Yes."

"You stole your wife’s mobile?"
 
“Yes. Just before I left. I took it from her purse. She was fast asleep.”
 
“This is too much! Stealing your wife’s mobile. That was the most despicable thing to do. I don’t think we should talk any more. You need some serious help,” I said, gulped down my coffee and started to get up.
 
“No! No! Please listen. It’s those tell-tale SMS messages!”
 
“SMS messages?”
 
“From ‘Teddy Bear’.”
 
“Teddy Bear?”
 
“Someone she knows. 'Teddy Bear'. She’s saved his number. She keeps getting these SMSs, which she erases immediately.

"This 'Teddy Bear' SMSs your wife?"

"Yes. I think they are having a good time right behind my back the moment I take off on a flight. This 'Teddy Bear' and my wife. This evening when she was bathing while I was getting ready to leave for the airport, her cell-phone was lying on the bed, an SMS came from ‘Teddy Bear’ : “I am yearning for you. SPST.”
 
“SPST? What’s that?” I asked.
 
“I don’t know. I called the number. A male voice said: ‘Hi Sugar!’ Just imagine, he calls her ‘Sugar’. I hung up in disgust immediately. Then during dinner she kept getting calls and SMSs – must be the same chap: ‘Teddy Bear’.”
 
“Your wife spoke to him?”
 
“No. She looked at the number and cut it off. Four or five times. Then she switched her mobile to silent and put in her purse.”
 
“You asked her who it was?”
 
“No.”
 
“You should have. It may have been a colleague, a friend. That’s your problem – you keep imagining things and have stopped communicating with her. Ask her next time and I’m sure everything will clear up.”
 
“No! No! I am sure she is having an affair with this ‘Teddy Bear’ chap. Had it not been for the last minute delay in my flight, I wouldn’t have been home at that time.” he said. And then suddenly he broke down, tears pouring down his cheeks, his voice uncontrollable, “The moment I take off, she starts cheating on me.”
 
It was a bizarre sight. A tough looking man totally shattered, weeping inconsolably.
 
“Please,” I said, “control yourself. And you better not fly in this state.”
 
“I think you’re right,” he said recovering his composure, “I am in no mood to fly.”

He took out a cell-phone from his shirt pocket, dialled the standby pilot and a few other numbers and told them he was unwell and was going off the roster.
 
He kept the mobile phone on the table.
 
“Your wife’s cell-phone?” I asked pointing to the sleek mobile phone he had kept on the table.
 
“Yes.”
 
“She’ll be missing it.”
 
“No. She’ll be fast asleep. I’ll go back and put it in her purse.”

We sat for some time in silence. He looked as if he was in a trance, a vacuous blank look in his eyes. Years of counselling had taught me that in such moments it was best to say nothing. So I just picked up my cup and sipped what remained of my coffee.

Suddenly he got up and said, “I think I'll go home,” and 
he quickly turned and walked away.

It was only after he had gone, as I kept my coffee cup back on the table, that I noticed that he had forgotten 
the cell-phone on the table, his unfaithful wife's cell-phone.

An idea struck me.

At first I was a bit hesitant; then curiosity took charge of me and I picked it the mobile phone.

Hurriedly I clicked on ‘names’, pressed ‘T’, quickly found‘Teddy Bear’ and pressed the call button.

A few rings and I instantly recognized my husband’s baritone voice at the other end, “Hey Sugar, where are you? Why aren’t you answering? Did you get my SMS  -  ‘SPST’  -  ‘Same Place Same Time’. Why did you give me a blank call?.....” 
 
I couldn’t believe this. My dear own husband – ‘Teddy Bear’. Right under my nose. It was unimaginable, incredulous.

I felt shattered. My very own world came tumbling down like a pack of cards.
 
I cannot begin to describe the emotions that overwhelmed me at that moment, but I’ll tell you what I did.
 
I put the cell-phone in my purse, walked briskly to the check-in counter without looking back, quickly checked in, and boarded the flight; and, Dear Reader, as you read this, at this very moment, I am on my way to London to present my research paper on ‘ The efficacy of marriage counselling in the alleviation of marital discord ’ at the International Conference of Counsellors.
 
And till I return, let everyone here stew in suspense.

 
VIKRAM KARVE  
 
Copyright © Vikram Karve 2011 
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
© vikram karve., all rights reserved. 

Dear Reader, if you like reading short stories I am sure you will like the stories in COCKTAIL my recently published collection of 27 short stories about relationships. To know more, please click the link below:



About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures(2008) and is currently working on his novel. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles in magazines and journals for many years before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for almost 14 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts. 

Vikram Karve Academic and Creative Writing Journal: http://karvediat.blogspot.com
Professional Profile Vikram Karve: http://www.linkedin.com/in/karve
Vikram Karve Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/vikramkarve
Vikram Karve Creative Writing Blog: http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/posts.htm

Email: vikramkarve@sify.com          

Fiction Short Stories Book

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

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