Here Now ... There The Next Moment (8)

The story begins | Before he met her | The Approval | My sister's love story and his confession | Back to routine, or Not | That’s how it happened – his story begins | What this was all about … his story continues

My sister’s pregnancy and his role in it – the story ends

At the funeral, as I was staring at your sister I failed to notice my wife following my gaze. It did not take her much time to grasp the intensity of the emotions of your sister, being a woman it came naturally to her. My wife enquired with the friends and found details about her. And, arranged for us to meet. As you already know …” I stopped him mid-sentence and asked, “It was arranged? I mean, of course, I know the picnic was arranged so that we could move on with our lives after our cousin was no more a part of it. But, it was arranged by your wife? The meeting and the conversation you both had? Everything was pre-planned?
Not everything was. In fact, until the time my wife confessed that she had set us up, I did not know anything about it. The picnic, according to me was planned by a close friend of your cousin, we were supposed to join them.” He looked at his wife who was staring at the floor.


I remembered the picnic. And I remembered not being able to go. I was down with fever and resting at home. My sister did not want to go either. It was me who had forced her to go. I wonder what would have happened had I allowed her to stay back with me. Would they have met some time later? Or would my sister have forgotten all about him, fallen in love again, got married to someone else and most importantly, would she have been alive, with me, in this very house? May be she would have been or maybe they would have somehow met eventually. Don’t they say – what is meant to happen, does happen no matter what. I closed my eyes. He continued –

I felt a sudden wave of warmth rush through me as I saw your sister at the picnic. Of course I knew she would be there but still, seeing her there warmed my heart. It was her warmth that radiated towards me, reached me and enveloped me. We were formally introduced by your cousin’s friend. Conversing with her came easily. My wife left us alone. It did not strike to be on purpose then. She seemed occupied talking to other people. We talked, we laughed, and we became friends. We met again, this time at our house. My wife had invited her home for dinner. I walked her back to her house, your house. We talked as we walked. When I returned home, my wife told me that she wanted to have a family. I did not know what had made her change her mind but I was obviously happy about her decision. I told her we would consult another obstetrician this time, a better one, the best one in the field. She agreed. I fixed an appointment with one of the best obstetricians I could find so that we could talk to the doctor about what had to be done, what precautions had to be taken. If I had to take leave for the nine months of my wife’s pregnancy, I was prepared for it. I was ready to stay back home and take care of her, feed her, bathe her, I was ready to do anything and everything for her and I told her so. And, she asked me for a favour. I was shocked when I heard what she had asked me to do. She asked me to convince your sister …
Stop” I screamed. “You both manipulated my sister” I accused him for what he had obviously done.
No, we did not.” He replied in exasperation. “We did not manipulate your sister. We simply told her about the idea, the decision was hers to make. It was she who decided to be a part of this and not only that – make changes into the plan.” He glanced at his wife and continued talking to me, “Even though the idea originated from my wife’s mind, there was a little detail even she was not aware of, until yesterday. It was the request made by your sister, the woman I ended up loving and caring for as much as I love and care for my wife. Saying this does not make me feel guilty or regret what happened even though to others it might seem disgusting and an act of infidelity.

He walked towards me and took my hand in his, kneeling down and coming face to face with me as I sat on the chair, he said – “I shared a pure relationship with your sister. It was never about the sex. We never had sex. We were best of friends, she loved me beyond my understanding and I started loving her beyond mine, but we never even kissed. Yes, I agree, there were times when I wanted to kiss her, wanted to hold her in my arms. There were times, like the one night when I was alone with her in this house and she was already pregnant with my child. My wife did not know I was with her. She made dinner for me and as we did dishes together, I looked at her and I wanted to take her then and there, I knew she wanted to be taken, too. I could see the heat rising into her cheeks and read her body language but I turned around and walked to the porch. I could never do it to her. We both knew we could not be together forever, we respected each another’s decision. She knew I was doing my best to be with her even though my wife was against it.

I looked at him, bewildered. He smiled, “Your sister agreed to be the surrogate mother to our child. This is how she became a part of all this. My wife told me how she intended to get pregnant and then with the permission of your sister, implant the fertilised egg into the much stronger womb. Despite my repeated refusals she did not give up. She secretly met your sister and talked woman-to-woman, telling her about how she wanted to become a mother and most importantly how desperately I wanted to be a father. Your sister said she would consider. I was furious when I came to know what my wife had done. I called your sister and apologised. She convinced me to agree to the arrangement. We met the obstetrician who explained further about fertilisation and implantation and how the procedure worked. She told us about the five basic steps of in-vitro fertilisation. She explained how the egg would be collected from my wife and inseminated, fertilised, cultured and then transferred to your sister’s womb. When we left the doctor’s cabin, we walked out as a family. The decision was made. My wife was happy, I was happy too, though I did not know whether I had the right to be happy. I looked at your sister, she was smiling. I walked back with your sister to this house and that evening, I stepped in for the first time. I did not know whether it was right for me to be here but I was glad to be. She made coffee for me and she told me how she really wanted to do this. It was getting darker but I did not want to leave, she did not want me to leave. That night, for the first time and against the wish of my wife, I stayed back here with her. That night she told me how much she loved me and she was doing all this because I wanted to be a father. She just wanted one thing in exchange for all that she was doing.” He stopped talking, got up and walked towards his wife. It was not exactly towards his wife, though – he walked towards his daughter who was sleeping peacefully in his wife’s arms. He took the baby from her arms and walked towards me. He held the baby in front of me and I took it in my arms. Despite passing through three different arms, the baby was still sleeping peacefully.

She has your sister’s eyes” he said and kneeling down next to me he continued, “That night when your sister told me that she loved me immensely, she made a request I could not refuse. She asked me to use her egg instead of my wife’s and I could not say no.

I looked at his wife, now I knew why she looked so tired and dejected. He had obviously told her this little truth yesterday. All these months she had believed that the baby was hers, it was only yesterday that she had come to know the truth that the baby truly and wholly belonged to my sister. I desperately tried to hold back the tears but when the baby stirred and opened her eyes I could not stop myself from crying. I looked up at the father of the child and smiled through the tears of joy. He smiled back at me and I could see that he was glad because I understood him. I finally believed he had done everything possible for my sister, everything possible in his limits. I was thankful to him for being there for my sister during the months of her pregnancy even though his wife did not want him to be. I understood why he did what he did and why he continued doing it – being here now and there the next moment. I finally believed it was possible for him to love both the women equally.