Tuesday, February 12, 2019

TEASER - The Object of Your Affections

You guys, it's only one more week to D-Day! To get y'all in the mood, here's a little teaser for you.

We’d made it to the reception in time for the diya dance, which went amazingly well despite the confusion my absence created in the choreography. Now, almost every guest and their mothers were wiggling their tuches off on the dance floor as the DJ brought the tent down with eardrum-busting music.
I shifted, easing my outstretched leg off the footstool Neal had found for me, and gingerly placed my burnt foot on the floor. I hated the feeling of pins and needles in my appendages—especially when it happened during a particularly long and drawn out deposition or trial—thus I kept shifting positions.
“Okay?” Naira shouted into my right ear.
I nodded, smiling. I’d tried—we’d all tried to get Naira to dance but she was determined to demur. Jet lag had fatigued her, apparently. I didn’t believe her.
“Go. Dance!” I poked her again.
“I’d rather keep you company,” she said, her lips curving in a dreamy smile.
She wasn’t jet-lagged. She was tipsy, I decided in amusement.
We’d been guzzling the infamous Girlfriend Cocktails since dinner. The GFC had been invented by our very own Naira in sophomore year, if you could believe it. The jalapeƱo-spiked cocktail recipe had been liberally shared with all the bartenders working within a six-block radius of NYU. The bartender at Lavinia’s wedding was the latest recipe recipient.
“Are you heading straight back to Mumbai after the wedding?” I simply had to know if she’d come just for the wedding.
The dreaminess in her eyes dimmed. She shook her head. “I have things to take care of in New York. I’m going to be around for a month. Probably longer if all goes well.” She brightened again. “Fun, right? We can catch up.”
“Of course, we’ll catch up. What things?” Probably something to do with the criminal.
She flapped her hand at the speakers blaring out remixed Bollywood songs. “It’s too long a conversation to get into tonight. Or shout out.”
I nodded. True. A wedding wasn’t the place to hold an interrogation. If Naira was going to be in town for a while, we’d have plenty of opportunities for confessions and cross-examinations. Still, questions and thoughts kept hammering inside my skull. And I was dying to tell her about Neal and the surrogacy. She was going to be gobsmacked. Happy gobsmacked. Naira was as baby mad as my husband.
Speaking of my husband, Neal was headed for our table, a whiskey in his hand. He’d been schmoozing with some menfolk at the bar ever since the dancing had started. But every once in a while, he’d come by to check on my foot. He stopped behind my chair, bent to give me a sweet, whiskey-laced, inverted kiss.
“Need anything?” He straightened with a final press of his lips on my forehead. His question included Naira, but she’d turned her gaze away from us. To give us privacy.
My amusement spiked. She was still a prude.
“You guys don’t need to babysit me. Go and dance. Have fun,” I said, making eyes at my husband, hoping he’d take the hint and ask Naira to dance. This business of Naira not wanting to dance like some tragic widow was rubbish, and I was having none of it.
“But I’m having so much fun babysitting you,” Naira teased.
Neal tossed his whiskey back, set the tumbler down and gallantly held his hand out to Naira. Attaboy! “Come on, lass. I may not be anywhere near your world champion status, but I promise you, I’m not a bad dancer.”
“Oh no. That’s not even… You don’t have to… I don’t want to dance. Really.” She looked at me pleadingly to rescue her.
I made a shooing motion with my hand. “Just go. It’s high time you both get to know each other. And what better way to do it than dancing together? That’s how we became friends with Lavinia and the gang, remember? Go. Let loose. It’s silly for all of us to sit around and growl at the world.”
Then, my husband turned on his full Scottish charm and within two minutes flat, he was leading my best friend onto the dance floor.

© Falguni Kothari, The Object of Your Affections

Learn more : FalguniKothari.com

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