This is part two of a four-part fictional story about a couple in South Asia written by Sarah. Each part will be released on the Tuesday of each week. Here we go - Part Two of "Date Night".
A whole package of cookies later and half
an hour of forcing laughter at Ranu’s cute, but very naughty, antics, Emily’s fake
smile made her face ache. Sunita was flashing her apologetic, pleading glances
but even those couldn’t assuage Emily’s growing irritation. Eric would be home
any minute and that made her even more anxious to be rid of her house guest.
With only half her attention on the fast, harsh Hindi of Aunty Rashmi, Emily
was having trouble following the topics of conversation.
Laughter floated up the stairs of the
apartment building and slipped into Emily’s living room. She looked at the door
where, a second later, a knock froze Aunty Rashmi’s lecture on the necessity of
having children very soon after the wedding. Emily heard this indictment of her
and Eric’s lack of children often. Sunita and Aunty Rashmi’s son Anil had their
son exactly eleven months after the wedding.
Emily flashed an apologetic smile and
hurried curiously for the door. A wall of giggles and chatter washed over Emily
as she swung open the door. Lydia, Jessica, Tess, Vanessa and Bekki streamed
into the house, stifling giggles and greeting Aunty Rashmi properly with a solemn
"Namaste” spoken with hands folded in front of chest. The five girls had all
arrived in India three months ago and were a part of the group of short termers
Emily was responsible to mentor and disciple through their two years spent
In their best Hindi, they conversed
cheerfully with Aunty Rashmi until the older woman decided it was time to go
home. Despite her perchance for visiting Emily every day, Aunty Rashmi seemed
to dislike all other foreigners. She swept up Ranu in one arm and gripped
Sunita’s thin forearm in her other hand and pulled every one towards the door
When Emily had closed the door behind the
trio, she spun merrily to the five girls, "How did you plan this visit so
"Emily, you have to hear what happened to
Tess,” giggled Lydia.
"What happened?” Emily asked, giggling too
when she saw Tess’ bright red face.
"I was practicing Hindi at Alima’s house,”
Tess had befriended Alima at the university where she took Hindi classes. "We
wanted to make chai, but she was out of tea leaves. So we went next door to ask
her neighbor and Alima said I should practice asking to borrow something…”
The whole group broke out into giggles.
Tess’ whole body shook as she tried to recover her voice.
"So I went over to the neighbor’s house
with her, but instead of asking to borrow her puttee – tea leaves – I
asked to borrow her putee – husband!” This last word was long and
shaking, lost in a fresh eruption of laughter.
Horrified, Emily threw her hand over her
mouth, "What did the neighbor say?”
"Alima jumped right in to correct me,” Tess
said. "I was so embarrassed! We took the tea leaves and hurried home. A few
minutes later, the neighbor’s aunt came over and – very seriously – asked if
she should try to arrange my marriage!”
"Oh no!” Emily cried.
The front door behind her clicked open and
Eric walked into the room of laughter.
"Sounds like you are having a good time,”
he said, tossing the car keys on the door-side table. His green eyes were
twinkling, but he didn’t look surprised to see the five visitors.
"Girls, actually, Eric and I were planning
on going out toni-,” Emily began.
"Oh, we know. That’s why we came over,”
"What?” Emily looked from the suddenly
mischievous faces of the girls to Eric.
"We heard you might need a little help
getting out of the house tonight and that things around here might need a good
scrubbing,” explained Lydia. Emily thought she caught a mouthed "Thank you”
from Eric to the girls.
The sight of the three guest rooms upstairs
that were still disheveled after hosting the team flashed through Emily’s mind.
"You guys shouldn’t have to do my
housework,” she said slowly.
"Not yours,” Vanessa shook her head. "Just
helping out with the team.”
Tears sprung to Emily’s eyes for the second
time that day as Eric wrapped his arm around her waist, "You wanna go put on
some date night clothes?” he whispered in her ear.
"You guys are the best!” Emily said,
dashing to hug each of her girls.
As Emily hurried down the hallway towards
the bedroom, she heard a tap on the front door.
What now? She grumbled, hoping Eric could handle it quickly.
Come back next Tuesday for Part Three!