Avanish Tripathy, the marketing manager, became the hot potato in the office on the very first day. His effeminate behavior was though unusual for them but not to Renuka, his boss. They did not require much time to know each other. Their eyes could connect with each other’s sufferings. Since then they had been together. Even Renuka supported him financially during his surgery and hormone treatments.

“Violet, indigo, blue, green … the different colours with different shades look so beautiful… how we humans adore them, but when it comes to accepting the different hues of human nature, we become intolerant… Why can’t we find the beauty in them?” Renuka was irritated.

Standing beside the window, Avani was lost in her thoughts as Renuka intervened, “Stop, it! Avani, I am speaking to you, can’t you say something?”

“It had been over two years, I didn’t visit my parents … even I hardly talk with them over phone since I started working on my voice.” Continued Avani, “This weekend I am going to visit mom…that day doctor told me it will take another year or two to complete the whole transformation process…but I can’t wait so long… I need to visit her before legally changing my name to Avani … I don’t know how, but I have to tell the truth …. Last time when I was there, she suspected, but didn’t ask me.” She took a small sip of the coffee. “But what happened, you look furious.”

“I don’t understand when these people will stop gossiping about us! Its terribly disappointing,” retorted Renuka.

“Sometimes, I question God, why us? We also could have been straight like the majority of people …our life could have been easy then….,” sighed Avani as she came close and hugged Renuka. “By the way, you’re about to tell me something last night!”

“Huh! Rakesh is coming back next month, his project got over. I am going through a traumatic phase now … I just don’t want to go back to that life once again,” said Renuka.

“No Renu, it’s over now, 8 long years you have suffered for your so called family image, you have to disclose everything now.”

“It won’t be that easy Avani, he will not let me go, such a ruthless fellow he is … will create a lot of trouble for us… I know him very well … so many times he assaulted me physically … I bore all the pain,” moaned Renuka. “You know, after Rakesh went to US, my decision to join dad’s business was the first positive thing that happened to me, but then dad passed away”.

“Nevertheless, you took over the business and you have proved yourself Renu,” interrupted Avani, “It might be that life gave you a second chance.”

“And we met,” smiled Renuka.

***

Next weekend.

Avani was at the baggage claim when her phone beeped. It was Renuka, who wished her good luck. She collected her bag and made her way towards the cab service. She looked pretty in that blue jeans and a sleeveless red t-shirt; though appeared a bit less confident than at other times. Once she settled in the cab, she thought of calling her mom, but then changed her mind. Though the temperature was comfortable, she was perspiring. The busy streets, the people, the shops, all were same except her, thought she. Somewhere in her mind she asked herself, “Will the city accept her new look?”

Her legs froze after getting down from the lift, as she walked towards the apartment; her whole body was pulling her back. Somehow she pressed the door bell, unaware of what was going to happen.

Shovana, her mom opened the door, she could recognize her yet the appearance was changed a bit. She was dismayed at first, but very soon regained her composure and hugged her tightly. Avani could feel the tears on her shoulder. She held her tightly and tried to console, as she said, “Mumma, I tried to disclose everything but didn’t have the courage…. I didn’t want to hurt you and dad, nor I could carry out my life like that….believe me Momma.” Avani was crying her heart out. Her dad came close and tried to console her as Shovana said, “No dear, we are not hurt because you transformed yourself. We are hurt because you stopped staying in touch with us, stopped talking with to us, even you didn’t visit us for so long. I am your mom, beta. I know every single thing of your life…I was aware of all the things when you left this city making an excuse of the job…. Actually, I wanted you to tell us everything…somehow I always felt that somewhere we could not make you understand our love, so you couldn’t rely on us, you couldn’t disclose it to us.”

“No, Momma, its not like that…I know how much you and papa love me…I am really sorry.”

The room was filled with positive vibes of love as Avani, chatted a lot with her dad and mom. She told her parents about everything and her relation with Renuka too. The following Sunday, all three of them spent together with lots of chatting and Shovana made Avani’s favourite Pulao. Avani’s happiness knew no bound when her parents promised to come to her new flat.

Next morning, when she hugged them before leaving, her dad caressed her forehead and said, “All those things that Renuka has done for you, never forget them and always be by her side in her hard times”.

Three months later, Avani and Renuka made their relation official in the presence of Avani’s parents in their new abode.

***

This is an entry for UniK-4, a 1000-word writing event at ArtoonsInn.

Check the event guidelines here: https://writers.artoonsinn.com/pride-unik-5-writing-event-artoonsinn/
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Kaberi Mukherjee
Kaberi Mukherjee currently working into teaching, has ventured in many fields as a professional, loves to read, write and spend time amidst nature. The vibrant daylight gives her the zeal to fight all odds and the soothing night sky gives her the passion to write her experiences.
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