Husband. Cheater?

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She is only 52 and has been operated on twice in the stomach; both surgeries done overseas. She’s diagnosed with gastric conditions and can hardly eat anything without vomiting it all out.

He rarely visits her in hospital and when he does he brings her oily chips and fried chicken. Sometimes he’d bring a bag of fruits which he’d share around the ward. Lots of grapes and a few apples and pears.

She rarely spoke.

He hired a woman to look after her in hospital. Two women actually, one for day and one for night. The day woman – a straight-talking no-nonsense pit bull – was attentive and caring. The night woman was ignorant and brought her mango achaar, curry and chutney. All home-cooked goodies that only served to inflame her stomach more.

She was discharged a few days before my grandmother was. I don’t think she was getting any better.

He used to strut around the hospital. Strutted around like a young guy. A guy without responsibilities. Without worries.

Maybe I read him all wrong. Read the whole thing all wrong. Maybe he had to keep up a brave face. Show everyone that he was okay. He was coping. He was a man.

Because that’s what men do, right? They keep a brave face and stay strong for everyone no matter how bad things are going. Maybe.

It was just that there was an inkling, of a something, how do you say it, a discrepancy? A little something, a little feeling that something was not right. Was he cheating on her? Maybe I was just imaging things. Or maybe I am just cynical.

 

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