(Repost Alert! With minor edits)
Asha dialed her friend Soumya's number on her cell phone and waited as it rang. Suddenly she heard voices. Cross connection. She recognized the male voice - her husband's. He'd stepped out with his cell phone just a few seconds back to make an official call. She craned her neck to look outside. Obviously he wasn't aware of it. She listened. The other was a female voice, unknown. Maybe it was a female colleague. She shrugged and was about to hang up...
"Please Priya, you have to be patient. Please."
"Don't you Priya me. You know I've waited long enough." Sounded harsh.
"Four years, Hemant. Four long years. Isn't that enough?" she was saying.
Asha's blood froze as she heard the two voices pulling at each other for the next few minutes. Then suddenly she remembered she had to breathe. She cupped the mouthpiece and let out a long, shivering sigh and continued listening.
"Ok, enough of all this. When are you going to do it?"
"Shh, Priya, not on the phone. Please don't talk..."
"OK, ok. but when? You have to tell me. Now."
A long pause. Long enough for Asha's eyes to fill up.
"Don't know. I'm very busy these days. Maybe next week."
"You're lying. You can never do it."
"No, Priya..it's just that..."
"You can never do it, Hemant. Admit it."
"No. NO, I can."
"Ok, one week. But next Thursday, I want to see myself at the mourning."
And the line died.
Asha virtually tore the cell phone from her ear and replaced it on the cradle. It felt like a dumb-bell.
The house was crowded with mourners. Some wept quietly into their handkerchiefs. Some sobbed heavily. Others looked on, gravely. Priya dabbed her bloodshot eyes and sat in a corner, looking shocked. A hand on her shoulder jolted her. She looked up.
"You are here, Priya. Mourning...and it's thursday. I hope your wish is fulfilled now. That's what you wanted, right?"
Priya sniffed and looked on in disbelief as Asha rose and walked slowly toward Hemant's large garlanded photo.