‘Hey, how you are doing. You look tired. Didn’t you sleep well last night?’ Jerome asked.
‘That is what I wanted to tell you about’ I was struggling to compose myself.
‘What is the matter? Did you sleep with someone? If that’s the case, don’t worry about it. I am totally cool with that. Just because I stopped going out with guys, I don’t expect you to do the same.’ he always can read my mind.
‘Its not like that Jerome?’ I replied.
I explained him what happened last night starting with the struggle between me and Danushka in the office. Also how I lied to him about being sick and what I did with Danushka on the bed. I didn’t not want to spare any detail. I told him that it was my idea to bring Danushka here. After my confession, I didn’t want to look at Jerome’s face.
‘So from what you said, it seems to me that you really like this guy. You’ve slept with many guys before but never had any feelings towards them’
Jerome said after a pause.
‘I don’t know Jerome. For sure I feel different about Danushka. I just don’t know what that is or how long it’s going to last’ I said.
‘I don’t want to put you in an awkward position by pitting me against Danushka. Time will decide that’ He said in law voice.
He is hurt, I can feel that. I didn’t want to console or hug him because that would be a fake gesture. If I truly loved him, I wouldn’t have done what I did last night. The next few minutes we spent in silence.
‘I bought some food. Shall we eat them?’ Jerome asked.
‘Sure, I didn’t eat much for the whole day’ I said.
After we had the dinner, I took a bath and went to bed. I was still feeling tired from last night drama. Jerome was watching TV on the couch. I couldn’t get hold of Danushka that day. Soon after, I fell asleep. I woke-up in the middle of the night to go to washroom. That’s when I realized
Jerome was missing. It seems he never came to bed. I called him.
‘Hey, where are you’ I asked.
‘I am at Galle-face green’ he replied.
‘What, its 2 o clock in the morning Jerome. What are you doing over there?’ I screamed.
‘I couldn’t sleep. I wanted to tell you when I was leaving but you were fast to sleep. So I came here alone’ he said.
‘Wait. Don’t go anywhere. I will be there’ I hanged the phone and started changing my clothes.
I could see him from the distance as he was the only one here at this time. He was sitting at the usual place.
‘You shouldn’t have come here. I was fine. The best thing is you don’t have to struggle to find a bench at this time’ he was trying to make me relax.
‘Please don’t do this to me Jerome. I don’t know what happened to me when I saw Danushka. I just need time to sort things out’ I hugged him.
‘I am okay with all that. It could be your reaction to work stress’ he said.
I didn’t say anything after that. Anything I say now is not going to change the situation. I took Jerome’s hand and we walked towards the car. We slept till noon on Sunday. Jerome left after lunch as his father was still recovering at home. He told me that his father has taken a loan by mortgaging the house to do business. But the business was not doing well and he cannot keep up with the monthly payment. So the bank wants to sell the house to recover the loan and they have only six months left to come-up with a plan. Jerome’s salary is barely enough to put the food on the table and pay his little sisters education. He said the house they live in belonged to their great grandfather and he cannot let it sold by the bank.
Few weeks went by. Between endless meetings, reports and presentation Office work has become a routine now. Thiwanka and I got closer. I felt this is the right time to ask him about that night.
‘Ah, it was nothing’ he said.
‘What you mean by nothing. You screamed that night’ I said.
‘That is because I liked it’ he said.
I didn’t want to ask him anymore.
‘You know, I am a naughty boy. I like doing it with group and often I find it among Danushka’s military buddies. Sometimes they pay me. They like me, because of my discretion’ he said.
‘So you do it willingly?’ I want to be certain.
‘Willingly or not, I can stop it if I wanted to.’ He said.
‘Anyways its not my business to ask you about these things’ I said finally.
‘How are things going on between you and Danushka by the way? I see both of you together most of the time. Actually it seems he doesn’t need me anymore’ he said.
Does he know something? I wonder.
‘it’s alright. We are good friends now. When I met him during my interview, I never thought he is like this’ I said.
‘Yes, from the outside he looked different. But he is a good guy. But some of his military friends are notorious. Just be careful not cross any of them. They don’t care much about anything’ he said.
‘I see’ I said.
‘There is something else about Danushka you should know’ he said.
Before he finished what he was about to say, Danushka came to us. He smiled at me and asked Thiwanka to see him in his room. When Thiwanka came out of the room, he had a grim look on his face. This is none of my business I thought.
After this incidence, Danushka spent almost every weekend at my place. I felt like everything happening in my life the way I wanted. Every day brought me new experience sense of excitement. I told Danushka all about Jerome.
‘Are you still seeing him’ he asked.
‘Of course, he is my friend. What do you mean by seeing?’ I said.
‘I mean do you still sleep with him’ he asked.
I didn’t like his line of questioning.
‘I haven’t done it since we started meeting here. Jerome is a very understanding person and he would never put me in that situation’ I said.
‘Can I see his photo?’
I showed him few pics I have on my phone.
‘He looks good. Actually very good’ Danushka said.
‘Are you jealous’ I asked.
‘No, not really. I am glad I don’t have to compete with him to win our heart. Honestly I wouldn’t stand a chance with that guy’ he said smilingly. We went to bed after that.
Months passed by;
Danushka has become a part of my life now. I still didn’t want to think how this was going to end. Jerome stopped coming to my place because he has to be with his father during weekends. But every morning I get a text from him and one at night just before I got to bed.
‘Danushka, have you thought about moving into another country?’ I asked him once.
‘Why would I do that? I like Sri Lanka’ he replied.
‘What I meant was we can live our life together If we moved to western country’ I said. I sounded dumb.
‘Oh that. Well we still have more time to think about it, right?’ he said.
‘Of course we do’ I regretted bringing this topic.
Sometimes I feel like I am the one who is dragging this train. Danushka was in his own world most of the time. It was one Saturday evening and I was trying to get hold of Danushka. He didn’t answer the phone or reply my texts. That’s when the door bell rang.
‘Hi, are you Randika’ a women holding a little boy was standing near the door.
‘Yes I am Rankida. Can I help you?’ I said to her.
‘I am Sarojini, Danushka’s wife’ she said.
Part 11 next
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