Simron looked into the mirror. She brushed her long dark soft hair. She tried to make a knot and set a clip. Then suddenly voted against it. She let her hair loose which now cascaded down her back. Shirley would have preferred it this way, she thought. Adjusting her black chiffon saree, she went for the pearl neckless … She still remembers the day Shirley had come home with a small blue case. “This is for the most wonderful sis in the world” she had proudly declared. Simron had opened it to find the pearl neckless. She had stood there bereft of words and finally they had hugged each other…. Today a smile escaped her lips.
If Shirley had ever been in love with any human being it was Simron, and even knowing this Simron had never reciprocated. She often regretted it, because that was the only thing she could do. Now when she had found her soul mate, her love Vivek, she felt a bit sorry for Shirley. She could hint how Shirley would react to the news, but she was wrong. She had put a long distance call to the States and was a bit astonished with Shirley’s reply. “If he takes you out for dinner put that black saree and the pearl neckless”, she had disconnected without another word. Simron had been waiting to tell her how elated she was with Vivek’s proposal but Shirley seemed to be in a hurry or…
Simron knew about Shirley’s busy schedule as an executive of a reputed software company. So she didn’t mind much. Then to her surprised Shirley had called back “ Hey congrats! Congrats! Well I thought it was a dream and then it took full fifteen minutes to realise that it was true” she tried to be enthusiastic, but her voice told Simron that it had taken her full fifteen minutes to absorb the shock. ’Doctor’s instinct ‘, she called it. “Celebrate your love , you had to wait too long”, she had hung up. Simron knew that Shirley was glad that she had to wait too long, but now that the time had come Shirley would feel miserable. This had angered Simron even more, but she loved her sister. Suddenly she had felt sorry for Shirley, she had cried.
Now a successful doctor Simron had her own say and Vivek seemed to have no flaws. Also a doctor from AIIMS , Simron and Vivek were a perfect match. At first Vivek was nothing but a colleague. Simron liked Vivek for his exceptional surgical skill , more so for his amicable nature. Simron had taken him as a friend and after a month or two they had found their frequencies match. When Simron had first told Shirley about Vivek , Shirley seemed to be so envious. No, she never envied Simron as far as Vivek was concerned, for she had the least intention of loving a guy, and the very thought of falling in love would make her sick. She envied Vivek, because Vivek had already won Simron’s heart and now Shirley knew that the time had come to part….
Simron and Vivek would visit the elite restaurants, and the discussions had shifted from paediatrics to ‘Hyderabad Blues’. And it happened just yesterday that after coming back from the hospital late at night Vivek had suddenly held Simron’s hands and asked, “ Simron , will you be mine?”. Simron couldn’t but say “yes”. And they had kissed for the first time……..
The phone interrupted her thoughts “Hi Simron are you ready, I’m on my way”, Vivek said. Simron answered “ I never take long”, and then added,“ like you”, and they both laughed. Simron once again looked at herself. “ Simply great”, Shirley used to say. “You are perfect”, Shirley used to flatter her, somewhat unconsciously, Simron thought.
She liked such praises and was glad that her sister was never jealous of her beauty – the only thing she had inherited from her father. She knew that to Shirley everything about her was fascinating.. Simron didn’t know if Shirley had suitors, because she never talked about all that. “ I do not believe in infatuations! I don’t want to fall prey to emotion” was all that she had told her.
Shirley was so different from her, Simron thought. Nothing mattered to Shirley more than her career, perhaps this was not exactly right something mattered still more and that was Simron herself…….
Simron knew Shirley would remain single and she was sorry that she couldn’t stick to her sister all her life. She looked at the watch adorning her slender wrist. Gosh ! It was Shirley’s birthday. Without waiting another second she called Shirley, and wished her, and apologized. Shirley’s voice was calm as she said, “Thank you, I do understand the human mind, though I work with machines. Where’s the time for other things for people who have just tasted love?”. Simron tried to be enthusiastic. “Your birthday gift, … well you’ll receive it within two day”, Simron said. Things couldn’t be much more faster, she thought. “ I have already had it , Simron”, Shirley’s tone was just the same.” Yesterday when you told me about your love I felt on the top of the world, you know why? All these days I thought I had made a grave mistake by hopelessly loving you. For my career and my success its emotions I have to curb, even knowing this I couldn’t help myself. Now that you have Vivek I can well stay all by myself, free of all emotions……. I’m elated. Well bye” . She had hung up.
Simron couldn’t believe what she just heard. But it was all very true. She sat on the sofa and covered her face with her hands. All these days she knew she was betraying Shirley. Now she felt betrayed.