I dunno how I missed mentioning it but 14th of this month was my birthday. My friend M had called Abbas beforehand and told him that she would come home in the evening to surprise me. Abbas being Abbas, cannot keep a secret and told me immediately. Now my birthday being a weekday, that too mid-week, we knew the house would be in a mess with things splattered here and there. We had plans of going out for dinner with Ro and his wife. So, I suggested Abbas to tell her to directly come to the restaurant. Now the worst punishment for me was to act as if I was taken aback. But I was touched by M’s gesture of baking a delicious Pineapple upside down cake for me and she also gifted me a very pretty cake stand that I had been eyeing on for quite some time
The same Abbas who I knew couldn’t hide a thing from me, gave me massive heartburn when I discovered a packet of cigarettes in his bag. I had my doubts about him secretly smoking and had also doubted him on a handful of instances but everytime he boomeranged it on me and made me feel guilty for doubting him. So this was how I discovered his top secret. On a Sunday, Abbas was to go out for grocery shopping with Ro. I saw him hovering around his office bag which I had kept along with Mantam’s school bag in their room. I found it strange and when I asked him, he said something to divert my attention. I came back to my room and was checking me phone when I noticed that he came to check what I was doing and quickly added “Hey call Megha quickly and ask her what rice do they have. Will check if that brand is cheaper and better. You are calling right?” I said yes and was about to make her a call, when as if sixth sense, it struck me that Abbas again entered Mantam’s room. Immediately I went to their room and saw that he had unzipped the office bag. I asked him “What was he looking for?” He said “You again started doubting me right? You have upset me once again Seemu” and proceeded to the living room and sat on the sofa. I sat on the other end of the sofa which would lead to Mantam’s room, so there was no way he could go to that bag without bypassing me. He hopefully sat on the sofa but I didn’t budge. He finally got up and said that he is going. As he stepped out, I again had a gut feeling that he would come back to check if I had left the sofa to check his bag. And that is exactly what he did, within half a minute he came back with the pretext of forgetting to take the garbage bags. Once he was convinced that I was still perched on the couch, he left. I still sat for 5 minutes there to be safe. And once I was convinced that he had left, I checked his bag and I was shocked to see a packet full of cigarettes. I was devastated. I thought I must not lose me cool and handle this tactfully. I emptied the packet and left a note to him in it “Thank you for betraying my trust time and again” (I can be quite a drama queen, lol) and then I just went about the day normally. Now I didn’t know if he had seen the note or not. Monday came and there was no message or call from him. I was clueless but at the same time my heart sank even more at the lack of any reaction. Finally, in the evening when I reached home he made a puppy face and came to hug me with an apology. That was when all my pent up frustration came to the fore. I told him he didn’t even deserve to apologize. So after a lot of tug of war, we came to a mutual agreement that I would not put emotional pressure on him which made him hide his addiction from me and he would put in sincere efforts to completely quit this time over. I told him that I would be happy if he confessed to me rather than me coming to know it this way. It would be two weeks this Sunday that he stopped smoking. I bought him nicotine chewing gums to help subside the cravings. Hoping that he finally quits it for good.