"Call please, we have to talk".
Rajib's Whatsapp message troubled Sasha. She wrinkled her brows for a second before realizing her followers were watching. She hastily swiped it up so her live story would not be interrupted.
"Hi there, beautiful people, welcome to episode fifteen of Sassy Sash, where you get to ask me all your questions about beauty, love, sex, career - anything you want!" She did her signature hair flip and winked. Damn, the lighting in her room made her look so dewy. She made a mental note to use that in her next post caption.
"Sasha, do you have any special plans for Chaand Raat tonight?" - Sunehra, your biggest fan.
Sasha twirled a ringlet of her heavily highlighted blonde hair against her expertly contoured face as she answered. "Martini o'clock, baby! I've been feeling the spirit of Ramadan, fasting, abstaining, eating clean, meditating and praying. I can't wait to let loose with my bae Rajib and our crew at the American Club tonight." She snapped her fingers and twerked at the camera.
She had gotten good with her angles and could not help admiring how the camera captured her voluptuous body in the rose gold ruffled crop top and long black skirt, slit up to her thigh, from Sash's Stash, her clothing line.
She answered questions in a hurry, itching for that shot of vodka she had stowed away in her lipstick drawer, for emergencies.
Emergencies like Rajib wanting 'to talk'. Didn't he realize what an utter bore he was with his "saving the poor people" talk and "you drink too much" talk? Uh oh. He just viewed her story, so he knew she was done with her live.
Rajib and Sasha had gotten married two years ago in a typical Dhaka fairytale wedding. Their holud was at Sasha's farmhouse in Gazipur where they made their entrance dancing to Uptown Funk on a pickup truck. The ten events of #theKhanWedding seemed to pass by in a blur of dancing and vodka martinis. Sasha thought it was perfect that they already had the same last name. Their picture on the pickup truck got 7K likes with Sasha in a mint green jamdani, white chrysanthemums flown in from Korea braided in her hair, and Rajib down on bended knee, matching mint green jamdani panjabi.
This catapulted the two of them to Instagram fame much to Rajib's chagrin. "I don't want everyone looking at me, Sasha-bear. Let them look at you," he would say. Their families had known each other for decades, through the BGMEA, and she really thought they had the same values. Then suddenly, last year, Rajib had a "spiritual awakening", left his dad's garments company for an entry level position at Brac, dammit. Now, he was trying to control what she wore and how much she drank.
"Babe, I have a meeting in Baridhara before we go to the club," Rajib said, walking into their rose bedroom just as Sasha placed her glass vial back into her lipstick drawer. He could hear her spraying her Jo Malone to cover up the cloying smell of Grey Goose.
"What the f..k? You promised you would not drink. This is the second time I've caught you!" Rajib's piercing green eyes seemed to turn a thunderous black when he got angry. He opened her lipstick drawer and found her wet witch's vial, as he suspected.
Sasha pouted. Yes only the second time he caught her.
"Babe you're too suspicious, come on. I just hit 200k followers! I am ready to celebrate! Can we please not fight?" She licked his finger and straddled him. The skirt's slit made quickies easy.
Rajib sighed. It was always the same with Sasha. He had first been attracted to her vivaciousness but this turned into the thing he came to despise. He pushed her off. "What were you doing Saturday morning?"
"I was in bed, sleeping, babe. It was f..king Saturday morning and I needed my beauty sleep."
"You were so f..king wasted, you don't even remember. We were supposed to go golfing with important people from the World Bank. This was important for my career. You said you were going to go get ready and then I found you, passed out in the bathtub, stinking of Grey Goose."
Rajib could barely keep the venom out of his voice. After months of dealing with her reckless and belligerent bullshit, he just wanted to get back at her for all the times she humiliated him by passing out before important meetings and falling over those sick perverts she had for friends.
"Babe, you're gaslighting me. This is boring. I'm calling an Uber." Sasha took her phone out and called an Uber.
Rajib had his plan in place. He had to play it cool. Even drunk, Sasha had a knack for spoiling his plans. "Okay, forget it. Let's go out. Three drinks and then I'm cutting you off."
Dr P was going to come any minute now and he just needed to pack her off and then he would not have to deal with her any longer. Her parents were even stupider than her and he had of course, explained to them that it was for her own good.
What the f..k was taking Dr P so long? The Uber could get here any minute.
Rajib checked his messages. There was one from Dr. P. "Stuck in traffic. Don't let Sasha leave the house. Harder to catch them outside. Will create a scene."
F..k. Sasha loved creating scenes. He had to think quick. "Babe, can you fix up my hair?" he said. "The hair gel's in the bathroom. And let me keep your phone. Otherwise, I know we won't leave here for another half an hour at least."
Sasha perked up, visibly relieved at the chance to get to her 'secret' stash in the bathroom again even if it meant handing over her phone. She had secret stashes everywhere, hence the name for her clothing company. She swaggered into the bathroom leaving the door slightly ajar. It had a faulty lock. Rajib had messed it up the day he rescued her from her stupor in the tub. Now it locked if closed and could only be opened from the outside.
"Hang on, I'm peeing," she said. He knew exactly what she was doing. She flushed the toilet to cover her sound.
Rajib gently nudged the door shut.
"Hey, babe? Open the door? Stuck again." Sasha started banging impatiently at the door.
"Yes, I'll sign the proposal tomorrow. Thanks." Rajib said to the air so Sasha would think he was on the phone. One thing about Sasha was how agreeable she was when with her stash. He knew she would just be perfectly happy sitting in the bathroom, looking at herself in the mirror, sipping secretly. He would miss her a little, when she was gone.
His phone buzzed.
"I'm downstairs," said a grizzled voice.
"Babe, our Uber is here! Let's go!" Rajib opened the bathroom door and Sasha stumbled out. He helped her with a smile, thinking of how he would soon be rid of her. They rode the elevator down, clutching each other, laughing like old times.
"Hello, I'm your Uber driver, Pankaj."
Sasha stepped into the car. "Pankaj, please turn on your speakers."
"Here, let me help you." Two burly women dressed in white uniforms appeared at her side and grabbed her hands.
Sasha looked up at a sign on the back of the car seat. "Prottoy Rehabilitation Center."
"Rajib, what's happening?" as Sasha screamed out the window, she saw a look on Rajib's face she would never forget - pure hatred.
Namira Hossain - a lover of the cosmos, a truth seeker and a mother who writes sometimes. She also reads the tarot. To reach out, find her at [email protected]. This story is part of a collection produced through by Mayflowers Writing Workshop run by author Shazia Omar. To join the next session, please email [email protected].