Viren was your quintessential Late Lateef.
Late for appointments, late for work, late for everything.
Why, he was even born two days AFTER the due date given to his mother for her delivery!
It was a long-standing joke among friends that Viren would even be late for his own wedding and funeral.
Well, at the wedding he did prove them right. He arrived a full two hours late!
He was welcomed by a bunch of laughing buddies wearing identical ”we-told-you-so” expressions on their faces and his fuming, not blushing, bride Neha who muttered under her breath “You better have a damn good explanation THIS time!”
The explanation was good enough. He had overslept. On his wedding day. If anyone could do this, it had to be Viren.
Arriving late had become a habit and try as he might he just couldn’t mend it. Sometimes he even secretly prided himself for it. The thrill of arriving after keeping everyone waiting gave him a perverse sort of a pleasure.
He did feel guilty about it yes, but sometimes; just sometimes he reveled in it too.
Neha’s constant refrain to him was “The day you arrive on time for anything, will be my biggest present” and on their first anniversary he decided that, that was what she would get.
He ordered her favorite flowers, got her the earrings he knew she had been eyeing for sometime and decided he would surprise her.
He took a half-day off work and set about collecting all her gifts and headed home.
There was a smile on his face and a spring in his step as he imagined the look of surprise on Neha’s face.
He wondered what would shock her more. His ‘timely arrival’ or his extravagant gift.
He reached home and silently slid his key into the lock and opened the door as softly as he could.
To a shocked Neha, intimately embracing an unknown man.
And for once in his life Viren wished he had been…late.