Aditi Balbir
5 min readNov 4, 2020

I think we are incompatible, said Henry.

Yes absolutely! Cried Jane and stomped off the table in a rage. As the cold autumn air hit her face she felt it sharply and realized why. Her cheeks were drenched in the tears that flowed freely and the wet sharpened the cold that she felt inside herself. She had walked out so furiously that she’d forgotten where she was and as she looked around she realized that nothing really looked familiar. She stopped to catch her breath…and saw a small diner a few steps away. Jane entered and took the first seat she could find…her wobbly knees unable to bear their burden anymore. A ragged old waitress came to take her order, just coffee, she said.

As the warm liquid began to spread through her now weary body, she let her mind wander to a happier time, a time long past…

“The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it” said Henry, as he read lines from their favorite book, Picture of Dorian Grey. Hmmm said Jane, curled around Henry’s body on a couch next to a lazy fire. They’d come to a sleepy town near their home in London just to getaway for the weekend. Henry would read novels sometimes aloud and sometimes silent, as Jane cuddled next to her husband. They shared a passion for Oscar Wilde and the classics, something that had brought them so close in the first place. I’ve never met anyone so learned and knowledgeable about literature, Henry would say, his face filled with wonder and love. And he’d read quotes from Camus, Neitzsche and the great writers, artists & thinkers, sharing his own ideas at the same time. Jane was inspired…to think, discuss and ideate. Here was a man who could debate on any topic and always had the most novel viewpoint himself.

The waitress assailed her thoughts with “more coffee?” As she nodded her head she remembered something else…

It’s amazing how our taste in food is the same, said Henry. Are you sure we weren’t separated at birth? Jane smiled, as she chewed on her favorite food -bangers and mash. Which also happened to be Henry’s favorite. They’d been dating for a week now and were quite inseparable. They’d kissed the first night…and Jane had known then that this was someone she’d spend the rest of her life with. They’d dined out every night since then and had shared their lives, their plans, their hopes and dreams till then. It seemed their paths led to the same goals and both had ambitious plans for themselves. I want to be the Prime Minister of the country said Jane. And I want to be the President, laughed Henry. It’s a better post and a lot less work! He said. They’d made so many plans back then and everything was tied together.

How will we deal with this separation? Thought Jane. All our plans for the company we built together, our effort, our hopes and dreams. How do we split that apart?

So we build this segment first, said Henry. Yes I totally get you, said Jane. You always get me, smiled Henry as he jotted down the points of their expansion strategy. Jane had been working for a publishing house when she met Henry. But he’d seen her talent and intellect and had convinced her to start her own literary agency. She had the flow of manuscripts and the ability the gauge the winners and though she had no entrepreneurial experience, he guided her and set up operations quickly. And now, after just a year they had over 100 clients with 20+ on the bestseller list. I couldn’t have done it without him, Jane thought as she marveled on her husband’s sharp intellect and business acumen. Do you know that you are brilliant? Jane said. I can’t understand how the world hasn’t discovered you yet. Even the heaviest cloud looks for the ground to spread its shower, he said.

The hum of her cellphone broke Jane’s thoughts and she pulled it out hurriedly, hoping, no praying that it was Henry. The random number on her screen filled her with disappointment; almost hopelessness and she shut it off.

The bright sunlight made the dust bunnies dance as Jane stood listening to Henry say his vows. She’d worn white although Henry had laughed that maybe it wasn’t the appropriate color to wear in Church. Not after the passionate nights they’d spent together almost every day for the last 6 months. I never believed I’d meet someone exactly like me. We are matched evenly in all respects — physically, mentally and emotionally. Ur the one Jane, he said. I will love you forever.

The cold coffee tasted terrible. Or maybe it was just her mouth. Everything tasted raw and unsavory. I should pay my bill and go, thought Jane. But go where? The last few months had been terrible. Henry had been so busy, so preoccupied and Jane had felt so lost without the warmth of her husbands attention. Maybe he’d lost interest in her. Or maybe men just had a shorter attention span, she thought. Their last fight had been brutal and both had hurled hurtful comments at each other.

You’re always on your phone, said Jane. There you go again, said Henry. This is always the case with you. I come home and you start nagging again. Do you want me to sit at home and just be your servant? That’s not what I am saying, said Jane. But you could give me a little bit of your time when you are not busy. Maybe just an hour everyday? God woman I live with you! Shouted Henry. I spend 6 hours away from home. Rest of the day I’m only with you. The problem with you is that you are so unhappy all the time. I’m unhappy because we hardly talk, she cried. And you are always talking so easily with your friends from work. God you will kill me one day, said Henry exasperated. I think we both want different things, said Jane. Of course! Cried Henry. You are like a child and you constantly need attention. It’s getting exhausting. We are too different. We are just not compatible…



Aditi Balbir

Founder V Resorts, largest eco-tourism chain in India. Champion of sustainability. Winner UNWTO 2019. Strong network of Women Entrepreneurs.