Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Read Chapter 4 'Only Wheat Not White (Love Beyond Borders)' by Varsha Dixit


What if the one you completely love is the one you simply can't!

Twenty-six-year-old Eila Sood moves to America to mend fences with her estranged older sister, Sheela. Eila and the rest of the family in India had cut off ties with Sheela after she married Steve Jacobs, 'out of caste, and out of color'.

Elia soon realizes that Sheela's marriage is on the rocks. To help pay Sheela's household bills, Eila takes a second job at an afternoon strip club. When she crosses paths with the owner, the handsome Brett Wright or 'blue-eyed ogre' as Elia calls him, he both infuriates and fascinates her. Brett turns out to be her reluctant and unquestionably sarcastic knight in shining armor.

As Eila and Brett spend more time together their desire for each other builds. However, when Brett discovers the true reason for Eila's refusal he storms out of her life, accusing her of being a prejudiced coward.

Will Eila find the courage to break stereotypes and embrace her love? Will Brett find solace in the arms of his ex-girlfriend Cate?

Will Sheela and Steve divorce? All of these questions and more are answered in best selling author Varsha Dixit's latest, steamy love story.

Read Chapter 4

Chapter 4: Layer after Layer
Startled, Eila moved back, realizing too late what the little one was intending to do. He wanted to touch her feet, a traditional Indian gesture by which younger ones receive blessings from their elders.
Eila’s shoe nearly caught Adam in the shoulder. “She hit me, Mama!” he complained, his voice free of any real pain.
“Sorry! Sorry!” Eila reached into the cramped space and managed to pull Adam up, giving him a partial, awkward hug. He smelled of baby powder and cheese.
‘He’s just faking, Maasi. Ignore him,” Aryan said, getting in behind Adam. He spoke with all the wisdom of a five year old.
Maasi! Good lord they even know the Hindi word for mother’s sister. As she was still holding Adam, Eila put out a tentative hand to stroke Aryan’s cheek. “Hi, Aryan. Very nice to meet you.” Aryan smiled and shrugged his shoulders and got in his seat. Eila shifted back, giving Adam room to get into his littered, front-facing toddler seat. She caught Sheela beaming proudly at her boys.
“I found a fruit loop, mama!” Adam held up his chubby fingers, proudly showing the trophy he had retrieved from the floor of the car.
“Don’t eat it, Adam,” Steve and Sheela said simultaneously. Too late! The antique and very infected snack was already in Adam’s mouth. His small chubby face mirrored the strange taste his tongue was feeling.
“Take it out of his mouth, Eila,” Sheela hollered.
“Me? Out of his mouth?” Eila gave Sheela an incredulous look. “Ya. Hurry!” Sheela replied, exasperated. Steve gestured at Eila to
“Okay!” Awkwardly, Eila leaned forward, gently grabbed Adam’s
chin, and turned his face toward her. “Bear with me kiddo!” Grimacing, Eila pushed two of her fingers tentatively into the tiny mouth. The sight of the already chewed fruit loop on his pink tongue wasn’t especially endearing. Eila tried to fish the offending article out of Adam’s mouth without hurting him. Eila’s fingers went in too deep. In seconds, Adam was gagging. Steve tried to grab his son out of the seat but he was impeded by the now standing Aryan.
“Pat his back! Pat his back or he’ll throw up!” Sheela shouted at Eila. Her warning was only a few seconds ahead of Adam’s barf. A thick stream of puke landed on Eila’s chest and knee and slowly tricked down her leg. Revulsion over the smell and the deed had Eila backing up fiercely against the car door behind her.
Steve managed to pull Adam out even as Sheela patted and stroked his back, trying to alleviate his suffering. Maybe it was jet lag, maybe it was bottled up nerves or maybe Eila was simply overly sensitive to the smell and sight of vomiting. In seconds, she was out of the car, doubled up near the back tire and throwing up her guts.
To Eila’s utter humiliation, it was Steve who came around the car and it was his hand that patted her back to soothe her. Finally spent, Eila shrugged his touch off and muttered, “Thank you. I’m fine. Must be something I ate on the plane.” She put some distance between Steve and her, wiping her mouth and clammy face with the tissue he offered. Sheela and the boys joined them.
“Are you okay?” Sheela asked, concerned.
Eila weakly nodded. She peeked at her clothes. “I’m a mess!”
“You can go inside and wash off,” Steve said, beginning to walk in
the direction of the house.
“No!” Eila’s voice was loud. “I’ll just hose the stuff away.” She
pointed at the coiled green pipe that lay a few feet away from her.
Steve glanced at Sheela. “And Adam?”
“Adam is fine. I’ll give him a shower at home.” Sheela ruffled her
younger son’s curly mop of hair.
“Ahoy, Captain!” Adam bobbed his head several times.
“Don’t ask. He likes pirates,” Sheela said wryly to Eila.
Who doesn’t? Eila was thinking of Johnny Depp.
A few minutes later, with her clothes sporting uncomfortable wet
patches and a faint whiff of vomit, Eila got back into the car. From the other side, Steve loaded the children back into the car. Eila kept her distance from Adam even as she gave him an everything-is-good smile. Adam gave her one of his own you’ll-get-used-to-this smiles.
Eila controlled her sudden urge to envelope her nephews against her chest.
“I’m hungry, Mom,” Adam said, swinging his chubby legs back and forth.
“You just threw up!” Aryan reminded him. Eila’s expression mirrored the thought.
“That’s why I’m hungry!” Adam announced to the car proudly. The wisdom on his face was that of an old monk.
“Logical!” Eila gave him an impressed look. Adam put out a fist towards Eila, who good-naturedly put her fist out for the fist-bump.
Sheela rummaged in her bag and found something for Adam to munch on. Silence fell between the adults, whereas Aryan and Adam continued to chat about some new animation movie they had recently watched in the theatre.
Eila switched her attention to watch the passing scenery. Purple and green lace hydrangeas, reddish pink Japanese maples, orange butterfly weeds, and yellow roses caught her eye. The setting sun, sparkling intermittently from behind the trees, made them glow like haloes of red and brown. Maybe here the artist’s tool of choice is a shovel rather than a nylon brush. She leaned her head against the side of the door.
“Do you want to pick up some dinner?” Steve asked Sheela.
“I cooked,” Sheela replied primly.
Aryan and Adam groaned quietly. Eila hid her grin. Typical!
Sheela spoke louder this time. “I have made Indian food. I’m sure
Eila Maasi would like to eat that.”
“You make Indian food every day,” Aryan complained.
Eila glanced at Sheela surprised. “You cook, Di? Everyday! And
everyone is okay?” Eila completely failed at keeping the amusement out of her voice.
“Hey! That was rude.” Sheela’s tone was cutting. Even Aryan and Adam became quiet. Eila could only stare. Sheela was quick to make amends. “Over here cooks and help are for the rich. In mi casa, I’m the lady of the house and the maid.”
Eila’s answer was a quick, understanding smile even as the look she gave Steve’s straight back was loathsome. Brilliant! So Di probably works 24/7 with her job, kids and house. That explains her shabby appearance and terse manner. Even a saint would snap. A frown parked itself between Eila’s shapely arched brows.
Suddenly the DVD’s screen behind the car seats turned on. Aryan dived forward to pull out two sets of headphones from a cup holder in front of him. He made it a point to first set up the headphone around Adam’s ears, then his. Sweet! Eila sat back. She noticed Steve pull his hand away from a button in the dash board.
Eila sat back reflecting. Back in India, because of the overflowing population and labor being cheap, one did not have to be insanely rich to afford cooks, cleaners, drivers, janitors, gardeners and even a yoga teacher. Mornings in upper middle-class Indian houses were all about ringing doorbells and opening doors.
Shortly, the SUV pulled into a driveway of a single-family house painted in shades of pastel yellow and warm browns. “Home!” Adam announced, tugging at the strap across him. Steve and Sheela disembarked and came around to help the boys out. Stepping out from her side of the car, Eila stretched her legs and arms as she took in the house with its neat grass and well tended small garden. A child’s blue and red bike and a soccer ball sat on the grass, clearly proclaiming ‘house with kids’.
A flaming red oak tree sat in front, adding brilliant dazzle of burnt red, not only to the house but also to the entire street.
“Welcome home, sis!” Sheela wrapped an arm around Eila’s shoulder, tugging her towards the front porch. With the kids and Steve following, the sisters went up the three steps, pausing outside the dark red, arched door with stained glass panels.
“Oh! Hold on. I nearly forgot.” Hastily leaving Eila’s side, Sheela ran down the steps. She disappeared behind the house.
A soft rumbling sound broke out. “Ma’s opening the garage,” said Aryan, running after her. Adam followed.
Steve and Eila stood next to each other and didn’t exchange a single word. Eila stared at the door as if staring alone would open it. Steve simply busied himself with his smart phone. A few minutes later, the door was unlatched from inside. It opened to reveal Sheela holding a plate that held some grains of rice, a lighted tea candle and yellow turmeric and red powder.
“This is unexpected.” Eila had seen her grandmothers and mother do these rituals.
“I haven’t forgotten my roots,” Sheela replied proudly. She began to rotate the plate along with its ingredients in front of Eila’s face. The plate was to be rotated thrice to bless the recipient. The flame once came too close for comfort, and Eila jerked back.

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Author Bio:

"Varsha, a best selling author of four highly successful books, thinks of herself as a dreamer who thinks deep but writes light. A true 'feel good' junkie seeking quick fixes, Varsha loves a good laugh, good movie and a good book, in that order.A voracious reader of murder and grotesque mysteries, she did sit down to pen a book on serial killer but finding it impossible to maim or hurt anyone, even on paper, she penned a romantic story instead. Even though creativity is gender free,Varsha feels blessed and enriched to be a woman.Currently, with her family, Varsha resides in CA, USA."

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