This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 44; the forty-fourth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.
Another sheet gets torn off the daily sheet calendar. The hand that tore it, crumples it without a thought, and discards it to the ground, even as the mind ponders over the day that is to come next. 12Th of July, the day she was born, thirty two years ago. Adjusting the strands of hair that refuse to remain put, she tells herself, “There is going to be nothing.” There never has been anything in the past five years she has lived with him. No surprises, no gifts, no thrills. A small greeting, that too after she reminds him, and a reluctant trip to a restaurant, where food along with silence is shared between them. Nothing else.
How she would have loved to receive a gift from him, or a romantic gesture. She is a sucker for romance. All through her growing up years she fantasized her man to be someone who would spring up surprises at her everyday. Small tokens of love, small gestures of affections. A kiss on the neck, a rose after a long day at work. A diamond for a birthday, a holiday for an anniversary. She had dreamed, and dreamed a lot. Through all those lonely nights she lay in bed, wondering how it would be for a man to touch her, and wishing almost desperately that she had someone who loved her.
Some people find their own special someone, a person they love, and then decide to live with them. And some, they first decide to live with a person, and then try to fall in love with them. She had all life wished to be in the first category, but fate had already reserved a seat for her in the next one. She didn’t whine, though. She accepted stoically, and even with some enthusiasm, the life that was laid before her. The expectations though, they refused to evaporate, and kept ebbing high and low with each occasion that came and went. Tides rising and falling to the pull of moon.
He did not, not love her. No. Love was never a problem. Though they had been brought together by others, she knew he loved her. She knew he greatly appreciated her presence in his otherwise empty life. She knew she was someone who had changed his life for him, in a lot many ways. She had known that on the very first day he held her hands, at that cafe in her hometown, on the eve of their engagement. One of those rare display of gestures that had been between them. And at that moment, she had decided that he was the one for her. And she had not regretted that decision at any point in these five years.
The problem was in the expressions, or the lack of them. He said he didn’t believe in special days, and did not like to celebrate them. He forbade her to wish him on his birthday, or buying him any gift. And it never struck him to give her a gift or sweep her off her feet with surprise. Yes. That was the problem. He did love her no doubt, but he was not the person who would sweep her off her feet, like in her dreams and fantasies.
In the initial couple of years, the disappointment that came with each occasion had led to a great many squabbles. Deluges of tears. But how long can one continue to cry anyway. The tears had gradually lessened, if not dried altogether. She looked forward to nothing, and pretended to go through those special days as just another day. She had begun accepting the fact that sweeping was not going to happen in her life. Not of the floor, no, that happened each and everyday, but of her off her feet. She would as well wait for the Earth to start rotating around the Moon. Nowadays she was teaching herself to not expect. Desire, though, still peeped out of some small hole in the heart, with eyes full of yearning, every now and then.
He, for his part, tried his best to do something to make the day standout from the rest. Which was mostly, a lunch or a dinner date, off late with the toddler too in tow (which made it more of a task than a date), with a spattering of conversation, and mostly silence. Not an uneasy or an uncomfortable silence. Not a hostile or cold silence. Just natural, simple silence. For that was how he was. She knew that he knew that she hated that silence, but then, how can someone possibly change their personality of thirty five years overnight? So they went about their lives, each with their singular personalities, sometimes cruising smoothly together, sometimes locked in a head-on collision. Some sparks, some snow. Some laughter, some silence.
The alarm clock sings loudly, making the little one cry out in annoyance. Her hands quickly find it and switch it off. She tries to sit up, but the weight on her head seems to be pulling her down. She realizes that she is shivering. Her nose and eyes sting. She tries to call out to him, but her voice is buried under the caverns of a sore throat. She falls back on her pillow, willing herself with no success to get up.
After what seem five minutes, she opens her eyes and sits up again. A glance at the clock tells its been an hour. This time she is able to steady herself. Slowly disengaging herself from the kid, she totters to the bathroom. Fifteen minutes later, she makes her way to the kitchen, planning woefully the meals for the day.
He sees her and smiles. He walks towards her, takes her hand and makes her sit at the dining table. He goes again and arrives with a small tray. Placing it in front of her, he waits, smiling. A glass of milk, toast and omelet (her favorite breakfast), a rose and a small envelope. Return tickets for the three of them to Maldives, for the dates between which her favorite literary event is going to be held there. The one that she had dreamed of attending, but never dared to due to lack of time and finances. And because she could not leave the toddler alone for so many days. He has combined the holiday with the conference, made a celebration out of a dream. A dream, that is about to come true.
She looks at him with wide eyes. Happy Birthday darling, he says. She manages a raspy I Love You, before her arms encircle her man into her soul and her being. Expectations are not just meant to be met; they are meant to be exceeded. And patience, as someone once said, is a virtue.
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