‘I was out, looking for a gift’, he says. They pack their bags and leave for the airport.
Mira and Rajat’s first wedding anniversary was two days away when Rajat broached the topic of an office sponsored gala in Delhi that he had to attend. Her plans for their big day came crashing down. She had hoped to use this day to mark a new beginning. She even fancied for them to revive their wedding vows at the stroke of midnight. Rajat, on the other hand, did not even suggest as little as taking her along. It was Mira who finally asked and he relented.
At the gala, which was also the eve of their anniversary, Rajat was all suited up to make a favorable impression with the big wigs of the organization. Mira played the trophy wife, a label she had awarded to herself recently. Well into the event, she felt giddy and nauseated. Fearing she may cause embarrassment to Rajat, she told him she’d take leave and wait for him in the hotel room instead. He agreed instantly and returned to socializing.
On her way back, Mira could not decide what caused her more pain, the illness or the indifference. She brushed her thoughts aside and planned a date night on the fly. She picked up a bouquet of blue orchids, a pair of gooey chocolate muffins, some scented candles and a bottle of chocolate Amarula. To spice up the date, she even bought a black lacy baby doll dress. At the hotel room, she neatly penned on a handmade paper, seven personalized wedding vows that they’d read to each other and placed it with the vanilla scented candle at the coffee table. Also on the table were placed Amarula and muffins on fine white plates with candles dug in their center. At the background of this beautiful setting lay the blue orchid bouquet. The clock struck 11 and Rajat would be back anytime.
She changed into the baby doll dress, did her hair and wore 212 Sexy, her favorite perfume. However, the mirror betrayed her story. She stared at her flawless body that longed for love. She couldn’t remember the last time they made love. Passion was long lost and with it were gone love, care, and happiness. “Why am I doing this to myself?”, she thought. “Don’t I deserve better? And what on earth went wrong and when?”, she wondered. It was as if the mirror was mocking her romanticism, shaming her for not standing up, not walking out. She did not walk out. Instead, she walked away from the mirror. If only looking away could make things alright.
She slouched on the recliner checking the clock occasionally and drifted off to sleep. As if she had had a bad dream, she woke up with a jolt. It took her a minute to wrap her head around reality. The room was pitch dark. She struggled her way out of the recliner and drew the curtain. Looking out the window, she saw the first rays of the morning sun. A small flock of birds was flying in perfect symmetry announcing the rise of a brand new day. She looked at the clock. It was 6 am. Across from her at the table, the candles had shed all their wax on the chocolate muffin. The orchids and the wedding vows lay there untouched.
She changed into her pajamas, did away with her makeup, tossed the cake and other paraphernalia into the bin and walked back to the bed like a corpse. Just then, there was a knock on the door. She was too shaken to even shed a tear. She promised herself that she would not ask him a thing. That she was hurt enough for the day. That she was done playing victim. That this was the beginning of the end. A blatant lie is only what she could expect and that would only make her more miserable. As she opened the door, her head and heart went into a tussle, and words came flowing out of her mouth.
“Where were you last night”, she asked. “I was looking for a gift”, he said in a matter of factly tone. They packed their bags and left for the airport to return to a place they called home!