I woke up to the droplets of rain on my face that had played truant and filtered in through my sunroom window. It felt like that of a million tiny dewdrops on parched grass. Half awake, I could not help but smile at the red of the Gulmohar, with its speckled yellow brushing against my window cleansed and dripping wet with the waters from above.
Even before I had my first slug of Jamaican Blue, with an extra shot making it stronger than ever before, the realization hit me that it had been just over a decade, since I met him.
This day, that year.
We met, and the chemistry was inevitable.
The furtive glances, the crooked smile, the sarcastic coming together of the brows. The need to move away from the crowd that was but suffocating me. And, amidst all that, the heart was sending out some silent codes.
Perhaps it was telepathy. Perhaps coincidence. I moved out of the crowded room. Walked down the stairs that led to the gently meandering roads. I saw him standing there by the gate. A strong black silhouette against the dark cloudy sky with a little drizzle here and there. It was cold. I hugged myself in an attempt to keep out the chill. He put his coat around me. We walked down the hilly swirling road, as close as one could huddle under an umbrella, yet avoiding the minutest touch, lest it threw sparks and destroyed all restraints.
In that very moment I had fallen in love with this dark smoldering, eyed brooding Piscean. I hoped that he was ‘feeling what I was feeling’, if Linda Goodman was held to be true. In between the long walk back home, the unspoken signals and discussion on amendments and statutes, I lost my heart, forever.
The shrill alarm went on. It was time to be up.
It was time to serve breakfast. With barely a glance, beyond the political happenings and misgivings at the Olympics, things still remain unsaid. Signals still unread. In between the humid heat of the summer mornings, the cold winter chills were rare but certainly evident.
We had to live our day. A day that was the same and mundane as every other day in those ten years. A day that was divided in between the childbirth pangs, need to return unreturned calls, half-hearted evenings in the kitchen, cribs and cries, dressing up for those office do’s and more.
Each day that led to the next was nothing unusual, the usual humdrum of life moving at its own time and space.
Isn’t that how life would typically be!
I smiled. Reality check.
It was but a figment of my imagination. Craving for a day as mundane or as usual as it could have been.
The keys jingled in my purse. Opening the door I walked into my apartment. It was dark and left pristinely clean as the maid always did. I switched on the light. It was quiet and unassuming, just as any other day. Not a sound except the steady ticking of the grandfather clock standing like an old sentinel in the corner of the room, in silent witnessing of the days gone by, and in anticipation of those yet to come.
On the table was a single plate. The bunch of exotic orchids – my favorite – seemed out of place in that setting. It came with a handwritten note. One that is usually copied in verbatim by an online vendor, missing that very personal touch.
The phone rang.
“Happy birthday! Did you just get back? , how was your day?”
Unmistakably, it was the same voice. A single phone call that I would wait for every year, for the last 10 years. Somethings remain unchanged – perhaps never to change.
The doorbell rang.
I hesitantly inched towards the door, still gripping my phone. Lost in my thoughts, and at the same time trying to concentrate on what was being said from the other side of the phone, I opened the door.
Everything turned into a blur. The floodgates opened.
My birthday wish had finally come true.