It was already 7 when she woke up today. It was a Sunday and so Ritika was allowed to take an extra sleep for an hour or two. Lying beside her was her little daughter, Krisha, sleeping in peace. Ritika woke up with fresh thoughts of making the coming year special, filled with love, with her husband, by wishing him ‘Happy Anniversary’. It had been ten years when Ritika and Mihir got married. And she was struggling to find that lost love after marriage of ten years.
Ritika looked around for Mihir but ended up finding only his phone. Under it was an envelope, which had a message for Ritika. She wished it to a romantic poem that Mihir would have written for her, this anniversary as a surprise. But it was only a dream which her heart was forcing her to build up. The message said ‘I missed to tell you that I have an important meeting today and may come late. Don’t wait for me over the dinner. And my phone did not have any charge, so leaving it here itself.’ A tear rolled down her cheek, when Krisha came from behind and hugged her, “Good morning Mumma”. Ritika quickly wiped her sadness and hugged Krisha back. It was for her daughter that Ritika always wanted to give a chance to her marriage.
Fourteen years ago, this love story began.
It was the fourth day of her college when she saw Mihir, or rather Mihir saw her for the first time. He was her senior and liked her innocence in their first meeting. Next year, Mihir had to leave the city for his job, while Ritika had to continue her studies.
Truth be told, they were not exactly looking for love. But somehow, someway, distance made them realise the love that they found each in other. And one day, they decided they should marry.
Sitting at the breakfast table, Ritika remembered how the first few years of the married life were full of romance and adventure. How Mihir surprised her on their first anniversary with a plan of long drive and trekking in the forest. She was so thrilled to hear this as she had always been an adventurous person. How they enjoyed their mini weekends with walks on the beach…hand in hand. And then she thought about the times when they embroiled in various arguments. And every time, they used to be the most divisive than they had ever been. A question was giving a pinch to her heart as well as her soul. Should she walk away?
Stay or go?
Last three years were difficult for both of them, but yes they were harsh on Ritika. She left her job to be a full-time mom. Mihir was going through a bad phase in his startup and so they both had little time to give to each other.
While picking up the dishes, she thought that falling in love was a wonderful experience. When the relationship was new, it was full of the kind of romance that one sees in movies, loaded with flowers, love letters, and promises to be together forever. It can’t be always this way, though. Maybe its just me, who has started to see a difference in this relationship. Maybe the way we used to be together has changed and I am just wondering where the romance has gone. Maybe the romance is still there, and it’s just me who is not able to see this. And maybe the only thing that has changed is the meaning of romance.
Then, with a positive thought, she decided to bake a cake for Mihir, his favourite the chocolate cake. The aroma in the house forced Krisha to ask her, “Mumma, aap kya bana rahe ho?”. “Chocolate cake”. “Aaj kiska birthday hai mumma?” Ritika’s mind uttered, it’s for the togetherness. She only wished to bring back the sweetness of this relationship back, while baking it.
It was already 10 pm and Krisha had already slept. She enjoyed a chocolate muffin. Ritika was sure about Mihir being late and did not want her little one to be disappointed about not getting a piece of cake that mumma had baked. So she made a muffin for her.
An hour later, Ritika heard someone opening the door of their house. It was pitch dark in the room, but she could sense who it was. As he entered, she said, “Who enters his own house like a burglar?”. “I thought you must have slept”, he said. She lit the matchstick to light the candle on the cake. In the candlelight, she saw Mihir, holding flowers, a huge heart shaped balloon and a gift in his hand. And they wished each other “Happy Anniversary”……
The couple had finally made it to their wedding anniversary. It was a struggle, a heartfelt struggle, which both would admit. But they made it.
True, the years had passed by. There were more grey hairs and fine lines and a little more of this and a little less of that. But in spite of all the pain and trouble and joy and elation, they had both shared — through the good and the bad: she knew that they still loved each other.
For they had come this far. A long, long road, but such a beautiful journey.
They knew that there was no telling where their love would take them, in the next twenty or even forty-fifty years. All they knew that their love could carry them. Because it already had for the past ten years. And somehow, some-crazy-how: it would always….
‘This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda. over the prompt ‘Romantic Story using the words – Forest, Envelope, Balloon & Burglar‘.
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