Anniversary - Part 2
Anniversary - Part 2
Mita couldn’t believe her eyes. How is it possible? He had been sitting right in front of her the whole time. There is no way he could have changed the picture. She pinched herself. It hurt. She was not dreaming. Then was she going mad? Hallucinating about this handsome man? Was she so desperate and tired of her ugly husband, that she had started visualizing things?
The man saw her helplessness. He came closer and took away the knife from her hands. She looked terrified and puzzled. The man hugged her and consoled her.
“I think you are too stressed. Sit down, honey. I’ll get you a glass of water.”
He offered her water. She drank it and sobbed quietly. After some time, she was finally able to speak, “Please tell me what have you done and how? Where is my husband, Mahesh?”
“Baby, I am your husband. Why don’t you believe me? And what has happened to you? I know I could not give you enough time, but I love you, I always have and I always will.”
“But my husband doesn’t look like you or talk like you…..”
“You saw the picture yourself, right?”
“Yes, I did. But I don’t know how........”, she couldn’t speak any further.
“All right you don’t trust me, or the picture? So, ask me anything, anything only your husband would know. Something no one else is supposed to know.”
The expressions on the man's face changed. He seemed to be filled with emotions. He tried to hold back his tears. With great efforts, he spoke,” Amma had said that I have taken care of you for so long, now I am going to meet your father. He needs me there.” The man turned around and sobbed softly.
Mita was shocked. She knew Mahesh was extremely attached to his mother and was still agonized to remember her death. He never talked to her about his mother, except once when she had found him crying like a baby in front of his mother’s garlanded photo. He had broken down and talked about his mother for a long time. She also knew that he never discussed his family life with anyone at his work place. So, there was no way that this man could know this. But, how did he?
The man turned back wiping his face. Her heart wanted to believe him but her mind said otherwise.
Just then the bell rang. She ran to open the door. It was her maid, Rani. She entered and stopped, looking confusedly at the man.
“What is bhaiya doing at home at this time? Is he on leave today?”
“Yes Rani, I have taken the day off today. It’s our anniversary”, he said smiling.
Mita was getting shock after shock. How could Rani know this man? Were they involved in a conspiracy? Was his husband involved too? Were they all playing a prank on her?
She rushed towards the door and peeped out. There was no one. The man called her inside.
“Now that you have believed me to be your husband, let’s celebrate. I have planned something for our special day. I called your mother and told her to pick up the kids from school. They are going to stay there tonight. So thay we can be together, just you and me.”
Still unable to think straight, Mita decided to give in. The man was very romantic and treated her like a princess. She had never had such an experience in her 11 years of married life. They went to see a movie, did shopping, had lunch at a 5-star restaurant. Later they went to the lake and did boating. The day ended with a romantic candle lit dinner, followed by a long drive with her favourite songs playing in the background.
When they reached home, she was exhausted. But that day was the best day of her life. She had never imagined that such a day could come in her life. As she changed and went to bed, she started panicking.
“This man is not Mahesh. He is no doubt, quite irresistible, bit if I sleep with him, I would be cheating my husband”, she thought.
Mita knew that this man was charming as well, and if he made a move, she might not be able to resist herself. But to her surprise, the man said, “You have had a long day. You must be tired. Let us go to sleep now.” And he cuddled her and started snoring. Mita was relieved. “This is the only thing that matches with Mahesh", she chuckled.
The next day, she woke up to find the bed empty. She looked at her mobile to check the date. It was the next day. So, she was not dreaming. The memories of the previous day still confused her. As she was engrossed in her thoughts, the washroom door opened, and standing in front of it, was her old Mahesh, potbellied, balding Mahesh.
Mita ran and hugged him tightly. She had never been happier to see him. Mahesh was surprised, but he smiled. “What happened Mita? Did you have a nightmare?”
“Nothing happened. I am ok now”, she closed her eyes and felt his heart beat. “Where had you gone yesterday?”
Mahesh laughed out loudly, “What do you mean, darling? I was with you the whole day yesterday. Did you forget everything. We watched movie, did boating and yes, didn’t you enjoy the candle-lit dinner?”
Again a shocker, and quite baffling for Mita, but she kept her eyes closed. Her 11th anniversary will always remain a mystery for her, but she realized her love for her husband when she could not see him. His arms were her heaven and she felt secure there.