Our tenth anniversary was coming up. I wanted to do something different this time, because getting more dresses and ties was just becoming too boring. We had always wanted our marriage to not fall in the boring category. So we made it a priority to take time to spend with each other in spite of our busy working schedules. We tried new activities together or learnt something new to bring into our marriage. Marriage is after all companionship for the long run right? So why have we fallen into the boring gift giving category. Yes this time I am going to write a letter I thought. Though I tell him most of the time with my actions and words that I love him, there is nothing like writing a hand written letter isn’t it?
First I enlisted five of his colleagues to give five different notes on five different days:-
Friend one: - “You have an ardent admirer. Can you guess who?”
Friend two: - “I love the way you smile and you turn me on.”
Friend three: - “You are my sexy man.”
Friend four: - “You are my number one.”
Friend five: - “You and me forever. What do you say?”
Day one: - He came home smiling when he entered the room and put his arms around me and kissed me on my neck.
“I know who my ardent admirer is.” He said laughing throatily.
“What are you talking about? Ardent admirer.” I said not wanting to give in.
“It was you wasn’t it?”
I turned around looking him straight in the eye. “What are you talking about?”
Come on. Don’t act. You know you can’t keep any secrets from me.
I really don’t understand. You have an ardent admirer?
He pulled out the paper and showed it to me.
I asked him angrily “So who is it? Someone in your office gave it and you are coming and asking me? Tell whoever is admiring you that you are married.” I snorted and walked away from him pretending to be angry.
I just couldn’t suppress my giggles that I ran into the bathroom and opened the tap to prevent him from hearing my laugh. “Gosh this is indeed fun.”
I could see the bewildered face on my poor Aakash. But I had four more days to go and I needed to zip my mouth until then because it was true that I could never hide anything from him.
Day two: - I begged my husband’s colleague to not tell him who it was even if he twisted his arm and he promised to keep my secret.
The second day there was no acknowledgement about the receipt of the note. Had he given up already? I wondered. He seemed to be in a pensive mode.
I called up his colleague to ask him how it went and he confessed that his arms were twisted, but he held on to the truth. I thanked him profusely.
Day three: - I got a call from the colleague to whom I had handed over the note saying that my husband was refusing to get the letter. I beamed with pride at his loyalty. He seemed sexier to me today and my heart swelled with pride.
While I was cleaning the dishes he came into the kitchen and cleared his throat.
“Aarthi I need to talk to you.”
I turned around and blew my hair out of my eye.
“Is everything okay?”
“I really don’t know who it is. I keep getting these little notes. I thought it was you, but I know you wouldn’t dare to do such things that too in my office. But here. I got a note today too and I didn’t open it. You open and read.” He placed it on the counter top and walked away.
I went back to the living room and said “Here. I am already doing enough for you and the kids. I can’t open your love letters for you.” I threw it on the sofa and walked back to the kitchen.
I acted angry the whole evening. “So ten years into the marriage, I am an old woman with two kids but you are still a sexy man for a prick.” I said fuming.
“Look Aarthi, I really don’t know who it is. That is why I wanted you to open it. So don’t be mad at me. I just can’t help being sexy.” He giggled.
“Ya Ya I guess whoever she is…actually let us hope it is a “she” okay has never seen you burp or fart. So indeed you are sexy for her.”
“Hey don’t bruise my male ego. You know how long it has been since someone hit on me. So I am going to enjoy all the attention.” He said lying down on the sofa folding both his hand behind his head and smiling.
Day Four: - I heard from his colleague that he opened the letter today. It seems the news had spread at his work place about the anonymous letters and today a few of his close friends surrounded him as he opened the letter. “Gosh, I felt embarrassed today.”
Today he walked into the house loosening his tie and singing Enrique Iglesias “You’re my number one” song.
I looked at him quizzically, “For whom? Your lady love?”
He came and hugged me and said “I know I am number three on your list after our two little monkeys, but to someone out there, I am their number one.”
“Whoever is this b…” I stopped my curse half way seeing my son. “I am going to twist her neck if I see her.” I said.
My husband laughed and said “Okay. Prove to me I am your number one tonight.”
“Gosh I don’t want to compete with a no face jerk who doesn’t even have the courage to hand the letters herself.” I said gnashing my teeth.
“Okay okay. Cool down. Come here.” He pulled me onto his lap.
“I only want to be on your list, even if it is number three or number thirty.” He kissed me tightly and the kids were grossed out and ran into their room.
I got a call from my husband. “Aarthi… guess who has been handing over all those little note.”
“Who?” I asked with trepidation, hoping he hadn’t found out.
“It is that mottu receptionist. I knew she had an eye on me. She always used to come to my room to hand over all the letters personally and talk unnecessarily. Today while I was walking across her table I spotted the letter in a pink envelope on her table below all the mails. Today she delivered it personally.”
“Oh really. Then I am relieved.” I said sighing.
I heard him tearing the envelope and he read what I had written.
“You and me forever. What do you say?”
“What is she thinking? Doesn’t she know I am already married? Shall I go and confront her?”
“No No just stay calm. You don’t want to make a scene at work do you? I am sure the person who is so interested in you will definitely come in person to talk. So don’t come to conclusions yet. Okay.”
“Okay. Let me hope it is someone really pretty at least.” He said mumbling.
“If it is someone pretty?” I asked questioningly.
“I will sigh and show my ring and say “Maybe in our next birth babe.””
I laughed hearing him. “Hey you remember what is tomorrow right?”
“What is tomorrow?” I knew he was scratching his chin. Then with a shock in his voice he said.
“Aarthi, I have to confess to you. I haven’t bought you anything yet. This whole note thing distracted me this week. You tell me what you want, I will buy for you.”
“It is our tenth anniversary, do I have to spell everything for you. You go and figure.” I kept the phone down angrily. This time I was really angry. Here I was planning for the last two weeks and he was saying that he just remembered that it was our anniversary tomorrow.
Then I folded the letter that I had hand written and delivered it to the florist shop on my way.
It was our anniversary, my in-laws bought some sweets and my hubby had bought me a sari which I had eyed in our previous visit to the mall.
“Thanks. How did you remember? “
“I try to, so that I can come up on your list at least one time a year.” We smiled at each other.
“Okay I have to hurry to work.” I said and got out of the house. I called the florist to ask him if everything had gone according to my plan and he said that he had done as I told him to.
When my husband entered into his room, it was filled with helium balloons and on the table laid my letter with a lipstick kiss on the envelope. He opened the letter. The letter read:-
To the love of my life,
We entwined our lives ten years ago in the name of marriage. Yes we entered in with trepidation and excitement just as any couple would have. We have seen the ups and downs. We have fought and made up. We gave in and compromised most of the times!
But these ten years have been the best decade of my life! The strength I got standing beside you, gave me the courage to accomplish my dreams. The freedom I had to be who I am, made me fall in love with you more. The way you trusted me, made me want to be more trust worthy. You are the one to show me what it is to love someone by giving them space to grow instead of caging them in the name of love.
How much I have grown and matured? When I look back at those years I am proud to be the person who I am today and that is because of you my dear. Without your love and support I would have never been able to accomplish so much at work and at home.
I love you Aakash, with all my heart and soul. I make a vow to you again on our anniversary that I would never take you for granted. I know marriage is for the long haul and with all the negativity about marriage that I see happening around me, I cherish what we have. I want to prove to every pessimist out there that having that one person in the world to love you and to come back too is worth all the work and sacrifices. Yes after ten years I would say we don’t have the initial excitement which we had in our first year, but in turn we have a wonderful bond and understanding that comes only after staying with someone for a long time. We have created a small world around us which is happy, secure and beautiful and having two wonderful babies as a proof of our love. What more can we ask?
I am able to go out in the world and win, because I know I have you behind my back and likewise I am standing beside you holding your hands. Ours is a partnership of two adults and there is no place for dominance or belittling someone because if I hurt you I know I am hurting myself. For all the times that we have fought and all the times we went to bed angry I look back and see that those were the moments that brought us closer together with deeper understanding. I want to grow old together and see our children grow and become adults and believe in the system of marriage seeing us.
Yes I love my kids. But you are my number one (even if it doesn’t feel that way) but believe me. Your smile lightens up my world. You are still the one sexy man I want to end up in bed with. You and me forever. What do you say?
Love you today and forever more,
There were tears sliding down his cheeks said his friends to me the next day. But those words were not enough to prove how much he meant to me but I knew he would get it.
He called me up at work
“Hey you naughty girl, so you were the one sending me all those notes. You fooled me well this time, gosh I have to give it to you for your wonderful acting.”
“So are you sad, that the only admirer is your wife.”
“Hell no. I am happy that she still sees me and feels the same for me as I do for her. I love you Aarthi. I will come and pick you up at 5 from work. Inform your boss before that.”
“I will be waiting for you. Love you too honey.”
But when we got home the house was quiet and I asked him where the kids and my in-laws were.
They have gone to stay at my sister’s house for today. So we have the entire evening for just the two of us.
“So you did do some planning actually.”
“How can I forget it was our tenth anniversary?” He pulled me closer and kissed me and carried me to the bedroom.
I was even more surprised to see the bed covered in rose petals. I felt like a new bride again.
“I love you Aarthi. You will always be my number one.”
“I love you too Aakash.” I said tears sliding down my cheeks.