She looked in the mirror as the stylist added on the final layer of make up. It was her first marriage anniversary today and she intended to look her best. Sanjiv always told her that she was the prettiest girl he had ever had the privilege to meet, but that didn’t mean she would stop putting in the effort! When she was done, she tipped the stylist generously and stepped out into the windy day. It was already getting late, and she had a lot to do, to make the night really special!
She went through her grocery shopping quickly, picking all of Sanjiv’s favourite things. By the time she got everything she needed, it had started to snow. The whole world around her was blanketed in white, and no matter how many times she had seen such a scene before, it always took her breath away. Pulling her coat tighter around her shoulders, she hailed a cab and headed home. When her apartment came into view, she thought of the small and beautiful world she had created inside with her husband, and it was enough to make her smile. She unlocked the main door and let herself in.
The house was just as she had left it, but it was past 8, and she knew Sanjiv must be in his room. After that terrible accident two weeks ago, he never left the house. And it really bothered her, as they hardly ever seemed to talk. She always made time for him, but the distance between them kept on growing. It was as if something had snapped between them, and the damage that was done was worse than irreparable. And even though they still loved each other, she knew things would never be the same again. Feeling lonelier than ever, she walked into the kitchen and started cooking Sanjiv’s favourtite dinner.
The aroma of the chicken in ginger garlic sauce filled the room, and she stepped out of the kitchen as the clock stuck 9. She lighted fourteen scented candles, put on some special romantic music and waited a while for Sanjiv to come to her, but he did not. It broke her heart to think that it would never happen, no matter how much she waited for him. She had tried everything that was in her power, and no amount of effort could make him come to her, but she refused to accept the simple basic truth. She had been a fighter since childhood, and she did not mean to give up on the most precious relationship in her life so easily. She longed to lose herself in his arms, and forget this struggle life was proving to be, but a long wait preceded that day, and it was not like her to give up so soon.
Brushing off a tear that had started to make its way down her left cheek toward her lips, she got up and walked toward his room. She pushed the door open, and there he was, standing in his favourite spot, smiling his biggest smile! Just one look at him made her forget all her worries. This man loved her, she knew, and he would never leave her.
“Hi baby, I got in an hour ago, and I made us a special dinner. I also had an appointment at the parlour. How do you like the way they did my hair?”
His smile had a fixed quality to it, as he looked on, never blinking, never answering. How would he reply? Framed photographs do not answer questions.