I woke up with a start. I hadn’t even realized when I had fallen asleep. I rubbed my eyes and stretched luxuriously. My hand fell on the empty pillow on my side. My husband was missing. I heard some clattering outside. I relaxed and allowed myself a smile. He was out there, probably trying to churn out a good breakfast for me, like he used to earlier. I wanted to wait for him to come back and wake me up, but curiosity got the better of me.
I tiptoed across the bedroom, into the hall. The kitchen door was closed. I placed my ear on the door and heard him pull some strings softly on his guitar. I stood there, mesmerized. Just as I had, the day he had first played for me.
Then I heard him talk, “Well, what do you think?”
How had he known I was there! I was about to push the door open when he continued, “Yeah. I know I need to work on the chorus. Okay.. Got it.”
I stepped back. He was talking about work. My husband was a freelancing musician. His ultimate goal was to become a successful music director, but for the time being, he was content making money selling jingles.
I turned around quietly and got back in bed. The phone calls had started coming in, my parents, my in-laws, my friends, colleagues. I thanked them politely and hung up as soon as I could.
I just wasn’t in the mood.
Finally my husband entered the room. Tray in hand. A flower in a vase decorated the tray. A smile touched my face. He came over and pecked me on the forehead.
“Thank you, for this..” I indicated towards the tray.
He placed a hand on my cheek, “Enjoy your breakfast.” With that he got off the bed and started getting ready.
“Wait,” I asked, surprised. “Aren’t you going to join me?”
“Sorry, have to get this tune out of my head. Going down to the studio. What are your plans? I’m sure your girls will come over.”
I cast my eyes downwards, afraid that my eyes will betray the disappointment I felt.
“Yeah, I guess.”
He tossed a small gift wrapped box at me.
“Almost forgot your birthday gift,” He said with the crooked smile I adored.
“When will you be back?” I asked, clutching the box tightly in my hands.
“Don’t worry, I’ll be back before your birthday gets over.” He winked at me. It was supposed to be a joke, but I completely missed the humor there.
“Have a good time!!” He called as he shut the door behind him.
I picked up my tray and went to the kitchen. I saw some delivery boxes and a bill. He had ordered in.
I threw out the food and fixed myself some cereal. I called Ann. Unlike the others, Ann never offered any judgment. Sometimes, its nice to crib about someone without being judged about it.
True to herself, Ann offered no judgment. She didn’t even react when I told her about Anurag’s offer.
“If he’s going to make you feel happy, go.. Its just a lunch. No need to feel guilty about it.” She advised. I nodded to myself.
“And in the evening, we are going out! Okay? We haven’t done that in such a long time.” True, our lives had got us so busy that we hardly met up.
“Anagha?” She called my name.
“Ya.. I’m listening.”
“It’s going to be alright, every relationship goes through bad patches.” I walked into my room and spotted the gift wrapped box.
“Ann, he got me a gift.” I picked up the box.
“See. He didn’t forget your birthday. What did he get?” I pulled out the wrapping. Inside it was a tiny blue color box.
“I think it’s jewelry.” I said
I opened the box carefully. In it lay an exquisite pair of diamond earrings.
“Oh wow Anagha! That’s awesome! What more do you want??”
“Ann, I’ll call you back later okay..” I quickly hung up and tried on the earrings.
What more did I want? I wish I knew..