“8PM Tonight. Just you and me.”
The handwritten note on the beautifully wrapped package made her smile. Not because of the gesture, not because of the excitement of the gift but because of his crazy incomprehensible handwriting.
“You are the only one who understands what I write… its almost poetic isn’t it? Like our story?”, he said the first time he sent her a love letter.
She smiled thinking of that moment. Getting gifts and surprises from him had now become a norm. But the excitement never dipped. She opened the package carefully, so as to not tear the wrapping. Years from now, she would re-visit all these little things. The little things that made them love each other. Underneath all the frill and gift packing, Naina found a pale yellow dress. Her smile grew bigger as she noted he had picked the right shade of yellow. Just how she liked it.
Getting dressed that night, it slowly dawned upon her what was going to happen. This was it, this was the night that would turn their relationship around. This was the night he would propose.
“It’s like asking a rhetorical question”, she would say whenever they talked about the perfect proposal.
But he always wanted it done right. And she knew as she stared at her reflection in the mirror that, this night it would be perfect. Just how he wanted it. And then suddenly the smile vanished from her face. Did she want this? She wasn’t ready for this and she didn’t know how to react. The butterflies in her tummy were now like raging dragons and she felt sick! But she silenced herself and her crazy thoughts as she made her way to the restaurant.
Heading to the terrace, she was stumped by the effort Vikram took to set this place up. It almost liked like heaven. There were yellow flowers, the only ones she liked; candles within jars, so that they wouldn’t blow out in the wind; music, just soft enough to fill the air. Vikram had really thought this through. She was spell bound and yet overwhelmed. There he was standing in the middle of the room, glowing in love; the man of her dreams. Naina, however, wasn’t there with him. She stood frozen to the ground, unable to move. She was in love but she wasn’t ready… or so she thought. He walked up to her and gave her another note. Naina held it in her hand but didn’t open it.
She takes a deep breath and manages to say the words – I’m not ready Vikram. I can’t do this.
Unable to look him in the eye, Naina only saw Vikram leave the room. The note still in her hand, Naina wanted to cry but couldn’t. She looked at the note but was too scared to open it now.
A sudden gust of wind blows it out of her hand and Naina stumbles to catch it. Almost falling off a chair Naina realizes that it’s been 6 years since that night. She stares at a blank page on her laptop and shakes herself out of the past. She starts to write something on the laptop, filling words into a blank page, hoping someday she’ll chance upon the words that she let slip out of her hands, hoping someday she’ll write her happy ending.