At 11 AM, while in midst of household chores, the door bell rang. She expected a delivery boy standing with a smile on his face and a bouquet of red roses in one hand and probably a gift in another. This is what happened every year during the Valentine's day. She opened the door; and it certainly was a delivery boy with a smile on his face, a bouquet of red roses in one hand and a small gift wrapped packet in another. She couldn't help but smile at her own timed guess.
After 6 years of marriage and a 3 and half yr old son, her husband still sent her roses. Each year, without forgetting. Valentine's day, her birthday and their wedding anniversary... there were flowers and gift for each of these occasions. Often the celebrations wouldn't just stop there. This was always followed by a dinner and movie date too. For the 'nth time she blessed her stars to have such a wonderful, loving husband for life.
As she trimmed the stems of the flowers to arrange them in a porcelain vase(which was again a gift from him), her mind went back to the time when she was newly married. It was an arranged marriage. The horoscopes were matched, there were initial background checks, photographs were exchanged and finally a date was set for them to meet and "see" each other. When she saw him for the first time, there were no dramatic violins playing, nor were there any electric currents. He was good to talk to and seemed fairly decent. Assent from both the parties had set the ball rolling. Within no time they were engaged to be married.
The marriage ceremony that followed shortly, sailed smoothly with practically zero hitches. Before she knew it, she was trying to adjust herself to the new environment, new life and a new person she was to call her husband. It was an uphill task at first, but given the calm and adjusting nature of her husband, she was set into a comfortable routine.
All her relatives vouched for their "fairy tale" marriage. Some would say "A match made in heaven"... some would say "Your parents arranged a perfect love marriage for you." and still others would exclaim "You couldn't have asked for anything better!!!"
Her marriage was not that picture perfect, as others saw it. They had their own little ups and downs. She fought with him when he forgot to water their plants; he raised a hell when she misplaced his office I-card. She found it irritating when he invited a host of his friends at the 11th hour; he plugged in ear plugs when she started practicing her carnatic music. Though when last year their kid suffered from Measles; teary-eyed, both of them were up whole night to tend to their little life. Such was their household - Perfect with mini imperfections.
She sighed, realising the fact that she was leading a fulfilling life. However this realisation, always brought in a feeling of guilt with it. Did she actually deserve such happiness? Was this all an illusion created by her? Was she living under the pretext that she was happy, and that she is building a happy life for herself, her husband and her kid?
Her mind reeled back to the time when she was learning carnatic music during her college years. Her Guru was none other than her neighbour who was around the same age as she. He insisted she thought of him as a friend and not call him "Guruji". Chemical engineer by profession; pursuing carnatic music was more of a hobby to him. She respected him. She worshipped him. His hunger for knowledge and her thirst for music found a perfect rhythm. Feelings towards him started blossoming in her young heart. Soon she nurtured a special place in her life for him. She never thought it was necessary to express her feelings to him. Why should she? She knew he could see her devotion towards him. She convinced herself that he too felt the same. She saw her enriched life before her... her boundless dreams were getting closer to fulfillment.
One such day when they met, he broke the news to her. He was going abroad. That was only what she heard. "My college friend is planning to set up a venture there. We had talked about this long ago... things have started shaping up now... ... He wants me to join him there now... .... .... This is a life time opportunity for me.... " - all this fell on her deaf ears. All she heard was "I am going abroad." He hadn't said what she yearned to hear. As if to underline her cringing feelings he said "Be sure you get married next year and not before that. How will I come? I cannot travel back within a year, right? By the way, your husband is going to be one lucky guy!"
And, the door bell rang again, announcing the arrival of her son from kindergarten. Her reverie continued in spite of the noisy chatter of the kid. She never mentioned having feelings for her music teacher to her husband. She never thought it was necessary. What would she say? After all, she had never confessed her feelings to her teacher. He had never acknowledged them either. It wasn't obsessive love. Then what was it?
Emotions surged within her. Was she doing the right thing by not letting her husband know about this phase of her life? Would this compound truth rip out their love, trust and respect? Would he shrug it off? Laugh it off? or will it haunt him for the rest of his life? Was that phase really "love" or was it infatuation? Her music teacher, her friend, was he just like a supportive elder brother? Had she misread his intentions? Was she betraying her husband? Was she masking herself... or at least a part of herself? What would happen to her 6 year old marriage? Should she tell him the truth? Or should she dare conceal it?
No, not this time, she thought, today is just too perfect.
Placing yourself in her shoes, what would you do?