Sitting in the dressing chair and brushing my hair, I heard his voice coming from the drawing home, “Shona, are you ready?” called Yash. “Almost”, I replied, as Yash came into our room and hugged me from behind kissing on my neck. “Happy Birthday Ashi, I promise you are going to love each and every moment of today”. It was my birthday and my husband had planned something extraordinary for me without even giving me a hint of what was in his mind. We now had been together for five years but never anything like this had happened before and everything had come as a shock to me. Nevertheless, it was his plan and I was expecting something good from him although the only thing running in my mind at that moment was what it was actually.
            Suddenly I was blindfolded as he took me into his arms. We climbed up the flight of stairs as it popped up in my mind that he was taking me to the terrace. “Yash, please tell me what’s going on in your mind? I can’t take this surprise anymore”, I said.
“Sssshh…  Keep shut; just wait and it will be exposed”, he replied while he took me off his arms and opened the cloth from over my eyes. The terrace looked spectacular in the dim moonlight fully decorated with flowers. Towards the middle, there was my favourite flavoured birthday cake. “Wow, this is amazing, everything looks so beautiful”, I whispered.  He held my hands in his and took me near the table. I cut the cake while he suddenly sat on his knees. I was wondering what lay in store now when he took out a pair of anklets from his pocket. He shifted my evening gown a bit upwards and gently slid the anklets to my legs.  He got up from his knees; and asked me for a dance.
            I felt special being his wife today. Every act of him was making me wonder about the plans he had made just for me. He held my hands moving it to his shoulders, while on the contrary, he held me from my waist firmly as we moved slowly to the soft romantic music running in the walkway. He made me lean more onto himself and kissed me on my forehead lightly. His hands touched my cheeks and he brought his lips closer to mine and kissed me lightly.
He once again held me in his arms and took me to the bed on the other side of the balcony. Everything happened flawlessly, without even a sound, between us. He kissed me on my forehead and wished me a very happy birthday once again. He kissed me and whispered, “You are the best thing that ever happened to me and I am glad that you have been my love, my life partner in my life, I have always loved you Shona; although I had never been able to show it to you; but I promise to continue loving you forever.” I responded, “I love you too Yash; and you don’t need to show me anything, I know you love me too; thank you so much, I loved this surprise.” He embraced me making me melt in those strong arms. We made love that night as if there was no tomorrow and slept in each other’s arm.
            Morning approached, the light glow of the sun woke me up. Yash had still been sleeping peacefully and I kissed his forehead lightly asking him to wake up but he didn’t move to my touch. I held his hand once again whispering “Good morning!” but he didn’t respond. I was getting tensed, his body was cold as water and he wasn’t responding; he was just lying on the bed motionless. Tears started popping up from my eyes thinking what could be wrong when my eyes came across a letter addressed, “To my baby…” near his pillow. With trembling hands, I picked up the letter and opened it-

            I know this letter may come as a shock to you. I would be no more in your life by the time you read his letter. I know this is dreadful but this is what fate had in store for us. I have been suffering from leukaemia and it was heart throbbing for me too when I came to know about this a month ago; I knew I would not be there by your side forever; so I wanted to make you feel special on your birthday. I had always hurt you; I know I had always neglected your desires and the love and care you always showered on me; but I didn’t want to hurt you more by giving you this news. So,  I didn’t disclose it to you, am sorry baby; but trust me, I had always loved you; you had been my world and you’d forever be; and every time you need me, you’ll just find me close to you, I promise. I hope you liked the surprise; this was the least I could do to thank you for being in my life and also to plead forgiveness for all my tantrums. Please don’t cry and be happy sweetheart. Goodbye baby. I love you!

Tears started flowing off from my eyes while I finished reading the letter. I shook his cold body and cried my heart out. “How he could do this? How he could leave me like this?” I sobbed but I apprehended that he had done all for me because he knew he won’t be there next time. “I have always loved you Yash, and I’ll keep doing that always, I promise”, I whispered and cried loudly… “Life had taken away my love, my life from me and there was nothing else left in it…” :(


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