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John had just entered his apartment to find the lights off. He had called Anna's name twice fearing what had happened when she had switched on the lights and hugged him tightly. She was looking astoundingly beautiful.
The living area was tastefully decorated....flowers...candles....a special dinner table laid.... He knew what it was for but was short of words.... Even today the meeting had not gone well and his hopes of recovery once again were low....
It was john and Anna's 5th marriage anniversary. What a time they had all those 5 years. They had met in their college and an affair which lasted for around 4 years had finally culminated into marriage. Both their families were loving and caring but John coming from an average background had always wanted to give Anna a beautiful life full of riches, sweet surprises, expensive gifts, foreign travels and all that was possible. He had even managed to do that in a short span of time.
Quitting his job in 2 years he had in a partnership started an export business. His luck favoured him and the hard work he put had resulted into a lot of success and wealth. All this while Anna was also busy setting up her interior design business and though not very flourishing she was happy to do something she always wanted to. John was happy to see her happy and had always extended his full support. Both of them had made a conscious decision to defer becoming parents and take it up only when they both were able to give it their best shot.
But life is not always a bed of roses and when it can take a sharp downward turn no one knows. John had been working day and night for this large foreign order when a change in Government ruling in that country had given him a big blow. His partnership broke and all that he had accumulated in those years went in settling that huge loan he had taken from the market.
His bungalow that was under construction... Fancy car....other assets....even some of Anna's jwellery....
All he was left with now was this small apartment, a small car and a little of Anna's jewellery which she was wearing. The up and low had come so fast and so hard that it had taken a toll on him. His confidence was on a all time low....was witnessing the worst phase of his life and struggling every day...meeting people to make a comeback but till date there was no breakthrough..... He had always taken Anna's business as just a thing of happiness for her and considered himself the main provider and doer but now it was her savings and earning that was running the show for them.
He who had planned the best of surprise parties for his wife....had gifted her gifts which people only dream off and had holidayed in the most adventurous destinations was today standing empty handed, that too on their anniversary, a day which was so special and Anna's favourite for all those years. Couldn't think of a gift that was suitable enough.... Didn't have the money to buy something really expensive....something that could match his previous gifts.
His thought process was broken by Anna who had started a soft music and was swaying to its tune. He could take no more....he said, "stop it Anna. Why pretend being happy and celebrating when you are not. I am sorry but I am no longer capable enough to give you a decent anniversary celebration. I can't stop remembering that huge party we had given last year, that vacation we had 2 years back in capetown, those pretty Solitaries I had got for you, and which are no more with you as you had to sell them for that goddam loan.....I can't..... I am sorry...
Anna had stopped the music. She came forward and while holding John's hands in hers and looking in his sad eyes said, " John, I am not pretending to be happy. I am happy. All this celebration is for real and more than our anniversary I wanted to celebrate us. Celebrate our togetherness in this bad phase of our life. So what that today the tide is against us, why are you forgetting the good times we had. You have treated me like a queen, given me a fairytale life and I am the luckiest woman on this earth to have you as my husband. I know it will pass and I believe in you. You will make it happen soon, just a matter of time."
If I can walk on a bed of roses with you why can't I get pricked with a few thorns. It was not your mistake. Only the people who dream and attemp fail and rise again. It's a part of life. I know each day is difficult to pass but you have me and I have you. What else do we need? In fact this is the best anniversary we could have. Just you and me. Believe me you will remember this one for ever, because may be there are no people, no expensive decorations and gifts but there is love that we both have for each other and the will to stand by each other in any and every situation. "
So come leave that melancholic look and see what I have made for your. Our favourite Italian food.
John had by now realised that he had underestimated Anna by all means. He was lucky to have a wife like her who was happy with him even in this bad time and was extending her full love and support. Its value was way above any material thing or gifts. She will not breaking and not let him break. Indeed it was their best anniversary as may be a lot was gone but all that mattered now was only love and no one could take that away from them.
This write up is inspired by the true love I get to see in many couples. It's strength is such that it never let's one quit in even the worst of phases. Such people are good examples for even their children. Life is full of challenges and struggles and it is this love and camraderie between two people which makes them sail through. Not all but some definitely do that. I have always believed that love has to be a mutual feeling and people who truly love each other enjoy good times together but stand by each other in bad times as well and even destiny has to turn its decisions in favour of such people.