“Long Live My Wife!”

 “Long live my Wife!”             

It was raining outside. An old man was sitting on the chair near the window of his bedroom. He wanted to go outside the home but heavy rain and thunderstorm made him stay in his warm room. It was a cold evening of December. He could feel silence all around him. He remained in that situation for hours. Finally the rain stopped. He became so happy. He took a shower and got ready to go out. He left home for market to buy gifts for his wife as that was their 52nd wedding anniversary. He wanted to provide her every possible facility of the world. This was his love for her that he used to buy a gift on their every wedding anniversary. This time he decided to buy a lot of gifts for her wife as he had planned to make her happier than ever before. He had realized that no one could replace the love of a wife. After driving for 45 minutes, he finally reached the market. Though slow, still it was raining outside. He remained sitting in the car for some time and then came out. Suddenly he realized that he had forgotten to bring his coat with him. He could go back home but the love of her wife made him leave the car without any jacket or coat. He was completely drenched when he entered into a jeweler’s shop. At that moment he was shivering with cold but his heart was filled with joy when he suddenly saw a beautiful set of ear rings the same that once his wife had but was lost during packing when they shifted into another house. He knew that those ear rings were favourite of his wife. He was so excited that he completely forgot about cold weather and asked the shopkeeper to pack it immediately.

The shopkeeper suddenly said,” May I ask one thing sir?’’

’’ Yes, sure please ask.’’

“Why are you consistently smiling with tears in your eyes while looking at these ear rings.’’

’’ This is not just a set of ear rings. It is a guarantee to bring smile on the face of my beloved wife. I do not want to waste even a single chance to make my wife happy.

The shopkeeper smiled and handed over that set of ear rings to him

’’ Thank you so much. ‘’

’’ Sir! You are welcome. You can wait in the shop until the rain stops. You are not wearing any warm coat. ‘’

’’ Today is my wedding anniversary. I have to reach home as soon as possible. How could I make my wife wait for me for so long? ‘’

The shopkeeper was speechless. The rain had almost stopped but the weather was very cold. The old man left the shop with a strange smile.

When he entered the car, a little boy holding beautiful fresh flowers came near his car. The old man became happy and asked the little boy to make a bouquet of white flowers. This took him 51 years back when his wife told him at their first wedding anniversary that she liked white flowers the most. The little boy gave him a bouquet and went away wishing a happy life to old man and his wife. The old man kept staring at him until the boy disappeared.

He put his head on the seat and recalled all his memories that were linked with white flowers. At that time he wanted to think of nothing but about his married life. He kept on smiling while remembering all the events that he had enjoyed with his wife. He remembered a lot of fights between him and his wife. He recalled how many times and in how many ways he had arranged surprise birthday parties for her. He realized how his life changed when she entered into his life. He thought about initial days of their marriage when they had to face financial issues but his wife stood with him to motivate and encourage him. He realized how much the presence of a life partner is important especially in old age. He left in a hypnotized state of mind. He remained in that state for almost fifteen minutes. Suddenly his phone rang. He became happy to see the name of his son who was living in America. He remembered how many times his wife had asked their son to come back and live with them.

 “Hello my dear son.’’

‘’ Hello how are you doing, daddy’’

 ‘’I am good. How is everything on your side.’’

 ‘’Everything is good.’’

 ‘’We miss you my dear son.’’

 “We ? “

‘’Yes my dear son, of course me and you mother’’

There was a long silence on the other side of the phone. The phone was disconnected.

After this he took a long breath and started the car to go back home. On the way back home he was constantly thinking about his wife. He regretted all the decisions that had hurt his wife. He had decided not to fight ever again with his wife. He kept moving without realizing how exactly he was feeling at this point. His mind was full of thoughts but still he was unable to express his feelings. The only thing he wanted to think about was his wife and her happiness. He wanted to make that wedding anniversary memorable.  He did not want to think about any other thing. He remembered regretfully that he and his wife could not celebrate their 51st wedding anniversary together as he had to go somewhere immediately. On that day he bought a cake and flowers for his wife. He remembered with sorrow that when he was on the way back home, he suddenly received a call from his friend who told him that there was some emergency. He called his wife to inform her about the entire situation.

 “Hello when are you coming back? I am waiting for you.’’

” I am sorry I cannot come because I have to go somewhere. My friend is in trouble.  Do not worry; we will celebrate our next wedding anniversary together. “

 “What if I die before our next wedding anniversary?”

 “I assure you I will die before you. Nothing can happen to you until we are together.”

His wife smile and allowed him to go.

 Amid all such thoughts, he suddenly remembered that he had to pick her wife’s dress from the tailor’s shop. He brought this unstitched dress one week back. He asked the tailor to stitch it before their wedding anniversary.  In the meantime, he became anxious as it was dark outside. All the shops were about to close down. He started driving fast as he wanted to reach the tailor’s shop as soon as possible. After reaching near the plaza in which that small tailor shop was located, he parked his car in the nearby parking area. He opened the door and got out of the car. He started taking long steps with shivering legs and hands.

 Finally he entered into the shop and asked anxiously,’’ Is the dress of my wife ready?’’

The tailor inquired with amazement,’’ Why are you looking so anxious? Is everything ok?’’

’’ I am just worried about the dress as today is my wedding anniversary and I want to give my wife this dress as gift. ‘’

 ‘’O wow congratulations, may both of you live a long happy life. The dress is ready. “

The old man took a long breath and asked the tailor to hand him over that dress immediately.

The tailor put the dress into a shopping bag and gave it to the old man.

’’ It has been almost four months since your wife came here last time. Is she alright?’’

’’ Obviously she is alright. What can happen to her? Now she prefers to stay at home. Don’t ask stupid questions and concentrate on your work.’’

’’ I am sorry if you have minded it. I wish you a happy and prosperous married life.’’

Then the old man left the shop and got into his car. He started driving and thinking that his wife would be feeling alone so he must reach home at the earliest. After driving for five minutes he realized that he had forgotten to buy a matching dupatta of that dress. He turned the car toward the shop to buy a new matching dupatta. He entered into the shop and asked the shopkeeper for a matching dupatta. The shopkeeper showed him three dupattas that could be matched with that dress. He old man told him that his wife was always concerned about colour matching. She would not like the dress if there would be colour matching issues.

’’ Do not worry; I am expert at color matching,’’ said the shopkeeper.

He showed many matching dupattas to the old man but he could not select any.

The shopkeeper asked the old man to call his wife for help.

The old man dialed the number of her wife. The bell rang but the call was not received. After dialing her number three to four times, he decided to select the colour himself.

’’ I put her phone on charging in the morning. I am sure the phone would still be there. He further said,’’ My wife is very careless. Sometimes I keep calling her but she never receives the call. I am sure she would apologize to me when I reach home. I will not take a minute to forgive him as she is very dear to me.’’

The shopkeeper smiled and wished him a happy married life. The old man looked at him with a smile but said nothing.

 The old man took almost thirty minutes to select a beautiful matching dupatta. Paying the bill he left the shop.

When he was about to get into the car, one of his friends appeared along with his wife. His friend introduced the old man to his wife and asked him for a cup of coffee. The old man refused the offer by saying that he could not stay there even for a minute as it was his wedding anniversary and he was already getting late. He said goodbye to both of them and started driving fast. The friend of that old man kept looking at him while he was going with tears in his eyes.

When his wife saw tears in his eyes she asked anxiously, ‘’Why are you weeping and why you didn’t congratulate him as it was their wedding anniversary.’’

“Poor man’s wife died five months ago,” said he.

Author: Annie Aman

I am a psychologist and writer.

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