We got married 2 years back. My parents chose my husband for me and I’ve no regrets. We were staying in Pune away from our families. Everything was going smooth and we were a happy couple.

One day, my husband unfolds that he got a job offer in Mumbai and he is very excited about the same. The company is paying him well along with the accommodation.

He left the decision to me whether I want to stay back, work in Pune till I find a new job in Mumbai and meet him on weekends only or I want to quit the present job and be with him in Mumbai and then search for a better option. I plump for the 1st option.

Though it was strenuous, I was dealing with it well. I used to eagerly wait for weekends. Days passed, weeks passed, 2 months passed.

One Friday, as usual, I called up my husband, but he didn’t answer my call. I tried calling him many times in 2 hours, but there was no response. I distraught and had no clue what to do. I awaited his call, but he didn’t call me back.

After 3 hours he dropped me a message “Hi, I am busy and won’t be able to make it this weekend”. This sudden change in behaviour I could not swallow.

He was never like that. He always would call me, keep me updated and would never skip a single weekend.

It was around 8 at night. I was kind of apprehensive. I called up one of his close friends.

“Hi Sushant, This is Avni this side”. I pretended to be normal, but I couldn’t.

“Yes Avni, how are you doing?” his tone was a little unsteady.

“Where is Raghav?” I asked him straight. “He is in a meeting.” He responded quickly.

“Are you sure, Shushant?” I asked in an unbending tone.

“Sorry Avni, I lied. I was about to call you. I want you to come over to Mumbai now. It’s a 3 hours drive and my wife Shalini is in Pune right now. You can come along with her”. He replied after a pause.

I was perturbed. “What happened? Is Raghav alright?” I questioned.

“Raghav is cheating upon you. He is in his flat. I want you to confront him. She stays with him. I am sorry Avni. I should have told you long back but I couldn’t gather that courage. Please come”.

I couldn’t say a word and disconnected the call.

“Raghav is cheating upon me” I kept repeating those words. I couldn’t believe my ears. Before I could act or react the doorbell rang. I rushed towards the door, hoping it to be a prank.

I opened the door and Shalini was there.

“Let’s go now.” she said.

I was numb. She helped me locked the door. “Shalini, Raghav cannot do this. I can’t doubt him. I am not going anywhere”. I said with tearful eyes.

“Sit in the car and let’s check by ourselves. “ She ordered.

For the next 3 hours, she drove continuously. There was silence yet I could hear something. That something was “echo of the past”.

All the memories flashed at once. 2 years, no, 2 beautiful years, couldn’t banish from my head.

Ours was an arranged marriage yet he loved me so much. He pampered me, cared for me, fought with me and then loved me even more and vice versa. Ours was a happy family. We were content and very much in love but then what made him leave me and be disloyal. I felt wrenched and his thoughts inflamed my feelings.  I wasn’t sure of my reaction after seeing them together. I wept continuously. Shalini didn’t say a word. She drove quietly, not disturbing my thoughts.

Finally, we reached his house. I had the duplicate keys of his flat. I never came to see his flat before and never thought would come this way. I was hesitant in entering his flat. It was 11.50 at night.

Shalini said,” Unlock the door”.

I unlatched the door and we both stepped inside. Shalini closed the door. It was dark. Not a single light was on.  I walked a few steps when I tripped and fell upon someone. I screamed.

Lights on and all I could hear was “ Suprizeeeee”.

I fell on Raghav.

“Happy Birthday Sweetheart. I love you” and he kissed my forehead.  It took fractions of seconds for me to come back to my senses.

I turned my head and saw our parents were standing with a big smile on their faces and next to them were our friends.

I hugged him tightly. I didn’t know how to react.I wanted to kiss him for such a lovely surprise and at the same time, I wanted to fight with him for making me cry so much. Happy tears covered my face.

Shalini and Sushant smiled and said Sorry.

“Sorry Avni, Your husband is a big prankster, but he wanted to make it memorable. He loves you a lot”, Shalini smiled.

That evening I was so disturbed that I forgot my birthday.

Nonetheless, it was my best birthday ever. That night didn’t just leave few memories, but it changed my life completely. I love my husband even more now. My parents made the right choice. I feel truly blessed.

I have grown up reading fairy tales, but I am lucky to live one.