Please play the music before you start reading the story.
The moon enveloped the sky with its light and cast a spotlight through the window into the house. The couple swayed to the music under the natural spotlight. Immersed in each other’s arms, they were oblivious to the world. The song played softly in the background.
Inhaling her intoxicating breaths, Ravi whispered “Happy anniversary, my love!”
“Happy anniversary!” Aadhira replied with a Duchenne smile.
“Do you remember the day we met for the first time?” He asked.
“Of course, How can I forget?” She answered.
“I remember you were wearing a light green colored sari. Do you know ever since light green became my favorite color?” He confessed.
“As if I don’t know”. She blushed.
“Do you know that I still am crazy about your dimple? And I love how you turn scarlet every time I hug you.” He teased her.
Adhira turned scarlet in response.
“Yes… like that.” He held her chin and pulled her face higher.
“Umm.. so what were you saying? About our first meeting?”
“That you looked heavenly that day.” He sounded nostalgic.
“Stop it … ” She laughed.
“You look gorgeous when you blush.” He smiled and pulled her closer.
“Ok. So what next?” She asked plopping on the red couch, matching her dress.
“Nothing.” He replied
“We eat out? Or we order food.” As if on cue her stomach growled.
“No.” He answered in a monosyllable.
“What do you mean?” She asked again.
“That we do nothing.. let’s just dance..” He answered, looking thoughtful.
“Till forever..”, he replied. “Did you enjoy the wine?” He added.
“Let’s have some more.” He poured some wine into her glass.
She took the glass and started sipping the wine.
“So what did the doctor say?” She questioned.
He looked outside, trying to find the right words. He hoped he didn’t have to utter those words but he knew that he had to. She needed to know, she had every right to know.
“That you are dying”, his voice trembled.
“What .. what do you..” She stammered.
“That you are terminally ill, and you have no more than a month to live.” He spoke in one breath, trying to make it less painful for both of them.
“But… but…’’ She struggled to find the right words.
“Are you joking?” she finally asked trying to make sense of it all.
“No. I’m not.” He looked down, fighting his tears.
They held each other’s hands and allowed the tears to flow. After a few minutes, she wiped her tears. Hoping he had an answer, she asked, “what do we do?”
“Nothing. Just drink wine and dance with me.” He looked at her with a longing she has never felt before.
She looked at her glass and she realized that it was laced with… She knew that he loved her more than anything, more than his own life. This dance was going to be their last dance.
She chugged the wine. He got up and offered his hand.
She took it gently and got up. She rested her face on his chest. For one last time, they danced together.
The song had stopped so he hummed “Come away with me” while she whispered ‘I’m safe there in your arms’.
The spotlight faded as the moon eclipsed.
(c) 2018 Priya U Bajpai
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