Thursday, December 30, 2010


It was during Christmas. No, actually some days before Christmas. Edna woke me up with a ring.

“Hey beautiful, Merry Christmas in advance” I answered with dreamy eyes.
 “Hi, handsome, how was your night?” she asked.
“Mine was wonderful, I saw you in my dreams,” I was just about to dive into the actual lines of Brad Paisley’s song when she cut me short. Normally, she would have let me finish the first lines.

“Please can we see later today, it’s urgent,” she said.
“You missed me that much, didn’t ya?” I teased. She laughed cautiously.
“You can say that. But, please… this is very urgent,” she said. Was that a shudder in her voice?
“Hey, but I thought we agreed to meet tomorrow?” I asked confusedly.
“Sorry, plans have changed, this is about something else,” she replied. If there was one thing I have not learnt yet, it was refusing Edna’s requests.
“Oky doki, aboki. Your wish is not necessarily my command. But you know I would do anything for you,” I said matter-of-factly.

“Yes I do,” she replied, seriously. She always said that with a chuckle. And my thoughts went into speed mode. That sounded really good. I could only visualize one thing. I remembered father’s words. “No ‘buts’. Be decisive. Still, think it through. Pick your favourite spot. Or better still, give her a surprise. But make sure you do it right. Seize the moment and make her yours. Take a chance," father had told me.
Was that ‘right’ moment presenting itself now?

“Em, it better be good, with you interrupting a beautiful dream and disrupting my schedule today,” I replied with a hesitant chuckle.

It was like the phone went dead. But I could still hear her breathing, anxiously.

“Hey, what’s the matter baby? You know you can always talk to me…” Before I finished, the taps opened at the other end. Edna is never one to cry out loud. But I could hear the hurt in her tears as she dabbed it from her cheeks and sniffed repeatedly. Many times in the past, I have been a shoulder for her to lean on. “Though my shoulders are not so muscular and broad, it would always be here for you to lean on,” she often teased me with that.
“I can’t talk about it on the phone,” she managed to say after she calmed down.

Six hours later, we were together at our favourite hang-out. This was where I ‘officially’ asked her out. Maybe this was our ‘it’ moment. I got there before her just to make sure I saw her come through the doors. She did minutes after I got there, looking all resplendent and as beautiful as ever. Yet, I could feel something was missing. Her smile from afar when she saw me was plastic. On a closer look, there were traces of uncertainty in her eyes. It was so unlike Edna.

“I’ve missed you,” I said as we hugged. The last time we saw was a week ago as she had to travel on official duty. She melted into my arms and held me tightly for a while longer. I could feel her heartbeat. Tensed. Rapid. It was not in sync with mine. Brace yourself, I whispered to Me.  When we eventually sat down, after like ages in each other’s arms, I handed her an early Christmas gift. It was enclosed in a wrap decorated with the love emblem. She hugged me again.

"Thank you so much, dear," she said with a pool of tears welling in her eyes. Just when I was wondering why the emotions were running high, she unveiled a rude Christmas surprise I never wished for.

Approximately ten minutes later, a few days before last Christmas, Edna and I became history.


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