Life has changed for me. I never realized it. Moonlight walk changed into late night strategy workshops.

Candlelight dinner turned into business meetings. Sweet and short phone calls from her transformed into long hour teleconferences. Gifts were no more priority now – there should be some tangible returns whatever we invest, after all. Spending even 5 dollars on the bouquet for Valentine’s Day seemed meaningless. (You would lose at least half an hour searching for a parking space in the downtown.)

There was no respite from the hectic office and future planning. Sometimes, she manages, in a very mild attempt, to express her feelings. I always have a pre-defined answer, “these all are for us only, darling” and she would be quiet for another month or so.

Recently I had to go to Holland on a business trip for a week. I was working on an important assignment. I didn’t have even five minutes to talk to my parents who travelled more than fifteen hundred miles to meet us. I called her to inform that I had to leave that evening. It was not new to her. It happened many times. It has become second nature to her. I found her standing at the door smiling, with my suitcase parked with all the necessary stuff.

I checked in to Crown Inn in Eindhoven. It was 3 PM. I wanted to rehearse my presentation before I meet senior management. I was sure that she would have kept in the file. In the past, she never missed what I needed, never ever. I opened my leather cased Samsonite and the file was not there!!! I took out or rather threw clothes one by one on the cozy floor of Crown Inn.

“Here it is” phewwww… what a relief”, I sighed. I knew she never missed even my minute taste and never-ending petty demands. And I had repeated over time how important this file was.

I opened the file. There was a pink envelope, something like what we used to exchange, a long time ago, before our marriage. Those days, love was not expressed on the internet. It had been more than twelve years.

I opened the envelope. It had our family photo, with her and our two little ones. We all were smiling. There was a pink greeting card with a red heart printed on it. Inside the card, it read, “Miss you my dear teddy bear.”

On my return flight, I purchased something for her at the Schiphol airport. It was the first time in years that I purchased something for her… a pair of diamond earrings. I was missing her, as never before.

SUBMITTED BY DIEHEXE

Categories: fiction

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