Dan woke up at 5.30 in the morning as the alarm rang, about half an hour earlier than his usual routine. He had things to do. After all today was special. He brushed and went straight to bake a chocolate cake. He had the recipe sheet for reference. He had practiced a few times in the past to perfect it. To him, it was important it came out perfectly today. She deserved the best.
While the cake was in the oven, he cleaned up his home. Set the table. He even decorated the place with colorful danglers and balloons. It was 7 am. The florist was expected to deliver the flowers. 7.05 he was restless. He wanted nothing to go wrong today. 7.10 his specially ordered basket of flowers arrived. So beautiful he thought. Just the kind she would trip for.
She would be up in half hour. He wanted to be around when she wakes up. He sat on her bed watching her. His woman. This was the person he lived with for the last five decades. Fifty years back he had married her on this day, her birthday. He got nostalgic…..
She had the art of making every occasion so special, be it his birthday , their anniversary or for that matter any important event. She made sure every small detail was taken care of at home. He never really had to bother. She was his most trusted companion making sure he does not miss out anything – from reminding him to greet people on occasions to carrying a pen along.
He, on the other hand, was too busy to notice this. His career was always on a progressive trend. With every new promotion, came loads of responsibilities. Over a period of time, everything she did became a routine for him. She would occasionally throw hints about the days he used to romance her with flowers and pastries. He also meant to surprise her sometime. But it never quite happened then. The busier he got, he found lesser time to hangout with her. Eventually he even started forgetting her birthday.
It was his time now. He loved her and he wanted her to know it. He had retired from work and looked forward to spending his days with his best friend…
She tossed around and woke up. She looked right into eyes and beyond. He helped her off the bed. He held her hand and took her around the house describing the decorations. He seated her in front of the table. He quickly brought the beautiful chocolate cake “Happy Birthday & Happy Anniversary” . He gave her the beautiful basket of red roses. ….She gave a blank look.
He read a poem he had written down for her. He held her hand again and helped her cut the cake. His heart was sinking. The blank look again. She could not recognise him. The doc had told him she was suffering from Alzheimers disease several months back.
He took a piece of cake to put into her mouth. Almost by instinct, she took the same and instead put it into his…… That moment he had tears in his eye. After all, all was not lost, he felt then. He would try again tomorrow!