Today, he returned home early but my plan was perfect. I was breathing heavily when I looked at the entry notification pop-up on the society security app. Can we ever surprise each other, with these app notifications we always know what’s coming, I wondered. It usually takes him 12 minutes to reach home from the first app notification. I had 10 minutes to wind up the mess around me. My secret.
I looked around at the mess in the room and could feel a little panic rise to my throat. I had been planning this for months, I could not let it go wrong at the very last minute because he turns up early. I quickly begin to rearrange things as if nothing has happened here. Picking up the paper knife and the pair of the scissors I noticed that some red spots have taken refuge on my t-shirt. This would sure raise some suspicions, thinking I ran towards my wardrobe to pull the first piece of clothing from the stack.
Running back to cleaning up, I quickly dumped the t-shirt, which had become a piece of evidence now, onto the top of my laundry basket behind the door. I looked up at the clock, 5 minutes left. I quickly mopped off the pool of red responsible for the change of my t-shirt. Pulling the bedsheet back in place and setting up the cushions and pillows back together ate up rest of the time. I quickly glanced around for any evidences of my doings here and shoved the pieces of the scattered documents into the darkness of the table drawer. As I closed the door of this room, I heard the hum of the elevator door close. Time was up.
I heard the lock at the door turn slightly but did not open since it was latched on the inside. He would have come home to plan a surprise for me. I had told him earlier in the morning that I was loaded with work and would only be able to come home by dinner. He did not know I had taken the day off instead. He was in for a surprise himself.
When the door did not unlock at the second time, he called me up and the phone vibrated in my hand.
“Honey, my key does not seem to be able to open the door. Did you lock it correctly when you left for the office this morning?”, he sounded concerned.
“Oh, sorry. One sec”, I walked towards the door, straightening up my clothes and fixing my hair bun as I reached for the door and unlatched it.
“Oh, you’re home early!” he said. His tone was a mix of surprise and disappointment and I could see why. He was not able to hide the bouquet and the brown box from me, which gave an impression of a cake for sure, when I was standing right in front of him.
Clueless what to do with it, he handed it over to me saying, “Well, I was planning to surprise you…”
“No worries, I will still act surprised. C’mon get changed into something nice. I have to tell you something”, I said.
Little did he know what was waiting for him in the other room.
Few minutes later, he came out of the bedroom holding my red-stained t-shirt in his hand.
“What happened here?” he sounded concerned, worry written all over his face.
“I can explain,” I said sheepishly.
He didn’t wait for my answer, and took my hands in his and searched for any signs of wound.
And, that was it, I could not hold it any longer. It was time to unveil my secret. I burst into laughter.
“This isn’t funny,” his voice was grim.
“Okay, Okay. I am going to tell you everything that happened. But first, will you open this door?” I pointed towards the door of the other room.
He quietly did what he was told to.
He turned the knob to open the door and was taken aback. His mouth fell open and eyes couldn’t decide what they saw.
“Happy 5th Anniversary, my love”, I whispered from behind. It took him few moments to take in the sight of the table set for two, with wine some balloons floating around randomly. I could see as he walked slowly towards it his eyes zoomed in on the board standing behind the table. The map of the itinerary drawn to the perfect details with all places marked with a red brush stroke.
“Yes, we are going to Europe.” I smiled. My plan executed to the perfection.
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