Birthdays have always meant the world to her. Her jubilant nature sprouted the best on that day of the year. Her smile made people’s day and her advice made their life. She made life easy for others , although under the covers she was far from having a reason to be happy. It has been over 6 months now and her life was taking a topsy turvy curve. Particularly in the last two and a half months ,the circumstances turned a sassy and always so enthusiastic girl into a lost and heartless soul. She showered all her love on someone who didn’t even understand the depth of it and left her hanging saying he feels nothing. After few months of crying and being upset about it , she finally gave up on him. This person that he had turned into was far from whom she loved. The timing was just wrong , but the depth and the intensity of her affection were not. Sometimes, it’s important to let someone off the hook for them to realise your role in their life.

That night before her birthday she turned off all the phones and went to bed early. She didn’t want people wishing her a nice year ahead when she knew , it won’t be so without him around. As she hit the bed, she was reminded of all the things they had planned to do together on this day which made surviving this day by herself way way tougher than she could have ever imagined . She fooled herself into sleep meditating like every other night of last month. Her sleep was calm and all dark without no hint of dream. There was no dream she could think of dreaming now , as they were all lying on the floor shattered .

She fell asleep an hour back . The minute the clock hit 12 AM , there was a sharp knock on her door . Deep into her sleep , she didn’t hear it . The knock came again , doubling in number this time. Getting a little confused , she got up wondering who could it possibly be at such an hour. As she peeped through the window hole, she didn’t see anyone. She opened the door confused and saw something lying near her foot. There was a bouquet of her favourite violet black roses , a young beagle wrapped in white linens in a cute basket and the camera that she dreamt of having for last three years now. She knew who this was from. There was only person with whom she had shared all of this .She was all silent , not knowing how to react at all. She saw a little note on the bouquet that said , “ You know what the day is and you also the one behind all of this . Trust that love of yours , simply untie your hair , lock the door and come to the exact location where I always picked you up from .” Love is the only thing she trusted and she definitely trusted her love and the power of it. She locked the door from behind , untied her hair whilst walking and reached the same spot . He was there in his car waiting for her . She didn’t know how to react and her thoughts were all puzzled ! Why was he here tonight ? Did it finally dawn on him ? Or is he just trying to make me feel good on this day? Where are we up to? Are we going to his place ? Wouldn’t that be too awkward ? Should I let him go so easy ? Should I be mad at him for making me go through all of that for three months? Should I smile ? Should I beat the hell out of him ? Should I throw some tantrums ?

Amidst all this confusion , she saw his face and he smiled at her waving the door to his car open and the magic of his charm returned in a jiffy. She didn’t know how to react so she didn’t . As he throttled, the first thing he said was “ So the camera, the beagle and a late night trip in Pjs is off the bucket list , let’s see what else I can cut off from that list in the next 24 hours ! “

They both sat their silent , not knowing whether to start from where they left the last time or to start afresh . She decided to not think of anything , not spoil this moment of hers with negative uncanny thoughts and simply peeped out of the car . She let the fresh breeze hit her and take away all the pain that had surfaced on her soul over a period of three months. As the city lights went far behind , she asked him , “ Where are we upto?” .

“ You will know Akira, you will know very soon , just wait. Don’t be so impatient like always. You haven’t changed a bit “, he said looking her straight in the eyes. She hasn’t changed ? Well that was not so. Every aspect of her personality had reversed the minute he took off the last time . She buried herself deep within her heart . She was broken but she never showed it to the world. Those parts of her didn’t die, they were just hidden somewhere in her. After all , survival instincts. Tonight , she knew already that , lost Akira will return and it had already started . After an hour of just silence but loud thoughts , she fell asleep. She didn’t have to fool herself into sleeping . It felt like sleeping after months. It felt safe again . It felt complete again. His presence , the look in his eyes, the glance of his side look , the aura of his personality in a confined space together , the sound of his satisfying deep voice and the vicinity of his warm cuddly hands were like a lullaby to her recently lost soul. They all charmed her into feeling comfortable enough to doze off.

He suddenly stopped the car with a jerk . She woke up after a minute and found herself alone in the car that was on some sort of hill or upraised platform. Her heart thumped again. Was he gone again ? Was all that just a dream ? Where was she exactly ? Who put a blanket on her ? Whose car is this ? What time is it ? Because it felt like dawn but was still slightly dark . She jumped out of the car and scanned around to answer her own set of questions. She walked half a metre to find a small camping tent laid there . It said, “ Happy Birthday ! “ and he came out of it saying , “ Being good with words is not my thing, it’s yours. Thank you for being rude with me that evening when you finally took off . Else I wouldn’t have realised what I am losing on when you are not around . Giving up on you is like giving up on my future, losing my source of motivation, losing my own reflection of past and giving up on my long lost dreams that you revived again . I am not looking for an answer from you right now , all I am asking of you is to spend this one day with me and I will show you the intensity with which I love you . Because the most sensible person in my life deserves to be loved that way. Because you were the best thing that ever happened to me . And like you said on our very first date , no matter what you choose at the end of the day , I will be glad we have had this one day !”

Akira was back , she could feel it in her bones . The kid in her was back . The enthusiasm was pumping in her blood again after a long long time . This time she chose not to say anything and simply live in the moment .

“ Let the celebrations begin , my little cute bitch !” , she shouted jumping a feet from the ground . And he joined her and said , “ Let’s just hurry up doggy . Set your camera till I make a snuggling space for us to watch the sunrise and tick yet another thing on your bucket list . They both lay there in a blanket half in and half out of that camping tent and simply waited for the sun to dawn on them and this world . She was finally sitting there with him and her camera . She was so passionate about this moment that she totally forgot she was with him and was busy savouring and capturing the moment , while he was busy staring at her . He was hitched to her passion . Her passion made him fall in love her . He was hitched to her in the way she was to her passion . After satisfying her hunger for capturing that moment , she noticed him staring at her and turned towards him. There were drum rolls in the air . The beauty of a kiss is way more in the moment preceding it. And they were in that exact moment at that instant . They had kissed each other a thousand times before . But this time it was going to be different . She loved the idea of his lips on her . She craved for this feeling for months now . But this time she passed , they were in that exact position every time they were before kissing but instead she lightly punched him and pushed him away . She got up from the ground and started dancing !

I am 21! , she exclaimed and her voice echoed after her . He saw her there dancing and claiming his heart right there in the moment .

Next he got up and said , so my lady , will you be dressed in your Pjs all day !? “ I can rock anything I wear sir ! “ , she giggled .

“ Then why not my red t-shirt ? The one you wore the first time we were together at my old place coupled with the shorts you left at my apartment ! “ , he said taking both of them out of his backpack for the entire day .

She instantly snatched them from him and went into the tent to change . As she came out he had coffee in one and the copy of her book ‘Elusive Lover ‘ in the other hand . She had gifted it to him five months back .

“Let’s head towards our next destination while you read me that one chapter we discussed over phone four months back.” , he said wearing his all time favourite blue glares . She sat back in the car and pulled out her pair of glares that she left in his car, the last time they were together .

Early morning , messy hair , coffee and a book on a long drive with him covered almost everything that was ever on her list.