The incessant ringing of the phone broke my reverie. With an eye still on the final figures in front of me, I lifted the phone.
"Hello! Mansi here. I am quite busy right now. Could you call back later please?"
"I certainly could but won't. What's more, I want you to wind up your work right now and be here at the clinic within an hour."
"But Doctor what could be so important? I am working against a deadline and I am afraid I really can't make it right now. Could it not wait for a day or two?"
"No Mansi! It has to be today and now. I have called your Mom and she will be at the office to pick you up."
"Is it that important?"
"That and more."
Something in Dr. Shah's voice silenced any further protests. I wearily rang for my secretary Nina. I instructed her to hold the fort for an hour or so and redirect any important calls to my mobile, while I just ran an errand. Despite Dr. Shah's instructions I had no intention of taking the day off. Surely it could not be anything that could not be taken care of in an hour or two. Slipping on my shoes I went to the lift. If I knew my Mom, she would already be waiting in the visitor's lounge. And she was. The sight of my mother looking as comforting as ever reassured me. Till I came near enough to see her face. The desperation writ all over her face was beyond anything I had ever seen in my life.
Fear grabbed my stomach and I could literally feel it churning. If Mom was looking so despondent, something was wrong, seriously wrong. Surely, she wasn't sick. But then what else could it be.
'Oh God no', I silently prayed. 'Don't let anything go wrong now. Not, when I am just about to get married.'
My father having died, days after I had been born, Mom had been the only comforting figure in my life.
"Mom!" I asked with a sinking feeling in my stomach. "What is it?"
"Oh darling! Remember the routine mammography you got done last week. It's positive. I really don't know how to tell you this, but according to the reports, you have cancer, breast cancer."
Relief hit me. Nothing was wrong with Mom. As for myself, I was sure that was some mix up. I had never been sick a single day of my life. And Cancer? Why, it was something that happened to other people. It couldn't happen to me. And wasn't it something that only happened to woman above 40? I was only 25. There must be a mistake. There had to be. I really couldn't have cancer. None of the facts matched.
"Mom, there must be a mistake." I said with more conviction than I felt. " I can't have cancer. I am just not in the risk zone. Let's go and get the mess sorted out."
The drive to the clinic, though just fifteen minutes, seemed to take an aeon. The air was fraught with tension and unspoken fear. Yes, though I had shaken off the entire thing as a mistake the weight in my heart was refusing to go away. As the pristine building housing the clinic of Dr. Shah came into the horizon, I suddenly clutched my mother's hand and pleaded like a kid. "Tell me Mom. Tell me it's nothing. Tell me, I will be okay. That I don't have c.c..cancer" I fell into her arms sobbing wildly. I was just a little kid all over wanting my mother to kiss away my wounds as she had always done. But this wound was far too big to be just kissed away.
My mother held me tightly in her arms and did the best thing she could. She let me cry. When the storm was showing signs of abating, she handed me a clean hanky and said "Now, wipe your face. Let's go and get it over and done with."
As I entered the clinic I saw that Dr. Shah was waiting for me in her reception room. And one look at my face told her everything she needed to know.
"So you know" were her only words.
"I know and I think there must have been a mistake."
"Well it isn't the case. And I personally feel that you had better start getting used to the idea. Running away from things won't help you. I am really sorry about this Mansi. I know you have got your entire life before you. But the fact is that you have cancer and no amount of running away or hiding is going to change that. It is nothing that can't be dealt with. You have excellent chances of full recovery. The survival rate in this type of cases is very high. I suggest that we start with the treatment as soon as possible. I can schedule you for an aspiration in a few days. It is a procedure in which a needle is inserted in the breast and fluid and tissue are taken from the lump. Based on the results we can decide on further course of treatment."
I was too numb to think of anything. Too numb o feel anything. My entire world was crashing around my feet. Suddenly it all felt too real to me. I had cancer. CANCER. It was a killer. It was true that I had high survival rate but then I hadn't been in the high risk zone either. I felt as if my entire life was over. Suddenly I was no longer Mansi Shankar, the high flying exec but a cancer victim whose existence itself was in doubt.
I walked out of the clinic like a zombie after promising the doctor that I would be present for the aspiration or whatever it was called the next day. My immediate thoughts were elsewhere. I had to call Saahil. Our marriage had to be stopped. I could no longer marry him knowing that I had cancer.
As I thought of him, I recalled the day we met nearly six years ago. I had just joined a preparatory class for MBA entrance. The class was located in a suburb nearly half an hour away from where I lived. This entailed travelling by the local trains. Having studied all my life in the suburb where I lived and my social life being almost extinct I was among the rare species in Mumbai, who hadn't set foot in a train till the age of nineteen. In fact, I had joined the class only after my best friend assured me that she too, would be joining the class and so I won't be alone.
The memory of that day is as vivid in my mind as though it had happened just yesterday. My buddy stood me up for the first time. Though I was practically fuming with rage, friend or no friend I had go. I couldn't chicken out now. Telling myself, it was all so simple, I climbed the footbridge. The 5:13 train which was always late arrived on time and when I was still on the footbridge. Seeing the train I rushed pell-mell, but couldn't outrun the train, which began pulling away just as I reached the platform. The little bit of commonsense that I possessed flew out of my mind and I grabbed hold of the handle of the train, propelled myself in and landed in an undignified heap on the floor.. on top of a well dressed guy. He was as taken aback as me. Murmuring an embarrassed apology I got up and went to a seat away from the unfortunate person I had literally felled.
I studiously kept my head bowed and tried to look anywhere but at him. But my heart had a different plan altogether. Try as I might they kept straying back to him. It wasn't that he was great looking either, I decided. His face wasn't one that could be called exactly handsome in the true sense of the word. But his face held something that drew me to him inspite of myself. His deep brown eyes looked very intelligent. His entire demeanor was that of a person who liked to be in command, one who was used to being in charge. But at the same time, I knew he would be soft and caring. I don't know how I managed to reach at this conclusion by just looking at him, but deep down in my heart I just knew. The object of my perusal decided to look up at just this moment and caught me ogling at him. A dark flush crept into my cheeks and I started looking out of the window as though it were the most interesting thing.
The train had pulled into a station and the seat beside me emptied.
The guy started moving near and seated himself beside me.
"Hi! You are Mansi Shankar, aren't you? Let me introduce myself. I am Saahil. Saahil Saxena."
"Yes! Hi! But how?"
"How What? How am I Saahil Saxena? Or how do I know you?"
"No! Yes! I mean Yes, how do you know me?"
"I was in the office when you came to pay the fees."
"You couldn't have. I mean I didn't see you. I would have remembered."
" Thanks. I was in the inner cabin. You see I am a partner in the enterprise."
"But you are so young."
"I will take that as a compliment. Actually, my Dad started it years ago. I used to pitch in a little bit now and then during my holidays or vacations. Just a little bit of office stuff, nothing more. And then last year, a lecturer suddenly had to leave and no one could be found at such a short notice. I had just been accepted by a prestigious institute and was at a loose end and so decided to pitch in for a while. Having always loved Math, it was a piece of cake. Then, I realized that I loved what I was doing and the rest as they say is history. The day you came, I officially became a partner."
"Do you still teach or confine yourself to the administrative stuff?"
"No, teaching is and will be my first love. In fact if I am right, your class is scheduled for my lecture today. You are in AM5, right?"
I nodded mutely, both astonished and pleased that he knew so much about me.
And that day I really and truly fell in love. Not only with him but with everything about him. The way he taught, the easy way he had with people, the tiny frown that creased his forehead when he was thinking hard and best of all his brilliant smile that light up his eyes gorgeously.
We met regularly after that. Both on-lecture and off-lecture. I used to call him up for clearing up the smallest doubt and spend the next half an hour chatting about any thing but. And he would call me, if I remained absent even for a single day and again would again spend half an hour chatting. It was amazing how we never ran out of things to talk about. My Mom often teased me that the institute certainly lived up to its promise of providing 'personalized' service.
Then I had a stroke of luck. I was accepted in the same college in which he was studying. I told myself that it was meant to be. And it certainly seemed that way. After that there was no stopping us. We were practically together all the time. I spent most of the day with him and the rest thinking about him.
I came back to earth with a crash on hearing the honk of the cars behind us. We were caught in a traffic jam. I gazed unseeingly out of the window. My life had been jerked from right under my feet.
A week ago I was looking forward with anticipation to my wedding scheduled six months later. But that would not happen now. I could not burden him with my worries. He deserved much more than I could give him. He needed an entire person not an effigy in the name of a human being.
As soon as I reached home, I would call him and let him know. And the rest as they say would be history. A hysterical laughter escaped my lips my lips, as I reflected that in a few months, I myself could be history. It's all very well to talk objectively about death when it's a distant prospect. But looking death in the face and knowing it could embrace you any time is a damn scary feeling. I clamped my lips together fighting back tears. I could not cry now. I would not, I told myself fiercely. I had to be strong, for Mum's sake. She had to think that I was taking it well. I reclined the passenger seat and pretended to be napping. I don't think I fooled any one.
Though I had no second thoughts about my decision of not marrying Saahil, I still could not muster enough courage to lift the phone and call him. May be a part of me wanted to deny the reality, wanted to live in the delusion that nothing had changed. That I was the same carefree young girl of the morning whose greatest worry had been which color to choose for her wedding sari. But the bitter truth was that, that girl no longer existed. She had died a quick death upon receiving the ill-fated phone call. The crux of my life now was to fight for my life. To vanquish this faceless enemy called CANCER.
I kept putting off the phone call for a few days. Every day I woke up with the resolve that I would do IT today. But every day I went to bed thinking up the reasons, I positively could not tell him that day. Thankfully, Saahil was too busy tying up some business matters to notice anything wrong. For past few days, I managed to avoid going out with him.
In the end I decided that a matter of such stupendous magnitude could not and should not be handled on the phone. A phone is such an impersonal device. It does not allow you to see the opposite person and gauge his reaction. So I decided to call Saahil and ask him to meet me today at my place. I would meet him and if necessary fight him in my territory.
With renewed vigor I picked up the phone and called his direct number. As I knew it would, the phone was picked up on the second ring itself.
"Hello Saahil, it's me, Mansi"
"Hi beautiful! What's happened to make the sunshine disappear from your voice? "
I was taken aback for a moment and wondered if it was apparent even in my voice. For the first time in my life I hated Saahil for his perceptiveness.
"No, it's nothing. I was just wondering if you could meet me today. My place. I have to discuss something terribly important with you."
"Mansi, is something wrong?"
"Just come" was all I could manage before breaking into sobs right in the phone.
Though disgusted with my behavior, I simply couldn't seem to stop. It was as if a veritable dam had burst. To say that my outburst shook my fianc'e would be an understatement.
"Just hang on" he said "I will be there in ten minutes flat. Every thing will be okay "
"There's no hurry. Evening's soon enough"
"I will there in ten minutes" was his reply.
'There' I thought, 'I have really and truly botched up my chance of even being prepared. And how the hell am I going to go through the entire trauma, if I can't even think or talk about it without breaking into tears. Why, I was behaving like a teary-eyed teenager, not a mature twenty-four year old that I prided myself of being'
And then I did what any girl in a muddle will do. I rushed in the kitchen.
"Mom, I need you. Pronto."
The next moment Mom was beside me along with her personal prescription for broken spirits. A steaming cup of coffee. Sipping the hot liquid I told her. After hearing me out she asked'
"Dear, if you want me to handle it just say so. In fact I wanted to do it right from the beginning, but you being you, I kept quiet"
"No Mom. I at least owe him the courtesy of informing him myself. The problem is I don't know how to tell him that I can't marry him"
"Just a moment. I think our wires are crossed. I thought, you wanted to tell him about the cancer diagnosis. What's this about not marrying him?"
"But Mom, surely after all this he won't want to marry me"
"Sweetheart. I feel you should let him decide that. Just tell him plain and simple that you have cancer and let him take the next step."
" But Mom _"
The ringing of the doorbell silenced any further protest on my part. Mom went to answer the door. From the muffled sounds in the front room, I could hear enough to gather that it was him. And what's more, they were steadily approaching me. The muffled footsteps warned me of his presence a moment before he himself appeared. He seemed to fill the kitchen with his presence. Funny, I never realized before how tall he really was.
His long stride filled up the distance between us too soon for my comfort. The next moment he was kneeling in front of me. As usual, a warmth filled my entire being, by his nearness. I knew that he was the only one for me. So what if couldn't marry him. I could continue loving him, couldn't I? No cancer in the world could stop me from doing that.
From my tear-stained face he could see enough to gather that something catastrophic had occurred.
"Mansi. " he demanded "what has happened?"
Now that the moment of reckoning had arrived, I could not find words to talk to him. All the hastily rehearsed words literally flew out of the window.
'Oh God!' I silently prayed 'Give me strength. Help me out. Help me in telling this man I have loved for the past five years that all the dreams we have built together for all these years have come to naught so near their culmination. That the event we lived for and planned for so many years is unimaginable now. That, our love that I thought to be invincible has found a worthy opponent. That I have cancer."
All this time Saahil was losing control of his emotions.
"Tell me" he practically shouted "Tell me, damn you. Tell me what's happened. Don't shut me out"
Ashen faced the only word I could manage was "Cancer. "
"What?' he questioned
"Cancer. Breast cancer. That's what's happened to me."
"Are you serious?"
'Do you really and honestly think I would joke about something like this?"
He took a minute to compose himself and then said, "So you have cancer, now what?"
I had cancer and he was calmly saying 'now what?' Did the significance sink into his brain or had shock numbed his brain?
"We have to inform your parents, cancel the hall booking, Thank fully we have not sent out any invitations as yet. The wedding'."
"Yes, I can see that the wedding will have to be put off."
It took me a minute to digest what he was saying.
"Put off" I croaked "Why, the wedding has to be canceled. "
"Let me get this clear. Are you trying to tell me that you don't want to marry me? That you wish to call the entire thing off? "
"It's not a question of what I wish. It's a question of what you will wish, what you deserve. You certainly deserve something more than to be saddled with me."
"I will make my own decisions, thank you. As far as I am concerned the wedding will take place albeit a little later than we planned."
"But you can't"
"Now, I would like to know why can't I? Honestly Mansi, you didn't seriously think I would ditch you now of all times? I love you, Mansi. Doesn't that count?"
"But I don't want your sympathy"
"Listen and listen hard. When someone wants to do something for a person he or she loves, it is not called sympathy; it's called caring. It's called being there for that person. When I promised to be there for you through thick and thin I really meant it. I wasn't just paying lip service. Your having cancer doesn't change my love for you in any way. If anything I just want to be with you more than ever. I want to spend more time with. It's made me realise that our time together won't last forever. I want to grab our moments together and live them to the fullest. Hell, if you agreed, I would marry you even earlier."
"But Saahil, I am a cancer victim"
"Right. God chose you to be a cancer victim. Now, it is up to you to become a cancer survivor. The path is difficult Mansi and all your mother or I want to do is help you along the way. Don't shut us off thinking it to be sympathy. Accept our support and see if the task does not seem to be a wee bit easier. I am not marrying you because I have to but rather because I want to."
"And now" he continued "the matter is closed"
Even if there was any objection to raise, I could not think of it. And neither did I want to.
The next day I was at the clinic at the scheduled time with my mother at my side. After the aspiration was over and done with I was asked to wait outside for half an hour, while they tested my tissues.
Earlier in the day I had rung Dr. Shah and asked her what the best and the worst could be.
"Well" she said, "The best we can hope for is that the lump in your breast is benign. In that case a high dosage of chemotherapy and radiation should do the trick. The worst I am afraid is that it turns out to be malignant in which case the best course will be to surgically remove the affected breast and follow it up with the required course of radiation and chemotherapy. But what I want you to remember is that no matter what the results, you are going to be cured. Early detection coupled with the advanced techniques can work wonders. Above all, pray. Thank Him for having given you a wonderful mother and a supportive fianc'e. Saahil called me up earlier and wanted to know the absolute brass tacks of your case. Believe me, Mans a person as crazy about you as Saahil is rare to find. A lesser man than him would have walked away, leaving you to fight your own battle. But he is staying, he has made your battle his too. Think yourself lucky and decide to fight back. Consider it a battle that you have to win. Most important, never give up. If you do that nothing & no one can save you."
The thirty minutes outside the room were an agony. I honestly believe that if it weren't for the constant support of my mother, I would have turned tail and run. The torture of not knowing and expecting the worst was killing me. Added to it the fact that Saahil's parents had to be informed today was looming in the background. We had decided that we would wait till we knew the entire picture before breaking the news to them. It was all very well for Saahil to insist that he would marry me but how would his parents react to his marrying me once the cat was out of the bag?
As the lab technician emerged I immediately leapt to my feet. But my mother outdid me. She was already near that sweet young thing.
"Ma'am" she was asking, "What is it"
"I am afraid it is malignant. You will have to discuss the further course with your doctor. She is scheduled to come in at any moment."
As if on cue, Dr. Shah entered the room that very moment. Greeting us with a cheery 'Good morning', she took the report from the hands of the lab technician and swept us into her room. She went through the report twice and then carefully laid it on her desk.
"Well that's that. It is not what I would have wished for but it can't be helped. Now, with your consent I would like to get started immediately. Thankfully the cancer has not spread to other parts of the body and so a timely surgery is likely to cinch matters. We will follow it up with two doses of chemotherapy and radiation a month for three months and by the end of that period you will be cancer free. From that day on will begin what we call remission."
I was struck dumb. I could say anything, couldn't think of anything to say.
"Doctor" my mother, asked "What will be the side-effects or repercussions of the treatment?"
"Chemotherapy will cause nausea, headaches, weakness and a general sense of despondency. In addition it can also cause falling of the hair. But I assure you it's all temporary."
"Hair fall", I practically shrieked "Are you trying to tell me, I will become bald"
"Losing your hair I believe will be infinitely preferable to losing your life. Anyway, you can always use wigs. Just imagine you can have any hairstyle and hair length you wish. In fact some of my patients buy two or three wigs and alternate according to their attire. Say, a long one for a sari, a chic boyish style with jeans and a sophisticated page boy cut for an elegant evening dress.."
"But wigs look so artificial"
"They do too" I argued childishly still not wanted to let go.
And then Dr. Shah did something that I will never forget. She removed her hair or what I had thought to be her hair but was in reality a wig exposing a shiny bald scalp.
"Now, did that look artificial"
"But how" I stuttered
"It's a long story. Suffice it to say that a very rare disease at the age of thirteen robbed me of my hair and for the past many years I have been using wigs."
I was now really and truly ashamed of my behavior. Here was this woman who had faced calamity at such a tender age and emerged victorious and here I was behaving like a spoilt brat at a mature age of twenty-four.
"I am sorry Doc. I don't know what came over me. How can I help?"
"It's okay Mansi. Believe me, I have had patients who act worse. They rant and rave as if the entire thing was somehow my fault. As to how you can help, you can start by calling me Aaliya, my first name. Since we are going to have a regular relationship, it's really absurd to be on such formal terms. Next, I would like to know how long will you need to settle things at your office, so that I will have an idea of when to schedule your surgery."
"I don't need any time at all. It's my own firm you see. I run it in partnership with my friend, Aniket. So, you see I can be ready when you are."
"Great" Aaliya said pulling her dairy open and going through it. "Does next Friday seem okay? You would have to check in around about Thursday evening for the pre-operation procedures. Now, moving ahead after your breast removal would you like to go for prosthesis or a surgical reconstruction? Personally seeing that you are so young I would recommend the latter. "
"Oh, definitely a reconstruction"
"Fine, then I guess it's Goodbye till Thursday. Relax Mansi, You are going to make it. I can always spot a survivor when I see one"
"And I bet" I shot back "that you use this line with everyone"
"That's much better" was her answer.
Back home I called up Saahil and gave him a blow by blow account of my day.
"It's not late to back off. Decide if you really want a bald wife"
"I don't mind" he said "as long as I get to choose the wig."
That evening I had some unexpected visitors, Saahil's parents. On seeing their car pull into the driveway , I was suddenly seized by a wave of panic.
'That's it.', I thought 'they have come to apologize and say that the marriage must be called off. '
Unable to take anymore I went inside my room. I had rather hear the bad news from my mother. I didn't want to show my weakness before them.
But I needn't have taken the trouble. Saahil's mother entered my room. The compassionate and sad look in her face made all my uncertainties vanish. At that moment I thanked God from the bottom of my heart for my real wealth, my family. Saahil's mother (my 'aunty') enveloped me in a warm hug and said'
" Darling, I am so sorry. It's a dreadful thing to have happened. But then, that's life for you. If there is anything that I can do to help, you just have to say"
"Aunty, are you telling me that the wedding need not be called off"
"Neither called off nor put off. From what Saahil told me, your treatment is going to take approximately three months. That still gives you three months to prepare for your wedding. No, I won't agree to postponing the day I have been looking forward to since my son brought you home. Any way I always thought you two ought to have married as soon as you finished your MBA. I don't understand this settling before marriage business. No, it should not be delayed further."
"But Aunty, Is it really your decision or has Saahil forced you? If you don't wish it, I won't marry him. I don't want you to think that I am manipulating him."
"My dear, do I look like a person who can be pushed around? It's my own decision, taken entirely by me with no coercion. Let me be honest with you. On first hearing about it, I wasn't too happy. I even thought that the marriage should be called off. But then, my inner voice asked, how would I have reacted if my son had been in your place? Would I have wanted you to call off the marriage? No. I would have expected you to stand by his side and see him through it. Doesn't the same apply to my son? And then isn't that what a marriage is all about. For richer or poorer, for better or worse? Isn't it the calamities that test the strength of a relationship? In your case the relationship is being put to test now. I realised that if my son was ready to stand by you, I must support him. It was then that I decided that the marriage will take place and on schedule too. "
"But Aunty, don't you think he deserves more?"
"Maybe. Again you deserve more out of life than this. I can only be sure about one thing. There can be no accounting for love. You can't decide how much you are or are not worth. You just have to accept what comes your way."
This time it was me who fell into her arms and cried. But this time when I cried the tears were not of anger, frustrations or self-pity but tears of gratitude for having found such a wonderfully supportive would-be mother-in-law. I knew that though fate had given me a raw deal, the blessings I had more than compensated for it. I was one lucky girl.
The next week when I checked into the hospital I had an entire battalion with me. They were my personal cheerleaders. It was then that I realized, I could not give up, not when so many people cared for me and depended on me. I was like the racehorse they were all betting on and it was up to me to justify their faith.
The operation, the next day was the easy part, the difficult part was the chemotherapy and radiation. During the treatment I felt that I was on a constant emotional roller coaster. My mood swings were even more unpredictable than the weather. It's honestly a wonder to me how my Mom managed to remain sane through it all. And the day I woke up to find a clump of my long silky hair on the pillow, I really and truly cracked up. I literally went nuts. What really kept me going that time was my truly marvelous family. Added to it was the support and love showered on me by my friends. I was honestly never so pampered in my life.
Aniket had been wonderful too. He had not only taken over my role in the office, but also visited me regularly everyday. He came at exactly 5:45 everyday so much so that Saahil dubbed him the 5:45 express.
The day after my operation, he entered my room with a bouquet of roses large enough to fill the room. I was touched and said as much.
"Aniket, you have won me over for life. You always know just the thing to perk me up"
"I strive to please. My lady" he replied with a mock curtsy "After all you were engaged to me once for a long time till you decided to ditch me for this guy." He leaned forward and whispered conspiratorially "Though what you saw in him, I still can't imagine"
"Whoa, back up there" Saahil said "you two were engaged. Engaged as in 'engaged to be married?'
"Well, this is the first I have heard of it. When was it? And why didn't any one tell me?"
"I can clearly remember the day. The evening was sultry. The air ceremonious and I was getting engaged to the most pretty girl in the room."
"You must have been pretty young then"
"You could say that. Mansi must have been five and I was seven"
"What?" Saahil ejaculated.
"You were ten, you liar. And quit teasing Saahil."
Saahil was looking harassed. Even after years with me he wasn't used to this kind of teasing. Well, being an only child can sort of do that to you.
I turned to Saahil
"Pay no heed to him. You see, it was my aunt's engagement. I idolised her and wanted to do everything she did, getting engaged included. So when, she was going through the ceremony of engagement, I asked Aniket, if he would get engaged to me. He humored me and we got 'engaged' in another corner of the room. That's all to it."
Three months from the day of my surgery I was officially in remission. I then went in for the surgical reconstruction of my breast.
Three months later I was married to my long-time beau on schedule as planned in the same hall we had booked. I hold the distinction of being among the very few brides who wore a wig in their own marriage. And I don't think any one really guessed or cared for that matter..
A year later I was the proud Mom of a chubby sweet daughter whom we called Aaliya, . after the doctor who was the proverbial rock during our time of distress.
Today is my twentieth anniversary. Across the room, I can see my husband with our two daughters.
Today is a double event. We are celebrating twenty years of anniversary and twenty years of remission. There's also another special thing that few know about. We are also celebrating twenty-five years of togetherness. Yes, Saahil & I got married exactly five years after the day we met.
As my eyes met Saahil's across the room, I knew he was thinking the same thing that I was, it was meant to be.