On a breezy Sunday morning, as Juliana was almost done fixing breakfast, Stephen, coming from behind, surprised her with a small gift box. He gently planted a big kiss on her right cheek and she felt his smoothly shaven face against her skin.
It was after all their Third Year Wedding Anniversary. She had no wrapped gift to give him, and Stephen expected nothing from her. He knew she had written him a new poem. Heading the Computers Section at The New York Public Library, he had read several stories and poems by great writers. But he proudly admitted that his wife could very well be the unrecognized greatest writer of all time. Each poem she wrote about him was saved on his iPhone.
Before leaving for work, Stephen excitedly reminded her of their date on Tuesday night. They were to see each other on that same spot where they first met- to relive that rainy night in New York.
It was four years ago. She was standing on the corner of 52nd and the 5th on a cold rainy Friday evening, waiting for a cab. She was late for dinner at her mother’s house in Princeton, and there was no way she could get a cab from here. As she turned around, she accidentally bumped the man behind her. When she raised her head to apologize for her clumsiness, she was stunned to see the most beautiful man she has ever seen. It left her speechless.
A few minutes later, she was walking side by side with this man she hardly knew. He gave her his phone so she could call her mother. When she was done talking, she dropped the phone on the wet pavement. Embarrassed, she reached for her wallet to pay him but the man held her hand, still smiling. He knew at that moment he had to take care of her. She was weak, clumsy, and ever frightened. Their eyes spoke of unspeakable words.
After three years of being harmoniously married, they planned to have kids the following year. And this morning, they talked about their future family. Two kids and a small home in Princeton. they also talked about their date on Tuesday night in New York. It really seemed like the best laid out plan for both of them.
She would later learn to differentiate fact from fantasy. When reality has become a tragedy.