Six words. Which she read again and again. Searching for hidden meanings. Look, she noted, it’s not Happy Birthday with an exclamation mark but a full stop. As if he wanted her to know the predictability of its recurrence. Don’t be surprised if your birthday falls on the same day next year, he may have wanted to imply. He was always so world-weary, she sighed to herself. And when her eyes drifted to the line above his name, she paused to wonder why it wasn’t ‘With love from’. May be because he didn’t feel it right to use such an intimate term of endearment. At least he had chosen a ‘Dear’ before her name. And the way he had abbreviated her name was a clear indication that she was in his close circle.
Still, it would’ve been nicer if he had sent her a card instead of scribbling a note. But was it really a scribble? It’s just the way he wrote, she told herself. He had, after all, remembered her birthday and sent her a greeting. Which must mean, beyond doubt, that she mattered to him. That settled it for her. She folded the A4 sheet in four and then in four again. As if guarding the words from escape. She slipped it under her pillow and laid her head on it. And played the words over in her mind one more time. Just in case she had missed something.