“Dri, congratulation, brother!” A guy patted Adri’s shoulder, before hugging him and Anjana tightly. Anjana forgot his name but remembered him as one of Adri’s friends.
“Na! Happily, ever after!” said another friend, this time hers, smiling widely before asking to take some pictures along with the groom, ignoring the long queue of people behind her.
“Finally, guys! After… how many years? Ten?” The next guest said.
Adri laughed, while Anjana was too tired to say. Their relationship was much longer than that.
After an hour or more of smiling, thanking, and hand-shaking, Anjana was so relieved to be able to sit in the big, soft, and elegant chair. She felt like a queen and Adri the king. They were the king and the queen tonight.
Slowly her body started to relax and she felt exhausted. She only slept an hour last night, partly from being nervous. What would happen after this? Some said people will change once they married. Would Adri?
Anjana took a deep breath and looked around. Finally, here we are, she sighed. She saw Adri’s mum – who was hers too now – chatting with the aunts, while some of her cousins were busy giggling. On the other side of the room, her mum was talking to one of the guests who was her neighbour while her brother Ben was scrolling on his phone. Ben must have been bored as none of his friends was here.
Looking at their family and guest, Anjana wondered if they were more relieved than happy. After thirteen years or so – she gave up counting on their anniversary – they finally became husband and wife.
“Hi Adri!” A greeting distracted Anjana from her thought.
She stood up and was surprised when she saw who was coming. She tried to keep calm and reminded herself that Adri was hers now that – no one could take him from her anymore. Hey, Adri has chosen her! So, confidently Anjana smiled, thanked her for coming, all the time thinking how she had the nerve to come to their wedding.
Little did people know that Anjana and Adri were not that couple goal. Often Anjana asked herself, was her love so deep that she forgave him when he was seeing that girl? Back then, he did not want to leave her, but he refused to break up with Anjana. Although they are married now, was there any guarantee that he would not look at that girl again? Or maybe other girls?
Not just once had Anjana questioned how to maintain a long-term relationship. Sometimes, she would say, “If being together for only thirteen years makes us bored with each other, how could we spend the rest of our lives together?” Another time, a simple, cheesy answer like “Love is the key” would be needed.
Besides, more than couple of times Anjana questioned Adri’s readiness to marry her. He had hardly showed his interest in any job he was working and would end up with a different job in less than a year either because he resigned or was fired. Was Adri really ready to settle down?
So many times, Anjana thought about breaking up with him. She wanted a better man, of course. The one who she could trust and the one who was responsible with his own life before responsible with his family later. Yet, she stayed with him. Through thick and thin, Anjana convinced herself.
While looking around, Anjana saw Anjani, her twin sister who was enjoying her meal alone in the corner. Suddenly, a thought flashed through her mind. Surprised her. No, no, no! Anjana shook her head, but quickly realised she was in a crowd and Adri was staring at her.
Not because of Anjani! I love him! The thought sent her to a panicking state.
But if… just if… Anjana encouraged herself to think of another possibility, trying to make sure her own feeling. If I didn’t marry him, if I broke up with him…, she imagined what people would have thought. They would have said how ungrateful she was and how could she dump him just like that after more than a decade together. Oh, how she wished their family knew about his cheating scandal, but she never had the courage to tell them. Also, her family would have thought she was crazy. She dropped out of university once, and now she wanted to be single? At this age? Hello, her body clock was ticking!
On the other hand, look at Anjani! She was the golden child in their family and their mum always talked about her. About how smart she was until their aunt gave her scholarship to study in Japan. About how grateful she was to work in a multinational company in Australia. Not to mention the fact that she had just started to date a good-looking Australian. How lucky she has been!
Anjana looked at Adri and smiled. At least now she was married. For the first time in her life, she was one step ahead of her twin.