This story begins exactly a month before the actual wedding anniversary.
08 April, 2016
9:50 a.m: Shane leaves for work.
10:00 a.m: Ankita watches Youtube videos while slowly going through her breakfast.
10:30 a.m: She finally finishes her breakfast and begins to clear out the table.
10:40 a.m: She finds a mail addressed to her and opens it.
10:41 a.m: IT WAS A FUCKING LETTER BOMB THAT EXPLODED IN HER HANDS.
Or at least that's how it felt.
To be a little less melodramatic, it was just a Jury Citation. The first four sentences I read were:
You have been selected for Jury Service.
Your name was randomly selected from the Electoral Register.
You may be required to attend over several days.
If you fail to attend, you may be liable to a fine of up to £1000.
The minute I read "£1000", I thought, "God, I'll attend it. Whatever". Within the next couple of minutes I even convinced myself that this was a good thing.
"It's going to be a new experience. It's completely normal. It's okay. Hell, if it goes bad, I'll still have a story to write about". You know, the usual. But then, I saw the date on which I was to appear at the High Court. 09-05-2016. My first wedding anniversary.
Then came the panic, and the water-works and the high-pitched
wailing phone conversation with The Husband and the frantic search for a loophole somewhere. I was desperate because no way was I going to spend my very first wedding anniversary in a courtroom. No way. It's not like I had big plans for my anniversary or anything. If you know me, you know that I don't do that. I can't. I hadn't even thought about what we were going to do on our anniversary. I just knew that I wasn't going to be sitting in a courtroom. And the document said that if I wanted to apply for excusal, I had to do it within the next 7 days.
So that led to one desperate, panic-stricken wife and a mildly annoyed husband reading through several long PDF files to figure out how to get out of this mess. It appeared that the only option was by showing proof that I'd be out of the city around the time. Then began the search for destinations. All of a sudden, we were saying things like, "Yeah, why not? After all, it's our anniversary!" when only a few hours ago, we weren't even thinking about it. We opened up our friends' travel blog and began to go through destinations, trying to agree on something. Interestingly, we both finally agreed on a destination that wasn't even on their website - SOUTHAMPTON.
Southampton, well-known for it's Titanic fame, for it's contribution to culture and education. But more importantly, Southampton, where The Husband was when we first started dating. He was in his final year at the University of Southampton when we decided that we loved talking to one another. I have seen the place through his eyes, through the pictures he shared with me, and through the stories he told me. I have always imagined him as a student there and I have always, ALWAYS wanted to go back and experience the place. I'd never set foot in Southampton but for some reason, I was already in love with the place. I missed it, if that even makes sense. I always knew that I wanted to walk through the same halls that he had as a student, eat the same food that he loved while he was there, and frequent the same places that he did 4 years ago. It was strangely nostalgic.
We immediately booked our flights and accommodation, and started filling out my application for excusal. Now, for the best part. It was only half way through filling out the application that we realised that I wasn't qualified for Jury Service anyway because I hadn't been in the country for 5 years in a row. It was only after we actually went ahead and spent all that money that we realised this crucial fact. And that realisation was like the best anniversary present to the both of us. Because if it hadn't been for this, we wouldn't gone ahead and made this trip any time soon. We would have procrastinated for God knows how long. Knowing us, we would have gone on a walk on the day of our anniversary and returned back home to mutually agree that it was a good walk. But life had a surprise in store for us.
I couldn't contain my excitement when I realised that my dream was coming true, and I hadn't even planned for it! I think these are the best kind of surprises that life gives you. They come in the wrong packaging, yes, but you realise later that you're thankful for them. So on our first anniversary, we were in sunny Southampton. Sunny, nostalgic, romantic Southampton. We got here last Wednesday, and return back home tonight. It's been one happy week. But that's a story for later. And boy, that one's going to be long!
P.S I'm so so so sorry for not responding to my e-mails and comments on disqus. I swore not to check my e-mail during the holiday and Disqus seems to be acting up so I can't seem to reply. Detailed replies coming up starting Wednesday the 11th. I love you for being kind and patient :)