Shit, only an hour left, I thought. Gods of traffic, don’t fail me now!
I rummaged about the cupboards, looking for the seasoning that would tie the whole piece together. It wasn’t there. Cursing my lack of foresight, I grabbed the nutmeg. It would have to do.
I glanced at the green numbers that glowed on the oven again and mentally subtracted three. Damn thing was always fast, no matter how many times I changed it. I sent out another silent prayer that he wouldn’t choose today of all days to be home on time. Please be late, please be late, please be late I chanted as I sprinkled the nutmeg and tossed it back in the cupboard, forgetting the lid.
I placed the dish in the fridge and removed the roses — three red, one white — and… my keys? What on earth? Tossing the keys in the general direction of the counter, I rummaged around the cupboards again, trying to find a suitable vase. Ah, there we go. The flowers and vase found their place on the table, centering between two elegant candles. The oven beeped.
I spun around, nearly tripping over a small black pup who had decided to see what all the fuss was about. “Dammit, Kairos!” I exploded. “Not a good time to be underfoot!” Immediately regretting such an outburst, I called an apology from the kitchen as I removed the main course from the oven. After making sure the food had turned out the way I wanted, I scooped the pup out from his hiding place under the coffee table and planted a kiss on his ear. A sloppy pink tongue licked my cheek. All was forgiven. Now, back to the many tasks at hand…
Quite some time later, I was running through my mental check list for the umpteenth time.
Roses on the table? Check.
Candles lit? Check.
Claire de Lune playing? Check.
Dinner on the table? Check.
Kitchen clean? Check.
Had I showered? Check.
Wearing the dress he likes best? Check.
Glass of champagne in hand? Check.
Kairos fed? No check. No wonder he was in the way.
In the midst of putting the dog food away, I heard a car door slam and immediately glanced at the oven. I subtracted three and smiled. He was still fifteen minutes late. My heart thudded against my chest as his key rattled in the lock and the door swung open. Show time.
“Happy annive–what’s in the box?” Great. Real smooth.
He set the box down with a grunt and straightened up, stretching his back as he looked around. “Wow, this looks amazing, babe. Did you do all of this?” he asked.
“No, the gnomes did it.” Even on your anniversary, you can’t curb the sarcasm?
He smiled as he saw the roses. “Of course they did.”
“So, what’s in the box?” I repeated.
He looked at the giant box at his feet as if he was trying to remember why it was there. “It is an antique clock,” he said slowly. “To go over the bookcase, like you always wanted. It’s fully functional, too, so we don’t have to rely on the oven to tell the time.”
He stepped around the box and stood pressed against me, taking the champagne from my hand. He stared into my eyes in the way that never failed to steal the air from my lungs. “Happy anniversary,” he whispered. “You’re beautiful, you’re amazing, and I love you.” He kissed me.
I couldn’t stop the goofy grin that spread across my face. “Happy anniversary,” I replied. “I love you, too.”
This was in response to the daily post, even if I tweaked it a little bit.