Vincent remembered everything to make the evening perfect, just as he had when he proposed to Valerie, fifteen years ago. The same table for two on a private beach with white sand and an orange sunset. A sweet aroma from the open bottle of La Grande Dame Rose, her favorite champagne, mixed with the salty cool ocean breeze. He looked at his watch.
Raw oysters for two, the same appetizer shed picked that evening years before, lay on gold trimmed plates. He filled two glasses of champagne, watching bubbles pop in the pink liquid. The white roses she loved he placed on her chair. Is she coming? Her response had been a little vague, but he made arrangements anyway. He decided to call her, to see what the delay could be. Before making the call, he opted to send a text message instead. “Hey,” Vincent typed, then hit send.
“Hi, Vinnie.” Came Valerie’s response almost instantly, like lightning striking in the darkness. Was she waiting by the phone for him to call like she did when they were dating? No, he thought. That was a long time ago, a time without anger or resentment.
He typed “The sunset is very nice here in Florida. Hope you’re still coming to see it,” and hit send. He ignored his light-headedness and rapid heartbeat as blurred eyes tried to focus on the text response fired back from his estranged wife. Before he read her reply, he drank the champagne from one of the glasses. Refilling it to the top, he drank that as well.
“Missed the flight. Sorry. I’ve shown a lot of houses today. Exhausted. Going to stay in for the night. Maybe another time. Don’t forget to take your daughter to the movies on Sunday,” she replied. Vincent read her text three times and thought of as many responses to hurl back at her. “But you’re just four hours away, or Why do you keep reminding me your Real-estate business comes before me, or I spent a lot of time and money on this reservation! You could at least just show up,” was his minds response. He decided no reply would be the best way to keep him from making matters worse. She owed him nothing, but he felt betrayed.
He removed the wedding ring she returned to him 6 months ago from the oyster. It was reset with a larger diamond, replacing the original. He planned to surprise her with it, beg forgiveness on one knee and pray to god that she would accept him back into her life. He put the ring back in its black leather box. It left a bulge bigger than his wallet on the other side.
With fists clenched, he abandoned the table and walked to the resort bar for a bottle of vodka, his favorite. With the hope of reconciliation gone, at least for the moment, he walked back to the table and swiped the roses off the chair. He sat at the table, quietly eating the appetizer and drank the champagne, mixed with the bottle of vodka from the bar.
A/N: I have an audio format of this story on PodBean:
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