The following is my entry into this month’s Monthly Wine Writing Challenge #7 (#MWWC7), hosted by last month’s winner, the SAHMmelier. Voting is slated to open tomorrow, so if you like my writing, be sure to head over there and vote!
And her husband was out of town.
They had only been together for four years, but he had managed to miss each Valentine’s Day. She was not sure why she was upset, but if once is an accident, twice is coincidence and three times is an enemy action, what is four times?
She got home early from work, changed, and quickly headed right back out. She was devoted to her husband, so once she left the neighborhood, she immediately felt guilty sneaking around on him: She was headed to her secret yearly rendezvous, one she would not, could not break this year.
She had initially met him some time ago, a couple of years before she knew her husband. She walked into a wine shop to buy a bottle of wine to celebrate graduating from law school. He instantly caught her eye, standing guard behind the counter, the epitome of tall, dark, and handsome. She knew immediately that she had to “have” him. Back then, she was young, single, and popular, but she was not the type of woman who would spend the night with a total stranger. There was something about him, though, that she found irresistible and before she knew it, they were on their way back to her apartment. Sure, she thought at the time that she might regret it in the morning, but she also knew that she was tired of being paralyzed by her propensity to over-think just about everything in her life.
It was time to be spontaneous.
That first encounter was memorable: romantic, passionate, even magical. By the time she woke in the morning, he was long gone, but she did not mind. She knew that there was no chance for a long-term relationship and waking up to find him gone actually made it much easier. She wrote it off as a typical “one-night-stand.”
The following year, however, she was still single with no serious prospects (it would be another year until she met her husband). On Valentine’s Day, feeling a bit depressed about being alone, she found herself driving to the same wine store where they had met the year before. She had no idea if he would still be there, but she had a strange feeling that he would. As she approached the door to the shop, she paused, wondering if she should go through with it. She had never told anyone about the previous encounter, mostly because it was so out of character for her that no one would have believed her.
Standing there outside the door, she decided that she had to go in–she wanted to experience that same excitement from the year before. She needed to break away, if even for a night, from her normal, predictable life. So she nervously opened the door.
She tried to be cool (although she really had no idea how), she tried to act indifferent, and she tried not to look at the counter right away.
There he was right behind the counter as she remembered first seeing him, as gorgeous as ever. And she was giddy. The rest of the night was almost a carbon copy of the year before: a passionate night and his being gone in the morning.
Even though she met her husband shortly after this second rendezvous, she maintained her secret Valentine’s Day affair each and every year. She did feel guilty, but she justified her actions by the fact that her husband continued to be gone every Valentine’s Day and, after all, it was only for one night.
This year was going to be no different: She knew she was taking a risk. She knew that her husband could find out. She knew that her nosy neighbors might see her bring him home, but she did not care. Yes, she was devoted to her husband, but she had become devoted to this secret man in her life, albeit in a different way.
Shortly after they got to the house, they sat down on the couch, and after removing his hat, she put her hand on the back of his neck and pulled him toward her. She instantly became lost in him–he had an effect on her that was difficult to describe. There was a certain sparkle that was clear and vibrant.
A moment later, she heard the front door open.
“I thought I would surprise you and come back for Valentine’s Day!” her husband declared from the foyer.
There was no way to hide her secret love now. Her husband would be in the living room in an instant and she would be exposed. Knowing that the “gig was up” she decided that she would take a different, somewhat risky tact as he entered the room:
“Hi honey, do you want to join us?”
“Yes, me and my….