She was wearing her favorite pastel blue dress when she entered the restaurant. The maître d’ knowingly welcomed and led her to her reserved table. A table for two. It’s not her first time to come here after all. A young waiter approached her with the menu on his hands. She smiled at him and lifted her palm to stop him before he presented her the menu. “Don’t bother. Just a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon please.” she said with a smile instead. The waiter politely nodded then set off. Her eyes travelled around at the amazing interior. It seems like nothing has changed in the past months. It has been four months since the last time she went here. The waiter arrived with the chilled wine bottle in a bucket of ice followed by another familiar waitress with a tray off wine glasses. The waitress smiled at her. “Good evening Madame Jacob. It’s nice seeing you again. I’m surprised!Will your husband be running late tonight?” the middle-aged waitress asked her. She smiled and nodded meekly in answer before the two left her after the glasses were filled with the wine.
She didn’t bother to tell the familiar staff that she would be dining alone tonight. Didn’t even bother telling them that she won’t be needing the extra glass placed opposite her. She just let them think she was waiting for her husband. With her well manicured hand, she reached for the glass in front of her and lifted it. She let the rim of the glass touch the tip of her lower lip as she smelled the pungent aroma. She liked the smell as she liked her wine, bittersweet. She took her first sip, indulging into the rush of warm sensation that ran through her body. “I can get used to drinking this.” she silently told herself.
Mrs. Jacob ordered a Waldorf salad. She didn’t want to down the whole bottle with an empty stomach. She wanted to be sober at least for a little longer. She wanted to remember the details of her marriage vividly. She smiled. It’s their fourth wedding anniversary tonight. Oh how she wanted to recall the times.
She remembered their first anniversary. She was so happy to wake up beside him that morning. Beatriz couldn’t believe that she had been Mrs. Jacob for exactly a year that day. Beatriz stared at the face of her sleeping husband. She kissed him and whispered, “I love you.”
Her husband stirred and woke up. “I’m not Sleeping Beauty, but thank you for that wake up kiss.”, he said smilingly. Beatriz giggled as her husband cuddled and kissed her.
They were out of breath when they stopped. “Dress up nicely later. I’m taking you somewhere fancy tonight. Happy anniversary, Bee.” he said as he kissed her again.
On their second anniversary, she woke up with a breakfast tray on her bedside table. A cup of coffee, orange, bacon, waffle, and a stem of tulip. She read the note attached to the flower. Good morning Mrs. Jacob. I’m out for work early. Pick you up at 7-ish? Two years and forever. Love, Your Mr. Jacob. She was surprised with the breakfast in bed. She can’t help but be touched by the gesture since her husband didn’t know the map of their kitchen. She finished all the served food. Later that night, Mr. Jacob brought her to the same restaurant where he brought her on their first anniversary date.
On their third anniversary, she thought of doing something naughty. She woke up earlier than her husband and stuck a note on the alarm clock on the bedside table saying, Skip breakfast, maybe? There’s something or SOMEONE more delectable in the bathroom. She donned her Victoria’s Secret lingerie she bought the day before. She placed her iPod, filled with sexy songs she searched over the internet, and speakers on the sink counter. She waited for some minutes and chose to sit in the bathtub. She ended up sleeping instead and was woken up by a blasting “My Sharona” from the speakers. Then she saw her husband with his hip resting on the counter, arms crossed, watching her amusingly with a grin on his face.
“I wanted to eat something or someone delectable but I found out she was sleeping.” Bee frowned, feeling disappointed by her failed seduction. Her husband laughed at her as she walked towards her and helped her stand up.
“I’m sorry, I’m not really a good seductress.” she said embarrassingly, blushing.
“Said who? I find you sexy. The sexiest, in fact.”, he chuckled as he reached and enclosed her in her arms.
“I will make it up to you tonight. Wear something nice, I’m taking you somewhere fancy.” she hugged him back, saying the words he said to her on their first anniversary.
“It’s a date then.” he chided. He released her and looked at her face with glint in his eyes, “But I’m already hungry. Is your offer of something or someone delectable still up?”
Bee remembered all those dates together with all the memories that happened in between them. All their lovemaking, their silence, the fights, the make-ups, the love. Then she noticed, she almost downed the whole bottle alone for herself. She was feeling tipsy already and didn’t want to finish the one-third left. She raised her hand to catch the attention of a waiter passing by and asked for the bill. After she paid and left a big amount of stood from her seat. She felt the head rush so she placed her arms on the table for support. The waiter kindly offered to guide her to the doorway but she declined. “Oh no need. I can manage. I will just ask the doorman to hail me a cab. Besides, it’s a busy night for you. Thank you for the kind offer.”, she said sincerely. The waiter didn’t sound convinced but didn’t bother to ask her again. Mrs. Jacob picked her purse and started to head to the door. With a slow and straight gait, she was surprised to know that she was not that intoxicated after having several glasses of wine. The doorman was busy talking to a newly arrived group of diners which she was glad about. She didn’t want anyone to offer to usher her. She reached the parking lot and got in to her car. She turned the radio on and tuned it to a Blues station. She rested her head on the headrest and stared at the green dashboard clock. It’s two hours and several minutes before twelve. She continued sitting idly as Ella Fitzgerald sang in the background. The day of their wedding anniversary is not yet over. It’s her first time to spend this day alone, no conversations. They usually lasted this day with lovemaking in their apartment. Then realization dawned that that would never happen again. “Never again,” she closed her eyes as tears streamed from her eyes, “never again.”
”Y-you are so unfair Eric. I-I hate you right now. You are very unfair.” she said faintly as tears continued pouring down her cheeks. Her silent cry turned to sobbing. She rested her arms and head forward to the steering wheel. Just tonight, let me cry again. She cannot believe that in just one night, she remembered almost the whole of the four years they’ve been together. The sadness felt heavier as she realized that the four years they have been together was not enough for her. She wanted more. Wanted forever. But she knew it’s impossible. He is gone and not coming back. The flashback of the four years of companionship was indeed a flash. Just like their marriage, it started but suddenly ended. Just like how fast his husband’s life was taken. She remembered that night four months ago…
She received a call telling her that her husband had a car accident. She rushed into the hospital, praying and hoping that everything will turn out fine. She arrived at the hospital, six minutes after Eric’s life was gone. Then everything weren’t the same.
She snapped back to the present time, inside her car. She wiped her wet cheeks with her hands. The sobbing stopped. It’s time to go home, she told herself. She started her car and exited to the main road. Billie Holiday is serenading, singing “Without Your Love” on the background .
“I miss you, Eric. I love you.”she said. Tears started coming out again. She wanted to stop crying but she just can’t. I’m tired and sleepy, damn that wine, she thought, as gravity pulled down her eyelids. Billie Holiday was still singing, with car horns joining the jazzy band. “In another life, Mr. Jacob.”