So half nude I rush to the kitchen, and bring a kitchen knife and cut through the flap of the box, and there—to my surprise—lays a bottle of Rosé Champagne, flanked by two stemmed glasses, the kind you can stack in layers to build them champagne towers, like the one we had at our wedding.
At first, my bet is that this is a gift from my husband—who else—which takes my breath away, it’s so cool, so awesome, especially because I haven’t gotten nothing from him lately.
So I twist my hips walking up to him, and snatch one of them glasses and put it in place, right over my left breast. Before I got pregnant, and become so full of curves, it would have been a perfect fit—but now, not so much.
Then, just before opening my mouth to ask him to uncork the bottle, I realize my mistake.
“Take it off, take that thing off right now, right this minute,” he stammers, and his forehead curves down over him even heavier and more wrinkled than before. I can’t even blame him, or no one, ‘cause really, I reckon it’s too late for us.
So without saying a word I obey him, and remove the glass from my heart, and watch him, again in silence, as he rummages through the box in search of a note, or something. Which he finds, finally, down there at the bottom. In square, printed letters the note reads simply, “To Anita.”
No return address, no signature, no date, nothing.
The old man looks long and hard into my eyes, like he’s searching for answers, not exactly sure if to punish me, like I was a naughty school girl, or to send me back home to my ma. After a while he figures he can’t do neither, so he just turns his back on me, and punches the box so it can collapse on itself, and stuffs it in the garbage can, along with the uncorked bottle and them two glasses. Then he goes to the bathroom, and the water starts running for his shower.
Excerpt from My Own Voice
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- Susan Wilson, Author