“Happy anniversary,” Dean sings, his green eyes glistening with excitement. I groan, rolling my body away from his, yanking all the covers with me as I go. “I said, Happy anniversary.” He chirps again, gripping my shoulders and pulling me back against his firm torso. Quickly he presses a kiss to my forehead. “Now, wake up. We have plans.”
I sigh and try to roll away from his grasp. “At six in the morning, Dean?”
“No,” he chuckles, “We have plans this afternoon.”
I hope Dean can feel the annoyance radiating off of me. Why on earth would he wake me up this early if he didn't make plans for us until this afternoon?
He squeezes my body tighter, so much so that I can feel his biceps pressing into my chest. Usually, that would excite me, but today, at this very moment, the only emotion I am capable of feeling is annoyance.
“I’m just used to waking up early.” That's a terrible excuse for waking me up.
“Well, I am not, so please let me go back to sleep.” I try to roll away from him, but he’s much stronger than me, so my effort is useless.
“Don't you want to hear about what I have planned?” He whispers, his breath floating past my ear. He was trying to make his words sound seductive, but as I said, it's far too early for him to stir those emotions.
Suddenly an idea strikes my mind. Swiftly, I press my cold feet against his bare legs, and just as I hoped, his arms unravel from around my waist. I grin and quickly shuffle my way deeper into the covers. “You can tell me later, I promise.” My words were muffled by the fortress of blankets I managed to build, but I knew he still heard me.
Our bedroom grew quiet for a moment, and for a split second, I naively thought that maybe he had given up on trying to wake me, but I was wrong.
Suddenly I was cold. The warmth my blankets had created was gone. I shot up from the bed, scanning the room to see who had just ripped the blankets from my barely clothed body. I knew it was Dean, but something in me still had to be sure. “I hate you,” I mumbled, reaching towards him, grabbing at the blankets like a toddler trying to get their favorite toy back from their mother.
Dean huffed and tossed the blanket back onto the bed, “You do not. If you did, you wouldn't have stuck around for this many years.”
I rolled my eyes, “I guess that's fair.”
I shove myself off the bed, my palms sinking into the mattress. “Where are you going?” Dean asks, his eyebrows rising in confusion.
“If you are going to make me wake up this early, I at least need some coffee.”
I slowly made my way downstairs, my brain still slightly foggy and my limbs stiff. Even though I would very much prefer to be asleep right now, I love how excited he gets for the silly little things like this. I mean, sure, anniversaries are important, but in the grand scheme of things, it's just another day.
I make my way to the coffee maker, mindlessly grabbing one of the little pods from what Dean calls “the coffee drawer.” My eyes scan the counter for our coffee mugs. I figured since im awake, I might as well make him a cup. However, his mug isn't where I usually sit it. Typically, the mug I got him for Christmas sits right next to the one he got me that same year, but now it's not even on the counter.
“Dean!” I call, hoping he can hear me from all the way downstairs. I wait for a second. No response. Maybe he threw it in the dishwasher. I shrug and grab a random mug from the cabinet.
Once both mugs are full, I make my way back to the bedroom, only slightly worried that I might spill hot coffee before I reach the top of the stairs. “Dean.” I call once more, “I made you some coffee.”
Almost immediately, his head pops out of our bathroom doorway. “Hey, thanks!” He grins wide, his teeth practically sparkling like how they do in those silly toothpaste commercials. “Can I tell you what I have planned yet?”
I giggled softly. “I think im awake enough to listen to you now.”
“Great.” In an instant, he jumps right into his elaborate itinerary that he has likely been planning for months. Im on board with all of it; he knows what I like.
“It seems like we have a busy day then.” I take a sip of my coffee, my eyes still locked on his.
Every wall was painted a sicking shade of yellow that nearly reminded me of baby vomit. Yellow wasn't my least favorite color, but whatever this shade was made my skin crawl.
“I like this shade of yellow,” Dean admitted, his eyes carefully scanning everything around us. “You know, this would be a good color for a nursery if we ever had kids.”
I shrugged, “Maybe.” I didn't have the heart to tell him outright no.
Fortunately for me, Dean didn't push the subject matter much further than that. I knew kids were something he always dreamed of, but I honestly preferred to live without them. I never told him that, though.
“What are you going to order?” Dean questioned, shoving the one menu left on the table towards me. I glanced over it, not seeing anything particularly intriguing at first; however, it didn't take me long to spot my safe food. “Probably the chicken parmesan.”
Dean rolled his eyes slightly and let out a deep chuckle, “You get that every time we go out.”
I scoff, taken aback by his acquisition. “I do not. I specifically remember on our last anniversary, I got this massive burger that had like a billion cheeses melted onto it.”
His brows furrowed, “Did you?”
I nodded my head, “I did.”
“No, you didn't,” Dean argued, “I remember you ordering Chicken Mac n Cheese and then complaining that the Mac n Cheese tasted as if it came from a Kraft box.”
Dean was getting this all wrong. The Mac n Cheese incident was at least three years ago. “That didn't happen on our last anniversary, Dean, but the Mac n Cheese tasted terrible in my defense.”
He tilted his head to the side, “No, Delilah, that definitely happened last year.”
“It definitely didn't. Im telling you, I got the burger last year.”
Dean fell back in his chair, crossing his arms across his broad chest, “I think you’re wrong. You got that burger a few years back. I remember laughing my ass off watching you try and eat it.”
“No, you’re wrong.” I may not be the biggest fan of anniversaries, but I've never forgotten one. I remember every date we've been on, down to the silly little details, like what we both ordered. “The burger was last year, and you ordered some fancy salad.”
Dean scoffed, “I would never order a salad.”
“Oh, but you did!” I vividly remember watching him shove fork fulls of lettuce into his mouth and cringing like a picky toddler as he did. “You hated it but refused to admit that out loud.”
“That's not true.”
“Dean! It's definitely true!” His lack of long-term memory was almost comedic.
“You could do this all night, couldn't you?”
A smug grin spread across my lips. Secretly I always loved how stubborn I could be. I always managed to get my way and make my point. “Im right, so yes. I could easily argue about how right I am all night.”
Before either of us could continue bickering, a sudden outburst of laughter from the table nearest us caught us both off guard. I turned my head quickly, wanting to see what was so funny, but the second I did, everything went quiet. All eyes darted away, refusing to meet my own. Immediately I felt ten inches tall. Had they been laughing at me?
“Hey,” Dean exhaled, noticing my sudden insecurities, “They probably weren't laughing at us.”
His words helped some, but not much. I still felt like every eye in the restaurant was on me. I felt as if everyone was judging me. Funny how one little event can set off such huge emotions.
In an attempt to distract me, Dean reached for my hand, gripping it tightly in his own. Those green eyes of his gazed deep into my soul as if he was trying to will the negative emotions away with just his mind. It was almost working.
“Excuse me.” An unfamiliar voice called. I turned in my seat to look towards the voice, dropping Dean's hand from my grasp in the process.
It was a waiter's voice. He quickly made his way toward our table, and I stared at him for a moment. He had soft blue eyes and beautiful blonde hair. His features almost looked familiar to me, but I couldn't quite put my finger on where I had seen him before.
He kneeled beside me, “I don't mean to be rude, but we have had some people complaining.” Complaining? He must have us mixed up with another table. Maybe someone complained about how loud those girls were laughing earlier. “I was just wondering if there was anyone you could call to come and pick you up. My coworkers want me to call the police, but you seem sweet, and I don't want to embarrass you like that.”
My eyes grew wide, “What are you talking about? The police? Why? Is this a prank?” I chuckled nervously. This had to be some weird joke Dean was pulling. It wouldn't be the first time he’d done something like this.
“Uh no, it's not a prank.” The waiter's eyes grew sad. He looked almost like he pitied me, but why? “But it's okay, don't feel bad. I talk to myself sometimes too.”
I shook my head in hopes that maybe I could shake the confusion away, “ Im not talking to myself. My boyfriend Dean is right here.” I turned in my seat, my hands gesturing to where Dean should have been sitting, but he was gone. Of course, he would have run away. Maybe he went to hide in the bathroom or something. I knew he must have set this up.
“Dean must have put you up to this,” I laugh, “This is a stupid prank. It's not going to work on me. I know he's probably just hiding in the bathroom.”
The waiter places a gentle hand on my shoulder, “Sweetheart, you came in alone. You have been sitting at the table, alone, since you got here.”
“No, no, I didn't. I came in with Dean. He should be back out any second now.” This guy was insane. Dean was with me. He held my hand, he touched me, and I felt him. He was here. I wasn't alone. I couldn't have been alone. Was I?
“Do you need me to call someone for you?” Tears start to prick my eyes if Dean set this up; it's not a very funny prank. If anything, it's a very mean one. He’s done a fantastic job at making me feel utterly insane.
“That's okay,” I mutter, swiftly pulling myself from my chair, “I'll leave.”
I dart across the restaurant, keeping my head down as I reach the front door. Anyone in my path quickly moved, jumping away from me like I had the plague.
I push past the doors and fumble in my purse for my car keys. “He’s a jerk.” I mumble to myself, “Some anniversary this is.”
I finally find my keys and quickly jump in the car, “Where the hell is he?” I grab my phone. Since he won't come out of hiding, I know calling him will be the only way he will give up on this stupid prank. I dial his number and wait.
“We're sorry, but the number you are trying to reach is no longer in service…”