I hovered over Nick until he opened his eyes. He smiled then laughed.
“Morning,” he said softly in his deep handsome voice. “What is it?”
“Happy Valentine’s day!” I said, giving him a kiss.
“I thought we talked about this, babe. We don’t celebrate V-day.”
He moved me off of him and got out of bed, heading directly for the shower. I lingered for some time in the warm cloud of sheets, hoping he was joking, but I could hear him singing Sinatra in the shower. He really had nothing special planned.
While I prepped breakfast, I scrolled through my phone. All my friends had posted on social media how their Valentine’s day had begun. Many bragged about gigantic bouquets of roses and chocolates, others had breakfast in bed and diamond necklaces. I locked my phone when Nick came downstairs. I served him his kale and eggs, just as he liked it. The yolks gold and runny. He didn’t say anything and began to dig in.
“Are you going to be home early tonight?” I asked, sitting down with a mug of coffee.
“No. Why?” He asked, chewing on the kale.
“Nothing,” I said, dropping the idea of a romantic dinner for two this evening, even if I had to plan it.
Nick belched and rose to his feet. He stooped down beside me, leaned in, and gave me a kiss, tender and sweet. The way that always turned my heart into a butterfly.
“I love you,” he said, staring deep into my eyes.
“I love you too.”
With that he left and I was alone on Valentine’s day with no card, no roses, not even chocolate. I took another sip of coffee, but did not finish the mug; the beverage had gone cold. I got up and cleared the table.
In the late morning, I lounged in the sunroom on a sofa waiting for it to be time to go to my pilates class. Again, I found myself scrolling on my phone. There were more posts of flowers and chocolates. But the best gift of all so far was the sports car my friend Charlotte received. I looked away and pouted, gazing out of the enormous window that was so clean, I could see my reflection. Maybe I was asking for too much. Out of all my friends’ significant others, Nick was the handsomest and had the biggest house that I got to live in comfortably. Surely the price to pay of not celebrating Valentine’s day was cheap.
“So,” began my friend Stephanie. “I’m dying to know what Nick got you,” she said while rolling up her mat.
I sighed. “Nothing.”
I shook my head. “He doesn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day.”
“What a cheapskate,” she replied.
I raised an eyebrow.
“You can be rich and a cheapskate, you know,” she continued.
I tried to let her comment flow through one ear and out the other, but it got snagged in the gears of my brain. What if Nick really was stingy? But it was impossible. He bought me the white luxury SUV in which we would be driving to lunch in. But what if he had settled in and thought he had me won and did not have to try anymore?
Evening came and I decided to go ahead and create a romantic dinner. I made fillet mignon, haricot verts, and a chocolate soufflé, which sat waiting to be placed in the oven. I changed into my slinkiest silk dress that hugged all my curves, styled my hair and put on some shockingly red lipstick. In my highest heels I sauntered downstairs and lit candles for dinner. It was almost 7:30; the usual time Nick arrived home from work. I took a seat and waited, and waited, and waited. I watched the candles burn down while the food grew cold. My stomach growled like a grizzly. I could no longer wait. I devoured my plate and put the soufflé in the oven. By 9:30 I took the soufflé upstairs with me and ate it in bed while watching rom coms all alone on Valentine’s day. What a joke.
I had the most romantic dream. I could not remember the details, but it felt romantic. As I began to wake, I fought to remain in my slumber, but as if I were sleeping beauty, I awoke with a kiss.
“Good morning,” Nick said.
Of course it was his kiss that roused me. It could be no one else’s.
I wanted to frown and tell him off for coming home so late, but his charming smile assuaged my distaste. He kissed me. His breath minty fresh. His lips soft and sweet. His aftershave aromatic. Maybe I was still dreaming. He backed away.
“Do you want breakfast in bed or in the kitchen?”
“I thought you don’t celebrate Valentine’s day,” I said.
I rolled my eyes. He was such a contrarian. “I’ll have breakfast in bed,” I said with as much of a diva-esque voice as I could muster. He smiled as if I had given the correct answer. As he backed away, I finally noticed his surprise. Everywhere was covered in my favorite blush colored roses. How had I missed the smell? I got up and admired the clusters of flowers, pushing my nose in a few and indulged the sweet fragrance. I turned when the door to the bedroom opened and Nick stood with a tray.
“How am I supposed to serve you breakfast in bed, if you are out of it?”
With a meek smile, I climbed back into bed and he sat down the tray on the bed. This time my favorite breakfast sat on the plate. The french toast was golden to perfection and drizzled with maple syrup. I reached for the cutlery but Nick snatched them from the tray. He fed me. Something he had vowed never to do, finding it sickeningly sweet. I smiled, averting my eyes from his to avoid giggling. He was such a silly contrarian. Did it really not count if he celebrated Valentine’s day just on the day after? But I kept that thought to myself and enjoyed breakfast.