I lift her head from my shoulder and hold her face in my hands. “Charlie, you have to promise me something.” I wipe her tears away with my thumb. “Promise me you will never fall out of love with me again. Because I don’t want to forget you all over again. I never want to forget a single second with you.”
She shakes her head. “I swear. I’ll never stop loving you, Silas. And I’ll never forget.”
I dip my head until my mouth meets hers. “Never Never.”
Silas is bringing dinner home. I wait for him at the kitchen window while I pretend to wash vegetables for a salad. I like to pretend I’m washing things at the sink just so I can see when he pulls into the driveway.
His car pulls in ten minutes later; my fingers are pruned from the water. I grab for a dishtowel, feeling those damn butterflies in my stomach. They never went away. From what I’ve heard, that’s a rare thing after this many years of marriage.
The kids get out of the car first. Jessa, our daughter, and then her boyfriend, Harry. Normally my eyes would go to Silas next, but something makes me linger on Jessa and Harry.
Jessa is just like me: stubborn, mouthy, and aloof. I’d cry, but she mostly makes me laugh with her one-liners. I like Harry; they’ve been together since freshman year and plan on going to the same college when they graduate next year. They’re usually the epitome of teen love, all glassy eyed and touchy like Silas and I used to be. Still are. But today, Jessa stands off to the side of the driveway, her arms folded across her chest.
Harry gets out of the car too and goes to stand next to her. They must be fighting, I think. Jessa sometimes likes to flirt with the neighbor kid, and Harry gets upset.
Silas walks in a minute later. He grabs me from behind, wrapping his arms around me and kissing my neck.
“Hey, Charlie Baby,” he says, breathing me in. I lean into him.
“What’s up with those two?” I ask, still watching them out the window.
“I don’t know. They were really weird on the ride home. Barely spoke.”
“Uh, oh,” I say. “Must be the hot neighbor boy again.” I hear the front door slam, and I call Jessa into the kitchen. “Jessa, come here!”
She wanders in, slowly, without Harry in tow.
“What’s up?” I ask her. “You look shell shocked.”
“Do I?” she asks.
I look at Silas and he shrugs.
Jessa jabs a thumb over her shoulder. “He’s in there.”
“Okay, well you two get ready for dinner. We’ll eat as soon as the salad is done.”
She nods, and I swear she’s going to start crying.
“Hey, Jessa,” I say as she turns around to leave.
“I was thinking we could go to Miami for your birthday next month. Does that sound okay to you?”
“Yeah,” she says. “Cool.”
When she’s gone I turn to Silas, whose eyebrows are drawn together.
“I didn’t know we were going to Miami,” he says. “I can’t get time off for work that quick.”
“Silas,” I say sharply. “Her birthday isn’t for six more months.”
The line between his eyes relaxes and his mouth opens. “Oh, yeah,” he says. And then realization hits. “Oh. Oh.” He brings a hand up to the back of his neck. “Shit, Charlie. Not again.”