Where do you spill the spice on your calendar?
|“This is the part where you say, ‘You haven’t changed a bit,’” Celeste said, affectionate mockery dripping from her words. She poked James in the ribs. “Come on, say it.”
“Well, why wouldn’t I say it?” James answered, as he signed the hotel registry. “You haven’t changed.”
They tried not to bound up the stairs from the lobby. After all, they weren’t 18 anymore, like the first time they did this.
An hour later, James reached up over her head, across the pillow, and threaded his fingers through hers. “We should stop this,” he whispered.
Celeste looked over at him. She kept her voice even. “You’ve said that before.”
“I know,” he said. “It must seem like I say it every year.”
“You do say it every year,” Celeste replied. “You wonder what your wife would say about what we do here on the first of April. But every year you swear that our night together here is not like any other night in your life.”
“It isn’t like any other night in my life,” James replied.
Celeste threw back the covers and said, “I’m getting dressed. It’s late. Or, as you would say, ‘Time to go home.’ Your precious home.” She disappeared into the bathroom.
A half hour later, she emerged, tilting her head while inserting an earring and, as always, propelling his emotions forward like a runaway wagon. “I don’t know that I can wait a year this time,” he said.
She regarded him without blinking. “Up to you.”
“We’ll talk about it,” he replied. “For now, time to go home. As usual, the babysitter is costing a fortune.”
She knocked him in the back on their way out the door and said, “She’s our daughter, for God’s sake. Why do we even have to pay her?”
(Word count: 299)