Oliver’s hands cover my eyes and I feel a flurry of butterflies dancing in my chest, “Where are we going?” I ask, my hands reaching out in front of me.
“You’ll see in a minute, honestly Sunday— they do say patience is a virtue,” and I do have patience but he’s been acting weird all day and I need to know, I need to find out why.
“Have you forgotten that I’m a yoga instructor, patience is a must,” I remind him, the same flutter still tickling inside me. His hands still cover my eyes and as we come to a stop he stands just behind me, his chest pressed against my back, his lips by my ear.
“When I count to three, open your eyes,” he whispers, his breath hot against my skin.
“One— two— three,” he counts and pulls away from me, my eyes springing open, a gasp leaving my throat. My cheeks flush, my breath quickening as I look around and see candles, nothing but candles adorning the floors and the furniture.
“What’s all this?” I ask, peeking behind me as his hands rest against my hips.
“Do you like it?” He smiles softly, as my eyes travel back to the flickering flames, mirroring against the large glass windows overlooking the harbour.
“Like it— I love it,” I squeak, turning and wrapping my arms around his neck as his lips curl into a relieved smile. Pulling me in, his lips caress mine, gentle, slow and affectionate kisses pepper my lips and a low groan vibrates in his throat.
“Really?” He asks, knowing that I do, and with another kiss, I turn my body my arms still wrapped around him, but letting go so that I can move closer, inspecting the romantic gesture.
Following behind me, Oliver takes my hand, pulling me back to his chest and wraps his arms around my waist, his chin resting against my shoulder, “This is just to show you how much you mean to me,” he coos in my ear.
I hadn’t really noticed until now that sat on the floor amidst the candles, which for a split second had panicked me as a fire hazard but in fact, were so realistic that I’d believed them to be real but they weren’t, they were the ones that had batteries in them.
A picnic blanket sits square on the floor, a basket and book sat on top, a bottle of wine sat in a bucket of ice.
“I’d figured since the weather is awful, that we could have a picnic here, it might not be as romantic as in it would be at a park, but thought this would be more intimate,” he tells me, his lips pressing against my head as he walks in front of me, leading me to sit down.
“This is perfect,” I smile, chewing on the inside of my cheek as we settle in.
“Wait,” he grins as he picks up the control for the TV, turning it on so that the TV transforms into a fireplace, crackling sounds through the speakers.
“Wait,” I ask raising a brow, “What are you after?”
“Nothing,” he replies feigning shock, “What makes you think I’m after something?” His lips curling a little as a smile appears underneath his blonde stubbled beard.
Oh, he’s after something.
“Don’t tell me you did this— just because,” I question.
“Well no— not just because,” my cheeks flush again, not realising someone could be this romantic. I’d never had this type of attention showered on me before.
“Thank you,” I smile kissing him, my fingers threading into his hair at the nape of his neck. His tongue swipes across my bottom lip and as I climb into his lap, his arms wrap around me, pulling me against his chest, our breathing quickening as we begin to get carried away.
Pulling his lips away, letting them graze against mine, his eyes search my own and when he looks at me, I mean really looks at me, his brow furrows just a little, his hands rising up and cupping my cheeks, “I— I—,”
“Yes?” I murmur, my eyes still closed, still feeling his breath against my lips.
“I— think we should eat,” he tells me. My eyes spring open, a sudden tightness in my chest but as he moves away from my lips I bite the bottom of my own and with a subtle clear of my throat, my heart feeling like it might beat out of my chest I shift from his lap and smile a softening smile, my breathing slowing back down, “Show me what you’ve made for us,” I whisper, looking towards the basket.
After eating our weight in sandwiches and other treats, Oliver clears away the remnants and I stand by the large expansive window, a glass of rosé in my hand, the other tucked underneath as I watch droplets of rain trickle down the glass. My mind wandering as I watch the waves below us drifting across the harbour. Boats travelling back and forth and traffic below us, umbrellas bobbing along as people make their way home from a day of work.
There’s something going on, the tension in the air thick in the small apartment but I still— still can't put my finger on it.
“Hey— you ok over there?”
Sighing quietly, I take another sip and turn, half forcing a smile on my face as I look to him. I can see the concern on his face, his brows furrowed as he dries his hands on a dishtowel.
“Yeah,” I reply, turning my attention back to the world below us and sipping on the cold wine in my hand.
“Yes,” I answer again as he moves closer, the towel draped over his shoulder, his arms wrapping around me.
“I need to talk to you about something,”
“I'm all ears,”
“Can you come sit down?”
“Whatever you need to talk about, you can tell me, it’s ok,” I smile gently to him, turning and resting my free hand on his chest, the chiselled contracting muscles move underneath as his eyes flicker between my own.
“I think you should sit down,”
“Oliver,” a small breath escapes my nose in frustration and anxiety as I look down to his arms, his hands resting against my hips.
“Sunday,” his voice nervous, quiet, apprehensive.
He’s leaving me. He was trying to sweeten me with this fucking picnic and now he’s leaving.
“Oliver just tell me,” I snap, pulling myself away, standing back just a little. Watching as his eyes drop to the floor, his teeth sinking into his bottom lip, his hand resting on the back of his neck, slowly massaging back and forth in short strokes.
My arms drop to my side, my eyes narrowing as I watch his eyes look up to me.
“Oliver,” I ask, a slight tremble in my voice, my chin quivering as tears begin stinging at the back of my eyes. This is it, this is the moment he breaks my heart. The inevitable moment I knew would come because let's be honest, I’m surprised its been going so well and stupidly I’d begun imagining that this was different from the rest. I was finally opening myself up to the idea that this time, this was going to be it.
“While I was in New York I— I met up with someone,”
“You met up with someone?” I frown, my head shaking a little as I tried to hold back the tears, the sick, twisting, knotting feeling making me feel nauseous. This is like Jake, just like Jake all over again, only this time it hurts, it's really starting to fucking hurt.
“Sunday it’s just that I never expected this,” he begins, his hand gesturing between us, “I never expected to feel this way about someone, about you, not now, not ever, not after— her,”
“Her?” My brows furrow deep above my eyes, my mouth swallowing the last of the wine. I can feel the tears pooling in my eyes, biting on the inside of my cheek, willing myself to not let them fall, but my body betrays me, a single tear trickling down my cheek.
“Who is she?”
“Sunday,” he panics, rushing towards me, his arms held out. I back away, shaking my head and feeling the hot tears treacherously escaping and falling down onto my cheeks.
“Sunday,” his voice almost a whisper now.
“Who— is— she?”
“Charlotte,” I nod, my voice laced with anger as I place the glass down on the small table behind the couch, swiping furiously under my eyes.
“I hope she was worth it,” I sneer, rushing towards the door, collecting my coat and bag and grasping at the handle.
“Please Sunday, if you’ll just let me explain,”
“What’s to explain? You went to New York— for work and while you were there, you realised that I wasn’t good enough, I wasn’t what you really wanted and so you fucked someone else!” I yell, not caring if the whole apartment building hears me.
“No!” He exclaims, panic clear in his voice. Grasping my wrists, he spins me back towards him, tears still streaming down my cheeks.
“Then what? Was she good? Did she feel good?”
“Just let me explain, you’ve got it all wrong,”
“No— what I got wrong, what I stupidly believed was that you were different, that you were nothing like all the others and now here I am, listening to the same old excuses just like before,”
“Yes, Oliver like before. I hope it was worth it, I hope Charlotte gave you everything you wanted,”
“It wasn’t like that,” he yells as I spin around, beginning to open the door.
“Then what was it like? Who was— is she?”
“Don’t bother,” I scoff, ripping my hand from his grip and starting for the hallway.
“She’s my wife!”