Apparently, it was torture for Fitz more than it was for me that we were on operating on the ‘avoid-each-other’ basis. He took the trouble to take my breath away with his thoughtful surprise: clearing his impossibly tight schedule to prepare a candle lit dinner just for the two of us. It might not sound like a big deal but it meant a lot to me. Ever since we got married, I found out the hard way that I was the second, no scratch that, the third wife, the second one being his ex and the first being his work. I didn’t find it as a bone of contention since I was the one enjoying the fruits of their marriage, the money! And also, I had managed to buy everything that I craved for so there was nothing he could buy to appease me. Remember, before I met Fitz, I was (and still am) a hopeless romantic who believed in Prince Charming, being swept off the feet and all that. I may have been a little corrupted with the lavish lifestyle but in my heart, I appreciate the little things more: spending time together. And Fitz indeed touched my heart with this gesture.
“I know I have been absent for some time….for quite too long if you ask me. And I know how much spending time together means to you. So I took great pains to make this happen,” Fitz said, gesturing to the intimate dinner setting with his hands. I just stood there, taking the whole scene in. I exhaled deeply and with the air came tears into my eyes.
“I hope you like it.” When I said nothing, he walked over to me and gave me a hug-one I have been starved of for too long a time. I hugged him back and whispered my appreciation.
“I’m hungry; you?” He asked when he pulled back.
“Famished.” He led me to the table and pulled the chair for me to sit down.
“Tastes even better.” He took my plate to serve me. My phone beeped. It was a message alert from Adam. Oops. I gave a nervous laugh.
“Sorry about that. It’s Karen. I’m sure she just wants to know if I’ve arrived home.”
“Then you should reply her. I think we should invite her over for dinner sometime.”
“Yeah of course.” I hurriedly took the phone and replied Adam, half-giggling of what he had typed. I looked up to find Fitz looking at me curiously.
“Don’t mind me; it’s just some silly girl talk.” I sighed in relief when he bought that lie. I suddenly felt a wife again and I was loving the feeling. But just as sudden as the feeling came, it all went poof when Fitz cleared his throat to make his announcement.
“I’ll be making this business trip to Hong Kong…” I dropped my fork whose clattering noise echoed throughout the room. He paused, apparently puzzled by my reaction.
“Oh, so that’s what this dinner is all about, huh? Butter me up and get me all prepped up for the big blow, right?”
“Now you’ve completely lost me, my love. It’s not like I’m going on a military mission in Pakistan or something,” Fitz said with a chuckle. I felt my ears heating up. He must have seen my fury because his annoying chuckle got stuck in his throat.
“This is funny for you, isn’t it?”
“I’m sorry dear; I didn’t mean to be insensitive. I’m just surprised that you’re upset because I wasn’t planning on going alone. I was going to tell you that I wanted you to come with you.”
“On a business trip? For how long?”
“Two to three weeks at most.”
“You do know that I’m a student, right?”
“Yeah but I figured you’d be pretty excited about this.”
“Oh excited I am but not in the sense you’re imagining it. You must see me as a toddler, right? I’m just some cute little thing you get to carry along whenever you have somewhere to go. Do I look like a Chihuahua to you?”
“I’m insulted by your words, Emily.”
“Oh yeah, welcome to my world.” I pushed my chair back and judging by the noise it made, it was just as pissed as I was. My phone went on a beeping spree which lasted for some seconds. I snatched it from the table and started to walk out.
“I take it that you’re not coming?” Fitz asked.
“Have a safe trip, Fitz.”
As I laid on the bed, busily text-chatting with Adam about nothing and everything, I felt like myself after such a long while. For a moment, I regretted rushing into this legal bondage I had found myself in. Fitz was nice, charming and affectionate when he wanted to be and I missed the whole rapport which came with hanging out with people in the same age bracket. Maybe it was good that Fitz was leaving the country for a while. It would give me some breathing room to weigh my options better. Whoa, what options? I was married! I can’t believe I was actually thinking of cheating on my husband…not sexually of course but emotionally. Hmm…I now understood why the Good Book said we should not judge. You have no idea why people do the things they do. I missed being single and naïve and excited about having a new crush. I knew what I was getting myself into when I said “I do” to Fitz or I thought I understood but now, I wasn’t so sure. I wanted more than being someone’s arm candy. I needed to feel like someone’s companion and obviously, Fitz didn’t consider me one. Am I just being young and silly?
I felt Fitz’s arm wrap around my middle with a husky whisper wishing me goodnight. I literally felt my heart flutter. Oh what was happening to me?