I wanted to write you something, even just a tiny something while I was there. Perhaps while we were sharing a bed. I couldn’t. I spent every second loving you, being in the moment, loving you more. I didn’t stop to write you a letter because you were right there with me, holding my hand. I couldn’t tear my eyes away from your face or my lips away from yours long enough to write anyway.
But now I’m home. I’m back in my spot on the couch and you’re back at work. Now I can think enough to tell you how wonderful every day was. How amazing it was to be in the most magical place on Earth with you by my side.
But our last night was, by far, my very favorite. I wish I’d taken a photo of you in that black button down. All I wanted all night was to slowly unbutton each button. With my teeth.
I remember every second of getting ready. I remember leaning over the sink and putting my makeup on so carefully, making sure my black smoky eyes were perfect. I remember sliding into my black and white dress and feeling the silky material hug my curves. I remember sitting down and buckling my black heels when you came out of the bathroom. How your face said that I was perfect. How you couldn’t get your shirt buttoned. How it felt to walk over to you and button each one for you with your eyes never leaving me.
I remember being so nervous on the ride to the restaurant. I remember thinking that this was where you work and above all else, I needed to make the perfect impression because I didn’t know if I’d ever get another chance.
We parked and walked to the resort, the wind chilly on my bare legs in my short dress. We walked inside and you said we had to take the elevator because I was too beautiful to have to walk up a flight of stairs.
We walked in and our table wasn’t quite ready, so you took my hand and led me to the bar. It was such a relief. I have never needed a Jack and Coke to soothe my nerves more. You introduced me to the bartender. He seemed like a nice guy, but I just couldn’t take my eyes off of you.
One drink at the bar, one to take to the table with us.
We sat. I kept looking around, marveling at how beautiful it all was and being so overwhelmed that I couldn’t concentrate on the menu. Then you were there, sitting across from me, so calm and cool when I could barely sit still in my seat.
Our server was such a sweetheart. Her Canadian accent was so thick but I could listen to her talk forever. I’m not sure what all she recommended, but she made it all sound perfect.
The bread was fantastic. The butter was amazing. We laughed at how easy it would have been to just eat the pat of butter by itself.
Then it really started. The pork belly appetizer. That hibiscus glaze was heavenly. It would have been rude to lick my fingers. You seemed like you were really enjoying it.
Then the charcuterie. I love prosciutto. It reminded me of the picnic I made us last winter at the beach after you’d had a particularly rough evening. I’ve never eaten an almond before in my life and now I can’t get enough of them. The Romano. The soppressata. Even the dates looked good enough to try, right before you ate them.
I couldn’t decide what to eat. My diet is so limited and I’m not usually brave enough to try it on my own. So I made the decision to split with you whatever you ordered.
Even living on the coast and coming from a long line of offshore fisherman and boat captains, I’ve never liked or eaten seafood. So you ordered the pan-seared red snapper.
It was, without a doubt, nothing short of spectacular. I wasn’t brave enough to try the Cedar Key middle neck clams or the Calico scallops, but the Jasmine rice was delicious and I don’t like rice.
I’m sitting here, in this beautiful atmosphere, eating this amazing food, across the table from the most beautiful woman in the world and she can’t take her eyes off of me. I can’t even tell you everything we talked about. I just know I wanted to sit there, listening to you, with you, forever.
Then your big surprise came. Dessert. I didn’t know that you had told them it was our anniversary. Even if I had known, it wouldn’t have made any sense to me. Our anniversary is in August.
I didn’t realize you were that upset about our anniversary plans last year. You had the night off. You planned I still don’t even know what all and then you got called into work. I told you then that I understood what being with an executive chef would be like. That even if you didn’t keep that position, that our plans would always change and be based on your work schedule. I didn’t realize that you didn’t think making me dinner and sitting in the back room of a restaurant to eat after your shift wasn’t good enough. I didn’t know that six months later I’d be seeing you for the first time in months and you’d be telling me I deserved the very best and we’d be in Florida, having the most spectacular, amazing meal of my life together.
I don’t know what all I deserve, but I do know I’ll never give you any less than my very best.
That dessert tray was the stardust and moonbeams that dreams are made of.
The raspberry and strawberry basil sorbet. The key lime tart. And oh my God, the tiramisu. The champagne. The chocolate “Happy Anniversary”. It became unreasonably difficult to control my emotions. Then you laughed and pointed behind me, where I could see the fireworks through the huge glass windows.
I don’t know what I did to deserve you, but I know I’d do it all over again a thousand times to have those few hours again.
We got ready to leave and they handed us our keepsake anniversary menus.
It was too much. I was so overwhelmed. The whole night was so perfect and I couldn’t imagine having to get on a plane in a few short hours.
So I tried to throw in a surprise or two just for you. You only realized last night that all that black lace was still in your pocket. The ride home, missing the exit. Getting back to our resort and our room, making love.
No matter how old we get, that night is like our night in Beaufort on the waterfront. It’s etched in my memory forever. It makes me smile thinking about it. I just thought you should know how much I loved it.
And how much I love you.