How long had the alarm been sounding? Eyes closed, she reached over and pressed the off button. It was a bright sunny day, she could tell, though her eyelids refused to budge. She snuggled closer to the warm body next to her, nuzzling the back of his neck.
"Honey, it's time to get up. I'll go start on breakfast." She kissed his cheek and, though he gave no indication of returning her affectionate greeting, joy filled her as she reluctantly opened her eyes, rolled over and sat up.
The sunlight streamed in through delicate lace curtains, casting patterns all over the room. With a happy sigh, she stood up and fumbled her feet into her slippers and pulled on the matching powder blue bathrobe that lay neatly folded at the foot of the bed.
"Happy anniversary" she whispered as she left the room.
The walls of the hallway seemed to glow a rosy pink. She smiled a little contented smile to herself as she thought about the day when they had picked out those colors. Well, the day he'd picked out those colors. He had politely listened to her suggestions. He was always very polite. He had lovingly patted her hand and turned to the man behind the counter, handed over the samples he'd been holding and said "We'll go with these."
And it had been a very good choice, indeed. The colors reminded her of the most delicate sea shells.
She padded into the room where her twin boys were sleeping. She could hear the shower running in the other room, the house starting to creep to life again.
"Time to get up for school boys." She dismissed the usual protests. As two sleepy faces peered at her from under the covers, she planted a kiss on each forehead.
"Get dressed and come downstairs...you don't want to be late for school!" she chirped.
Once downstairs, she bustled about the kitchen. So much to do! There was coffee to grind and oranges to squeeze, pastries (from the bakery down the street) milk and cereal to set out. But somehow she always managed to have it done by the time her men, her boys, made it down to the table.
Today, their special day, was no exception.
As he walked into the room, she stood before him dutifully, and he planted a perfunctory kiss on the top of her head. Their morning ritual completed, she turned her attention to the boys.
"Remember, you're staying at Grandma's tonight...!" she couldn't keep that cheerful tone from her voice. This was their special night. Every year on this night, for the past seven years, the boys always stayed at Grandma's house.
As the clinking of cups and glasses subsided, she bustled the boys into their sweaters and backpacks and hurried them out the door, to the awaiting car.
"Don't forget to say 'thank you' for the ride, boys!"
She took a quick glance up and down the street. The manicured lawns gleamed, jewel-like, with a bit of dew that still clung to them.
She walked back into the house and grabbed the briefcase that sat on the floor. She knew that he would be walking up any second, to give her a goodbye kiss.
Briefcase relinquished and goodbyes kissed, she set about to clearing the remnants of the breakfast rush. Today was Tuesday, which meant it was time to vacuum. She had been intimidated by the job at first. She had always wanted a cozy little house. She saw a brief flash of cityscapes, of glass and pavement, colorful lights and lively streets and... No, she repeated to herself, she had always wanted a cozy little house. He had insisted that if they were going to have a big family, they should have a big house. He was right of course. He always was. Over the years she had become accustomed to the housework and it would never occur to her to mention it.
She paused in front of the little glass cabinet in the living room. Six small figurines stood neatly lined up on a shelf, angels all of them. This one was crystal, its fragile wings making tiny rainbows behind and around it. That was the first one. The next one was porcelain, a Lladró, which always reminded her of her mother. She hadn't spoken to her mother in seven years. She quickly dismissed the thought as she looked at the other four figurines on the shelf. There would be another one for the collection tonight, she knew.
She looked for more little tasks to fill her day. She straightened a bit here and a bit there. Everything was as he liked it; a place for everything and everything in its place. She kept thinking about the night to come. This was their special day.
Night finally came, and he walked in, setting his briefcase down in its spot by the door. She reached out to receive the rose and figurine he handed her and turned her face up to kiss him. He took the items from her and set them on the small hall-way table.
Taking her hand, he lead her up the stairs and into their room. He guided her to sit on the edge of the bed, where she began to undress. At a look from him, she picked up her clothes and impatiently folded them. She climbed under the covers and watched him, the anticipation making her shiver just a bit. He undressed methodically and stacked his neatly folded clothes on the nearby chair.
As he climbed under the covers next to her, he turned off the lamp on his night stand. He reached across her to turn off her lamp, and grazed her breast as he did so. She stifled a sigh of excitement.
Now it could begin.
First, he would kiss her neck... She felt his lips on her neck as she thought this to herself.
Then he would move down to her breasts, first the right... She could feel him suckling on her right nipple as she thought this to herself.
She anticipated his every movement, until he would part her legs and sink himself deep inside of her, on their special night. As he pumped furiously into her, she wrapped her legs around him, feeling daring. She only felt a momentary disappointment, as he roughly pushed her legs back down. This was their special night.
With a groan of release, he pulled himself away and rolled over, his back to her. It was not too long before he began to breathe in the steady rhythm of sleep.
She looked up into the darkness and was filled with that bittersweet feeling that always overcame her on this day. But it was fleeting. She knew that it would not be too long. The seasons would pass. She would fill her days and there would be an eighth figurine on the shelf and...
She sat up with a gasp. There was a crash and a beeping as the garbage truck pulled into place outside. She heard yelling, and a car alarm sounded three floors below. Thick velvet curtains let in very little light and colored the room a deep red. She took a moment to let her eyes adjust. The familiar stacks of books, the small piles of clothes scattered about, all helped to dispel the images from the night before. She stretched across the entire bed before getting up, and sighed with contentment, and thought about what she would like to do with her day.
Coffee, cigarette, emails...begin.