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I slam the front door behind me and throw my keys onto the kitchen table, shaking the excess rain from my soaking-wet hair. Just my luck – the day I decide to ride my bike to work, it rains. As if my day wasn’t crappy enough already.

I hang up my jacket and stalk into the kitchen, letting out a frustrated groan as I see the stack of dirty dishes that is still in the sink, leftover from this morning.

“Daniel!” I call out accusingly.

“Yeah,” he answers, his voice coming faintly from our bedroom.

“Why didn’t you do the dishes?”

“I’ve been working all day, I didn’t get around to it – sorry.”

I don’t reply, I simply pick up the first plate rather violently and start scrubbing it.

“Bad day at work?” I hear Daniel’s voice, now coming from the doorway of the kitchen.

“To say the least,” I say flatly.

“Here,” he says softly, “let me get those.” I feel his hands close around my waist as he gently moves me to one side of the sink, taking my place. He smiles, kisses me lightly, and says, “Welcome home, by the way.”

It sometimes surprises me, how effortlessly charming he can be, but that doesn’t distract me from the sour mood I am still in.

“Mr. Torreg is still treating me like his personal assistant – all I ever do is get his coffee and make copies and return his phone calls. I thought this was only going to last for a few weeks, like some sort of hazing ritual. But I’ve been with this company for eight months, and nothing has changed! I am an architect. I went to school and studied how to be an architect. I have the same qualifications as Michael or Jared or anyone else, but they’re the ones designing the new library downtown and I’m the one getting Torreg his mid-morning cappuccino ‘with extra sugar.’ My ideas still get laughed at. I don’t get it.”

“He has no right to treat you like that,” says Daniel sympathetically. He finishes drying the last bowl and turns to face me.

“I know! I just wish I knew when it’s going to stop. Is this just a stage I have to get through to get any respect, or is this going to go on forever?”

“Maybe Torreg just hasn’t figured out how wonderful and talented you are yet. Don’t worry, he will – it’s pretty obvious to me. It’s obvious to everyone, really.”

I giggle in spite of myself, and follow him as he starts to walk out of the kitchen. “Come on, Daniel, be serious.”

Daniel opens the hall closet, pulls out my favorite fleece blanket, and wraps it around me.

“Seriously, you picked a terrible day to ride your bike to work.” He says, chuckling.

I shoot him a ‘ya think?’ look, and wrap the blanket tighter around my shoulders.

“Why don’t you go sit on the couch and rest? I’ll join you in a minute.”

I smile at him, kiss him on the cheek, and head into the living room.

The window curtains have been opened, but the only thing I can see is the rain pounding against the glass. The funny thing about rain is how stressful it can be when you’re in it, and how soothing it can be when you’re simply watching it.

I sit down on the soft, burgundy couch in the center of the room and curl up, watching the rainstorm.

A moment later, I hear soft jazz music begin to play from the stereo system in the corner of the room, and I turn around to see Daniel coming toward me with two steaming mugs. As he hands me one, I ask,

“What’s this?”

“A cinnamon latte with white chocolate sprinkles.”

There is nothing I love more on this earth than cinnamon lattes. Or white chocolate, for that matter.

“Hopefully this will lighten up your day a little bit,” he says sweetly and sits down on the couch next to me.”

“Mission accomplished,” I return, with a genuinely grateful smile. I take a long sip of my latte, relishing the warmth that spreads throughout my body, then set the mug on the coffeetable.

I snuggle into him, resting my head against his shoulder and wrapping my arms around his, twisting our fingers together. He smells like rain. He always smells like rain.

And this is how we stay, for the next ten minutes or so – pressed together, with the smell of hot coffee and the sound of rain and jazz. It occurs to me, not for the first time, how truly lucky I am to have Daniel. Even now, in our fifth year of marriage, he continues to surprise me with his kindness and warmth. I come home with nothing but complaints, I get on his case for a few dirty dishes, and he makes me a latte. I can’t possibly deserve him. But if fate made a mistake and accidentally paired us up, it’s the best mistake that has ever been made.

Finally, Daniel breaks the silence.

“You could always quit your job, you know.”

I lift my head to look at him, and laugh.

“Quit my job?”

“Yeah! Quit, and you’ll never have to deal with Torreg again.”

“Don’t I wish...” I sigh, and reach for my coffee.

“And we could move to Paris!”

“Paris?”

“Paris! I could still be an editor, and you could work freelance and design fancy French buildings!”

“And we’ll live in a cute little apartment on a cobblestone street...”

“And eat pastries for every meal!”

“And drink wine on the banks of the Champs Élyseés––”

“And visit the Louvre every week––”

“And make friends with all the fancy French artists––”

“And learn French so fluently that they’ll think we’re native––”

“And buy a vineyard––”

“And go to Disneyland!”

At this point, we are talking so excitedly that we are tripping over each other’s words and we can’t understand what we’re saying, until finally we just collapse into laughter.

When we finally compose ourselves, Daniel says,

“And we’ll kiss in front of the Eiffel Tower, like all those cheesy tourists do.”

“Or we could just do that here...” I add, and lean into him. I press my lips against his, and trace the length of his jaw with my fingertips. Regardless of how long we have been together, kissing him still makes my heart speed up a bit. After a few moments, we break apart. I look into his mesmerizing green eyes, and kiss him lightly once more, for good measure.

“Yeah, right here is just fine,” he says, grinning at me.

“I’ll tell you what, I’ll give Torreg a week, and if he’s still mean to me by then, we’ll move to Paris. How’s that?” I offer teasingly.

“How about a day?”

“Deal,” I laugh.

“Deal.”

He looks at me for a second, and then says,

“Or we could just go to a French restaurant downtown.”

“That works too!”

“Excellent! Go put on your prettiest dress, ‘cause I’m taking you on a date!”

I laugh, always amused by his spontaneity.

“To Paris!” I say triumphantly, and stand up from the couch.

“Feeling better?” Daniel asks, replacing his lively tone with a sincere, loving one.

“Infinitely,” I say with a smile, “thank you.”

I take his hands in mine, and he kisses me gently for a long moment.

I smile, putting as much love into it as I can possibly manage, then turn and head to our bedroom.




Join the Discussion


This article has 10 comments. Post your own!

Aduke9This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jul. 7, 2012 at 4:47 pm:
Amazing :D
 
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BrokenBreeThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Nov. 10, 2011 at 8:58 pm:
Oh my. I'm falling in love with these characters and this story. You're an amazing writer and you should never quit! You are absolutely amazing at this!
 
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Maverick2217 said...
Apr. 2, 2011 at 10:36 pm:
Ok, you definitely need to contact me when you publish a book about them so I can read it:)
 
bridget1 replied...
Jul. 24, 2011 at 9:05 pm :
Same here.
 
Maia B. This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 3, 2011 at 7:12 pm :
ditto three - I love these guys! :)
 
ashley112027 replied...
Apr. 26, 2012 at 10:53 am :
I third that!! <3
 
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WindDancerThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Apr. 2, 2011 at 8:10 am:
Great job! The characters are really sweet and I was really pulled into their life once again. Keep writing, please!
 
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Someone_Who_Is_Loved said...
Mar. 9, 2011 at 8:46 pm:

LOVE THIS <3

KEEP WRITING

U SHULD GET A BOOK PUBLISHED. I'D DEFINATLY BUY IT <3

 
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pixiedust15This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Nov. 4, 2010 at 9:32 pm:
Luved it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was pulled into the story from beginning to end. I also read that "Kiss me one last time" and i luvd tht 2. Keep writing plz. You have a great tailent. You make a really good writer. ;)
 
BookFreak14 replied...
May 27, 2011 at 3:41 pm :
Perfect.... I LOVE YOUR WORK!!!!.... It was interesting and wonderful at the same time!
 
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