“Oh wow, this place is amazing! So romantic.”
I stared dreamily at the patio of the colorful, Mediterranean-style restaurant. The air was warm and thick with the scent of flowers. It felt like we were on holiday in Italy, but in reality, it was a new restaurant that had just opened in Willow Creek.
“I’m glad you like it, baby.” Phil smiled. “It’s so good to see you happy.”
I felt a pang of guilt. I knew that Phil had been having a hard time as well, but I’d barely noticed it because I was so overwhelmed by my own sadness. He insisted that he wasn’t angry at me, but I still felt like I should’ve been a more supportive wife for him lately.
I even started apologizing, but Phil obviously knew me too well. “Don’t you dare say ‘sorry’ for anything,” he interrupted sternly. “You’re doing amazing and you have nothing to apologize for. Let’s just celebrate that we’ve been married for six months. Forget about all the sad stuff for a while.”
I nodded, thankfully, and grabbed the menu. It was so lovely to be out with Phil again, getting dressed up and just spending time with each other. I couldn’t remember the last time we’d gone out on a date.
The waitress quickly came over to take our order. After we’d told her what we wanted, the older woman smiled and put her notepad back in her pocket.
“You two are such a gorgeous couple.” She glanced over at my hand, noticing the rings. “And I see you’re married already! You’re so young.” We both laughed. We got that comment a lot.
“It’s actually our six month wedding anniversary,” I told her.
“Oh, how exciting! Six months! So you two will probably start having some little bundles of joy soon.”
The friendly lady had no idea how hurtful her comment was to me. I struggled blinking back tears, as Phil quickly noticed.
“We’re trying,” he explained to the lady. “It’s not going very well, yet.”
“Oh, I’m so sorry.” She sounded genuine. “Don’t give up, dear,” she continued, looking over at me. “They told me I was too old to have kids when I got married at 35 and I still pushed out four of them. Can you imagine?” she chuckled. “I’m sure everything will work out well for you two.”
She smiled, and I couldn’t help but smile back. “Thank you. I sure hope so.”
The incident was quickly forgotten as Phil cheered me up with stupid news stories he was covering and funny anecdotes about his colleagues. The food was lovely, and the soft Spanish and Italian music that was playing made me relax. For the first time in months, I was able to let go of all the stress and guilt I’d been feeling. Every month, getting my period had felt like a punishment and making love to Phil almost felt like a chore that I had to get right. I knew it bothered him and I also knew that he was too sweet to say anything about it. But I made the decision to let go of all the pressure and just… see what would happen.
I told Phil about my sudden revelation and he let out a relieved sigh.
“You have no idea how long I’ve waited for you to say something like that.”
I chuckled. “I’m sorry. I promise I’ll be better from now on.”
“You’re already perfect the way you are, Allie Fiore. And this will happen for us. I know it will. We just need to keep up the hope.”
I looked at my husband, pure joy filling my heart. “I love you.”
“I love you, too.”
We spent a long time at the restaurant, sharing a dessert and having drinks. We stumbled towards the front door, giggling like teenagers in love, holding hands and sharing kisses. There was something about this night that felt different than any day in the past months had. It was like a huge weight had lifted off my shoulder, and suddenly the world was full of possibilities.
“Let’s not wait until we get home,” I whispered in Phil’s ear. He grinned and promptly pulled me towards the car…