Something to call my own.
I glanced down at medium sized black and silver cell phone that buzzed obnoxiously in my hand and smiled when I saw 'Alice' appear on the small colorful screen. I leaned over the dark brown wooden balcony of the stairway to see him standing in the foyer below.
"What are you doing?" I asked, ignoring the continuous buzz.
Alice looked up at me, holding the phone to his ear still. He tapped his foot a little bit as if impatiently waiting for the call to be answered. I was confused to say the least, what was he up to this time?
"Will you answer it already?" Alice asked with a smirk as he watched me.
"Just talk to me right now." I said rolling my eyes at him as I remained in place leaning on the balcony.
This was certainly a new behavior and I thought I had seen just about everything from him at one point or another. He continued to stay in place tapping his leather boot even louder against the marble flooring. It was as if he had never heard a word I said. He was ignoring me to get his way, I just knew it.
"Alice." I scolded, frustrated with the reverberating tapping sound he was making.
He continued to ignore me and also continued to let his phone call mine. I finally became too annoyed and gave into what he wanted, which was something he had grown very used to. I pressed the 'answer call' button finally just to appease him.
"Hello?" I asked pretending as if I had no idea who the caller was.
Alice smiled up at me from the foyer, finally recognizing that I was in the same room as he. Getting his way always seemed to improve his mood even if it was just the little things. Sometimes he could be so childish.
"Listen, what are you doing Friday night?" He asked.
I didn't respond for a moment as I stared down at him still in shock that he just HAD to call me on the phone to ask when we were just a couple of feet away. He very easily could have just called my name and asked the question. I could not find the logic to some of the things he managed to come up with. But I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy trying to figure out the reasoning behind his actions. He certainly kept things interesting for us.
"Nothing." I said leaning against the wall instead of the balcony now, but from where I stood I could still see him perfectly.
"Would you honor me with a date then?" He asked.
I leaned over farther to see what he was doing but he smiled up at me charmingly as if there were nothing odd about this conversation. I felt like he was purposely using words like 'honor me' just to add to the oddness of this conversation.
"We're married...” I smiled. “How could we possibly go on a date?" I asked with a laugh. "You know married people don't date." I teased him a bit.
Did married people still actively go on dates? Dating was clearly reserved for before you were married. I just wasn't used to the idea of Alice asking me out in a way he would before we got married. It reminded me of when we were much younger and so much more nervous about going out together. It was actually pretty cute of him to be doing this.
Alice let out a small sigh seeming put off by my responses. He obviously had put a lot of thought into this and my teasing tone must have been disappointing to hear. He probably thought I would instantly fall in love with the idea and instead I was giving him a hard time about it. It really was sweet of him to be spontaneous like this and I needed to learn to leave the saracasm behind sometimes.
"You're ruining this baby, just say yes." He looked up at me with an adorable pout.
The way his bottom lip jutted out instantly put me into a weakened state. I was unable to resist him, even after years of marriage he was still the most attractive man in my eyes. And I finally gave in, no longer starting up.
"I would love to go on a date with you." I finally replied, offering him a small smile.
"Wonderful!" He sounded generally happy. "We'll rent some movies and go out to dinner. How's that sound?" He asked.
I let out another laugh finding this whole situation really funny. This wasn’t his normal antics. No, he hadn’t behaved this way since we had actually started dating. Which brought through a whole rush of memories of some of the situations we used to get ourselves into when we were younger and much more hormonal. Times that we were sneaking around to see one another in the middle of the night, assured no one knew where we were but if one of us didn't return to our beds it seemed everyone made note of it and teased us for it the next morning. No one seemed to be able to keep the rumors quiet during the tour that we first met.
"Sounds good. I'll see you Friday then." I said keeping up with his little game.
It was the least I could do to make up for earlier. I'd feed into his new fantasy and see where it went, no harm in having a little fun. I was actually growing more excited at the idea of having a night out with him. Things were always busy in our lives, revolving around his ever changing schedule. It was nice that he was willing to dedicate time to just me when I knew there were so many other things he could have been attending to.
"Bye, love." I replied, laughing still as he and I both hung up our phones.
I continued to wait by the banister as he slowly ascended the stairway with a little swagger in his walk. He wrapped his warm arms gently around my waist the moment he was close enough. And then he pressed a soft kiss on my lips that immediately made me swoon further into his arms.
"I might have overheard that you have a date night on Friday with a romantic man." He said looking at me with his sparkling blue eyes.
I couldn't help but smile at how charming he was. He had a way of still giving me butterflies every time we touched. He really was one in a million. And he was right, I did have a date with one of the last true romantics around. I was a lucky girl.
"I do!" I grinned with excitement. "The most romantic and most amazing man ever to exist." I said, just to stroke his ego a little.
I know it worked perfectly because he returned my grin. Alice liked hearing that I cared for him and enjoyed the things he did to surprise me. It gave him confidence to try an assortment of other things later on. The one that I really loved about our relationship was how much we supported one another when trying something new. We knew it wouldn't always work our perfectly but we enjoyed seeing how things turned out. Even bad situations taught us a lot about how we responded as a couple.
"You're too sweet." He said planting a kiss to the top of my head.
I happily laid my forehead upon his chest enjoying his warm arms wrapped around me. Nothing made me feel as safe as when he held me like this. The whole world seemed to melt away and all I thought about was how perfectly he and I fit together. I made sure to glance up to him and nod my head at his comment.
“I am.” I answered, enjoying the laugh that rumbled through his chest freeingly.
“Miss modesty!” He teased me with a loving squeeze.
All of Friday morning and afternoon Alice wasn't home, I had no idea where he had gone off to. It wasn’t normal for him to disappear without a note or at least a phone call. I half assumed he was getting in a few rounds of golf (his biggest addiction), so I wasn’t too worried about where he had run off to but I always liked to have some kind of idea. In fact, I hoped he was golfing. I happily let him indulge in the hobby because it was healthier than the ones he had dealt with in the past. I guess that’s why he and I worked out so perfectly. We never pestered each other about what the other had been doing all day or who we were with, we trusted each other enough to have freedom in our relationship. Most of the time we just told one another anyway, without the pressure. It seemed to make things easier on us both.
It was approaching seven when I finally heard the front door open then footsteps leading all the way up to the bedroom where I currently was. It was a little funny that I was able to tell it was Alice just by the pace and thudded sound of his boots. Although it could only be him since no one else had the keys to our home...
"I got something for you." I heard from behind me.
I turned around and faced Alice with a smile. He held a large black box in his hands and gently guided it over into my waiting fingers. Late and bringing gifts, it wasn't necessary, really.
"You didn't have to get me anything." I laughed a little as he moved over to me.
"It's a little gift for our date night." He said pushing the box further into my hands.
I looked down to the large box then back up to him. I really didn't need anything from him. I was content with just having a simple date night. He didn't need to buy me anything in an attempt to impress me further.
"Alice." I said appreciating his generosity but he should have known better.
I wasn’t a materialistic person. I wasn't one of those wives that expected luxury cars or designer purses. I never expected anything from him, I was simply happy to have him around. That was enough for me.
"You have to wear it tonight." He said using his free hand to hold the box in my hands not allowing me to give it back to him.
I looked down at the box again. I didn't need the gift, I really didn't. And I didn't want him to think I was saying 'no' in hopes that he would give it to me anyway. I just didn't want Alice to feel like he had to do these kinds of things for me as much as I appreciated the gesture.
"Love." I began to protest.
I hadn't gotten him anything and I always liked when things were more balanced between us. If I had known we were exchanging gifts it might have been a little different. He reached out and put a single finger against my lips.
"Not another word,” He smiled. "Now get dressed, we're leaving in an hour. I already got the movies, made our reservations, and set up for a limo to come get us. I'll be getting ready elsewhere." He leaned over and let his lips brush against mine briefly again. "The secrecy adds to the excitement." He told me with a grin.
I continued to smile like a love struck teenage girl, which in ways he made me feel like one still. Alice kept me young and I hoped I did the same for him as well. I just loved him so much.
"Thank you for all this." I said stealing another kiss before he walked out the door and closed it gently behind him.
I carried the box over to the bed, pulled the lid off and moved the cream colored paper out of the way as I saw black fabric inside. I pulled out the folded fabric and it slowly billowed downwards so I was finally able to see that it was a beautiful black cocktail dress. The top of the dress had a v-neck cut with long sleeves, around the waist was a thick satin sash that complimented the dress perfectly and it was knee length. I was impressed to say the least; it was something I would have chosen for myself. And it wasn’t like I was an easy person to shop for. I had strong opinions about all clothes but somehow he knew me both inside and out and I loved that about him.
After taking a shower and going through my hair and makeup routine I finally slid the gorgeous black dress on. It hugged every curve perfectly, managed to look dressy, sexy and sophisticated all at the same time. I was highly impressed with his ability to pick things out for me without me being there. The size was even perfect. I slid on a pair of simple black high heels just as there was a soft knock on the bedroom door.
"Come in, I'm almost finished." I replied to the knock as I went over to the dresser slipping on a silver bracelet and necklace.
I glanced into the mirror to see my reflection and managed to catch a glimpse of Alice sitting on the bed waiting for me. He was dressed in a suit, holding a red rose. My mouth nearly dropped open at how romantic this was turning out. I turned to look at him and couldn't wipe the grin off my face. He had a white dress shirt on, black pants, a black suit jacket and even a black tie. If there was one thing I had learned it was that very rarely did he get so dressed up like this. At most you could convince him to put on a pair of black jeans to be dressy, so this really was a treat to me.
"You look so good." I said smiling at him fondly.
Alice returned the smile as he stood from the bed handing me the rose trying to be swauve. It sort of worked for him though even when he wagged his eyebrows in a ridiculous manner to crack me up.
"You look beautiful." He gently took the hand not holding the rose and twirled me around so he could get a better look at the dress he had bought me.
I giggled a little while he did so. This felt like a scene straight out of a classic romance movie. He really was winning my heart all over again. I never questioned why I had fallen in love with him all those years ago but this moment certainly reminded me why he was the only man for me.
"I'm serious, it's rare for you to dress up in a suit." I said placing my arms around his neck as I kissed him. "You look so handsome." I told him, looking him over still.
Alice gave a faint nod in agreement.
"Once in a while I gotta put a suit on to remind you how good I can look." He replied, with a teasing smile. "Now, my dear, we must get going. The limo is waiting for us." He said locking his fingers with mine as he led me down the stairway and out the front door.
Like Alice had said, waiting for us on the stone driveway was a long black limo. He really had planned this date out extensively it seemed.
"Alice." I glanced over to him.
He had really gone out of his way for tonight's date. I would have been happy with something much more low profile than this.
"Don't say it." He scolded me before I got a chance to say he didn't need to go to such lengths for me.
I smiled looking at him still. There was something kind of fun to the way he scolded me. He hadn't said it in a mean way, it was playful at most. He knew exactly how I was going to respond before I had even said anything.
"Fine." I finally laughed as he helped me into the limo and then got in beside me.
"You can be the most difficult woman sometimes." Alice smirked as he kept our fingers intertwined, giving my hand a squeeze.
I slowly looked over at him shaking my head slightly. I was reasonably difficult, not set in my ways but not a pushover either. And wasn’t it a good thing that I didn’t need the most expensive things in life? I thought so.
"Why? Because I don't need fancy things to impress me?" I asked curious as to what response he would provide for me.
His answer would either be comical or serious, I wondered which he would choose tonight.
"Exactly!" Alice threw in. "Limos, expensive dresses and diamonds should create some kind of sparkle in your eyes." He slowly caressed my fingers as he spoke.
I looked to our interlocked fingers and couldn't help but smile. It was then that I raised my eyes to his again.
"And what if the only thing that creates a sparkle in my eyes is you?" I questioned.
The moment of silence that came over our conversation made me grin. I had thrown his entire game plan off. He had expected me to be teasing as he had but I wasn't, I was being honest with him.
"If that be the case..." He opened up with. "Then I'd be certain that you are really the one for me, and always have been." He answered in a caressing tone that made my body warm with love for him.
I pulled my hand from his and let it lightly trail down his cheek just needing to touch him after he said something so sweet like that. Alice had such a way with words.
"I love you." I promised him, having that familiar butterfly feeling washing over me again.
Alice placed his hand over mine.
"And I love you." He said with a chuckle at how quickly I had succumbed to his new date idea.
It really was a good one and very romantic too. I guess I just had to be a little more open minded to his new ideas. Not all of them were bad ones. I had a feeling this one would be turning out very well for us. In fact, if this continued to go so well maybe we could integrate it into our normal routine together.
I was so exhausted after dinner and dancing with Alice that when the limo pulled into the driveway I sighed happily, just glad to be back home. Alice got out first and held his hand towards me. I reached up and allowed him to help me from the limo. He grabbed the house key from his suit pocket placing it in my hand.
“Go in, I’ll be there in a minute.” He told me with a loving kiss.
I nodded my head humming and swaying all the way inside the house as I replayed how perfectly we had danced together almost as if every move had been choreographed. The way he held me softly in his arms, allowing our bodies to brush up against each other, it was all very romantic. And it wasn't like Alice was the greatest dancer but his confidence made up for any moves he had lacked.
I walked into the family room plopping down on the comfortable leather couch as I picked up the pile of movies Alice had chosen for our night together. I couldn’t help but laugh and shake my head at his choices. A bad kung fu, that I was certain would be bad because it was the only kind Alice enjoyed watching…plus the title made a promise of ninjas versus vampires. A horror, which had a cover splayed with blood. No doubt it was one of the good ‘b’ horrors. The last two movies were a comedy, and romance, neither I had heard of before.
“What? You don’t like my choices?” Alice asked coming up beside me sounding hurt.
“You practically got every genre.” I continued to laugh.
Did he really think I would dismiss all four movies? I was not nearly that picky but he seemed to want all his bases covered for the night.
“I wasn’t sure what you’d be in the mood for.” He replied taking the movies from me.
I smiled, he had really thought everything out.
“Take a guess.” I said with a grin.
He had been right with the dress, he had been right that I would enjoy the date but could he manage to pick the right movie?
“Horror, it is.” Alice replied as he set the other movies down before putting it in the dvd player.
I watched him struggle a little to figure out which button to press but after a moment he got it to work. And even more shocking, he had been right with the movie selection. As the movie started he came and sat back down beside me, pulling me into his arms. I laid my head against his shoulder and he hugged me closer.
“Thank you for tonight.” I smiled.
Alice nodded his head as if it were nothing.
“I’m glad you had a good time.” He gently kissed the top of my head and I nuzzled closer to his warm body. "I had a good time too." He whispered.
The moment after the psycho-killer found his first college victim in the dorm, I fell asleep.
When I opened my eyes again the room was darkened aside from the soft glow of the tv, the movie must have ended some time ago. Alice and I were curled up on the couch together his arm draped protectively over my body. I was honestly surprised we both fit comfortably together but it was a large couch. I moved gently making sure I didn’t crush Alice as I tried to get up.
“Alice,” I whispered quietly as I ran my fingers through his soft black hair.
He mumbled quietly in his sleep which brought a smile to my face. I couldn't understand what he had said but the sleepy tone he spoke it in was adoreable.
“Alice.” I said again trying to wake him gently.
Finally he woke looking at me with sleepy blue eyes. He blinked a couple of times looking as if he could doze off again any moment.
“Yeah, honey?” He asked trying to stay awake to listen to what I had to say.
I continued to run my fingers though his hair with a soft stroking motion attempting to be soothing.
“We should head up to bed.” I suggested.
Alice let out a small groan before stretching out. WIth me sitting on the floor in front of him he had so much more room to extend his limbs.
“We probably should.” He reluctantly replied.
I giggled a little at his gruff tone. It reminded me much of the tone he used on stage when singing sometimes. There was a hoarse sleepiness to it.
“Come on.” I said getting up from my seated position.
I turned the television off and made my way back to the couch, bumping into a few things before I flicked the side table light on briefly to gather my belongings. Alice shielded his eyes unhappily as he got up from the couch moving over to me. He took my hand in his, flicked the family room light off and led me upstairs.
After stumbling a few times we made it up to our bedroom and only then did Alice let go of my hand as we began to go through our separate nighttime routines in a more rushed form. I made it into bed a few minutes before he did but finally I felt him pull back the sheets and climb in. Even in his tiredness he reached over and pulled my body to his, allowing me to curl up with him.
“Goodnight, honey.” He told me softly.
“Thank you for tonight.” I whispered again closing my eyes for a second time that night. "Goodnight."
There were many sides to Alice. The leather wearing ruthless dominator that entertained the masses, there was the golf addict side that made him wake every morning just to feed the dreaded golf monster. I’m sure there were even some sides I had never seen before. One thing I did know was that there was a softer side to Alice beneath all that leather and black make up. The side that made him behave caring or thoughtful, the side that allowed him to be exciting and romantic. And it was that side of Alice that he had shared with me, an entire side of him to call my own.