He pulled into the driveway, killed the engine and just sat there for a minute listening to the last few remnants of a forgotten song spit out of the radio. Lays his head back on the headrest and closed his eyes, sighing and trying to put the day behind him. What a fucken day it was - woke up late, busy as hell at work, thoughts of murder and dismemberment directed towards his subordinates and to top it all off he forgot it was his wedding anniversary. Work was to busy to duck out early and try and clean this mess up, buy some flowers or something and get out of the dog house - but it was not meant to be.
As he walked into the house the familiar sounds of laughter and clanking dinky cars filled his ears. The thoughts of his son playing and having fun without a care in the world always warmed his heart. He smiled and walked in, greeted by two tiny little arms and a big sloppy wet kiss. How could he not be in a great mood when greeted by his boy like that, I swear his boy is the happiest little boy in the world. The man thought for a moment what it would be like to be a child again, no stress or worries, no bills to pay or repairs to make. When the hardest decision to make was to have a freeze or a pudding for snack. He thought hard to remember what that was like but the memories had long since left his mind, replaced by pin numbers and passwords, emails and good for nothing codes.
These thoughts brought him back to reality, he was a man now with a wife, a house, a kid, two cars and a dog. He was living the dream he had rushed so hard to obtain only to feel like he missed out, not sure on what but definitely missed out on something.
The smell of gooey lasagna filled his nostrils, drifted down to his lungs and filled his belly. His favorite meal, homemade lasagna. Just the smell could make a prize fighter foam at the mouth, drop to their knees and peg for a piece. His wife had not forgotten what today was. He climbed the stairs with his two year old climbing him like a chimp from the zoo and she turned to him with a smile, her eyes searching his hands looking for her present. Her smile was quickly replaced with the look of disappointment, she knew he had forgotten even though she had hoped it was not so.
She followed him into the bedroom, still holding onto the last hopes of a surprise. He had nothing to give her, she knew it but didn't want to admit it. As he changed out of his work wear, you could see some of the stresses of the day melting off with each peice of clothes. His shoulders loosened with the knot of his tie, his chest deflated a bit with each undone button and his stomach rounded just a bit with the clank of his belt hitting the floor. He turned to his wife and pulled her in close, she closed her eyes as he kissed her. He always wondered why, wanting to know what was going through her mind. Her hands traced his body as his did hers. He couldn't help but remember what it used to be, so taught and fresh almost sculpted. They had been together since she was 16, almost 11 years ago now. As his hands pulled her in closer he knew she was right for him, he found her more attractive now. She had confidence, maybe not as taught as she once was but what replaced it was soft and warm - comforting and this turned him on every day.
She pulled back and opened her eyes, blinking wildly in the light. She whispered "it's OK, I know how busy you are right now. Maybe this wknd we can celebrate." She always knew how to turn the dagger when he felt bad, he never thought it malicious but he also knew that she never said anything without thinking about it. They were far to honest with each other to play games like that.
He tried to apologize to her back as she walked away with a smug grin on her face knowing she had won again. He never let her go without, if she said she needed it then he got it for her so she never pushed the issue when dates were missed knowing the consolation prize would be worth it.
They ate dinner quietly, chit chatting about this and that - about nothing really. This was his life and as his belly got full he got happier. The stress of the day had washed away with the water while freshening up, down the drain it flowed and out of his mind.
It is funny how life works out. He spent his whole life trying to grow up. Always saying a few more years and I will have this or that. He was here now and had what he wanted so why did he feel like something was missing. He went to bed that night happy with a full belly a happy wife and child and a renewed outlook for tomorrow. He knew deep down that tomorrow would just bring more of the same but at least right now he didn't care.
As he lay there he placed his hand and his sleeping wife's belly and thought to himself "maybe one more, maybe that is what I am looking for" He always slept with his hand there, this night was no exception except on this night he went to bed with a grin as he now had a new plan.