There she was, staring out into the streets as the rain slowly trickled down against the window. There was a mellow tip tap as the rain hit the glass and the wind whistled gently. It was a cold winter evening on February the 13th to be precise.
The same happy ending she had played out over and over till it felt almost as real as the raindrops against the window pane, the fantasy which she would retell paints the picture of a day with the perfect ending.
The day always began in the morning at 6:45am with , drowsily and slowly she opens her eyes and sees there he is laid perfectly beside her. Still in a deep sleep his hair messy and tousled from sleep, she looks at her in wonder of how she came about to bag a man so beautiful, so gentle so charming and above all so loving. She couldn’t believe her luck that even after 7 years she still felt so madly in love with Henry.
She stroked his hair and goes to kiss him when he gently wakes up and upon seeing her a smile of pure and sheer happiness spreads across his face. One that reassures her everyday of what she means to him. She is the first to get up and makes her way to the kitchen to make a simple breakfast of omelette with some brown .Henry came down with a swift kiss on the lips, had his breakfast whilst looking over his emails and reminded her in between mouthfuls of their dinner reservation later that evening.
They were booked to have dinner at their favorite restaurant in Maida Vale at 7pm, this restaurant that could only seat 30 people at any given time and they were lucky that they were able to get a table on the 14th of February. After years of going back every year on the same day, they had struck up a friendship with the owner which meant they were able to get a table on what is seemingly a busy day of the year. and served the most authentic Italian dishes in South West London.
She was excited about their plans later and had spent a few days meticulously planning her outfit, she was going to come home a bit early from work to give herself enough time to get ready. She was going to look the absolute picture. Henry left for work at 7:45am gave her another swift kiss on the lips and told her how much he was looking forward to seeing her later.
On his bicycle off he went as he always did every day, she followed suit not too long after. At lunch time, she used the opportunity to go the manicurist for a fresh coat of nail polish. As it was Valentine’s Day, the natural colour she chose was red. After lunch her friend Sandy asked what her plans were, she told Sandy about their dinner reservation at 7pm at Ortaggio even went on to say how she had planned to wear her black Asos dress with the side slit. Underneath, she wore her matching black French lace lingerie she had specifically purchased from Agent Provocateur. She felt sexy both inside and outside.
Her work day was uneventful and time flew by. There was a text message from Henry to say he would have to meet at the restaurant as some last minute deadline had landed on his desk at 3:45pm. She didn’t mind as she understood the pressures of his job being an underwriter for one of the biggest finance corporations in the city.
At exactly 5pm, she left the office. Luckily the travel from the ad agency where she worked in Warwick Avenue to the house they shared was 15 minutes. She got home in plenty of time to begin her prep for the evening. At exactly 6:45pm she was ready to head out the door. With a final look in the hallway mirror, she could see there was a sparkle in her eye.
The Uber driver pulled up outside Ortaggio at 7pm, she made her way up the restaurant’s step pushed open the heavy antique oak doors. The Maitre D’ welcomed her, he complimented her on how well she looked and led her to their favorite table. The one just by the window which overlooked the desolate street of Maida Vale. Wine menu in hand, she had asked for their favorite bottle of Brunello di Montalcino.
She was going to wait for Henry, he was due in about 10minutes. She checked her phone once more to see if there was a text advising on him being further delayed, nothing had come through. The sommelier who came over and poured her a glass, she had a sip, it’s concentrated richness with a lingering blond tobacco note made it a completely seamless, delicate but yet complex wine on the palate. This brought back beautiful memories of their first Valentine’s Day in this very same restaurant. She wished Henry was there, so they could spend the evening reminiscing on the memories they had shared over the years.
She got out her phone from her black embellished Karen Millen Clutch, dialled Henry and got no response. She called the office but got an automated message that the office had closed for the day and would the line would reopen at 9am the next day. He was already 45 minutes late, which was very unsual, especially because she had not received a phone call to advise her of any possible delays. He would have at least called her by now. She got tried one more time to call him, again it went straight to his answer phone. She sent him a quick text “hope everything is ok? call me as soon as you get this xx”
An hour into their reservation, she signalled the waiter over, paid the £90 for the bottle of wine, her uber was already waiting. Lots of thoughts was running through her mind. What could have held him up? it was his idea and she was convinced he was as excited about dinner as she was. The taxi driver turned into Hilltop road, she could see the flashing lights of sirens, 2 police cars parked by the curb, an ambulance in the road, people stood on the pavement with the most sombre expression. The taxi got closer to the scene of the commotion, there was a bike sprawled with its parts scattered on the street and a black Toyota. She knew everyday for the rest of her life, she would have to create a different fantasy on how this night ended.
To dad. It’s been 7 years today and it still doesn’t get any easier to bear this loss. xx