“Why can’t I make it happen?” Cameron asked himself while removing the pink foil from the bottle. Thirty eight twice divorced and now his four year relationship with Roxanne is over. He untwisted the wire cage, holding the cork in place with his thumb. This is Roxanne’s favorite part; she would lean in close to the bottle to hear the pop. She called herself a champagne whisper, and claims each bottle releases a secret when it is opened. “This one said, drink me. This one said, make love to me. This one said, Je T’aime.” Cameron smiled remembering her playfulness.
He lifted the bottle to his ear while twisting the cork loose. “This one says it’s over!” He shouted. He was saving this bottle of Champagne Phillipponnat Rose for the night he proposed. No, he didn’t have a date in mind or a ring but he had the champagne. That had to count for something. He planned on proposing…one day, just not today, or tomorrow, or this year. He had a bad track record. Two failed marriages in less than ten years, a third would do him in. “Cam, it’s never going to happen, is it?” Rox finally gathered the courage to ask at their three year anniversary dinner. Cameron evaded her question. After a year of the same explanations and excuses, she decided to cut her losses.
Rox would have loved the ring Cameron designed, in his head. She would have been excited that Cameron chose the Champagne Phillipponnat to celebrate with, it is her favorite. She is obsessed with rose champagnes, actually all rose sparkling wines. They tasted the Champagne Phillipponnat for the first time on their second year anniversary at Pop’s for Champagne. It always takes Roxanne at least twenty minutes to decide on a bottle. Cameron would order a Belveder and tonic while he waited her for her to choose. “The wrong champagne could ruin our night,” she would say and read every description on the wine list, even if she’d been to restaurant a hundred times. He would shake his head and say “do your thing, Love.”
He filled his glass half full. He tilled it to forty five degrees and stared into the light coral-pink color imaging how Roxanne might describe it. “It’s the pink at edge of piece of raw salmon.” He closed his eyes and brought the glass to his nose; “nutty…almonds?” she would probably add. He brought the glass to his mouth and sipped the liquid through an imaginary straw. He moved the champagne around his mouth tasting strawberry, dried cherry, yeast, “do I taste watermelon?” He asked Rox forgetting she had moved out.
The apartment was nearly empty, again. Tonight, unlike five years ago when Corrine moved out, the emptiness was palatable. Corrine’s leaving was a beginning…today felt like a funeral. Five years ago, he opened a bottle of Veuve Cliqouet, his favorite champagne, to celebrate his new beginning. “Alone, at last,” he remembers toasting.
Alone. Corrine never expected to end up here after five years of marriage…To be continued.
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