Half way through the bottle of Veuve-Clicquot, Cameron decided to head out. He was too happy to be home alone. “It’s over. Meet me for a drink.” He sent Charles a text.
“Not tonight. The baby is coming,” Charles responded.
Charles and Sandy have been married for seven years and trying to have a baby for six. In their third year of marriage, Sandy was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Year three and four were hell. In year five Charles’ parents and their pastor stepped in and coached them back to each other. Willing to do anything to keep their family together, Charles agreed to surrogacy.
Finally it was happening. The surrogate will be induced in the morning, and little Mia would be home in a few days. This moment is best Christmas gift Charles could ask for. Charles looked over at Sandy who was glowing as if she is the one who is pregnant. Finally he had it all: the job, the house, the beautiful wife, and tomorrow a daughter.
Charles: That was Cameron. It’s over.
Sandy: Finally. I hope they both get some peace. I’m feeling really blessed right now.
Charles: Yeah me too. To think that could have been us getting a divorce.
Charles crossed the kitchen to the wine fridge. Sandy walked into the pantry. They didn’t need to say a word. They had planned every second of this moment for the past nine months. Sandy placed the blue box on the counter as if she was opening it for the first time. She pulled at the white bow and let the satin ribbon fall on the island. The Tiffany champagne flutes were a seventh year anniversary gift from Corrine. Corrine was the most romantic person Sandy has ever met. With Corrine it wasn’t the gift, it was the celebration. She had a way of making every occasion special. So why didn’t her relationships work, Sandy thought? Maybe the next guy will be the one.
Sandy wondered what Corrine, Danielle and Nora were up to; drinking champagne, no doubt. Part of her wished she could be there with them. Corrine could use her support and a buffer between Nora and Danielle. Corrine had been her rock during the hard times with Charles and with the pregnancy. She always knew what to say and how to say it. Sandy kept the card that Corrine sent with the Tiffany flutes and read it aloud each time she opened the box. “Celebrate your love till death do you part. Love Corrine”
Charles presented the bottle of Champagne Henri Giraud Aÿ Grand Cru Fût De Chêne Brut ($177) to Sandy as if he was her waiter. She smiled and planted a big kiss on his neck. They visited Henri Giraud’s Champagne house on their honeymoon in May of 2001. Every year after, even during their storm, Charles ordered a bottle of Champagne Henri Giraud to celebrate their anniversary. When the bottle of Champagne Henri Giraud Aÿ Grand Cru Fût De Chêne Brut arrived in early May, they decided to save this one for the arrival of baby Mia.
Charles poured each of them a glass of the sunshine-colored wine. They walked into the living room and sat in front of the fireplace. When they imagined this night, both Charles and Sandy expected it would be full of questions and conversation. But instead they sat quietly staring into the fire and let the champagne’s juiciness and creamy texture transport them back to their honeymoon. They savored the intense notes of red apple, caramel, graceful oak and yeast. They relished the quiet champagne bliss and anticipated the next chapter.
Cameron walked into the quiet restaurant and immediately made eye contact with Roxanne who was sitting at the bar. “Damn,” he whispered. It’s too soon to fall in love.
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