Stoner leaned over the coffee table and studied the little box.
"Yeah, it's perfect."
I smiled and began wrapping the box. I'm not great with wrapping presents. For some reason I always manage to rip the corners. Sellotape is used liberally, and one ends always ends up with more wrapping paper than the other. I have to make an extra fold to stick it down.
"Don't tell Bimbo." I whispered glancing up at the door to make sure she hadn't arrived. "She'll start crying or do something else dramatic. In fact, don't tell anyone."
Saturday afternoon was bright and sunny. I invited Stoner and Bimbo over for the day. Solicitor went to the pub with a few of his friends to watch the football. Stoner arrived first. I purposely asked him to be there early because I had something to show him and I needed his advice.
"Holy shit!" was pretty much his reaction.
I felt a flutter of nerves.
"This is big isn't it?" I asked him
When a big moment takes place in life it often makes people think of the bigger picture. When you graduate from education you suddenly realise that the world is you oyster. That there are many different career paths. That you are now a fully qualified adult.
I tend to think of stupid little things. When I graduated from university the first thing I realised was "I won't get discount at HMV anymore."
Because of my warped mind I needed a logical friend to give me some logical advice. Stoner is my pillar of logic. The voice of reason. The one person that I can rely on to say something that will bring perspective.
"I don't know what to say."
Oh my God! That's it. It was a bad idea.
"You think he'll hate the idea."
Stoner's eyes widened in surprise. "It's only an idea?!"
"The present." I said patiently. "The actual meaning is real. Don't you think it's cute?"
"Right..." He slowly nodded.
"Yeah, it's a good idea." He paused. "Cute."
"Check out the colours." I said enthusiastically. "You like?"
He leaned over the coffee table and peered into the box.
"Yeah, it's perfect."
Solicitor arrived home later that night to a candle lit dinner for two. I'd changed into the little black dress that he loves and I stood by the table nervously biting my bottom lip. He smiled when he saw my efforts.
"Wow. Something smells good."
"Thai." I said as he gently kissed me.
My knees buckled slightly as he nuzzled at my neck.
"I've got a present for you." I told him pointing at the badly wrapped box on the table.
"Did I forget some kind of anniversary?" He asked.
"Just open it."
When he picked up the box I sank into my chair. He took his time peeling off the sellotape. Why couldn't he just rip the wrapping paper? I wanted to scream in frustration.
When he finally peeled off enough tape to open one side of the wrapping, I panicked and jumped to my feet. My arm clumsily knocked my glass of orange juice onto the floor.
My fingers shook as I bent down to pick up the glass.
"What's wrong with you?" Solicitor asked squatting beside me holding my wrists.
"Just open the present, will you!" I snapped back.
He pulled the wrapping off and stared. Silently. God, please say something, I begged.
I nodded again.
He placed the box of tiny baby booties on the table and pulled me into his arms.