Day 6! When it is Valentine's Day, we all have expectations. It's unavoidable. And there are things we really, really want to happen on that day - not just to share with our friends, but just something to positively reinforce our relationships. Skye knows this better than anyone. And she's going to wish she didn't...
Skye's Sabotage © Billy London
Charlie needed everything to come together. Kath promised she’d keep Alex and his Ebola virus in his room for the night, and Charlie could have the rest of the house to himself. He really didn’t think he’d be thirty-three and still living with flat mates. He didn’t think he’d be thirty-three and doing a lot of things. But finally what he wanted was falling into place. His digital company was taking off, he finally had enough money for a deposit on a house. Funnily enough, the house he wanted was owned by his current landlord, who was more than happy to sell to him.
To keep as much money reserved for the house purchase, he decided to make dinner for his girlfriend and hope it’d be enough for her for Valentine’s Day, instead of something extravagant. She’d been so patient with him, she really deserved the best. He’d have to make up for it in the future.
Kath had a 2009 bottle of Chianti she’d received from a parent at the end of last year and she’d off loaded it onto Charlie.
“Red wine is the devil,” she proclaimed.
He’d learned from cooking programmes to use wine one would drink in his sauces. Skye loved a spag bol and he’d got the recipe for the best from the owner of the local Italian.
“Only because you’re a good customer. And I know you know it won’t be as good as mine.”
He took a few too many fortifying sips of wine before his sweet girlfriend arrived. Calm the fuck down, he told himself sharply.
Skye, despite having keys, knocked on the door. “Happy disease sounding day!” She cheered as soon as he opened the door to him. She reached up to kiss him on the lips. Her hands were bare and cold on his face, but she always warmed her palms on his cheeks. And not always on the one on his face.
“Happy V day to you too. Have you been buying stuff?” He asked, looking down at the bags that sat on the doorstep.
“I’m sorry, I know I said I wouldn’t but... Come on. How can anyone resist?” She pulled out a stuffed puppy wearing a striped vest. “He can pretend to be a guard dog for us until we can get our own one.”
“Very good idea.” He kissed her, murmuring, “thank you. Get in here.” She picked up the bags and followed him into the kitchen.
“Where’s everyone else?”
“Out, out and upstairs probably having a cheeky shag,” he pointed to each of his flatmate’s rooms. “What else did you bring?”
She held up a bottle of prosecco. “It was on sale, babe. I promise.”
God, they would move into a house with empty boxes to sit on for the next twelve months. “Stop spending money!”
He took her coat and sat her down. She babbled about her day and the excitement her own flat mates were experiencing for the day. Naughty as she was, it always felt natural and normal and right when they were together. He could listen to her babble on about anything and everything. She was adorable. Finally, he placed a warmed bowl of bolognese in front of her. With a flourish, he added chopped parsley, and edged a small dish of parmesan next to her bowl.
“Smells incredible, Charl,” She sighed like a happy child from a TV advert. “You’re so good to me.”
“And you are to me. Skye...” He began and she looked up, mouth full of spaghetti. “We’ve been together for four years and...”
“Oh my god,” she mumbled around her food, the natural red hue of her cheeks slowly disappeared leaving her ashen.
“Moving in together is the next step... What? Why are you making that face?”
Skype blinked grabbing her glass of prosecco. “What face? I just burned the roof of my mouth.”
She was disappointed. “Because mentioned moving in together?”
Skye had a most beautifully expressive face. It was something he adored about her. He loved that she still after all this time, thought she could hide her feelings from him. Plus, she’d had a drink. Double fail. “I just... I’m sorry I thought you were going to propose... I got ahead of myself I know we’ve been talking about it a lot and I’m… I’m an idiot. I’m sorry. We need a house more than I need a ring.”
Charlie nodded solemnly. “I’m sorry you said that.”
“What? Why? Oh fuck I’ve messed it up.”
He cleared his throat and removed the garlic bread from the oven. “A little.”
“I’m sorry, babe I just got all those little twitchy signs from you and I promise I can wait... What’s on my garlic bread?”
“Your ring,” he admitted, picking up the diamond band from the centre of the oven proof dish and examining it. “But you know... You said...”
“Ignore what I said! Ignore ignore ignore and just...” She skipped a breath and placed her hands on the table for calm. “I won’t interrupt.”
“I can’t believe you put my ring in the oven!” she yelped.
“Yes I’ll marry you!” She squealed throwing her arms around his neck. “I love you to bits, you know?”
Charlie threw his hands in the air. Sabotaged. Completely and utterly sabotaged. “How the hell are you going to tell this story? You didn’t let me finish?”
Skye scattered kisses all over his face. “I always do. You can ask again later.” She lifted her head and beamed at him. “You’ll ask me again later, won’t you?”
“Maybe when you’re passed out,” he suggested wryly. “I may get a word in edgewise.”